Tuesday, January 28, 2020

One-Year-Old Boy Shot In Head In His Home When Parents Struggle Over Gun

photo by Landon Bone Baker, architects
These stories are always so hard to write.

Monday night a one-year-old toddler was rushed to Weiss Hospital by his father. The child had been shot in the head.

He was transferred to Lurie Children's Hospital and is now said to be in serious and stable condition, upgraded from critical. Thankfully, the bullet did not penetrate his skull.

His father told the police that he and his son had been walking on the 800 block of Leland, near Weiss Hospital, when the occupants of a silver SUV shot at him and a bullet hit the child.

Police and media responded en masse to the scene, where detectives questioned nearby residents and searched for evidence and a crime scene.

Overnight, it was determined that there was no drive-by shooting.  The baby's parents had been arguing inside their apartment at 850 West Eastwood and there was a gun inside their home. During the parents' struggle, the gun discharged.  A bullet ricocheted and hit the one-year-old in the head.

The father ran with the child to the hospital and gave the police an incorrect account of what happened.

The father is 26 years old, according to reports. No charges have been filed against the parents, although it's likely there will be.

CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter this morning:
"Overnight detectives determined that the young boy was actually shot following a domestic struggle between his parents inside their home.  No shooting ever occured at Clarendon/Leland. Criminal investigation including history of weapon & child welfare continues. Charges likely"
We hope for continued improvement and no lasting effects from his injury for the child.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Residential Development, Including Senior Housing, Proposed for Former Immaculata School Site

Rendering of the 23-story senior housing component of the Immaculata site development
(Perkins Eastman, Level)

A new residential development is being proposed for the former Immaculata High School site at Irving Park and Marine Drive, now operating as the American Islamic College.

Developers KGiles LLC and CA Ventures are proposing a planned development that includes the rehabilitation of the historic Immaculata High School building, which was designed by Prairie School architect Barry Byrne and was built in 1921.

Aerial site plan showing main entry from Bittersweet
The existing buildings would be converted into 275 residential units with on-site amenities, all in accordance with the building's landmark status.

According to the proposed plans, a 23-story building would rise on what is now a parking lot. It would include 220 units of senior housing with a mix of independent, assisted, and memory-care units.

140 units of parking is planned.

As with any development, this will have to first navigate the local block club, Buena Park Neighbors.  After feedback from BPN, the development will proceed to a vote before the 46th Ward Zoning and Development Committee.

Immaculata High School closed in 1981. The property was sold to American Islamic College, and it has operated as a site for private schools ever since, including Park View Montessori School, Lycée Français de Chicago, and American Islamic College.

AIC opened in 1983, and is the owner and seller of the site.

Full details on the proposal can be found on Ald. Cappleman's website.

"Clifton Avenue Street Art Gallery" Gets Descriptive Placards

Frank Quintero's "Home in Uptown"
outside Nick's on Wilson (1140 W. Wilson)
Descriptive placard with info on the artist

Sheridan Park has seen some amazing murals go up lately and now all of these amazing murals are registered with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE). Take note of the placards recently installed near each mural. They feature a description of the art and info on the artist. There is also a scannable QR code. 

Big kudos to Uptown United and Special Service Area (SSA) and all of the talented artists for contributing to the "Clifton Avenue Street Art Gallery!"

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Try Somewhere New To Eat During Restaurant Week

It's Chicago Restaurant Week! This "week" (which inexplicably lasts for 17 days, through February 9th) features "special prix fixe menus at more than 430 restaurants throughout Chicago and nearby suburbs. These multi-course meals are $24 for brunch or lunch, and $36 and/or $48 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax, and gratuity)."

Participating restaurants in Uptown include:
Check the website for Restaurant Week to book a table or to see a complete list of restaurants.

