In December, we received some intel indicating that spy-themed Milwaukee bar SafeHouse would be opening a Chicago outpost, located in the AC Hotel Chicago Downtown (60 E Ontario St) in River North. Now we've learned that the secret agent watering hole will open to the public tonight at 5pm, welcoming visitors into a space filled with spy gadgets, a NASA satellite and a piece of the Berlin Wall. Just like at the bar's Milwaukee location, guests will enter through a nondescript door that simply reads "International Exports Ltd." and will be asked to provide a password before being admitted. If you don't know the password (it's same one the Milwaukee bar has used for years) you'll be asked to perform a "top-secret clearance test," which is typically a fun but potentially embarrassing activity. Once inside, guests can choose and agent name (we recommend something a but more creative than "007") and embark on a mission while enjoying food, drinks and entertainment. Cocktails are named after famous spies, the menu boasts items like Fried C4 Cheese Curds and there's a nightly magic show at SafeHouse's Gadget Bar. It all sounds a bit overwhelming, but James Bond devotees and Sterling Archer fanatics are sure to fall for the retro-espionage trappings. Before you go undercover and make your first visit to SafeHouse Chicago, take a look at some covert photos of River North's newest bar and restaurant. Photograph: Barry Brecheisen Photograph: Barry Brecheisen
Steppenwolf Theatre Company on Wednesday announced programming plans for the company’s 42nd mainstage season. The slate, the second to be selected under current artistic director Anna D. Shapiro, comprises three world premieres and four Chicago premieres. The represented playwrights include Jessica Dickey, Tracy Letts, Aziza Barnes, Clare Barron, Matthew-Lee Erlbach, Rajiv Joseph and Jen Silverman. Jessica Dickey’s The Rembrandt opens the proceedings (September 7–October 22 in the Upstairs Theatre). The new comedy from the author of The Amish Project sees a museum guard giving in to the urge to touch a famous painting, and thus setting off an eons-spanning lesson in art appreciation. Steppenwolf’s production will feature ensemble members Francis Guinan and John Mahoney, with direction by Hallie Gordon. The Downstairs Theatre docket opens, as previously announced, with Tracy Letts’s Broadway-bound premiere The Minutes (November 9–December 31), directed by Shapiro and with ensemble members Ian Barford, Guinan and Tim Hopper. Back upstairs, Nataki Garrett will stage the world premiere of BLKS (December 7–January 21), the first play by poet Aziza Barnes. Depicting a day in the life of four young women of color in New York City, BLKS will feature newly-minted ensemble member Namir Smallwood in the cast. Jonathan Berry will helm the Chicago premiere of You Got Older (January 25–March 11 in the Downstairs), Clare Barron’s acclaimed comedy (read Time Out New York’s five-star review o
The good news is that rents for one- and two-bedroom apartments in Chicago are lower than they were this time last year; the bad news is that the city is still the 10th most expensive rental market in the U.S. On Tuesday, Zumper released its National Rent Report for March, and Chicago dropped two spots from February’s figures. The report finds that the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city is $1,730 and a two-bedroom will run you $2,280. Those figures represent declines of 4.4 percent and 5 percent, respectively, compared with February. And, cheaper rents aren’t a one-off for the month of March. When you look at the year-over numbers, the price decreases are significant. One-bedroom rents are down 7.5 percent from this time last year, and two-bedrooms have dropped a whopping 10.6 percent. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
After two months of experimentation and collaboration, the Neo-Futurists of Chicago, New York City and San Francisco are ready to debut their new late-night show. The Infinite Wrench will open in all three cities this Friday, March 3. The Infinite Wrench replaces the long-running Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind but retains the basic structure: a dynamic slate of 30 very short, first-person plays performed in 60 minutes. Too Much Light closed at the end of 2016 after founder Greg Allen pulled the rights to the Chicago show. What exactly has changed from the previous show’s trappings and traditions? You’ll have to line up outside the Neo-Futurarium to find out. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
It’s official. Tuesday’s mild weather means Chicago will get out of February without a single noteworthy snowstorm, setting yet another weather-related record in 2017. For the first time in recorded history, Chicago has had no measurable snowfall in the months of January and February. The National Weather Service tweeted out that this striking lack of snow is something never before witnessed in the 146 years since record keeping began in Chicago. Chicago's about to do something its never done in 146 years of record keeping: go the entire months of Jan & Feb with no snow on the ground. — NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) February 26, 2017 Although the chances of measurable snowfall decreases once we get into the months of March and April, there is still some potential for a late-season snowstorm. Chicago has witnessed significant snow events in both months, according to the NWS. The largest March snowstorm in the city’s history occurred on March 25–26, 1930, and dropped 19.2 inches across Chicagoland. April’s biggest snowstorm (10.7 inches) occurred on April 1–2, 1954. Chicago & Rockford 1" snowfall record droughts continue. Chances of 1" snows decrease in Mar/Apr, but they aren't immune to big snowstorms! pic.twitter.com/LjeBD08Cmn — NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) February 26, 2017 No snow does not mean ideal weather, however. The NWS has issued a hazardous weather outlook for Tuesday evening throughout the Chicago area, which includes a significant thunderstorm ris
