Thursday, October 31, 2013

Grand Opening Party Friday

Hollenberg & Co., the reclaimed furniture shop that opened earlier this month at 4609 N Clark, is having a combo Grand Opening/Halloween party Friday evening.  Space is limited, so RSVP on Facebook.

The notice reads:  "Come creep around our new store with a Halloween Bash Grand Opening Party. We will have food/beverages/live entertainment. Best costume Contest, creepy edibles, scary beverages and over $1,000.00 in giveaways. LIMITED TO 200 GUESTS" 

Please help welcome them to the neighborhood.

Buena Pumpkin Neighbors Present
Safe Trick-or-Treating At Buena Park Circle

Photo by Gene Tenner
It's time for the best-known, best-loved, oldest Halloween tradition in Uptown.  Buena Park Neighbors block club sponsors safe trick-or-treating between 6pm and 8:30pm on Thursday, October 31st.

Buena Circle Park, 1049 W. Buena, becomes operation central and from there trick-or-treaters head north and south on Kenmore, delightfully gathering goodies from equally delighted residents who welcome the little costumed darlings into their appropriately decorated yards.

Each year one of the homes along the way wins the coveted George Ferak award, named in honor of the originator of the event, for best decorations, so expect to see some really creative yards.  And there's a prize for best costume, too.

There's no rain date -- trick-or-treating will take place for those who show up.  We'll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not!

See BLACULA At Half Price Opening Week

Our beloved Pegasus Players have left Uptown for the time being, but their fun, funky and affordable shows are still going strong!  See the original play BLACULA, running October 29th through December 1st at the Chicago Dramatists, 1105 West Chicago Avenue. 

Tickets are regularly priced $18 to $25, but use the code MUFASA during Opening Week and get half off the price.

Read more about the show and Pegasus's future plans here.

Spend Halloween Night At The Uptown Lounge

Treats From the Chamber This Afternoon

From the Uptown Chamber:

Join Us for Trick-Or-Treating!  Stop by our table tomorrow from 3-4pm outside Shake, Rattle, & Read at 4812 N Broadway for some free candy treats!  We will also be available to talk with you about the community and future of the Chamber.  Bring your kids or just stop by to meet our staff.

Shake Rattle & Read has been in the neighborhood since it was established in 1966.  They sell used books, used records, pop culture collectibles ,and vintage magazines. 

For Halloween, Crew Presents Scary-oke

Join your host Chris Paxton and the rest of the Crew staff for Halloween. $3.50 pints and $3.00 bloody brain shots all day. Scary-oke begins at 10 pm. Best costume contest for our staff, so come in and cast your vote for your favorite Crew-monster.  Crew is located at 4804 N Broadway.  Just follow the glowing blue light....

Graceland Cemetery: A Beginner's Guide

This gorgeous photo of autumnal Graceland was taken by reader (and star of
WGN's "Weekend Workbench") Ryan Salzwedel.  Hard to believe this is just
steps away from the corner of Magnolia and Montrose.  Click to enlarge.

FLATS Chicago has a great series of photos of Graceland Cemetery (Irving Park and Clark) and descriptions to go with them on its website.  Well worth reading, and visiting.
Most people look to the Loop to find Chicago’s architectural masterpieces and history, but few look at Chicago’s cemeteries. Not only is Graceland Cemetery in Uptown incredibly beautiful, but it’s also a gold-mine of fascinating stories and local history. The gorgeous landscaping and broad walking paths make Graceland feel like a neoclassical walking tour of the Red Line, lined with shiny monuments bearing names like Fullerton, Kimball, Harrison, and Kinzie. At this time of year, Graceland is the place to get enthused or celebrate an authentic Chicago-style Halloween.  Read the entire article here.

Real Kitchen As Alinea For Halloween

This may be the best answer yet to "Why don't you move to Lincoln Park?" Why we love our Uptown restaurants, just as they are. (Free cupcakes, too!)

