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Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

Owners of Big Star, Violet Hour Plan New Mexican Spot in Wicker Park

Michael Hamrick - Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Last year we reported the team behind Wicker Park's Big Star and Violet Hour (One Off Hospitality Inc), had secured the space formerly Cipolina at 1543 N. Damen Avenue setting their sights for a new eatery in the neighborhood.

And according to Chicago Magazine's Penny Pollack, Paul Kahan (Chef and Co-Owner of One of Hospitality), the new space is going to be more Mexican.

With Rick Bayless's new restaurant opening this year at 1471 N. Milwaukee Avenue and the many Mexican spots already in the neighborhood already, we were hoping for something a little different. But opening a "sister to Big Star" as Kahan describes it, makes perfect sense for the location.

Additional details to follow as they become available.

 

 

The Power 100 [Chicago Magazine]

Snow Brawl 2014 is ON Tonight in Wicker Park !

Michael Hamrick - Monday, February 17, 2014

Do312, Chicagoist and RedEye are back in the hood again for the annual Snowbrawl in Wicker Park.

#Snowbrawl 2014 starts at 8pm. Meet at the Wicker Park Field House 1425 N. Damen Avenue. Put your cell phone in a zip lock bag and come prepared. The last couple of years have been great and this year we have waaaaay more snow.

image courtesy of Do312 via Twitter

Western Avenue Closure Feb 7-9 For Bloomingdale Trail Construction Postponed

Michael Hamrick - Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Per The 606 via Twitter: The planned weekend closure of Western Avenue for bridge improvements related to the Bloomingdale Trail construction has been postponed due to weather complications and the relocation of utilities.

The planned closure of Western from February 7-9 was to remove the existing railroad bridge at Bloomingdale Avenue.  The work has not yet been rescheduled.

The current bridge in place at Western and Bloomingdale Avenues causes significant traffic bottlenecking, as concrete piers reduce lane widths as vehicles approach the bridge.

 

 

 

Published February 1st 2014

Alderman Waguespack has announced that part of Western Avenue will be closed next weekend, February 7th - February 9th, for work to support The Bloomingdale Trail/606 construction effort.

According to an email issued by the Alderman:

Western Avenue will be closed to ALL traffic between Wabansia (1700 North Western Ave) and Winnebago/Cortland (1900 North Western Ave).
 
All traffic on Western will be detoured to Damen and California Avenues (see map). Pedestrians will have to find an alternative route as well. 
 
Crews will begin work at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 7, 2014, working around the clock to complete the process as quickly and efficiently as possible. The viaduct will be re-opened on Monday, February 10, 2014. 

In the coming weeks, two similar weekend closures will occur at Ashland Ave and Milwaukee Ave. to remove and improve bridges under the Bloomingdale Trail. 


We will share additional information as it becomes available.

Chicago Fire Filming Today in Bucktown

Michael Hamrick - Tuesday, February 04, 2014

We know how much NBC's Chicago Fire likes to film in Bucktown. Not only are parking restrictions in place through midnight tonight, but if you'd like to catch the filming live, head to Bucktown today.

 

photo courtesy of Steve Jensen via facebook. 

Chicago PD Filming in Wicker Park

Michael Hamrick - Monday, January 20, 2014

photo courtesy of Diane Salomon via twitter @dianesalomon

Chicago PD is filming in the neighborhood today at Wood/Wolcott and Wicker Park Avenue. Just a heads up if you're in the area. The police you're seeing in a high speed car chase down the alley behind Milwaukee Avenue are just actors. The guy posted at Wicker Park Avenue and Wolcott, however, in the unmarked car is the real thing.


Embedded image permalinkphoto courtesy of Diane Salomon.


Also: Wolcott at Milwaukee Avenue is closed to traffic between the 7 Eleven and Walgreens where the crew is currently set up. 

La Colombe Says They're Opening Soon in Wicker Park

Michael Hamrick - Thursday, January 16, 2014
photo courtesy of La Colombe 

We first reported on La Colombe heading to Wicker Park waaaay back in May of last year and their target date for opening then was September 2013.

 

Photo: Our newest location in Chicago's Wicker Park got a hand-gilded window sign by Gibbs Connors.Wicker Park location photo courtesy of La Colombe via Facebook.

Well, delays do happen and La Colombe is getting ready at long last to open their doors in the space formerly the location of Greener Cleaners at 1552 N. Damen Avenue directly next to the Blue Line in Wicker Park. Today is "health inspection day" according to an instagram photo published earlier.

