Thursday, November 12, 2009

...Or, the post with a really long title :-)

This post will be added onto over time. I want to make a list of all the really cool retail spaces and storefronts in Chicago. I don't know about you, but I'm often willing to pay a little more or walk a little further in order to give money to a place that I know values, or at least spend some money on, its architecture. To get on this list, a space doesn't necessarily mean old, just unique, either in general, or if part of a chain, unique among the chain. You can kind of get a sense of what I mean by the entries on the list so far. Please comment! Need more...

The Loop

McDonald's - Wabash between Washington and Randolph
This McDonald's is unique not because it's old. It seems pretty newly-built. However, it is the most elaborate McDonald's I have ever seen. Leather seats, lacquered wood walls, and marble in the bathrooms.

Dunkin Donuts - Washington between Michigan and Wabash
This DD is cool because it has an exposed coffered ceiling in the dining room, surrounded by usual DD trim, but well lit and restored. Not often that DD spends effort on architecture.

Near North

McDonald's - Rock and Roll - Clark & Ohio
An obvious standout from the pack, this McD's is unique because of its size and the craziness put into its detailing. I mean, spider clips on a curtain wall at McD's? Also, how often can you eat a Big Mac on a Barcelona Chair?

North Side

The Green Mill - Lawrence & Broadway
With a space straight out of the 1940s, many important Chicago figures were involved in the creation and management of this famous Jazz Club, including Al Capone. It continues to be visited by celebrities often.

West Side

Margie's Candies - near Fullerton & Western, Wicker Park
Straight out of the 1960s with pieces from the 20s, this ice cream shop is yummy and architecturally unique. It is also an example of how best to get as many people as physically possible into a small space.

Near South

Eleven City Diner - 1111 S. Wabash
An awesome space. The dining room is a cavernous space, vaulted and probably 25 feet high, covered with subway tiles, topped by giant lights.


Uncle Johnny's Grocery - 32nd & Normal, Bridgeport
This space hasn't changed much since the 1920s. Everything from the ceiling to the freezers for the milk are original. It's also supposed to have one of the top 3 Italian Beef sandwiches in the city.

Posted by Posted by The Loosh at 7:40 AM