Health Fair Thursday With Citizens Utility Board

A CUB (Citizens Utility Board) representative will be in Uptown on October 31 to tell you about the latest issues impacting your utility bills and provide real tips on how to cut costs.  Here are the details:

Fall Health Fair
Thursday, October 31, 2013
between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Asian Human Services
4753 North Broadway Ave

For questions about the fair, please contact Amy at 773-293-8482.  Can’t make it? Check out our award-winning website for money-saving tips, plan recommendations, and information.

According to Asian Human Services' Facebook page, "We're celebrating Halloween with our Fall Health Fair! FREE flu shots, FREE massages, and FREE health screenings are the treats -- get them Thursday, 10 am - 1 pm, at 4753 N. Broadway, 1st floor conference room."

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

46th Ward Town Hall Meeting

From Ald. Cappleman's latest newsletter:

Now that the 2014 City Budget has been introduced, I want to hear your thoughts and ideas, especially when it comes to policing.

I'm holding a meeting next week to hear from you and also fill you in on my plans to make our city more efficient across the City departments, along with the existence of silos that make planning more difficult. To view the City's Budget prior to the meeting, click here.

When: Monday, Nov. 4 from 7pm - 8pm
Where: Weiss Memorial Hospital at 4646 N. Clarendon

46th Ward Development News

From Ald. Cappleman's weekly newsletter, lots of news!
  • The Clarendon/Montrose development is waiting for feedback from the Dept. of Planning before it can proceed back to the Zoning & Development Committee.
  • The Wilson L is scheduled to begin some demolition work this winter with the final confirmation of some of the columns to be worked out in the near future.
  • The first Sonic geared more toward urban foot traffic is underway at the NE corner of Wilson/Kenmore.
  • The Hotel Chateau (3838 N. Broadway) is vacant and permits are in place to do a full renovation to be completed in late spring.
  • Residents at the Lawrence House (1020 W. Lawrence) are receiving assistance to move to safer housing while the building prepares to go through a gut rehab.
  • Protected Bike Lanes will be placed on Broadway this year.
  • There will be a public meeting to discuss new streetscaping along Broadway near the Entertainment District. No date has been set.
  • The City is meeting with Jam Productions in December to discuss progress to renovate the Uptown Theatre.
  • The building located at 4635-41 N. Broadway will be going through an extensive gut rehab with an additional story added. Because it's a project valued under $10M, only the local block club (Truman Square Neighbors) provided input about the upzoning request. 
  • 4642 N. Magnolia HomeThis home in Sheridan Park is gutted inside due to a fire that occurred close to 2 decades ago. The prospective buyer is only interested in purchasing this home if he is allowed to tear it down in order to build something else on this site. Because the home is orange-rated (meaning it has historical significance), there's an automatic evaluation to assess if this building has Landmark status. All orange-rated buildings go through this same process.
  1. If the Historic Preservation Division (part of the Dept. of Planning) deems this property to be historically significant, it will not be torn down and there will be no need to upzone the property. Someone who is interested in restoring the house would have to purchase the property. For information how a property is determined to have historical significance, click here.
  2. If the Historic Preservation Division does not want to proceed with landmarking this building, the house will be torn down and the new owner will present new building plans to the Magnolia-Malden Block Club. If the new proposal requires an upzone, members of the block club will have a strong say on whether or not this would occur. If the new proposal does not require any zoning change, the new owner does not need community input to build as long as it remains within the current zoning guidelines.
Email the block club president to join: You must live within the boundaries to vote. {UU Note:  Email address has been corrected.}

Guilty On 22 Counts

A report from one of the 019 Court Advocates:

"Today six police officers and three court advocates went to 26th and Cal for the sentencing of Jansen Aikens.  He is a 17 year old Black P Stone gang member from Rogers Park, who shot at 2 police officers a year ago in their patrol car.  It happened on Sunnyside by Target late at night.  He is from Rogers Park and was walking with two other gangbangers.  The police stopped to talk to one of them, not Jansen.  They ran in different directions.  The police pursued Jansen.  He turned and shot at them in their car.  [UU Note:  See posts about it here and here.]  They eventually returned fire.  Believe it or not, no one was hit.  Adrenalin, wow!

