Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Uplift Gets UpTIFted

After a long wait for permits to be obtained, we are finally seeing the results of former Alderman Cappleman's work to utilize expiring TIF money to improve the neighborhood.

Uplift High School on Wilson is getting an extensive rehab of the front of the school courtesy of money from the Wilson Yard TIF. The TIF money was set to be lost if not used, so Alderman Cappleman was able to direct the funds to the project just prior to leaving office. 

Expect the beautification efforts to include new fencing, benches, and replacement of concrete and landscaping. 

We invite our readers to contrast this use of public funds to beautify the community to the way the Clark Street TIF was handled by Alders Clay and Martin late last year. 

In that debacle, over $10,000,000 in Clark Street TIF funding was squandered when it went unused by the end of 2023, allegedly because there were 'no projects available.' 

We (and readers who emailed at the time) thought of numerous ways that money could have been invested in improving Uptown -- neighborhood beautification, investment in Chase Park's fieldhouse and pool, pedestrian and bike safety improvements, and more. 

Maybe next time now that the Clark Street TIF lives on until 2035!

Monday, May 13, 2024

CircEsteem Debuts Renovated Home At 4730 N. Sheridan

The newly renovated CircEsteem at 4730 N. Sheridan

We have been following the progress of the renovation at 4730 N. Sheridan, the home of CircEsteem and are happy to report the scaffolding has been removed to reveal the transformation!

You might recall that CircEsteem received a $5M Department of Planning & Development grant that helped pay for the renovation. The renovations restored the original look of the building, added street level windows and removed a dated bricolage that covered up much of the facade of the former Lakeside Theater Building. 

CircEsteem students now have more natural light to practice circus arts and passersby are able to see inside the beautiful space. 

Although it appears there are some finishing touches left to complete, it looks marvelous. Bravo CircEsteem!

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Lawrence & Kenmore Has Gone Cats & Dogs!

New mural on Kenmore just south of Lawrence by Rodney Duran

The upcoming Fauna Veterinary Care at 1039 W. Lawrence has certainly brightened up a drab stretch of the one story facade along Kenmore.

We stopped by today after they teased a "makeover" on Facebook coming to their wall along Kenmore just south of Lawrence.

A brightly colored mural by Rodney Duran featuring cats and dogs in cute poses will great patrons once they open. Interior buildout is still underway. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for an opening date. We like what we see so far! 
One section of the mural along Kenmore by artist Rodney Duran

Thursday, May 9, 2024

"Xpress Food Mart" Coming To 928 W. Wilson

Upcoming Xpress Food Mart at 928 W. Wilson

The former Wilson Grocery at 928 W. Wilson (next to the JPUSA compound) is getting an upgrade!

Work has been underway for quite a while now, although no building permits were visible in the city's database so we weren't sure if the building was going to be demolished (it is zoned B3-5 which would allow a much larger building to rise here, hint hint). 

New signage just went up two days ago so the "Xpress" mart is a secret no longer! 

We would like to welcome Xpress Food Mart to 928 W. Wilson.

See The New Under-L Block Designs For New Community Spaces

from the CTA:

"After hearing from you earlier this year on how to activate the new community spaces under the Red and Purple line tracks, CTA will present the new block-by-block concepts for Edgewater and Uptown. Join us to see the new designs and let us know about what features you’d like to see on your block!

Concepts were designed by Site Design Group, a Chicago-based, nationally award-winning landscape architecture firm, based on community feedback received earlier this year.

Join the CTA and Site Design to:
  • See block-by-block concepts
  • Share your opinion on features you’d like to see on your block
  • Help shape the future of new spaces in Uptown and Edgewater
For blocks between Foster and Ardmore:
May 22, 2024
St. Ita’s Catholic Church, 5500 N Broadway, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
For blocks between Lawrence and Foster:
May 23, 2024
Truman College, 1145 W Wilson, 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Contact us: or leave a message for call back at (331) 303-2499. Visit us in person at 5137 N Broadway, Monday through Thursday 10am-4pm.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Aquarius ("A Posh Pop-Up") Rises On Wilson

Ever get the urge to search for treasures, but there's no yard sales or antique stores around to explore? Make your way to 1344 W Wilson (between Beacon and Dover), where Aquarius Boutique, a Posh Pop-Up has set up shop.

It's got everything from clothing to housewares to jewelry to furniture to vintage goods, some new and some previously owned. Need a wedding dress? Barware from the Mad Men era? A summer hat? This is the place!

The hours are posted on the door weekly (see above) or you can call 219-202-8100 for an appointment. It accepts Venmo, Zelle, and exact cash as forms of payment.

Aquarius will be open "10ish to 5ish" both Saturday and Sunday, in case you need a last-minute Mother's Day gift.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Get Creative At Pop Craft!

