Thursday, January 19, 2017

Ald. Cappleman: Even More Art Coming To Uptown Thanks To Grant Money

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From Ald. Cappleman's latest email:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Dept. of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE) has designated 2017 as the "Year of Public Art". Each of the 50 wards is eligible for a $10,000 matching grant based on a commitment of using $10,000 in menu funds. This grant comes from Allstate Insurance Company and Terra Foundation for American Art through DCASE. Last December, Ald. Cappleman signed an agreement that will allow the 46th Ward to get the maximum amount for this grant in order to install a series of art projects throughout the ward. All interested artists who would like to submit a project are encouraged to apply. Click here for more information.

BPN General Meeting & Holiday Party, January 23

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If you live in Buena Park, plan to attend the next BPN General Meeting, Monday, January 23 at 7PM at Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Celebrate National Croissant Day At Baker & Nosh

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The famous butter croissants from B&N, Wilson & Malden

In celebration of National Croissant Day (Monday, January 30), Baker & Nosh is offering four of its most popular croissant options, while supplies last.

The Uptown neighborhood favorite typically only offers croissants on the weekends and often sells out, but has made an exception for the holiday.

The four featured croissants will be the classic butter croissant ($3.00), ham & cheese, chocolate and almond (all $3.50).

Looking For Some New Year's Motivation?

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If you are having trouble sticking to those new year's resolutions, stop by Weigh Watchers at 4444 N. Broadway and join a meeting for free. Meeting schedule and store hours are listed above.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Caravan Continues Conversion To Sports Bar

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The new facade of Caravan at 4810 N. Broadway
Caravan Restaurant at 4810 N. Broadway continues its transformation from only middle eastern cuisine, to the addition of pub food like piza and burgers along with 22 HDTVs broadcasting sports. The facade has also gotten an interesting upgrade with wood planks from liquor crates like Jack Daniels and Jameson Whiskey, complete with the random markings still visible. Caravan plans to reopen at the end of January with its new concept. The updated menu can be found here.
Closeup of the new facade of Caravan

Thursday, January 12, 2017

After Long 6 Years, Nick's On Wilson To Reopen


Just over 6 years ago, we reported that Nick's on Wilson (1140 W. Wilson) had shut its door. It was a nice, well-managed spot to grab a drink and chat with neighbors. Nick went on to devote his time and energy to his other businesses in the city.

For the past year, we had been hearing rumblings of this location reopening. Recently, his plans were shared in front of other business owners in Uptown, that he plans to reopen this year with security on-site.

Many of our readers have said they longed for a bar-lounge on Wilson so when this opens, we hope you will support it. This spot desperately needs more eyes on the street and foot traffic. As more details become available, we will pass them along.

In other bar-lounge news, "Larry's" will be opening sometime this month in the lobby of Lawrence House from the owner of Heritage Bicycles. Stop by the lobby to check out the progress. More to come!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Ald Cappleman: A 2016 Year In Review For Uptown

From Ald. Cappleman's 2016 year in review:

I have heard from many of you about the sudden renaissance of economic development in the 46th Ward. What we're seeing right now is unprecedented, but by no means, was it an accident. During my first term as alderman, I put in place all the needed ingredients to create more vibrant corridors for retail. This has encourage more people to shop in their neighborhoods and has provided more employment opportunities for residents. Exciting new businesses such as Ka'lish, a vegan restaurant that will have its ribbon-cutting ceremony this Saturday, focused on hiring staff who all lived within a few blocks of their store on Wilson Avenue.


First Ascent at 4718 N. Broadway, officially opened in early 2016, and is a rock climber's paradise.

Heritage Coffee on Lawrence provides great coffee in the beautiful lobby of the Lawrence House.

Kal' ish, a vegan restaurant, at Wilson/Malden, opened up and will be expanding another restaurant next door in 2017.

Pokiology, a seafood restaurant, at Wilson/Magnolia, is a quick favorite among many residents.

The Jerk Stop, a Jamaican restaurant at Wilson/Clifton, gives another great option for food on restaurant alley/coffee bean row.