Seniors, Did You Know You Get a Tax Exemption On Your Home?

click to enlarge

Friday, January 24, 2020

46th Ward Year In Review For 2019 From Ald. Cappleman

HAPPY NEW YEAR! GONG XI FA CAI! CHUC MUNG NAM MOI!  
As we look forward to the Year of The Rat, it is good to stop for a moment and think about all we have accomplished in the past year. 2019 was a big year with the exciting election of our new mayor, Lori Lightfoot, and impressive projects that we initiated or completed in the 46th Ward. We saw new entertainment venues, groundbreaking for 38 new affordable housing units, stunning streetscape improvements, and planned upgrades to schools and parks. With all of this happening here in our ward, it's understandable why we are seeing people coming from all over the Chicagoland to enjoy our wonderful neighborhoods.

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT UPDATE
After obtaining the necessary state and city funding, the Uptown Theatre is now in the process of raising the remaining funds through a not-for-profit that was established last September. It is anticipated that the funding will be in place by late spring. The owner, Jerry Mikkelson, tells me that he expects construction to begin soon afterwards. The theater will boost economic development and create more job opportunities. Click hee to view a video that highlights some of the wonderful features of the theater. 
  • Le Nocturne (4810 N. Broadway), a dance and night club, opened up August 2019 at 4810 N. Broadway. Featuring a strong French influence (owner Francois Crokaert grew up in France), this boutique club is located in the heart of Uptown's Entertainment District.
  • The Baton (4713 N. Broadway) relocated to their new location in March 2019. The Baton, opened 50 years ago by owner Jim Flint, is known across the country for their drag shows. Special guests in the past have included Joan Crawford, Sammy Davis, Jr, Kirk Douglas, Robert Wagner, Shirley McLaine, Joan Rivers, Madonna, Janet Jackson, RuPaul, and Chris Farley.
  • The Double Door (1050 W. Wilson) The owner of this famous Chicago venue is working out some necessary changes and is still planning to open in the near future.
  • Chicago Market, (4620 N. Broadway) which will be located within the Entertainment District at the Gerber Building on the NW corner of Broadway and Wilson, has some water infiltration issues in the basement of the building that need to be worked out with CTA. The Chicago Market is a member-owned cooperative and you can become a member of this exciting opportunity here. Currently in the Gerber Building windows, you can enjoy the mesmerizing, glowing art display called Chameleon Blind by artist Mara Baker.
  • Club Della Robbia (4804 N. Broadway) has had some common small business delays, but work continues at this location that will open next door to the famous Green Mill.

HOUSING DEMAND IN THE 46TH WARD
Due to more entertainment venues, a noticeable reduction in violent crime and an increase in infrastructure improvements such as the Wilson Red and Purple CTA Station, it's no surprise that more people are moving into the area.To help stabilize rental costs due to the high demand for housing, more rental units will likely be created. We are fortunate that the 46th Ward continues to have the largest number of government subsidized affordable housing units in the City of Chicago. Unfortunately, the cost to build government subsidized housing is double the amount that it takes to build market-rate housing. However, over the past year, I have been working with a number of developers to build more government subsidized affordable units within the 46th Ward and we broke ground on Sarah's Circle's new building at the corner of Sheridan and Leland, which will include 38 new government subsidized apartments.

NEW CONSTRUCTION COMPLETED IN 2019

4555 N. Sheridan, known as the Upshore Chapter, is a 138-unit building that was completed earlier this year. They are currently in negotiations for a lease of their retail space.

OTHER COMPLETED CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS INCLUDE
  • Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School (3751 N. Broadway). This 5-story addition was done to address the needs of the current student enrollment. 
  • 839 W. Agatite, is a development by Lewke Partners Real Estate Specialists, featuring 20 units of one and two-bedroom units. It is located next door to the newly completed town homes that are part of the 811 Uptown project.
  • 845 W. Agatite, a large courtyard apartment building, went through a total gut rehab. No zoning change was requested.
  • 4430 N. Sheridana 4-story mixed-use building, was completed earlier this year by Quest Realty Group. A zoning variance was later granted to allow for the first floor to provide combined rental housing and retail space. 

