Sunday, February 24, 2008

Uptown Gets Crazier On March 3rd

Uptown's new dining destination, El Pollo Loco, is opening on March 3rd, according to the Store Manager. For those of you not familiar with El Pollo Loco, it is a west coast-based fast food chain that specializes in charbroiled chicken and Mexican food. It is nice to have a reputable restaurant occupy the neglected property at Sheridan and Wilson.


  1. uhhh.... all I have to say is gross! Sorry, I will not be eating there!

  2. I am very excited for a fast food restaurant with healthy options. Looking forward to trying it.

  3. I'm thrilled to see a big name restaurant go in there, as opposed to the skanky wannabe the former owner tried when he disassociated his franchise from Burger King.

    Let's hope El Pollo Loco takes some tips from McDonalds about security. Much improved over there now, especially since they stopped taking walk-ups at the drive-thru after that kid was shot.

  4. things keep changing all the time - we're staying on track folks... maybe sometimes not as fast as we'd like, but the changes are happening and will continue.

    ps... anonymous #1 - please don't be negative.

    Have a nice day!

  5. It's all changing thanks to Helen Shiller and her wonderful leadership.

  6. #6 - you have a typo. You used the word leader. No big deal, we knew what you meant.

    btw - I think Shiller is just getting to work. She should get a solid two hours in today. Please she is under alot of stress with her voting.

  7. "her wonderful leadership."

    Indeed. It takes time to get a fast food place to open.

    20 years ain't so bad.


  8. for sure it's all her fault everything

    she owns evey block of Uptown

  9. No, not her fault for everything, but Helen has a long history of wanting to be portrayed as a victim, so it's nice of you to suggest she's one.

    Most aldermen are expected to have some influence over the retail in their ward. Would you think it's fair to say that Helen might have some influence in this ward?

    Here's a pop quiz:
    If you walk down Broadway from Montrose and head north to Leland where the ward ends, what do we have of more: empty storefronts or hair & beauty salons?

    Answer will be provided tomorrow.

  10. Aw heck, I couldn't wait. Suspense be damned.

    I counted up 15 empty storefronts and if you count the huge stretch called Wilson Yard, it would be 16.

    There are 8 hair & nail salons within that same stretch, and 3 more if you count the ones on two blocks east of Broadway on Wilson.

  11. How do all these nail/hair salons stay in business? Are there really that many people getting their hair and nails "did" to support it?

  12. I can actually answer the one about the hair salons. Because so many people who emigrate to Uptown are tribal, they tend to trust their tribe, or family, more than any other alliance.

    The many hair salons represent the many tribe/familial affiliations of Uptown's immigrant population. They're not just for getting hair done, they're places to catch up with what's going on with people you knew from the old country, basically social clubs.

  13. I'm all for gathering places. That many gathering places on a few blocks might be a little much though. I mean, how many gathering places do we need on one short stretch of N Broadway?

    I thought I read some place on this blog that there are some zoning restrictions on how close these hair and nail places can be with one another?

  14. Well, it's hard to bring store fronts when the damn residents are so picky. Take Labor Ready for example.

    I can't figure out how that would be worse than all the cigarette/corern store(run down at that).

  15. I agree. As a matter of fact, there are picky residents in Edgewater, Lakeview, Andersonville, and Lincoln Square that don't like stores with scissor gates, day labor places, multiple number of social services, etc in their locations. Good ole Uptown will take 'em though. We like low standards because that's what poor people deserve.

  16. I don't think it's an Alderman issue at all I think once a neighborhod has the people living there to support higher end stores they will move there.

    But I must say it's pretty hard to open up a small shop say gift shop and make it in todays economy.

    Bars are usually what are successful.

  17. That's where I disagree. Aldermen have influence on retail development. It's not a coincidence that retail suddenly changes when you enter and leave the 46th Ward.

  18. If you have any doubt about how much influence an alderman has on creating good decent vibrant retail streets--walk to the corner of Broadway and Leland.

    Broadway and Leland is the four-corners dividing line between the 46 & 48 wards. North: 48 ward. South: 46 ward.

    Can someone PLEASE take and post pictures of the 4-corners? This is definitely one of those a picture speaks a thousand words.

  19. Hell, it beats the old Rally Burger that used to occupy the end of the alley off of Lakeside. After people ate there, you don't want to know what that alley looked like.

  20. Died for our sins, huh...

  21. Food for Thought:
    Pollo Loco has created more jobs than our multi-million dollar TIF run by Peter Holsten.

    Perhaps Pollo Loco could raise organic chickens under the El tracks until something is built at Wilson Yards.

    Oops, I forgot.
    Shiller's major legislative effort for 2007 banned chicken raising in the city.

    Watch out Chicken Mascot! Helen's out to get you!

  22. Thanks for the really good laugh Anon 10:38! In regards to previous posts, I don't think that Uptowners are being picky and there IS a lot of money that leaves the local community every day. We moved into this neighborhood years ago when we were younger and didn't have very much money. Now, we earn a very high income but have few options to spend it in the neighborhood. We do patronize local restaurants but a lot of our discretionary income finds its way to Andersonville, the Southport Corridor, Lincoln Park and the Loop. Although we do make charitable donations, we would prefer to spend more money locally at businesses that hire Uptown residents. Please don't interpret my comments as pro-Business Republican (we are far from that) but healthy commercial districts (especially when they contain a lot of locally-owned businesses) can be a real source of strength for a community.