He was charged with 22 counts, including two counts of intent to kill a police officer, two counts of aggravated discharge of a weapon, and other possession of a handgun charges.  There was a bench trial ***no jury, before the judge only*** in September.  Judge James Linn found Jansen guilty of all 22 counts.

There was a post-trial hearing on October 21.  People close to Jansen testified how good a person he was.  A lawyer, his Little League coach, mentored Jansen for years.  He said Jansen was a good kid and became his assistant coach.  He stressed that Jansen was very protective of his younger brother and that they all stayed in touch after Little League was over.  He wasn't as happy when the ASA asked him if he knew that Jansen was smoking 4 or 5 blunts a day and drinking heavily.  He grudgingly admitted that he was aware of that.  Police officers also testified about the night Jansen opened fire on them.

Today was the day when Judge Linn announced his sentencing.  Before sentencing, one of the police officers testified how it felt to be "trapped in the car" while bullets from Jansen's gun punctured the windows and body of the car.  He said that he joined the police to protect and serve, but not to die.  He said that this 17 year old tried to deprive his and his fellow officer's families of a husband and father.  It was very moving.  Later Judge Linn said that both of the officers were very persuasive in their testimony.

Judge Linn took a lot of time to make his decision.  I believe he sentenced too lightly.  He reviewed Jansen's life, that he was born to an addict mother.  He and his brother were placed in DCFS until a wonderful woman fostered them both.  He said Jansen had made a series of bad decisions, but had no history of violence until that night.*  He said it was a horrible night that could have made widows and orphans of two families and Jansen could have been killed when the officers returned fire.  He said it was "miraculous" that there was no loss of life.

He sentenced Jansen to 20 years for attempted murder, 20 years for aggravated discharge of a weapon and 3 years for other gun charges.  I agreed with these sentences until he said they would be served concurrently instead of consecutively, so 20 years in all.  He said he was aware he was sentencing a young man to a sentence longer than than the time he'd been on earth.  I think he should have made the sentences consecutive for what might have happened.  But I'm not a judge.  Judge Linn has always been fair, but I disagree with him on this.  My opinion only.  Jansen must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.  There will be an appeal."

* Someone familiar with Jansen and his brother Jacob told UU last year that Jansen had been kicked out of Chicago Math & Science Academy for bringing a weapon (a knife) to school.  So much for no history of violence.

The same source also told us that both brothers are Black P Stones, affiliated with different factions.  Jansen was with the Uptown P Stones the night of the shooting, with whom his faction had allied.  The alliance happened because of an ongoing gang war that encompasses Uptown, Edgewater and Rogers Park.  Jansen took it up a notch when he tried to murder two cops.

Both brothers' Facebook pages are testaments to their gang affiliations.  In fact, Jansen's younger brother made a chilling post the day of Jansen's convictions, a rambling declaration that he was going to get vengeance, with the tag "#CPDK" (Chicago Police Department Killer).  Nice.  He just turned 17 this month, so he's now legally an adult.  We hope the cops keep a close eye on this kid and his threats.

Jansen had a mentor, a good foster home, and was smart enough to enroll in a math & science academy.  He gave that all up for his gang and now he's spending 17-20 years in prison.  It looks like his younger brother is following him down that same path.  It's a damn shame.

Nick's Uptown Building Proposed For Landmark Status

From the 46th Ward aldermanic office:

"Ald. Cappleman is pleased to able to support the Preservation Division effort to designate 4015 N. Sheridan Rd. as a City of Chicago Landmark building.

This landmark recommendation will be considered at the November 7th Commission on Chicago Landmarks meeting, scheduled for 12:45 pm in City Hall, Room 201-A."

Wilson L Rehab Shifts Placement of Support Column

Looks like we are closer to seeing the Wilson L rehab come to reality. Check out the new animation above to see how the area around Broadway and Leland would look after the rehab. Progress has also been made on the number of support columns that would be near the Barry Building on the SW corner of Broadway and Leland.
See DNAInfo Reporter Adeshina Emmanuel's "Wilson Red Line Rehab: A Win For Critics in Column Placement Debate"

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Learn About Your ACA Options This Saturday

Brazilian Film Series Coming To Chase Park This Weekend

Chase Park Advisory Council is super excited to welcome the Brazilian Film Series to Chase Park. Admission is FREE, but reservations are encouraged. It will fill up!  More information can be found at

Director Marcelo Galvao of Colegas O Filme (Buddies the Movie) will be on hand for a Q&A at 6pm. This is the movie's American debut!

