There is much to love about this historically Czech and, more recently, Hispanic area on the West Side, especially if you value diversity, an artistic community, and active indie businesses (not to mention proximity to the Loop). True, some longtime residents aren’t exactly welcoming the influx of tenderfeet. But for those willing to overlook some antigentrification graffiti, Pilsen’s charms are undeniable, from the famous murals to the newly renovated performance venue Thalia Hall (recent show: Mavis Staples).
“There’s a lot of promise here, with a solid community of young, newish business owners,” says Sam Wahl, whose restaurant Dia De Los Tamales has made several appearances on Chicago’s Hot List.
In addition to repurposed lofts at 1600 South Jefferson, developer Michael Murdock recommends that buyers check out the area from Ashland to the Dan Ryan: “There’s a ton of great stuff, both in terms of new construction and the occasional solid old brick building.”