We are happy to welcome Pop Craft to Uptown, where you can design handmade arts and crafts and unleash your inner creativity..

The second location of this Wicker Park studio opened three weeks ago at 1109 W Lawrence, right across the street from the Aragon. The studio says, "We Are Passionate About Bringing People Together Through The Joy Of Crafting."

At the Uptown studio, you can learn to tuft rugs and purses, all under the tutelage of an experienced artisan. You can also customize cell phone cases, mirrors, and picture frames by learning Cream Glue DIY.

Workshops are available for solo artists, friends, families, and private parties. You just need to book online and show up for your workshop, where experienced crafters will help you bring your ideas to fruition.

Pop Craft Uptown is open 1pm to 9pm on weekdays, and 11am to 9pm on weekends.

You can book a workshop at its website, Still want to learn more? Check out its Facebook page and Instagram site as well.

We're happy to have Pop Craft as an addition to our creative community.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Pet Groomery & Spa Coming Soon To 1041 W. Lawrence

1041 W. Lawrence

 A great complement to the upcoming Fauna Veterinary Care will be opening soon at 1041 W. Lawrence, in the Lawrence Lofts Building.

We'd like to welcome "The Bark of the Town" Pet Groomery & Spa, which will soon call the beautifully renovated building at the corner of Lawrence and Kenmore home!

TBOTT currently offers mobile grooming, but will soon also offer spa services for your prized pooch in a new retail space at 1041 W. Lawrence.

For a complete list of services and to make an appointment, visit their website here.

Follow them on Facebook and Instagram, as well for the opening date of their new space.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Amazing Grace(land)

April showers do indeed bring May flowers. Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum is beginning to come into bloom, as seen below.  The cemetery has switched over to summer hours, so there's more time to enjoy a stroll, a drive, or a bike ride through the emerging gorgeousness.

Hours are 8am to 6pm on weekdays, and 9am to 4pm on weekends. You can enter at the main gate (Irving Park and Clark) or the newer Greenwood Gate (Clark between Hutchinson and Cullom).

Eddie Oppong Introduces His Second "Ode to Uptown" Clothing and Sneaker Collection

An Ode To UPTOWN: Second Installment from Eddie Oppong on Vimeo.

Local creator and long-time Uptown resident Eddie Oppong -- a sneaker designer who works with Converse -- has introduced his second "Ode to Uptown" collection of clothing and shoes! 

On the heels (see what we did?) of his first collection in October 2023, which sold out, there's another chance to buy his designs and rep your neighborhood.

(We are happy customers and love our purchases from the first collection.)

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Vandross Hair Design Expands Into Uptown With Sheridan & Sunnyside Location

4501 N Sheridan, the latest site of Vandross
The corner of Sheridan & Sunnyside has undergone an amazing transformation and will soon be home to a salon with locations in Bucktown and Lincoln Park. We'd like to welcome Vandross Beauty & Barber coming soon to the new Portrait Apartments at 4501 N. Sheridan!

From the owners:

"Vandross Hair Design is a forward-thinking hair salon comprised of individualistic, self-sufficient stylists, possessing a superior foundation in technical skills, along with a respect for all avenues of inspiration. Susan Sterba, owner and stylist, has created what she’s always longed for; a stimulating, high-end work environment that celebrates independent stylists. Vandross is the summation of these elements, devoted to the fulfillment of a diverse clientele through exceptional services, best-in-class products, and valued relationships."

Opening date is TBD but follow their Facebook page or their Instagram page for more details. You can also call 773-459-5511 for info or to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Fallen Officer's Funeral Procession Passes Through Uptown

On Monday afternoon, northbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive was closed, including the on- and off-ramps, for the final journey of murdered Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca. After a funeral mass on the South Side, the several-miles-long procession proceeded to Rosehill Cemetery. 

Reader Bill Biederman captured the scene as it passed through Uptown.

Monday, April 22, 2024

State Of Uptown Luncheon On May 14

The Uptown Chamber of Commerce presents the annual State of Uptown Luncheon on Tuesday, May 14th, at Furama restaurant (4936 N Broadway), between noon and 1:30pm.

"The annual State of Uptown luncheon convenes Uptown's business, development and non-profit community to hear from our elected officials. Confirmed speakers for the 2024 State of Uptown include:
  • 40th Ward Alderman Andre Vasquez
  • 46th Ward Alderwoman Angela Clay
  • 47th Ward Alderman Matt Martin
  • 48th Ward Alderwoman Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth
Tickets are $25 for Chamber Members ((discount code sent via e-mail - contact Greg Carroll at if you need the code) and $30 General Admission. Online ticket sales will close on Monday, May 13th at 5pm. Based on availability, we will be selling tickets for $35 at the door.

 Ticket includes event admission and lunch (vegetarian options will be provided).

Contact Greg Carroll at or 773-878-1184 ext. 2 with any questions.