47th Ward Town Hall Meeting Tonight & November 6th

An Update On Dominick's

Ald. Osterman wrote in his 10/25 newsletter:
"Many of you have reached out to my office with questions, ideas and suggestions regarding the two Dominick's sites at 6009 N. Broadway and 5201 N. Sheridan Road. I have been in contact with Safeway, Dominick's parent company, and have been told that they intend on maintaining ownership of the buildings.

The Dominick's "stores" will go to an online auction in early November. I have asked the Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development to meet with Safeway and monitor their intentions for these sites. I am also in active conversations with alternate, high-quality grocers and their real estate brokers.. Additionally, I have been in contact with the Union for Dominick's employees and want to ensure that our local employees can maintain their jobs."
With the Foster/Sheridan store being a flagship and so new, we suspect it will go to Mariano's, the only store currently creating stores that size.  We've got no insider info on this, just makes sense given Mariano's entry into the Chicago market and the fact that it was supposedly committed to establishing a store in Uptown (at Maryville) when Sedgwick was the developer-to-be.

Monday, October 28, 2013

New Alley Coming To 4600 Kenmore/Winthrop

courtesy Google Streetview
If you park or take your trash out in the alley between Kenmore and Winthrop on the 4600 block, you'll want to read this.

From Ald. Cappleman's latest newsletter:

Alley Construction: 4600 block between Kenmore/Winthrop.  Starting Wednesday, Oct 30 for the next 4 weeks, the alley between 4600 block of N. Kenmore & N. Winthrop will go through some major reconstruction. This is being done to address issues of pooling of water.

During that time, there will be no alley access. Residents whose garages are inside the alley are asked to find other alternatives for parking. Garage aprons will be replaced only if needed. During construction, garbage will be curbside and owners are asked to relocate their cans to the front of the property. Call the Ward Office [773-878-4646] with any questions or email Nick at

Meeting About Broadway Protected Bike Lanes

photo courtesy of Chicago Dept of Transportation
From Ald. Cappleman's newsletter last week:

Protected Bike Lanes Coming Soon!  Are you a business owner or resident that frequently travels on Broadway? This new type of bike lane is planned for Broadway between Montrose and Ainslie. Representatives from CDOT will be in the ward office to answer any questions from residents and business owners on Wednesday, October 30 from 5-7 p.m., 4544 N. Broadway. The project will redesign the roadway to ensure all roadway users - pedestrians, transit users, bicyclists, and motorists - can travel safely along and across the street, regardless of age or ability.

Changes Proposed For Broadway Building



Upgrades for the 4600 block of Broadway?  Yes, please! Truman Square Neighbors ran this item on their Facebook page:

"A couple members of the TSN Board met with Abby from the alderman's office and a developer, Mike Krueger [of Lakepointe Properties], who owns [the] 4635-41 Broadway building. The rendering is what he envisions after rehabbing it. He would keep the exterior as is, but wants to add another story to the top of it. Right now it is 16 apartments of varying sizes, and he would like to make it 15 2br/1ba units and upgrade the interior, including 4000sf of retail at ground level, which he would like to have his business office as part of.

It needs a zoning change, but because it is under $10MM, it does not have to go before the 46th Ward Zoning & Development Committee. Mike Krueger is the same developer who rehabbed the building across the street where Spoil Me Salon is, and we have heard good things from neighbors about the apartments there. It would be all market rate, and he hopes to get some special retail tenants.

He has a proven track record and answered our questions to our satisfaction. He would not put in another level in the future. He would like to take this to the city in November, so if you have any questions, please post them here and we will try to get answers for them."

