Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ald. Osterman: "Shop the 48th Ward this Holiday Season: Uptown!"

Ald. Osterman's latest email newsletter is a love letter to Uptown's 48th Ward businesses.  Thanks, Harry!  (Along with a reminder that bad publicity, particularly when violence is involved, really affects the bottom line for Uptown's businesses.  Early December was one damn thing after another, and our small businesses are paying the price for the gangs' turf war by way of diminished sales.  Please remember to shop and dine locally.)

"Unwrap Chicago – Unwrap Uptown!  Looking for the perfect gift for your loved ones this holiday season?  Then look in your own neighborhood and discover the variety and selection of unique and one of a kind gifts offered by that local shop just down the street!  In partnership with Local First Chicago, Business Partners (the chamber of commerce for Uptown) is encouraging Uptown residents to take the pledge to spend $100 of their allotted holiday budget with the local, independent shops in their own neighborhood.  Doing so keeps these businesses in the community and also helps to provide local jobs.  To take the pledge and to see how your commitment will make a difference go to

There's something for everyone in Uptown!

  • Music Lovers:  Steps from the Green Mill, Aragon and Riviera theaters, Shake Rattle and Read (4812 N. Broadway) is an institution in a neighborhood known for its music experiences.  Insiders peruse the chock full stacks and bins for rare rock and pop culture finds, with the help of owner Ric Addy, who can share a story or two about the legends he’s seen around Uptown over the years.  You may catch the drummer for tonight’s show at the Aragon stopping by for some tour bus reading, and come away with a story of your own.
  • Multi-cultural offerings:  Uptown’s Argyle Street district has developed into a unique multi-ethnic enclave of bustling Asian businesses.  Fuel up on a “banh mi” sandwich or steamy pho soup, then start the hunt for stocking stuffers like lucky bamboo at Qideas (1134 W. Argyle) or funky clocks at New World Watch Repair & Sales (1038 W. Argyle).  Also, enjoy fine Ethiopian dining at Demera or Middle Eastern culinary delights at Caravan!
  • Fun Things for Pets:  Local favorite Soggy Paws (1148 W Leland Avenue) is known for its self-and full-service grooming packages, but it’s also a great place to pick up a treat for your furry friend.

Sampling the Holiday ‘Spirits’ at Local Uptown Bars and Restaurants.  Santa will be right at home this holiday season when he visits the Uptown bar and restaurant scene.  He can certainly expect something a bit more substantial than milk and cookies when he stops in at such hot spots like Fat Cat with its ever popular ‘12 Beers of Christmas’ promotion or Crew Bar + Grill’s annual ‘Airing of the Grievances’ and photos with the ‘Festivus’ pole.  Here’s a sampling of what you can enjoy in Uptown this holiday season:

  • Fat Cat, 4840 North Broadway, 773-506-3100.  ‘The 12 Beers of Christmas’ Promotion – now through Dec. 25th.  Featuring specialty beers by small breweries (including the Midwest), customers are invited to drink all 12 beers over the course of the holiday season.  Fat Cat keeps a record of what the customer has enjoyed and rewards him or her with a Fat Cat Santa hat and their picture displayed on the wall of fame!
  • Crew Bar + Grill, 4804 North Broadway, 773-784-CREW.  2nd Annual Making Spirits Bright Promotion.  Each year Crew adopts two families in need and invites customers to contribute toward a special fund to buy gifts for the family members.  Customers are invited to also help wrap the gifts during a special wrapping party.  Crew’s Customer Holiday Party in the tradition of ‘Festivus’ in homage to the new holiday created on the Seinfeld television comedy.  Thursday, December 15th 7pm – 9:30pm
  • The Annoyance Theatre & Bar, 4830 North Broadway, 773-561-4665.  The Annual Annoyance Christmas Pageant –Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Dec. 3-18th.  Family friendly show. Every Saturday, 8pm. Every Sunday, 2pm.
  • The Uptown Lounge, 1136 West Lawrence, 773-878-1136.  Open on Christmas Eve- Dec. 24th from 8pm to 5am.  Open on Christmas Day-Dec. 25th from 8pm to 4am.
  • Big Chicks, 5024 North Sheridan, 773-728-5576.  Christmas Eve Brunch Cocktails, Christmas Eve, Dec. 24th at 9am.  Dance in the Holiday, Christmas Eve, Dec. 24th till 3am (Christmas morning).  Post Christmas Celebration, Sunday, Dec. 25th – opens at 7pm.

Season's Greetings Wreaths.  Enjoy the original designs of over 150 Season's Greetings Wreaths hung on scores of businesses throughout Uptown.  Each wreath has been decorated by a local youth, church group, senior center, block club or other community organization.  The Season's Greetings Wreath program is brought to you by Uptown SSA #34, Uptown United and Business Partners-The Chamber for Uptown."


  1. Best bakery for your holiday needs in Uptown and on Argyle:

    La PatisserieP hands down....

  2. Also, check out Uptown Soda Bread. I just got a gift certificate and put an order in for some Christmas breads. Great stuff.