Emerald City Coffee, a coffee and pastry restaurant with a cool vibe, located at 1224 W. Wilson

My Chocolate Soul, a bakery that provides a very unusual and eclectic types of chocolate and pastries: 4442 N. Broadway

Earth's Kitchen, a restaurant providing a blend of Japanese and American food, located at 3715 N. Halsted

Selam Market & Restaurant, providing authentic Ethiopian food, at 4543 N. Broadway.

Uptown Arcade, a bar and arcade that attracts crowds after the concerts in the area, at 4830 N. Broadway.

Wabi Sabi, Chicago's only rotary sushi restaurant at 4521 N. Sheridan

Finest Food & Subz at 4759 N. Sheridan, also offers coffee and lots of snack options.

Ensemble Media, a creative services and multimedia production company that creates unique videos, animations, print collateral and interactive solutions at 4704 N. Kenmore.

 Futatsuki Ramen, a Japenese restaurant known for its modern interpretation of classic dishes at 4621 N. Broadway.


Lawrence House at Lawrence/Kenmore: 344 rental apartments with a beautifully restored lobby. Includes a Heritage Coffee Bar and a bar will open inside the lobby within the next few months.

4752-60 N. Racine at corner of Broadway/Lawrence: A Lake Point Properties development with 18 soft loft apartments

4027 N. Broadway near Irving Park: A 20-unit building with 1st floor retail.

The Bachelor, a FLATS project at 1136 W. Wilson. Has 40 rental apartments and hosts frequent art shows on the first floor.

The Firehouse, a FLATS project at 1217 W. Gunnison: 4 apartment units at a formerly abandoned firehouse.


Clarendon/Montrose Development: a $125M proposal that includes rental apartments and Treasure Island. Approximately 1/3 of the $15.88M TIF will go toward rehabbing the Clarendon Park Community Center, 1/3 will go toward the Low Income Housing Trust Fund that provides rental assistance to people with very low incomes, and the remaining 1/3 toward demolition of the dilapidated Maryville site. A total of 563 rental apartments to be built in 2 stages.

3833 N. Broadway: an 8-story, mixed-use development with 134 rental apartments and retail.

Stewart School Lofts at 4525 Kenmore: a 64 residential development with Morningside Group. The building became a Chicago Landmark in 2016. Plans will later include a mid-rise to be built directly north of the building with retail.

4635-41 N. Broadway: Lake Pointe Properties completing 14 residential units and 5 retail spaces.

931-33 W. Belle Plaine development with 20 units

Pensacola Place at Hazel/Montrose: 184 rental apartments will be added to their current mix of 264 units. Town homes will be built around the perimeter of their deck located above Jewel.

Ross Dress For Less at 918 W. Montrose (across from Jewel). Opening is expected in the spring.


3901 N. Broadway: a Vermilion Development featuring a 10-story with 100 rental apartments and retail

4601 N. Broadway designed by MX3 Architects: 197 apartment units at the corner of Broadway/Wilson with retail on the first floor.

4420-30 N. Sheridan development: 33 units in a mixed-use development

3928 N. Sheridan: a Loukas Development with 54 apartment units with retail

1023 W. Irving Park: 5-story condo building with one unit on each floor.

927 W. Irving Park: 5-story with 28 rental units


Wilson L Station: A $203M project has an expected completion date at the end of this year. In April, the demolition of the remaining old L track will be completed and the escalator is expected to be operational by June. All 4 new tracks will be up and running in September. A request for proposal is going out for the Gerber Building, and I am working with CTA to get that whole space rented out as one large retail space rather than have it broken up into smaller stores. A number of businesses have expressed interest for that spot.

Uptown Square Historic District: Located within the Entertainment District, this enhances the area's prestige and property values while bringing stability and predictability for future private investment, with the ultimate goal to get the Uptown Theatre rehabbed.

When the Clarendon/Montrose TIF passed City Council, it allowed for $4.5M to be contributed to the Clarendon Park Community Center. Per the Parks Dept, this was the only way we could get the necessary funds to jumpstart this rehab of this center that had become delapidated.

