West Lakeview

West Lakeview

The greater Lakeview area once enjoyed the distinction of being an independent city, just north of the bustling metropolis of Chicago. But even as its own municipality, Lakeview has long been a central part of Chicago's expanding landscape. Originally settled by European immigrants in the mid-1800s, Lakeview has evolved into an active, self-sufficient neighborhood that is one of Chicago’s most sought-after places to live. Lakeview proper is divided into several smaller communities, which include Lakeview East, Wrigleyville and West Lakeview.

Quiet, family-oriented and compact, the West Lakeview neighborhood has a healthy supply of single-family homes, in addition to an abundance of two- and three-flats and condominium buildings. The mix of old and new is evident in the new construction developments and renovation projects found throughout the neighborhood. Tree-lined Hamlin Park is West Lakeview’s main public parkland and it offers residents plenty of open green space, plus tennis and basketball courts, a seasonal swimming pool and other recreational activities. Hamlin Park contributes to West Lakeview’s family friendly environment and gives the area a real neighborhood feel.

Chicago’s famous Antiques Row runs along the northern border of West Lakeview, which it shares with Roscoe Village. Antiques Row boasts the largest concentration of antiques stores in the Midwest. Antique Resources, specializes in European furniture while Father Time Antique's specialty is clocks and time pieces (as you may have guessed), and Good Old Days Antiques is the place to shop for a little bit of everything in between. Odds and ends collectors or lovers of historic artifacts and home decorations will find this a fantastic place to while away an afternoon searching for hidden treasures or just browsing through timeless classics.

This north side Chicago neighborhood also has a healthy dining and bar scene with a few comfortable venues for a laidback drink or nice meal. To get the night going, many residents enjoy the unassuming atmosphere of The Hungry Brain. This fun, local hangout serves bottled beer and mixed drinks in a thrift store decor. Program your own music on the jukebox or show up on a Sunday night for the Hungry Brain's improvisational jazz shows. The weekly event has been steadily attracting bigger audiences as well as out of town acts. Also a popular place to order your favorite beverage is Bar 134, named after the Chicago electricians' union IBEW Local 134. This neighborhood haunt host DJs and has a dance floor, but the bar still caters to the sports fans with the usual TVs, pool tables, and a cheap domestic beer selection. Cody's Public House is the quintessential neighborhood corner bar. With a relaxed, homey feel inside and a secluded beer garden in the back, Cody's has got you covered no matter what the weather. Throw a few free games of darts and throw back a few inexpensive brews to make for a low-key night with friends that won’t break your budget.

For a morning caffeine fix or an after-dinner latte, West Lakeview residents rush to Starbucks. It may not have that eclectic independent coffeehouse appeal, but for strong java and all the frou frou drinks you can imagine, this mega-chain café hits the spot. Hungry West Lakeviewers head to Beat Kitchen, for a dining experience that can't be beat. This long-time neighborhood restaurant has great burgers and salads, plus a good beer selection. The menu deserves a thumbs-up, but perhaps the Beat Kitchen’s number one draw is its live music stage, which hosts local and touring bands.

Speaking of live entertainment, West Lakeview is where you’ll find the non-profit Viaduct Theatre – a true neighborhood treasure. Housed in an old warehouse, the Viaduct has been hosting live theater, musical performances and independent film screenings since 1998. With two separate performance areas – the main stage and a smaller studio space – the Viaduct is a great way to avoid the larger crowds of the downtown theater district. Its lobby has a full-service bar, though drink choices may be limited to a few brands of bottled beer and standard well drinks. There's also pool table to make those intermissions go by quicker.

Although there are no CTA train stops in West Lakeview, access to them is easy with the Belmont bus running west to the Blue Line Belmont stop and east to the Belmont stop on the Purple, Red and Brown lines. There are also bus routes running north and south along the neighborhood’s western border (on Western Avenue) and the eastern edge (along Damen Avenue).

Chicago neighborhood and real estate information