UU Note:  This building has a rather [cough] storied history over the past few years, which is one of the reasons a rehab would be much welcomed.
  • In February of 2010, the CPD busted a Vice Lords party taking place there, and came away with guns, drugs and arrests.
  • In May of 2010, then-owner Muhammad T. Siddiqi was brought into Housing Court and the building was declared a Drug & Gang House by the City of Chicago.
  • In December of 2011, an escaped convict from South Bend, Indiana decided to hole up with friends there while on the run.  Unfortunately for him, the authorities anticipated his decision, which led to a barricade situation that shut down the Red Line and led to a very tense night in Uptown.
  • In May of 2012, the alderman's office sent out a notice that the building had been foreclosed on and was being marketed for sale by the bank who owned it.  The tenant who hosted the convict involved in the barricade situation was evicted.
  • On a much nicer note, this summer the Wake Up! Waltz dancers performed on the rooftop of this building and also at the one across the street, both owned by Lakepointe Properties.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween & Wedding Joy On The Sunnyside Mall

A reader watched a couple tie the knot on Saturday afternoon.  "Congratulations to the couple who got married today at Sunnyside and Malden! My husband, baby, and I watched the entire event from our bedroom window." With the Sheridan Park block clubs holding a Halloween Party on the mall in the morning, and the nuptials taking place in the late afternoon, Saturday may have seen the best use of the mall ever.

Photo courtesy of Graceland Wilson Neighbors Facebook page

Stop Killing, Love One Another

A reader sent in this photo of a very appropriately decked out car on Saturday, at Wilson & Broadway.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Person Shot At Near Wilson & Clifton

The scene outside 7-Eleven at Wilson and Clifton
Reports are still coming in and will most certainly change. Around 7PM shots were fired near Wilson and Clifton. Comments on our Facebook from bystanders mention someone being shot near Harold's Chicken in an apparent drive-by. The victim was later taken away by ambulance. Crime scene tape around perimeter of the scene. Truman College was placed on lockdown. Add any additional info in the comments or check out the comments pouring in on our Facebook page.

See "Teen Shot Riding Bike On North Side Street" via Chicago Tribune

DNAinfo Chicago: "Man Hospitalized After Shooting Near Wilson 'L' Stop"

3 Halloween Events At Uptown Lounge For You And Fido

Positive Loitering Tonight At Broadway & Wilson

Come stand with your neighbors and police officers for a safer Uptown.

from the Uptown Chicago Commission:

"Positive Loitering has been going on for four years, going to trouble spots in the 19th District on Friday evenings.  Tonight we will be at the southeast corner of Wilson & Broadway, near the currency exchange.  Please join your neighbors for an hour this evening from 7-8pm. Bring a friend, bring a neighbor, bring your dog!  The event is being sponsored by the Uptown Chicago Commission and all are welcome to attend.  The 19th District Police are aware of and encourage our efforts.  As always, they will stand with us and/or drive past our location every few minutes to lend support."

Doggy Days Of Autumn At Baker & Nosh On Saturday

Saturday, from 10am to 1pm at Baker & Nosh, 1303 West Wilson:

"Thinking about adding an adorable rescue dog/puppy to your family? PAWS Chicago will bring several dogs for on-site adoptions. They do a thorough job with helping match people with the perfect puppy. We should know; we've adopted two! So, why not help save a rescue animal and give him his forever home. (or at least stop by to give a few scratches...)

Bring your own pup decked out for Halloween and enter our Costume Contest. Fromm Family Foods has generously donated the Grand Prize which includes several varieties of food and treats.

Visit with your local independent pet store: Andersonville's Jameson Loves Danger, Uptown's Soggy Paws, and Ravenswood's Urban Pooch. They'll bring lots of handouts and answer questions about the services they provide.

Finally, Sebastian Sparenga will be on-site taking candid shots of the pooches. You'll be able to purchase and download pics shortly after the event. Also, chat with him about setting up a photography session for your pup. (think professional puppy pics for your holiday cards!) This guy's work is amazing!"

The Facebook page for the event is here.