$14K was contributed from Menu funds to the Park District to do necessary plumbing work to allow for a dog washing business (Moxie Wash) to open up near the Montrose Dog Beach this year. 


All this new development happened while we protected non-profit affordable housing in the 46th Ward. When Presbyterian Homes announced plans to sell their building at 3801 N. Pine Grove, I worked with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, State Rep Sara Feigenholtz, the City’s Dept. of Planning & Development, and ONE Northside to prevent the seniors in this building from having to move. I found an attorney who took on the case pro bono and then worked with CHA to negotiate a sale in 2016 so that no one would have to move from their home. There is now no longer any threat that they would have to move.


Due to an inability to raise additional funds to supplement the government dollars that Northside Housing & Support Services (NHSS) was already receiving, the shelter announced in September that they were closing in December. The Dept. of Family & Support Services (DFSS) tried getting other providers in to assist, but no other agency was willing to take it over. A generous donor stepped up with 3 years of promised support to keep them open. I will meet with the shelter's board of directors and DFSS to see how I can help them prevent this type of funding crisis again.


When I was elected alderman in 2011, I became very vocal with the way the City addressed homeless encampments. A host of different agencies were providing interventions with limited results of getting people off the streets and into permanent housing. Some of the people living on the streets had been there for many years and appeared stuck in the cycle of homelessness. Early in 2016, I teamed up with Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky to push the City to adopt a “housing-first” strategy that places people immediately into housing with wrap-around services. In May, a pilot project was started in Uptown because it was the largest encampment in the City. Of the initial assessment of 75 individuals living at the encampments, 54 were housed, and the remaining 11 left the area on their own. To assist with funding this new way of addressing homelessness, I also led the charge to add a 4% surcharge on Airbnbs, with these additional funds going toward our efforts to get people off the streets and directly into housing. The U.S. Interagency on Homelessness had declared this approach as the best way to address chronic homelessness. This approach also is very cost effective because the cost of a person's health care dramatically drops when he or she is in safe housing.


This non-profit organization started out as a task force to help me create the 46th Ward Master Plan, and now it has blossomed into something that has provided ongoing and much needed support to our area CPS schools. Thanks to a matching grant the Friends of the 46th Ward Schools received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, over $3,000 was raised.... all money that will be distributed to our local CPS schools.


Enhancing public safety in the 46th Ward has always been one of my top priorities. Working with both the Commanders of the 19th and 20th Police Districts, along with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, I established a Retail Corridor Public Safety Committee, and we now have many retail establishments working together with us to reduce criminal activity in the area. In my discussions with Police Supt. Eddie Johnson, I asked for and received more foot patrol officers walking in our neighborhoods. They have strong relationships with the local businesses and community so that we can partner better together to address crime. I successfully fought for the hiring of more police officers in our last City Budget, something I knew many of you wanted. This year we were able to get an additional 52 sworn officers assigned, that is in addition to the police that are being recruited now. I worked with my colleagues and Mayor Rahm Emanuel to expand the Becoming a Man program and the One Summer Chicago program that provides employment opportunities for youth from 14 to 24 years of age.


I spearheaded an ordinance to protect members of the transgender community using the bathroom of their gender preference without having to produce an I.D. I was joined by other members of the LGBT Caucus to get this passed. With the Short Term Rental Ordinance, I succeeded in getting a 4% surcharge for Airbnbs to fund homeless services. I pushed to strengthen the City's Inspector General's Office to allow for investigations of aldermen, rather than a separate one for us and another one for all other City employees.


The thing that people most appreciate about the 46th Ward is its diversity, with over 91 different languages spoken. Besides being the smallest geographical ward in the City, it is also the most economically diverse ward as well. The challenge is to make sure we maintain our diversity as we continue to improve the economic vitality of the ward. Best wishes for a wonderful and prosperous 2017,

Ald. James Cappleman

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Two Proposals Given Green Light By 46th Ward Zoning Committee

Two proposals passed through the 46th Ward Zoning & Development Committee last night.

