Old Town

Old Town is a lively pocket of adored local dining dens and awning-covered specialty shops centered about the quaint, storefront-lined North Wells Street corridor. Reminiscent of a staged Norman Rockwell scene, this endearing Chicagoneighborhood is garlanded with windowsill flower planters, traditional standing lampposts, ornate Wells Street entrance gates, and shadowed pedestrian alleys between the handsome 19th century facades, aesthetically guarded by aged wrought iron and pruned overgrowth from garden patios. Old Town’s dated setting is exposed for its twenty-first century reality by the swift crowds of urbanites, ducking in and out of paint-layered doors, and the minority of redeveloped edifices with sleek new exteriors and chic, big city influences. Beyond the well-visited dining and entertainment district, Old Town is a lovely arrangement of quiet residential blocks with expensive vintage real estate and top-ranking elementary schools boasting multilingual and accelerated programs.

A stroll down Old Town’s historic lanes never fails to awe with enchanting worker’s cottages, worn brick sidewalks, and massive hundred-feet-tall trees. The winding, nonsensical streets of Old Town Triangle, an especially charming section of the neighborhood defined by North Avenue, Clark Street and old Ogden Road (which no longer exists), have the ability to confuse even the most seasoned Chicagoan; but can effect a fun adventure with eye-catching architecture and inviting scenery around every corner. There’s even a Buddhist temple tucked back in these intriguing storybook-esque streets.

From all over the city, people head to Old Town for an evening out, seeking the acclaimed restaurants and legendary comedy houses stationed along the famous Wells Street strip. The laugh-tastic Second City Theater is there, as is the no-frills Zanies Comedy Nightclub, which has also launched nationally-recognized comedians to stardom. Before the show, a swell of patrons hit up the trendiest Old Town dining spots for every type of taste, from five-star sushi at Kamehachi of Tokyo to cheap plate Mexican at Las Pinatas. And after the show, the drinks flow at the bumping outdoor patio of O’Brien’s Bar or the laid-back tavern take of Corcoran’s Pub and Grill. Other favorite Well Street hangouts include Burton Place Café, a comfy neighborhood haunt with decent pub grub, and Suite Lounge, an upscale martini bar with dessert-flavored drinks.

Weekends are generally jumping in Old Town, but nothing compares to the wildly popular summer events that sweep through the neighborhood, enveloping Wells Street in festival tents and throngs of people. In mid-June, the Wells Street Art Festival swings through town, flaunting the works of talented craftsmen and artists who come from across the city and country. Then, as the warm weather days come to a close, the Old Town Wine Crush is open for business, drawing thousands to Wells Street (once again) to sample and learn the regional nuances of different wines from around the globe.

A small Windy City neighborhood with an indisputable world-class allure, Old Town has long been a hotspot for visitors, drawing both local tourists and international travelers.

 

provided by: 

A Red Line Runs Through It, The Second City e.t.c.’s 40th Revue, is now playing Thursday through Sunday nights at the Old Town comedy complex.


Here at The Local Tourist we encourage you to do as Chicagoans do whether you live locally or somewhere else.


It’s that time of year again, when we’re all tasked with finding Valentine’s Day gifts that are just right for each of our loved ones.


Admit it: you're a binge watcher. You get comfy on the couch and watch your favorite series from episode one to the very end. It's fun, but it can also get lonely.


Dave Attell continues his run at UP Comedy Club with two shows each Friday and Saturday nights.


Flat Top Grill, the create-your-own meal hotspot, with locations across the Midwest, is celebrating their 20-year anniversary by offering their original pricing from 1995.


Last week a terrible fire destroyed Adobo Grill and threatened to do the same to one of Chicago's most beloved institutions, The Second City (1616 N Wells St, Chicago).