Bring Your Kids and Dogs To The Sunnyside Mall on Saturday Morning

Halloween Fun At Chase Park, Friday Through Sunday

Tonight At Crew: Rocky Horror Picture Show Sing-A-Long & Costume Contest

It's just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sonic Ground-Breaking Ceremony Signifies "It's Really Happening"

After an initial meeting with community members in the summer of 2011, non-stop rumors, and months of red tape, it's "game on" for Sonic.  Today at 1pm, there was a ceremonial ground-breaking at the future site of the first Sonic Drive-In in Chicago.

You may have noticed the green construction fence around the lot on the northeast corner of Kenmore and Wilson.  Bulldozers have already made short work of the wrought iron fence, asphalt, and light poles that were in the lot.  Nothing else has been there since the early 1980s.  Even less is there today.

But all that's about to change.  Within three months, there'll be a Sonic drive-in there.

Promptly at 1pm, ceremonial shovels were distributed, Sonic-branded hard hats went on, and a few clumps of dirt were displaced.  Ald. Cappleman and Seth Wolken, Vice President of Sonic franchisee Boom Enterprises, made brief remarks.  Also on hand were Mark Kinnare of Boom Enterprises, Alyssa Berman-Cutler of Uptown United, Keith McCormick of Business Partners, and Abby Sullivan of the 46th Ward service office, as well as about 30 interested neighbors.  Jim Williams of Channel 2/CBS showed up with a cameraman and spent time doing interviews.

According to a press release from Sonic, the store will be under construction for approximately three months with plans to open in the first quarter of 2014.

The press release continues:  "The new Chicago drive-in will feature a dining room with such amenities as a fireplace, free Wi-Fi, an outside covered patio, a double drive thru and nine stalls for curbside service from SONIC’s famous skating Carhops. Once open, the restaurant expects to hire between 75 and 100 employees."  You can read more details about Sonic's first "urban design" on UU's post from last December.

The CBS/2 report ran during the 5pm newscast.  The link to the story is here, and the video is below.

Thank you to Truman Square Neighbors for providing photos of today's event.

Vegan Restaurant To Open In Former Purple Cow Storefront

Readers who are decrying the imminent arrival of Sonic -- never fear, an eatery that provides a counterpoint to fast food is opening nearby, and sooner.

According to the sign in the window, Loving Heart, which bills itself as serving "pure vegan food," is set to open on Friday, November 1st in the former (irony alert!) Purple Cow storefront at 838 West Montrose, just a couple doors away from The Reservoir.

We looked for an online presence for Loving Heart, and didn't find anything that gave further information.  Judging from the name, we suspect it will be closer to Edgewater's Loving Hut than Urban Vegan, further west on Montrose.

In any case, Loving Heart is a welcome addition to the community, and one that we hope attracts a loyal and profitable client base.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Be On The Lookout....

Unfortunately, when autumn comes, there's usually an uptick in scams and thievery.  Please be aware of what's going on, and call 911 to report any suspicious behavior.  Two recent examples:
  • Catalytic Converter Theft.  "Sometime late last Thursday/early Friday someone jacked up my unassuming car and stole the catalytic converter. They neatly sawed it away from the connecting pipes. Have you heard of this happening in the area? My car was parked on the 4600 block of Beacon, east side of the street near the vacant lot.

    I got my car to the repair shop at Lawrence and Ashland and, with after-market parts, it still came to nearly $700 to replace. The guys there knew right away what had happened when I started my car for them and said they have seen it before. I got home and filed a police report right away."

    There's not a lot you can do to prevent this from happening, but Nationwide Insurance suggests, among other things, taking your car to a muffler shop and having the catalytic converter welded to the frame.  Another website suggests welding the bolts or buying a protective sleeve.
  • Package Theft.  A reader tells us that she observed four kids, aged seven to eleven, walk into the lobby of the condo building across the street from her, and walk out with a package that had been sitting in the lobby.  They returned five minutes later and took four more packages.  She called 911 three times but did not get a police response.