BUILDINGS CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION 


3817- 45 N. Broadway is a 93-unit apartment building with retail on the first floor and beautifully restored terracotta eagles above the second floor at the W. Sheridan and N. Broadway intersection. An expanded version of the former Starbucks reopened October, 2019 in its former location. The developer, Dave Gassman, is currently leasing a number of completed residential units and expects all construction to be completed in the summer of 2019.


4654 N. Sheridan Road will be the site of Sarah's Circle's 100% affordable housing development featuring 38 studio apartments. In addition, their 50-bed interim housing program will also move to this site. 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. I was on-site to celebrate the groundbreaking of this amazing facility with Sarah's Circle Executive Director, Kathy Ragnar, City of Chicago's Department of Housing Commissioner, Marisa Novara and Illinois Housing Development Authority Managing Director, Christine Moran.

OTHER BUILDINGS CURRENTLY IN CONSTRUCTION PHASE INCLUDE:
  • 927 W. Irving Park is a 28-unit new construction rental building that is expected to be completed by early summer. No zoning change was requested for this site.
  • 4720 N. Sheridana new construction development by Quest Realty Group, is a 6-story, 30 unit building that should be completed by February.
  • 1124 W. Wilson, the former Wilson Men's Hotel's renovation is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The building owner is following the guidelines set out by the SRO Ordinance. No zoning change requested. 
  • The Darlington (4700 N. Racine) is now going through extensive renovations. The developer, Elmdale Partners, will be restoring the historic marquee on this building. The building owner is following the guidelines set out by the SRO Ordinance. No zoning change requested.
  • 4740 N. Winthropa development by Cedar Street, will be a new construction, 4-story, 84-unit residential building. Expected completion date is the first quarter of 2021.
  • The Lorali (1039 W. Lawrence) went through a zoning change to allow for a full remodel of this SRO building. The upzone was needed by the Building Group because the zoning at this site did not match the existing building, which was required for renovations. The building owner is following the guidelines set out by the SRO Ordinance.
  • 4707 N. Malden is an SRO associated with Mercy Housing. This full remodel is expected to be completed in late spring. The guidelines of the SRO Ordinance were followed for this rehab. Residents were relocated to another site so that the construction could occur.
  • 4858 N. Kenmore is a 7-unit condominium building that is almost completed. No zoning change requested.
BUILDINGS THAT ARE PLANNED BUT NOT YET STARTED

4502-04 N. Beacon went through a zoning change to build a 4-story, 9-unit condominium building with 10 indoor parking spaces. The site is currently an asphalt surface lot for cars. The developer Steve Sgouras expects construction to begin in the spring. 

OTHER BUILDINGS THAT ARE PLANNED BUT NOT YET STARTED INCLUDE:
  • 4601 N. Broadway, a planned development located on the northeast corner of Broadway and Wilson is expected to begin construction in 2021.
  • The former Bridgeview Bank Building (4753 N. Broadway) was purchased by Cedar Street in 2019.  Plans for this location are being finalized. 
  • 4626-30 N. Malden, the owner of this parcel, which is made up of two double city lots, is expected to begin a new construction, residential project on one half of the property later in 2020. No zoning change has been requested for the current plan. 
  • 3726-28 N. Lake Shore Drive, a new construction, 36-unit building with 1:1 parking is expected to begin construction later in 2020.
  • 3921 N. Sheridan will be a new construction, transit oriented development located on the southeast corner of Sheridan and Dakin. It will be a 7-story mixed use development with 120 rental apartments. Work is set to begin before summer.
There are a number of other development proposals that will be listed once they have gone through the 46th Ward approval process if there's an upzone, zoning variance, or planned development request.


INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS


COMPLETED STREETSCAPING
After more than six years, the Uptown artist Lowell Thompson's long awaited circular sculpture at the new plaza now graces the front of the Riviera Theatre! Thompson describes the wheel of colors as representing our community's great diversity.This site has become the #1 selfie spot for concert-goers and passersby.

"Uptown's Colored Wheel" is part of the $6M streetscaping project to improve Broadway, Gunnison to Wilson. The project features new sidewalks, freshly-resurfaced streets, improved pedestrian safety features, and new trees. It was done to attract more entertainment venues into the area, and it's a safe bet to say it worked.