The first proposal is slated for the SE corner of Sheridan and Dakin, steps from the Sheridan red line. Plans for the site are as follows:

"Developer and owner of the property, Joe Lamanto, is requesting a zoning change from B1-2 to B3-5 TOD (Transit Oriented Development) with a planned development ordinance for a seven-story, mixed-use building with 120 apartments, and 44 interior parking spaces with a height of 79.83 ft." 

Ace Hardware and the bakery that currently occupy the storefronts are both slated to return in the new development
3921 N. Sheridan proposal (Ald. Cappleman's website)
The second proposal (seen below) that was granted the green light is from Sarah's Circle, which serves homeless women and has been a good neighbor for almost 40 years. Their first proposal for the SW corner of Sheridan and Leland called for razing the building and replacing it with something that was quite different than the much-loved building with the terra-cotta ladies. Perkins + Will went back to the drawing board and came up with a plan that utilizes much of the ornamentation of the current building and retains most of the "feel" of the current building. More details from Ald. Cappleman's website:

"The site, 4654 N. Sheridan Rd, is located two blocks south of Sarah’s Circle’s main facility at 4836-4838 N. Sheridan Road and currently consists of a two story building. The lot size is 7,290 square feet, and the building will have up to 35,700 square feet of space. The first floor will be supportive services space accessible to both Interim Housing and Permanent Housing residents with reception, staff offices, private consultation rooms, a group room, a computer lab, dining, and kitchen space. The second floor will be the main space for the 50-bed Interim Housing program and the top four floors will have 38 ADA accessible studio apartments with full, private bathrooms and kitchenettes. Additionally, there will be some shared community spaces on the residential floors. This new facility will be staffed 24/7 and will have security cameras."
Sarah's Circle proposal for Sheridan and Leland as seen from Leland (Perkins + Will)

Cornerstone Sells "Leland House"

4654-56 Malden

An eagle-eyed reader noticed something afoot at "Leland House," the Cornerstone managed and owned permanent shelter at Leland and Malden. A new management sign listing PARK INC was installed on the building. New sod was laid this past fall and construction dumpsters were outside for some time. Now what has happened is even more clear judging by new apartment listings touting beautiful finishes, granite countertops, in-unit washer/dryer, central HVAC and more with rents starting at $1,600 a month for a 2 bedroom.

Cornerstone appears to have sold the building because they owed $249,786 as of May 13, 2016 on a line of credit on the property that apparently was not repaid, according to the yearly audit of Cornerstone Community Outreach. Inquiring minds would like to know why our local activists didn't protest this sale?
The newly remodeled units starting around $1.600 for a 2 bedroom (Spaces Realty)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Uptown Business Partners "Member Mixer" At Emerald City Coffee

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Uptown Networking Mixer
Wednesday, January 18 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Emerald City Coffee Uptown, 1224 W. Wilson

Join us Wednesday, January 18, for a networking mixer at Emerald City Uptown! Meet business owners and community members while enjoying light food and drinks generously provided by our host. Non-members welcome! Our monthly networking mixers build community among Uptown businesses, non-profits and neighborhood groups, strengthening our local economy through the development of strategic partnerships.

About Emerald City Coffee: Emerald City Coffee offers locally roasted coffee and delicious scratch made pastries in a fun and welcoming environment. Whether you’re just in the mood for a quick coffee, looking for a simple yet delicious lunch, or perhaps seeking a place to write the novel you've always wanted to write, we’ve got you covered. We’re dedicated to being a center of the community, and are always ready with a nice kick in the pants to get you over that finish line.
Click here to RSVP! 
Click here for Facebook event! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Ald. Cappleman: Iyanze Closed Until Further Notice & Investigation

from Ald. Cappleman's latest email:
"On Sunday, January 1st at 4:25 a.m., two individuals shot each other in a dispute at 4623 N. Broadway. Both men died as a result of their injuries later that morning. 

Public safety is crucial to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods, which is why I have asked Commander Buslik and Superintendent Johnson to enforce the "problem building" ordinance, which I had supported when it was passed in May 2015. This ordinance only allows for the closure of businesses in the most extreme of circumstances, including a homicide taking place within the business. 