    Best thing is to not have a lobby that non-residents can easily enter and to remind neighbors to not let in, or buzz in, people in they don't know.  If you don't have a receiving room and can't work with the postal carrier or Fed Ex about not leaving packages lying out, see if you have a neighbor who's home during the day who would agree to sign for packages.  This happens every year, although it's pretty horrifying to hear that kids as young as seven are involved.  

Report theft to the police so they're aware of it; and keep calling 911 if you see anything suspicious.  Take a cell phone photo if you can, and don't figure "someone else will get involved."  We need to watch each other's backs.

Sheridan Park Home Slated For Demolition

If the buyer of 4642 N. Magnolia has their say, this home from 1896 will meet the wrecking ball. A reader sends us the letter (see below) he received notifying him of the impending plans to demolish and build a 6 unit building. We know the home is in need of major TLC, but does that warrant demolition? The home is rated "orange" by the city so that means there is a waiting period while its fate is determined by the city. Just like with Nick's Uptown, you can contact the Landmarks Commission (info below) and let your thoughts be known.

click to enlarge
33 N. LaSalle St.
Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60602
TEL: (312) 744-3200
FAX: (312) 744-9140

After 125 Years, Sutcliffe Pharmacy Says "So Long"

It's not every day that a store that's been in business for 125 years closes, but Sutcliffe Pharmacy at Clarendon and Irving Park has done just that, with little fanfare.

The pharmacy, which was founded in 1888, sold itself to Walgreen's and stopped doing business on September 4th.  We stopped by today and spoke briefly to the former manager, who said a large part of why it closed was that the State of Illinois is extremely slow to pay its bills and they couldn't make money with the carrying costs involved in waiting for reimbursement.

Sutcliffe's last owners acquired the business 25 years ago.  He told us that Walgreen's was a good partner who had hired about 80% of Sutcliffe's personnel, and the store at Irving Park & Sheridan was close enough to the Clarendon location that most customers weren't inconvenienced by the switch.  He also gave a souvenir, a Sutcliffe Pharmacy magnet in the shape of a mortar and pestle, which promptly got a place of honor on the fridge.

Still, it pains us to see such a long-time landmark shut its doors.  Just to give some perspective, this is what was going on in 1888, when Sutcliffe went into business:
  • The Great Chicago Fire had taken place just 17 years before
  • Grover Cleveland was President, but was defeated by Benjamin Harrison in the November election
  • Eastman Kodak incorporated
  • Readers thrilled to the new detective series, Sherlock Holmes
  • The first known recording of classical music was produced (on a wax cylinder)
  • Casey at the Bat was published in the San Francisco Examiner
  • Jack the Ripper killed three women in London
  • The Washington Monument opened to the public
Farewell, Sutcliffe Pharmacy. You'll be missed.

Top O' The Morning

The days are getting shorter.  The temperatures are getting colder.  But Uptown sure has some spectacular sunrises as a result.  Reader Robert H took this on Sunday.  Click on it for a larger version.

48th Ward Town Hall Meeting Tuesday Night;
Or, Meet HarryO At The Argyle L In The AM

Tonight is the third 48th Ward Town Hall meeting (and the only one in Uptown).  Show up to hear what's going on in the 48th Ward and ask questions!  It all happens at the Self-Help Home, 908 West Argyle, at 7pm.

The Alderman and staff will also be at the Argyle El station Tuesday morning from 7am-9am, saying hello to community members and being available for any questions.

Here is the full information on town halls:

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Soul Of Uptown Gala" November 5 @ Black Ensemble Theater

Soul of Uptown Gala
When: Tuesday, November 5 from 5:30-8pm
Where: Black Ensemble Theater - 4450 N Clark
RSVP now for Uptown United and The Chamber for Uptown's annual Gala!  The evening will include a full buffet, open bar, spectacular performance by the Black Ensemble Theater cast, and awards to some of our community members who truly represent the "Soul of Uptown."  Click here to register now.  For more information, visit our event page.

We Can Almost Taste The Cherry Limeades...

Site prep has begun on the future home of Sonic at Wilson and Kenmore. This will be Chicago's first Sonic Drive-In. Curious how Sonic will look when complete? See the rendering below. Also check out our past coverage here.