From 1887 until after the First World War, the ruddy brick building at 833-855 West Fulton Market (between Peoria and Green streets) was used for poultry trading and food storage. Then came a fire, decades of disrepair, and the whole sad urban fate that befalls old buildings. This tale, however, ends happily: Restored and reopened in 2005, this “gateway to Fulton Market” has lured entrepreneurs who hope, by year’s end, to make it the most progressive destination for a night out. Here’s what to expect.

Illustration by John Kenzie
architect's drawing of Fulton St. Building in Chicago

1. ? >> When Paul Kahan (Avec/Blackbird), Donnie Madia (Avec/Blackbird), and Terry Alexander (del Toro) talk about their next project, they use one word: beer. Pork, shucked oysters, and brews of all hues will anchor the menu of this as-yet-unnamed gastropub, which should open by early fall. Chef de cuisine duties belong to Brian Huston, a Blackbird vet who’s back in town after stints in Colorado and San Francisco.


Illustration by Peter Gogarty
club Lumen in Chicago


2. Lumen >> Scheduled to open by the end of March, this lounge blurs the lines between an MCA exhibition and that trippy nightclub you stumbled upon once in Berlin. High-school friends Jason Freiman and Nick Podesta lured pal Peter Gogarty back from New York to design this 3,500-square-foot bamboo-walled stunner; an artist and installation designer, Gogarty has commissioned a high-tech LED audiovisual system that can support an indie film screening or a raucous DJ set piped in real time from Ibiza.


Photograph: Nathan Kirkman
artists' collective board members

(From left) Lumen partners Jason Freiman, Nick Podesta, and Peter Gogarty

3. M5 >> In 1999, before he decamped for New York, Peter Gogarty started M5, a local artists’ collective with a technology bent. When it opens in May, this 9,000-square-foot gallery will be the collective’s new home. Besides art, expect performance and multimedia installations and post-important-party parties with the likes of Jerry Kleiner, who sits on M5’s board.