Due to previous nuisance complaints from residents and neighboring businesses, I met with the operator of Iyanze this past June to discuss the late night parties that they were holding on premise and how they were disruptive to the neighborhood. Additionally, we discussed the limits of their business license and issues that may result if I continued to hear complaints about noise and other nuisance issues. I also asked them to participate in our Wilson Corridor task force of businesses, which includes the Chicago Police Department and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, to promote public safety, which unfortunately they did not attend. Many businesses on Wilson and Broadway in this area are active participants on this task force which has made a major, positive impact on public safety in the area. 

The incident on New Year's Day was incredibly alarming due to the nature of the crime and the resulting gun fire that spread out into the street. We have not had an incident like this which resulted in a murder within a business since I have been Alderman, and I hope we never have one again. To protect our community and underscore the severity of this occurrence, I have asked the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, Eddie Johnson, to close Iyanze until the Chicago Police, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and the community have a full understanding of what happened. The business must also create and submit a nuisance abatement plan that includes reasonable steps to prevent another violent occurrence. 

We have many wonderful businesses on the 4600 block of Broadway. Please join me in continuing to visit these businesses and let them know how much we appreciate their continued effort to be a part of the community and their work with residents to increase public safety and economic development."

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Laundromat Unveiled At Wilson & Magnolia

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A sneak peek at the upcoming laundromat at Wilson & Magnolia
We shared the news this summer that according to building permits, to expect a laundromat in the corner space of the stripmall at Wilson & Magnolia. This space was most recently a small grocery store, and before that, vacant for many years.
Butcher paper was up on the windows but it was easy to see that lots of work was taking place inside.
Well, fast forward to today and the paper is down, and we are getting our first view inside. Although it isn't the most exciting retail, it will definitely be a welcome sight to see lots of new patrons utilizing this strip mall.
"Loads" of new high capacity washers and dryers fill the space and new lighting and ceiling tiles were going in. Might be a good place to take any large items that don't fit in your building's washer or dryer.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Menorah Lighting Festival This Evening, 6:30

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Uptown Loses To Woodlawn In Curbed Cup Semi-Finals

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Close, but no cigar.

The final tally was 54.33% Woodlawn, 45.67% Uptown in the latest round of the Curbed Cup.

There's always next year. Thank you to everyone who loves our little piece of Chicago and voted for it in this annual tradition.

Progress! Wilson Red Line Construction From July Through December


Here's a five-minute look at the progress on the Wilson Red/Purple Line station over the past six months. So much has happened since the groundbreaking in late 2014, with one more year of construction to go.

It'll be a busy 2017. We are looking forward to seeing the remaining century-old tracks come down, eliminating most of the support pillars in the traffic lanes along Broadway and Leland. We can't wait to see the historic Gerber Building restored, along with a modern new station house.  Acclaimed artist Cecil Balmond will be doing the custom art installation at the entrance.

But most of all, we are excited about the new elevator and escalator! Elderly and disabled people will be able to easily access the trains in Uptown for the first time ever.

Thank you to Luke Starkenburg, who created this clip. If you'd like a ride down memory lane, he also did a video of the beginning phases of the work, from October 2014 through October 2015.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Free Film Screening At Uptown's Newest Art Space Thursday


We received this note from Dustin Puehler, of Ready Freddy Films, introducing movie night AND a new art space at Leland and Racine:
"We are having a film screening at the new art space Sustain at 1201 W Leland Ave #1E. It's a free event with a suggested donation for the space if people like :)
The event will open with a 15-minute short film followed by an hour-long feature. The material does feature adult language, but should be a fun and free time to see and support independent art in the area!"
We are glad to welcome a new art space to Uptown. Please stop by and say hi Thursday night and watch the double feature. Donations welcome!

Property Tax Rebate Program Deadline Approaching

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If your property taxes went up this year, there is some relief available. But you need to act fast. From Ald. Tunney's newsletter:
The City of Chicago Property Tax Rebate Program provides eligible families and seniors some property tax relief through a City-funded rebate.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago City Council are implementing this rebate program to help offset the property tax increase needed to fund the pensions of our first responders.