They should be opening any day now.

 

We, of course, will keep you posted.

 

 

Related: La Colombe to Open in Bucktown.

 

Potbelly To Open in Wicker Park

Michael Hamrick - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

 - Centrum Partners plans to renovate this building. Photo from CoStar Group Inc.
Wicker Wire: According to a report published earlier by Chicago Real Estate Daily, Potbelly will be opening another spot in the neighborhood. They currently have a restaurant located at 1625 N. Damen Avenue.

The new location will be 1275 N. Milwaukee Avenue in the former Wieboldt's building owned by Centrum LLC and undergoing a major renovation and will taking over the 2,000 square foot space which was the former location of Oberweis.

No additional details are available at this time but we will keep you posted as they become available.




Potbelly to Open Wicker Park restaurant [Chicago Real Estate Daily]


Related:

Major Renovation Planned for Milwaukee Avenue 

Links Taproom Opens Today in Wicker Park

Michael Hamrick - Saturday, January 11, 2014

image courtesy of Links Taproom via Facebook

Links Taproom, an All-American craft beer and sausage-based bar, plans to open very soon in the space formerly Bin Wine Café at 1559 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park according to an update posted on their Facebook page. Plans to open (finally) are scheduled for the evening of January 11, 2014. 

Links Taproom will feature 36 All-American beers on tap, four All-American cask beers on beer engines, 40-ish All-American craft beers in large format bottles and about 10 by can. Five different types of wine will be available as well but the focus will definitely be on the beer.

Buried Alive Fries: topped with Italian sausage, bacon, cheddar, giardiniera, and green onions. Photo courtesy of Links Taproom.



Chef Andrew Kern has created the menu with 8 different types of links available including: Chicago Steak & Ale (sirloin, bacon, Bell’s Amber Ale, horseradish), bratwurst (veal pork shoulder, toasted spices, whole milk) and vegan (Portobello mushrooms, black beans, tamari, extra virgin olive oil). Snacks including: hand-cut fires, cheese curds, beer cheese soup, fried pickles, roasted peanuts, white bean hummus etc. will also be available. Brunch will be offered shortly after opening.


Links Taproom To Open Mid-December in Chicago's Wicker Park Neighborhood [BWW Food & Wine]

Who's Responsible for Shoveling Chicago Sidewalks

Michael Hamrick - Thursday, January 09, 2014

Throughout the Winter, when you walk through Wicker Park and Bucktown, or all of Chicago for that matter, you're bound to come across city sidewalks that are packed with snow. When the temps warm up and then freeze again, sidewalks can become an icy path to walk on.

Clearing snow from your sidewalks is not only a darned nice thing to do for your neighbors and the community; it's actually required by the City of Chicago.

So who's responsible for clearing the sidewalks? You might be surprised to learn that according to Municipal Codes 4-4 310 and 10-8-180, everyone is responsible for clearing snow in front of their property. Property owners as well as the occupants are responsible for removing snow:

According to the Municipal Code of Chicago, "Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having charge of any building or lot of ground abutting upon any public way or public space shall remove the snow and ice from the sidewalk..."


That's right. It's actually not just a landlord's responsibility. If you live there, you're responsible as well. According to the City of Chicago website, it's everyone's responsibility to make sure the sidewalks are clear of snow and ice. And there's even a time limit.


If the snow stops falling before 4pm, you only  have 3 hours to clear the snow. (A little tough for people who happen to be at work.) And if the snow stops falling after 4pm, you have until 10am the next morning to get out there and shovel. 


But that's not all. Think that little space the width of a snow shovel is enough? It's not. According to the Municipal Code, the path needs to be 5 feet wide to accommodate strollers, wheel chairs and even your friendly mail people. Not feeling inspired to shovel? You could end up with a fine compliments of the City of Chicago.


For all of the details: Sidewalk Snow Removal City of Chicago


Burlesque Auditions - Gorilla Tango Bucktown

Michael Hamrick - Thursday, January 09, 2014
For those of you looking to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone in 2014, now's your chance. Gorilla Tango Burlesque (GTB) is pleased to announce it will revisit its popular Star Trek burlesque in 2014 and is seeking Trekkies of all shapes and sizes to audition - newbies (ie those with no previous burlesque experience) are particularly encouraged to audition. Auditions will be held on January 26 (5:00-8:00pm in one hour slots) at Gorilla Tango Theatre Bucktown, and the show will run Fridays at 9:00pm, April 18-August 29, 2014. For more information on auditions, contact Director Erica Reid at auditions@ericareid.com.

