The famed restaurant and bar scene, close proximity to public transit and three major expressways, and downright cool, the industrial atmosphere makes the West Loop a desirable location to live and work. Even innovative tech giants like Google, Twitter, and Uber have turned old warehouses into their new headquarters.
Time Magazine deemed it “the land of the living dead” in 1949, but the West Loop of today is very much alive. Art galleries and antique sources for collectors of all kinds, stylish shops for fashion-forward consumers, innovative restaurants and bars, and a thriving music and street fair scene regularly draw crowds.
A slew of openings centered around Randolph Street and Fulton Market make restaurant- and bar-hopping in the untrodden territory a nightly possibility. You can go from taqueria to futuristic cocktail lounge, sushi bar to a secret underground speakeasy, whole-animal butcher shop to wine tasting, burger bar to the champagne salon—and the neighborhood’s evolution is far from finished.
There’s a growing market for young families as more businesses (and young professionals) infiltrate the neighborhood. Townhomes and larger condo units can still be hard to come by as many are snapped up almost as quickly as new development blueprints can be drafted! But there are exceptional public and private education options along with a number of parks in the area.
Fresh condo buildings are cropping up along with the influx of newcomers, and prices have kept up with the change in population. Airy loft conversions feature newly-minted interiors with original exposed brick, high timber ceilings, and huge factory-sized windows within the bones of decades-old buildings.
In addition to the loft-style living, residents savor trips to the Chicago French Market, which showcases local artisans and purveyors most days of the week, and the vibrant strip of Randolph Street dubbed “Restaurant Row,” which is lined with some of the city’s best eateries.