RAINBOW CROSSWALKS
You may have noticed the new rainbow crosswalks along Halsted. This project is a partnership between the 46th Ward, 44th Ward, and Northalsted Business Alliance. This area has become one of the largest business districts of LGBTQ-owned business and a destination for people all over the country, which has created a huge economic boon to local businesses. The work on 14 crosswalks were completed in time for the 50th Annual Pride Parade last June.
**NORTH HALSTED RAINBOW CROSSWALKS SAFETY SURVEY
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), in collaboration with the Northalsted Business Alliance (NBA), Alderman Cappleman's and Alderman Tunney's office, is seeking the public's input on the Halsted Street Rainbow Pride Crosswalks installed by the Northalsted Business Alliance on Halsted Street between Melrose Street and Bradley Place. The installation was permitted through CDOT's Make Way for People Program, a placemaking initiative that support public-private partnerships to transform the public way through creative temporary tactical improvements. Through this pilot project, CDOT is seeking to gain a better understanding of the transportation and community impacts of creative crosswalk installations in the public way. The survey provided in the link below will help the City and its community partners gain gather valuable information on the impacts of the Halsted Street Rainbow Pride Crosswalks in the Lakeview community. We greatly appreciate your support in filling out this brief survey and look forward to learning more about the installation.
TAKE THE SURVEY


OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE UPDATES:
Menu Program: Each of the 50 Wards in the City of Chicago is allocated equal funding for discretionary infrastructure improvements in the community. Some of the ways the 46th Ward spent those funds include:
  • Repaving 11 blocks of residential streets ($444,720.48)
  • Repaving 4 residential alleys ($162,922.80)
  • Sidewalk and curb/gutter replacements throughout the 46th Ward ($104,899.80)
  • Fencing protection and bus stop improvements along Lake Shore Drive ($74,304.09)
  • Residential street lighting upgrades on 3700 N Wilton, and 3800 N Kenmore
*Not all of these projects were completed or installed in 2019, but have been paid for in 2019 and are scheduled for completion in the 2020 construction season*

Smart street lighting: CDOT has installed new LED Smart Lighting on nearly every street and alley in the ward. This new technology provides a better, safer illumination, while also electronically notifying the city when an individual light is out of order. Additionally, new street lighting was completed (after a 2nd attempt) on the 3600-3700 blocks of Broadway in Lakeview.  


Redefine the Drive: Last October, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Chicago Department of Transportation presented their final renderings for the entrances and exits off Lake Shore Drive at Montrose, Wilson, and Lawrence. As expected, the plans allow access to all three streets from Lake Shore Drive. Click here to view the final plans. 


46th Ward Art - CLIFTON AVENUE STREET ART GALLERY
2019 brought a number of new murals, including Uptown United's mural gallery on the 4600 block of N. Clifton at Broadway.

    OUR PARKS
    GILL PARK PLAYLOT (825 W. Sheridan Rd.)
    Completed in 2019 after more than 10 years of planning and fundraising from multiple sources including private individuals, the Cubs, East Lake View Neighbors, local developers and 46th Ward infrastructure funds, this playlot has become one of the most popular playgrounds for kids throughout the ward.
    CLARENDON PARK COMMUNITY CENTER (4501 N. Clarendon Ave.)
    With the passage of the Clarendon/Montrose Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) District 811 Uptown project in 2016, $4.6M was contributed to the Chicago Park District for the Clarendon Park Community Center renovation. Without this TIF, it would not have been possible for us to get rehab dollars to finance this project, and due to the grave condition of the building, waiting for funds to later accrue would not have come in time to save this beautiful building. The rehab will occur in two stages: the first stage will be using funds from the TIF and Chicago Park District to shore up infrastructure issues that cannot wait any longer. The second stage of this extensive renovation will complete the full project when additional funds are raised. The rehab will include draining work to prevent further flooding, a new gym, redesigned meetings rooms, and a new dance space for Kuumba Lynx. Click here to view a video that provides a walk through of what the completed rehab will look like.