The Mayor's office has extended the deadline to apply for the rebate. Eligible Chicago homeowners can apply for a City of Chicago rebate at any of the 26 neighborhood locations, including City Hall, before December 31st.  Homeowners must apply for the rebate in person.

To learn more about the eligibility requirements for the rebate and other supplemental grants as well as required documentation, please visit:

Time To Vote! It's Uptown vs Woodlawn In The Curbed Cup

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24 hours to do it! It's the penultimate round of the Curbed Cup voting for best neighborhood in Chicago.

Vote here! Tell your friends, too.  But hurry. Voting ends at 11:30am on Thursday.

Uptown is up against Woodlawn, the sole South Side contender.

Curbed says, "The united Uptown neighborhood cruised through the first two rounds of voting, but it will have to overcome Woodlawn—the only remaining South Side neighborhood on the bracket—to advance to the final. In many ways, Uptown is the perfect representation of what a Chicago neighborhood should be—it’s densely populated, affordable, diverse, and close to the lakefront. There’s a reason why Uptown always does well in the Curbed Cup, and that is that its residents are almost fanatical about their love for their neighborhood. Will Uptown claim yet another Curbed Cup?"

Remember to vote!

Photo courtesy of reader Rick Baer.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

One Of Uptown's "Sugar Magnolias" Sentenced To 45 Years In Prison

One Friday night back in December 2011, four Uptown gang members decided it was time to settle some scores.

They injured four people in a drive-by shooting at the corner of Wilson and Sheridan in the early evening, critically injuring one. They escaped by speeding off down Sheridan... on the sidewalk, which was full of pedestrians.

Later that night on the West Side, a 17-year-old male was shot in the chest shortly after midnight. The shots came from a van full of men matching the descriptions of the Uptown shooters.

The van headed toward Uptown. It was spotted by the police, and a pursuit began. 

The suspects exited at Belmont, were pulled over by an officer, and took off again, heading south in an attempt to avoid capture. What they didn't know was that roadblocks had been set up on the Drive, so the chase ended when they slammed their van into a police vehicle that had been used to create a barricade near Fullerton.

Someone at the scene told us that four men, "all from Magnolia," were pulled from the van. One was Omari Robinson, known in Uptown for being arrested in the "Sugar Magnolia" drug bust ten months earlier. Robinson was taken into custody right there on the Drive.

Another person who was charged with him, Asif Menom, was killed a few months later in a shooting outside Krush nightclub in West Town. We had reports at the time that Omari Robinson was with him, but we could not confirm them.

The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they do grind away. Earlier this fall, Omari Robinson was sentenced to 45 years in prison for attempted murder. Given the time he has already served and the way Illinois computes prison sentences, he will not be eligible for parole until February of 2050.

He was 19 when he was arrested as a Sugar Magnolia for dealing drugs. He was 20 in December 2011. He'll be in his late 50s by the time he has completed his sentence.

When he gets out, no one in his gang (should it still exist, which is doubtful) will remember him. Gang loyalty? A joke. There is no doubt that Uptown is safer with him behind bars, but it's really sad to see young men buy into the life, not realizing that "loyalty" is a one-way street.

Quik Stop Convenience Store To Close This Weekend

(Photo courtesy of 48th Ward newsletter)
Quik Stop, located at Argyle and Sheridan, is having a going-out-of-business sale and will close by the weekend.

It was shuttered by the city last April, and reopened after a couple months. This closure appears to be voluntary, and permanent.

We heard from a reader, who said [litely edited],

"This morning there was a hand printed sign on the door announcing "50% off almost everything" so I stopped in to ask what was up.  The older man at the counter replied that the store would be gone by Saturday or Sunday.

As I said in an email to Ald. Osterman, and I say now, I hope that space can be put to some good use, not as a "convenience" store and not having anything to do with alcohol (hey, Foremost is only a few doors down) or cigarettes.  Maybe even its garish red and white exterior can be stripped off.  