Producer Dan Abbate says "The burlesque we do is very tongue-in-cheek and silly. It's story based and a very 'non-threatening' introduction to neo-burlesque. Because of this, we often connect with women who have had no prior burlesque experience but who want to try something new."  

Director Erica Reid states: "We work closely with each performer to both properly teach the art form and also unleash their self-confidence. The beauty of burlesque is that it really celebrates the woman--it's about being comfortable in your own skin and learning to love what you've got. All body types are welcome! More often than not, we find that first time burlesque performers get hooked, and we love to witness the inspiration and transformation that it can bring. Plus, with the amazing women in the scene, it's a great way to expand your social circle and make life-long friends."

Gorilla Tango Burlesque performers who were once new to the artform feel the same way.

"Since I started performing burlesque, I've had family and friends comment on how happy I seem. If you'd told me even five years ago I'd be taking off my clothes in public, I would have laughed in your face. And now, I can't imagine NOT doing burlesque, " says Emma Glitterbomb, "Ma Boobs" in "The Oregon Tail Burlesque: You Have Died of Sexy" opening this Friday at 9pm.

Busty Warren, author of GTB's hit "Don't Blink: A Doctor Who Burlesque", states, "Burlesque helps me maintain a positive body image. Especially a company like GTB where all shapes and sizes are welcome."

GTB regular Vespa Van Dyne (in such shows as "Temple of Boobs: An Indiana Jones Burlesque" and "Holy Bouncing Boobies: A Batman Burlesque") continues on to say, "I think what I really learned from burlesque is a level of bravery I didn't know I had. I'm up onstage and I get to literally strip myself (nearly) bare in front of an audience: no apologies, no shame, no regrets. There's nowhere to hide, nothing but panties & pasties between myself and them. It's an amazing thrill of personal power to be there as I am. Me and my panties and pasties and an audience full of people cheering me on."

Newcomer Polly Poms Poms - making her debut this Friday at 9pm in "The Oregon Tail Burlesque: You Have Died of Sexy" - says "When I saw the audition notice, I responded kind of on a whim. I'd always been interested in burlesque, but never thought it was something that I could actually do. I was surprised when I got scheduled for a time slot, even more surprised when I made callbacks, and pretty much stunned when I was cast in Oregon Tail. After each step in the process I wasn't sure I'd come back, because I found the whole idea of burlesque pretty intimidating, but I did keep coming back, for one reason only - it was the most fun I'd had in a long time. I can't say enough about how talented all the company members are - everyone is so incredible, and in an industry like theater where women so often cut each other down, it is truly remarkable how supportive and encouraging everyone is. Thanks to them, all my fears of feeling not good enough have turned into feeling effing fabulous."

MORE ABOUT THE AUDITION:
Gorilla Tango Burlesque seeks a fresh full cast of eight actresses/dancers for their revival of Star Trek: The Rack of Khan Burlesque, written by Nerdologues, directed and choreographed by Erica Reid. We will also be casting understudies for our other productions currently in open runs. Initial auditions will be dance-based, held on January 26th from 5:00-8:00pm, scheduled in groups in 1-hour slots.  To be considered, please email a current photo (headshot preferred), resume, and preferred audition slot to auditions@ericareid.com with “Burlesque Audition” in the subject line.

Audition Date: January 26 (5:00-8:00pm in one hour slots)
Pay: $25/performance plus tips

Type/Restrictions:  Women, 21 and over only please.  Must be comfortable stripping down to pasties and a g-string.  Women with dance, movement, or comedy background especially encouraged to submit.

Time Commitment:  Rehearsals begin mid-February 2014, evenings and weekends. Rehearsals are always scheduled based on actor availability. Star Trek will run Fridays at 9:00pm from April 18th through August 29th. Actresses may still be considered for casting even with performance conflicts. Understudy positions in ongoing shows perform Fridays or Saturdays at 9:00pm, 10:30pm, or 11:59pm depending on casting.

Material to Prepare:  Audition by appointment. Please email a current photo (headshot preferred), resume, and preferred audition slot toauditions@ericareid.com with “Burlesque Audition” in the subject line. Arrive dressed to move; audition will consist of a dance taught day-of. Please Note: You will not be required to strip in initial audition. If you are called back, you will be asked to perform audition dance with additional strip down to bra and panties.

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