    HELPING OUR SCHOOLS
    • McCutcheon Elementary: This school is one of only six schools in the entire Chicago Public Schools system without its own gym.  I knew how important it was for the health and wellness of students at this particular schoolone quarter of whom experience homelessness and a program for children with cognitive disabilitiesto have its own facility. Due to my and former Principal Gwyn Kram's successful advocacy, the school received $10 million for a new gymnasium from CPS. A recent lawsuit by a neighborhood community group has delayed this project.
    • Courtenay Child Parent Center property (4425 N. Magnolia): On behalf of neighbors, my office advocated with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Board of Education and CPS senior leadership for the district to make changes at the vacant, flood-damaged Courtenay Child Parent Center preschool building. After some delays, CPS has told my office that the property is now expected to be listed on the market during the 1st quarter of 2020.  

    CTA CONSTRUCTION
    The highly anticipated next phase of the Chicago Transit Authority's Red and Purple Modernization Project is now underway. The Lawrence L Stop is scheduled to close completely at the end of 2020 for 30 months of construction. Once completed, the stop will be ADA compliant. Click here for more information. If you have any questions about this construction process, visit www.transitchicago.com/rpm or call 331-3-3-2499. Sign up for alerts at www.transitchicago.com/rpmalerts.

    PUBLIC SAFETY 
    • 19th District Police welcomed Commander Chris Papaioannou, who joined the district in April. He previously served as the Commanding Officer of the Recruit Training Section of the Education and Training Division. The Community Policing Office, led by new CAPS Sergeant Tracey Edwards, is joined by the 19th District's Mental Health liaison officer, Officer Megan Woods as the LGBTQ+ liaison (the only LGBTQ+ liaison in the City), and Officer Anastasia Patterson as the Troubled Buildings officer.
    • 20th District Police greeted Commander Brendan McCrudden in October. He has a diverse background where he served as a lieutenant in the 009th District, sergeant for the Area North Detective Division and a Mobile Strike Force Sergeant. He was also assigned to SWAT and the Special Operations section. 
    • New crime fighting strategy: Last year the 19th and 20th districts upgraded their stations with Strategic Decision Support Centers. The SDSCs are specialized control rooms where police cameras are monitored by officers 24/7. The SDSC has been instrumental in making a number of drug arrests in the area. When illegal activity is observed on the camera, a police officer in the area is then immediately contacted to make an arrest. The camera footage is used as evidence in court.

    2020 - THE YEAR OF THE RAT AND BEYOND
    The 46th Ward is one of the most ethnically and economically diverse wards in the city, with over 92 languages spoken and the highest number of affordable housing units in the city. With the growth we're experiencing, my goal is to ensure that the unique diversity we all cherish is both protected and celebrated.
       Best wishes for a wonderful and prosperous year,
     


    Thursday, January 23, 2020

    Gung Hay Fat Choy! Celebrate The Lunar New Year In Uptown on Saturday, February 1st


    The annual Argyle Lunar New Year Celebration is a decades-old Uptown tradition celebrating the start of the new Lunar Year.  Join us as we kick off the YEAR OF THE RAT with music, colorful lion dances, live entertainment, and our community parade which will start at Argyle & Winthrop at 1pm sharp. Join 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman, Uptown United, and the Argyle business community for this special event

    The parade leaves Argyle and Wnthrop at 1pm and travels Sheridan, Ainslie and Broadway, before returning to Winthrop and Argyle, where special programming will take place beginning at 1:45pm.



    There will be family-friend pop-ups beginning at noon:
    • Latin School of Chicago, 3rd Space (4956 N. Sheridan) – corner of Sheridan and Argyle
      Noon to 4pm
      The Latin School Community Space welcomes you to drop in for a fun-filled day of art workshops and family-friendly Lunar New Year fun.
    • Chicago Public Library, Bezazian Branch, 1226 W Ainslie (near intersection of Broadway/Ainslie)
      Noon to 12:45pm
      Year of the Rat story time and crafts!
    • Axis Lab, 1120 W. Argyle St.
      Noon to 4pm
      Axis Lab will be hosting a pop-up event featuring an interactive art and food station curated by Hai Minh Nguyen & Giau Minh Truong. Come hang out, explore, and ring in the new year!
    Check out Uptown United's page for all the info, including restaurants and shops in the area that will be open and ready for customers!