I live nearby and know first-hand what a problem that store has been--especially in warmer months.  This has been nothing but a source of trouble, especially in the summer when it seems to be a magnet for the regiment or division sized bad element in the neighborhood. There are other convenience-type stores nearby, both on Sheridan and on Argyle."

19th District Court Advocates Meeting Postponed Until January 9

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Due to government holidays on December 26 and January 2, the next meeting of the 19th District Court Advocates will take place on Monday, January 9, in the community room of the police station at 850 West Addison. It will take place at the usual time, 6pm.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Men's Shelter Receives Public/Private Funding To Stay Open "For Years To Come"

Photo of Preston Bradley Center
courtesy of PBC's Facebook page.
There's been a very nice story unfolding over the past 24 hours, one that will mean new beginnings for homeless men who need a place to stay and a path to rebuild their lives.
  • Thursday afternoon, it was announced that the men's shelter run by North Side Housing & Supportive Services would remain open through the end of the year, rather than close today, as was announced last September.
  • Thursday evening, the Tribune ran a story saying that the city had come up with funding via DFSS so that the shelter could remain open through 2017.
  • In an email blast this morning, Ald. Cappleman relayed the news that "a generous donor" had been found to supplement the funding gap in North Side Housing's budget and that the shelter will be able to remain open for "years to come."
And who is the generous donor? From NSHSS's web page:
BIG holiday gift saves the Interim Housing Program! The 72-bed shelter for homeless men at the Peoples Church in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago will remain open due to a large, multi-year donation from the Chicago-based Reva and David Logan Foundation and renewed support from the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS).

"This eleventh-hour donation has saved the shelter from permanently closing at the end of today, December 23, as previously announced,” said Richard Ducatenzeiler, Executive Director of North Side Housing & Supportive Services. Please see the press release for further details.
You can read more about the Reva and David Logan Foundation, a Chicago-based family foundation that supports investigative journalism, the arts, and social justice, here.

Not only is this good news for the men who are served by the shelter, and whose lives are transformed -- whether it is for one night or a lifetime -- but it also means that the Preston Bradley Center (the building at 941 West Lawrence that houses the shelter, Peoples Church, and other organizations) will not lose a major tenant, which would undoubtedly have put a huge hole in its operating budget.

The text of Ald. Cappleman's email blast reads:
"I am happy to announce that the shelter located at People's Church, run by North Side Housing and Supportive Services (NSHSS), that was slated to close today, will remain open for years to come.

We were able to find a generous donor to fill in the shelter’s budget gap for the coming years and the City agreed to renew the service contract that had lapsed. The shelter will once again resume service at their 72 bed capacity.

I will continue to fight for increased resources for Chicago to implement the housing-first model for all homeless individuals in Chicago. However, I also understand that expanding and maintaining a strong network of shelter options is a key component of the City’s strategy to address homelessness.

I want to thank Mayor Emanuel and Commissioner Lisa Morrison-Butler for their work and commitment to improve programming and service delivery for this vulnerable population."

Man, 47, Shot At Leland & Malden


A 47-year-old man was shot Thursday night at Leland and Malden around 9:25.

Readers report hearing two shots fired, and then seeing a lot of first responders arrive at the southwest corner of the intersection, including police and an ambulance. Police blocked off Leland and Malden, as well as the alleys in the area, while they investigated.

According to news reports, the man is in stable condition after suffering gunshot wounds in the right hand and right leg. He was taken to Illinois Masonic for treatment.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

La Ciudad Still Looking For A Little Help With Their Holiday Feast For The Homeless

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For the third consecutive year, La Ciudad restaurant (4515 North Sheridan, at Windsor) will be host to 100-150 homeless people for lunch and holiday cheer on December 24th. But they still need some help from the community to pull it all together.

They are still looking for a few volunteers to help serve food and do clean-up from 1-3:30pm.

Additionally, donations of paper goods are needed, specifically paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils, and paper cups, to supplement what La Ciudad has on hand for day-to-day operations. If an individual or business would like to donate those, they would be very much appreciated.

