Why the West Loop is Chicago's Hottest Neighborhood, Presented by Gateway West Loop
By Stephen Ostrowski| October 23, 2015 |
Industrial long before ‘industrial chic’ entered our vocabulary, the West Loop was once neighborhood non-grata for house hunters. But with its recent geyser of development—including Lennar’s tony Gateway high rise—the area now boasts the trendy cache of previous up-and-comers like Wicker Park and Bucktown. Here, some meditations on why the West Loop is Chicago’s coolest quarter.
Randolph Street is the City’s Food Capital
A bold proclamation—but the block’s “Restaurant Row” nickname isn’t a misnomer. Michelin-starred institutions Grace and Blackbird headline the culinary corridor, while celebrity darling Fabio Viviani brought his signature flair to the turf with DineAmic Group’s newly-opened Bar Siena. Francophiles will swoon over Avec’s French cuisine, and Belly Q’s Asian eats will win over any barbecue buff. Our praise to those who snag a table at perennially-packed Au Cheval, crowned by Food Network as having the country’s top burger.
But Green Street is Nipping at Its Heels
If you can’t stomach the city’s deep-dish infatuation, Green Street is a welcome alternative: Consider Parlor Pizza Bar and Soho House’s Pizza East, which specialize in lighter Neapolitan pies. Need a noodle fix? High Five Ramen has you covered. But the biggest wave-maker might be Green Street Smoked Meats, the sprawling Southern compound that’s captivated Chicagoans’ stomachs with two words: Frito pie.
Libations. Libations. Libations.
Uninspired cocktails are the odd-drink-out in the mixology-driven West Loop, where The Aviary leads the imbibing-as-art revolution in the Fulton Market district. At the Halsted-Milwaukee-Grand intersection, The Dawson boasts ambitiously-crafted, playfully-named spirits that’ll have you retiring your staid vodka-soda.
You Can Sate Your Sports Tooth
With the Cubs’ playoff dash over and the Bears almost at mid-season, the city’s attention is gradually turning to hockey and basketball. Easily walkable, parkable, and commutable by public transit, Madison Street’s United Center is an uncommonly-accessible stadium to take in the Blackhawks attempt at a repeat Stanley Cup run and the upcoming Bulls campaign. Ball is life in the West Loop—literally.
And Stretch Your Legs (and your Dog’s)
What it lacks in lakefront vistas, the West Loop makes up for in green environs. Mary Bartelme Park’s smartly-designed 1.4 acres boasts a sunken dog park, roomy walking paths, and a fountain plaza for warm-weather relief. Further west on Adams Street is leafy Skinner Park, just a few blocks south of spacious Pitchfork Festival-host Union Park.
Only to Return to High-Rise Luxury
Posh housing has infiltrated the West Loop, with Lennar’s Gateway building leading the pack. A pet-friendly high-rise that’s in close proximity to Mariano’s and Whole Foods, its 16 floors boast sleek, contemporary units treated with wood floors and stainless steel appliances (with a sky lounge, valet dry cleaning service, and complimentary coffee center to boot). The only challenge about living there? Deciding what hour to Instagram from the rooftop pool deck.
For leasing information, please visit gatewaywl.com or call 1-877-380-1952