    What does it mean to be born in the Year of the Rat?

    Rat is the first in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac. The Years of the Rat include 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, and 2008. According to the Chinese New Year website, "Rats are clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life." You can read more here.

    Andersonville Hygge Fest Is February 1-2

    The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce is presenting Hygge Fest* on the weekend of February 1-2, with plenty of participating businesses, including many on the Uptown side of Andersonville (south of Foster).

    Included are:
    The participating Uptown businesses are listed below, but you can see the entire list of weekend specials here.
    • Early to Bed (5044 N Clark): All Weekend: 20% off all massage candles
    • FRÍO Gelato (5152 N Clark): All Weekend: Free toppings with purchase
    • Foursided (5061 N Clark): All Weekend: 20% Off Soaps, Candles, Puzzles, and anything Tarot
    • Hopleaf Bar (5148 N Clark): Sunday, February 2 starting at 12PM: It’s time for Hopleaf’s 6th annual SUPER STOUT SUNDAY! Good thing Hygge Fest and Super Bowl Sunday happen on the same day. Get Hygge-cozy with your choice of 41 special & barrel-aged stouts and more on tap. 
    • Milk Handmade (5137 N Clark): Sunday, February 2: Scrunchie making workshop by Argaman and Defiance. Tickets and more information soon.
    • Uncharted Books (5140 N Clark): All Weekend: 15% off three important types of cozy books: mysteries, recipes and histories!

    * So what's this hygge all about? According to the Chamber, "The Danish concept of “hygge” (pronounced hue-gah) has been around for ages. It refers to the ritual of embracing life’s simple pleasures. Feeling relaxed, cozy and surrounded by the warmth of family, friends, community and fire all encompass the idea of Hygge. The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce is bringing a weekend of Hygge to Andersonville during the month of February when folks need a little warming up."

    Wednesday, January 22, 2020

    "Lucy's" Announces 4570 N. Broadway As New Uptown Home

    4570 N. Broadway, the upcoming home of Lucy's (Google)
    Our suspicions were confirmed as "Lucy's" just announced their second location, right on the corner of Broadway and Wilson at 4570 N. Broadway! The space was previously home to J&N Grille and Palla's.

    From their Facebook page:

    "That’s right! Lucy’s is expanding to uptown and we’re announcing the address right.... now!

    DadadaDummm

    4570 N Broadway!

    We’re under the Wilson Red Line Station, down the street from @truman.college at the corner of Broadway & Wilson.

    The more we’re getting to know Uptown, the more we’re falling in love with it.

    Eeeek, we’re so excited!

    Lucy’s is on schedule to open in Feb 2020 😍"

    If you're unfamiliar with Lucy's, they specialize in made-from-scratch American comfort food in a relaxed, retro setting from their original space in Humboldt Park.  For a look at their full menu, click here.

    We look forward to chowing down at Lucy's next month! If you can't wait, stop by the original location at 1043 N. California in Humboldt Park. Welcome to the neighborhood!

    Tuesday, January 21, 2020

    Arcade/Restaurant Coming To Foster & Sheridan? Community Meeting On January 29th


    A reader got this notice today about the possibility of an arcade/restaurant coming to the ground floor level of the The Edison Apartments, on the northwest corner of Foster and Sheridan.

    Please attend a community meeting on January 29th, held by Ald. Osterman, to find out more and weigh in with your opinion. A zoning change is requested and may be voted on at the meeting.

    If you can't attend, please contact Dan Luna at dan@48thward.org.

    Some Changes Have Arrived At Drink and Ink


    We've always had a soft spot for Drink and Ink (4443 North Broadway). Heck, Uptown Update even (inadvertently) helped name the place.