We are told, "Those living in the community or former community members have been gracious thus far with time, monetary donations, desserts, and a few gifts for the homeless." Thank you to all who have been (and will be) so generous with their time and donations.

If you can help, contact the restaurant at

Uptown Wins Second Round of Curbed Cup -- Up Next, Woodlawn

click to enlarge
By nearly at two-to-one margin, Uptown defeated Bronzeville in the latest round of the Curbed Cup voting for best Chicago neighborhood. The finally results were 65.77% Uptown, 34.23% Bronzeville.

Next up, we take on Woodlawn, the only South Side neighborhood remaining in the competition.

We'll let you know when it comes up. Well done, you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Time To Vote! Uptown vs. Bronzeville In The Curbed Cup

After handily winning against the South Loop in the first round of the "Curbed Cup," the polls are now open in the next round. In this round, Uptown is up against Bronzeville.  The post reads:
"In the first round of Curbed Cup voting, Uptown easily defeated the South Loop to cruise into the second round. However, they’re going to face perhaps a bigger challenge in Bronzeville. Like many neighborhoods throughout the North Side, Uptown has seen a slew of new proposals and redevelopment projects, including the reopening of art deco-era Lawrence House as a new apartment complex, the opening of the Argyle shared street, and the pending redevelopment of the old Cuneo Memorial Hospital/Maryville Academy campus, and the renovation of the Wilson Red Line station.

Uptown has been a formidable challenger since the beginning of the Curbed Cup challenge way back in 2010, but will they have what it takes to make it to the semifinals?"
Voting is only open for 24 hours and started Tuesday morning. Vote here!

New Convenience Store In Former S&L Pantry Storefront

The brown paper in the windows is gone, and "Finest Foods & Subs" looks ready to go is open for business at the southeast corner of Lawrence and Sheridan. This store takes over the the site of the former S&L Pantry, which closed in August 2015. Rumor has it that the owners of Finest Foods are relatives of the S&L Pantry proprietors.

(We think this photo, taken Friday night, looks a little like Nighthawks.)

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Note From North Side Supportive Housing On The Men's Shelter Closure

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Many people are understandably concerned and distraught about the closure of the men's overnight shelter at Preston Bradley Center.  One thing that really stood out in all the press conferences and protests to keep the shelter running was the lack of involvement by people who work at the shelter itself, the board of which threatened to close it last June and announced the closure last September.

Now, the shelter operators have updated its website to say that the shelter will not be reopening and offering some suggestions:
"It has been brought to our attention that there are several GoFundMe pages raising funds to prevent the closure of our Interim Housing program. Please be forewarned that these campaigns are NOT being administered by North Side Housing & Supportive Services and we have no control over the usage or administration of these funds.

Additionally, because of insufficient City funding and the ongoing IL state budget impasse, the shelter will indeed close on December 23rd regardless of private funds being raised. We need far beyond the suggested $100k to keep the shelter open and funded in a sustainable fashion.

That being said, we are touched and honored by the outpouring of support from the community and will continue to work toward ending homelessness in Chicago. If you would like to donate to our other programs serving the Chicago’s homeless population (including permanent supportive housing for 192 individuals and a drop-in center for men and women living on the streets and in shelters) you can do so here.

We wish circumstances were much different and appreciate your support.

Best Regards,
Richard Ducatenzeiler
Executive Director
North Side Housing & Supportive Services"

Tell Your Story Tuesday Night At The Uptown Underground

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A storyteller shares her story on stage at Uptown Underground

Uptown Underground's monthly storytelling show entitled "Do Not Submit: Uptown" is happening Tuesday night at 4707 N. Broadway. If you have a story you have always wanted to share, sign up at 7PM for the show that starts at 7:30PM. No judgment, no competition, no scores. Just a true open mic. No stand up or poetry please.

If you are looking for a good reason to escape hibernation, it isn't forecast to be *that* cold tomorrow!

Free Christmas Dinner & Service At Missio Dei Uptown

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More on Missio Dei Uptown at their website.