Originally part of the warehouse district of Chicago, this neighborhood’s residential development didn’t begin until the formation of Greektown. During the 1920s and the prohibition era, more immigration occurred to the area. Years later, the construction of the University of Illinois at Chicago campus pushed for more housing developments. Today, the West Loop has both an industrial and residential atmosphere, providing a variety of different housing for residents.
The West Loop is approximately bordered by the Eisenhower Expressway on the south, Ashland Avenue on the West, Grand Avenue on the north, and the Chicago River on the west.
Things To Do
There are plenty of galleries to check out in the West Loop. One that carries a good mixture of art styles and mediums is the Linda Warren Projects (327 N Aberdeen, 312-432-9500). Another hot spot that always boasts innovative contemporary art is the Peter Miller Gallery (118 N Peoria St, 312-951-1700). Come by during the first Friday of every month for a mass exhibition reception throughout the gallery district and mingle with Chicago’s art crowd.
If you are looking for an evening of music and dancing then the Bottom Lounge (1375 W Lake St, 312-666-6775) is your place to be. Get tickets to the next hot band or artist and see what this place is all about. To see a play, head to the UIC Theater (1044 W. Harrison St, 312-966-2977), which houses the school’s Department of Performing Arts and seats 250 people comfortably.
The West Loop is not short in festivals and street parties. The Taste of Randolph Street (W Randolph St, 312-458-9401) is a full weekend of food, drinks, entertainment, and celebration. For the latest music, check out the Pitchfork Music Festival (1501 W Randolph St) which features indie groups and rock bands from around the world. A shopping celebration starts in September through the middle of December known as the Chicago Antique Market (1340 W Washington St, 312-666-1200). Here you will find anything from lamps, paintings, to furniture.
Dining & Nightlife
The West Loop has become the number one culinary spot in the city. Here you’ll find the high-end cuisine of the Girl & The Goat (809 W Randolph St, 312-492-6262) – a delightful restaurant that is owned by the Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard. Another more casual place ran by Izard is the Little Goat (820 W Randolph St, 312-888-3455). Just across the street from its sister restaurant, this place provides quality cooking without emptying your wallet. Meat-lovers will fall for the menu at The Publican (837 W Fulton Market, 312-733-9555). With oysters, bacon, and beef dishes, you will have trouble just picking one dish. Greektown, known for its Greek food believe it or not, houses one of Chicago’s favorite Mediterranean restaurants Greek Islands (200 S Halsted St, 312-782-9855).
The West Loop has a shop for everyone. Men like to stop in to A Sharp Dressed Man (516 N Ogden Ave, 773-644-1544) and women are finding their style at Tribeca (1035 W Madison St, 312-492-9373). Music fanatics can hit up Vic’s Drum Shop (345 N Loomis, 312-770-1200) to get helpful answers to all their drum questions. If you’re a guitar player, then Make’n Music (1455 W Hubbard St, 312-455-1970) will be more useful with its huge selection of guitars for you to browse through.
Places to Stay
A contemporary hotel for a West Loop sleep over is The Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro (733 W Madison, 312-829-5000). This place provides wonderful views of the city and quality service that you look for in a hotel.