    So it's with great interest that we read about the changes going on both behind the bar and behind the scenes. If you haven't been there yet, this may inspire you! From the Facebook page:

    "Drink and Ink is officially reopened. But why were we closed? I guess if you’re not an every day regular, you deserve an explanation.

    Paul, who has been running the Tattoo Factory since 1996, decided to add a small intimate tavern so the clients would have a nice comfortable place to wait while their friends received tattoos. Five years ago Drink and and Ink opened, and it’s been a great and fun five years. But it’s the regulars that kept the place going. The ones that liked it here so much they made it their hangout.

    It seems like the one thing Paul is really good at is running the back of house. You see this at the Tattoo Factory. The artists are the stars and Paul is usually hiding back in his office taking care of the mundane daily operations. This has worked out great for the Tattoo Factory. God bless.

    Now looking at Drink and Ink, something was missing. A tavern has a heart of its own. A beating living thing that requires attention. Attention that Paul was unable to provide. Sure, the place was clean and stocked, but there was no soul. Which brings us to Josh.

    Back when Christina suggest I talk to Josh because he’s good and I’d like him, who knew just how right she would be!

    Josh Herbener tended the bar here for a while. Then went on to manage The Foundation Room. I wished him luck and he stayed in contact. Always giving me his advice on what was needed and what was missing from Drink and Ink.

    Well, a few weeks ago I realized Josh was right. I belong in the back of the house. I thrive there and enjoy it. What Drink and Ink needed was a little fine tuning and updating, plus a true front of house person.

    So we closed for a little bit. During that time, the back bar was redone. Lava lamps weren’t the only thing that happened. Behind the scenes was a full blown audio visual upgrade. 

    We now have crystal clear audio with stations from around the world. The TVs were upgraded to high definition as was the sound system. Playing the jukebox will now override the televisions or stereo. Like it should. We can blue ray video in 4K. Plus four people can play the PS4 on any TV they want. With sound. We even kept a separate TV off in the corner with old times Mario Cart and such.

    But what about Paul? What about Josh? Let me tell you. Paul is moving to the back office and Josh is officially in charge. He’s already brought in a happy hour, expanded the drink menu, and added a much classier experience with some true classic cocktails. 

    Plus to shake it up a bit we’re going to give you some more entertaining and enlightened staff. Mike Pazmino, Nick Ramagiz, Kevin Macomb are all taking shifts along with Sal and Josh.

    So welcome back Josh. He’s more than the bartender this time. It’s now his place. We wish him well."

    Get Your Krewe Together For Mardi Gras In Uptown


    We know it's still chilly January, but get in the mood for Mardi Gras by buying tickets for Fat Cat's annual all-you-can-eat buffet and all-out celebration. Tickets are $35 if you buy them by February 14th (a $10 savings).

    Come to Fat Cat for one of two seatings on February 25th for seafood, hurricane drinks, beads, zydeco, and more. Choose either 5:30 or 8pm.

    Not convinced yet? The price includes two drinks and the buffet includes Louisiana crawfish boil, chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya, red beans and rice, Cajun fried catfish, hush puppies, corn bread, and king cake.

    Laissez les bons temps rouler! Buy your tickets here!

    CAPS Meeting For Beat 1912 Is Tuesday At Sulzer Library

    The CAPS meeting for Beat 1912 is Tuesday, January 21st, at 7pm. It takes place at the Sulzer Library, 4455 N Lincoln.  The beat's boundaries are Lawrence, Clark, Irving Park, and Damen, which puts it just west of our coverage area, but it is still technically part of Uptown.

    The meetings take place on the third Tuesday of odd-numbered months, and are combined with Beat 1911.

    If you are concerned about crime in your community, and want to talk to the beat officers and CAPS officers about what is going on, this is the best place to do it. If you have a concern that you'd rather not voice publicly, you can speak to an officer after the meeting.

    A complete listing of all Uptown's CAPS beat meetings and schedules is available here.