Whether you are an art lover or love to shop, the River North area of Chicago has something special for you. Just north of the downtown Loop, bound by Chicago Avenue to the north, Michigan Avenue to the east, and the Chicago River to the south and west, River North has a cluster of hotels, galleries, convenient transportation, and great places to eat, shop and enjoy Chicago’s art culture. The Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower and the former Chicago Sun-Times Building (now the site of Trump International Hotel and Tower) are part of this remarkable section of the city. The “Cathedral District,” near the intersection of State and Huron, has a significant number of new residential skyscrapers surrounding the Catholic Holy Name Cathedral and the Episcopal St. James Cathedral.
What distinguishes River North from the rest of the Windy City is its Gallery District. Once an old manufacturing and warehouse area, the River North Gallery District has the greatest concentration of art galleries in the United States, outside of Manhattan. Emerging artists of all kinds display their work beside established artists in an area dense with hot bars, cool dance clubs, and all kinds of entertainment venues. The House of Blues ranks among these highlights, where people come from all over the world to enjoy blues music and folk art as well as southern-inspired cuisine. If jazz is your thing, Andy’s Jazz Club on East Huron Street, shouldn’t be missed. Chicago’s top artists perform a range of musical stylings from Traditional, Swing and Bop to Fusion, Latin and Afro-Pop.
When lunch or dinner time rolls around, you can satisfy your appetite at one of the theme-restaurants—popular with out-of-towners—like the tropical-themed Rainforest Cafe (a “wild” place to eat and shop) or Ed Debevic’s 1950s style diner, or any of the upscale restaurants in the vicinity. River North is also home to the Merchandise Mart, the world’s largest commercial building, just a short, leisurely walk from the famous Magnificent Mile. This Chicago institution spans two city blocks of floor after floor of shops and showrooms filled with commercial and luxury interior furnishings.
River North’s attractive tree-shaded streets are lined with lovely vintage residences as well as newly built high-rises and lofts, especially in areas like Kingsbury Park, near Erie Street and the Chicago River. And for those who prefer a short commute to work, the old Montgomery Ward building in Kingsbury Park was redesigned into contemporary office space that includes financial firms, advertising, marketing, and telecommunications companies. Also in the landmark building is the signature Japanese-French fusion cuisine of Japonais Restaurant-Lounge, one of Chicago’s hottest fine dining establishments. Voted by Conde-Nast Traveler as “one of the top 66 restaurants in the world,” Japonais is a great place for celebrity sightings and superior sushi with a Parisian twist.
For those new to the city, folks in town for work or pleasure, or lifetime residents, this is one part of Chicago where there’s an endless amount of things to see and do around every corner.Chicago neighborhood and real estate information