The Adams Street Bridge opened to traffic on Friday, marking the end of an extensive rehabilitation of one of Chicago’s 37 iconic bascule bridges. The 13-month, $33 million project included the installation of a new electrical control system, improvements to the intersection of Adams Street and Canal Street, restoration of the bridge tender’s houses, the addition of new street lighting and traffic signals, and roadway drainage upgrades. Vehicles heading west on Adams will once again be able to cross the bridge, which had remained open to pedestrians for all but two months of the project. The opening also means that seven CTA bus routes which were rerouted because of the Adams Street Bridge closure have resumed their regular routes. Those routes are: No. 1 Bronzeville/Union Station, No. 7 Harrison, No. 28 Stony Island, No. 121 Union/Streeterville Express, No. 126 Jackson, No. 151 Sheridan and No. 156 LaSalle. “The Adams Street Bascule Bridge, and other bridges like it, represent Chicago’s great legacy of investing in infrastructure to build a better future for our residents,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a news release. “We know these types of investments are critical to maintaining our historic infrastructure and keeping Chicago moving forward in the 21st century.” Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
One Earth Film Festival returns for its sixth year this weekend with a schedule so jam packed that organizers have expanded the event to multiple weekends for the first time ever. This year, more than 30 films will be screened March 3–12 at 39 different venues throughout Chicago and surrounding suburbs. The annual festival features documentaries and programs that focus on current environmental issues. A Green Carpet Gala featuring live performances, a ﬁlmmakers panel and a festival preview will kick of One Earth 2017 on March 3 at Fourth Presbyterian Church’s Gratz Center in Chicago. In all, more than 45 screenings will be held during this year’s event. And with so many options, we chose six of the best films at the festival. Most screenings are free with a $6 suggested donation. The Age of Consequences THE AGE OF CONSEQUENCES - THEATRICAL TRAILER from PF Pictures on Vimeo. The Chicago premiere of writer-director Jared P. Scott's The Age of Consequences will give local audiences an eye-opening look at the effects of climate change on U.S. national security and global stability. Through recent examples such as the the conflict in Syria and the Arab Spring uprisings, this documentary explores how existing social tensions interact with climate-based stressors to spark conflict. (Institute of Cultural Affairs, 4750 N Sheridan Rd, March 4 at 3pm; Old St. Patrick’s Church, 700 W Adams St, March 5 at 6pm) Before the Flood Academy Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCapr
If you're anything like me, you're digging around your desk at 3pm looking for something sweet to munch on for an afternoon pick-me-up. Now Time Out Chicago is bringing a sugar rush to your weekend. On Sunday, March 5 at Artifact Events, we're hosting our second annual Treat Yo' Self tasting event, filled with two whole hours of desserts and pampering. You'll get to try sweets like warm cookie sundaes and hummingbird cake. There will be beer from DryHop Brewers and Corridor Brewery & Provisions and cocktails from KOVAL Distillery. Plus, massages from Lisa App, one-on-one psychic readings from Chicago Spiritual Boutique and mini-twist braids from Mixed Co. Salon. Need more convincing? Check out what went down at last year's Treat Yo' Self. Get your tickets here. Need some visual dessert? Feast your eyes on photos of the sweet treats you can enjoy this weekend. Photograph: Courtesy Cookie Spin Cookie Spin: What's better than cookies and ice cream? You'll get to pick from a chocolate chip or salted caramel Oreo brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and hot caramel. Photograph: Courtesy Osteria Langhe Osteria Langhe: Panna Cotta? Yes please. Get a sample of the house panna cotta (vanilla) with chocolate, hazelnuts and raspberries. Photograph: Courtesy Julius Meinl Coffee Bar & Patisserie Julius Meinl Coffee Bar & Patisserie: Samples of the opera torte, an almond cake soaked with espresso syrup, dark chocolate ganache and espresso buttercream wi
Outfitted with log cabin-inspired décor, broken-in dive bar trappings and peanut shells on the floor, the Lodge is one of those classic Chicago hold-outs in an area that has been largely taken over by trendy restaurants, nightclubs and retail chains. The bar has been in business for 60 years and it's getting ready to celebrate the milestone with a party and a new cocktail that Traditionally, the 60th anniversary is the diamond anniversary, which explains why the Lodge has come up with a pricey new cocktail dubbed, "On the Rock." The $6,000 drink features Woodford Reserve's Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey poured over a diamond-shaped piece of ice, as well as a certificate that entitles the bearer to an actual diamond from the Chicago Diamond Center. Proceeds from sales of the cocktail will benefit Misericordia Heart Of Mercy, an organization that assists individuals with developmental disabilities. The cocktail will be available all year long (so you have plenty of time to save up for one) and will be served at the Lodge's 60th anniversary party on February 27, beginning at 9pm. If you can't afford a cocktail with some bling on the side, you'll be able to enjoy 60-cent beers from local brewer Burnt City and you just might win one of four $60 gift cards that are being given away throughout the night. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
From fast pitch softball to beginners' ballet, the Chicago Park District’s spring programming lineup promises something for everyone. Online registration for CPD spring programs opened on Monday, and this year there are literally thousands of athletic, artistic and educational options to choose from. “The Chicago Park District is in the business of offering thousands of sport, fitness, cultural and environmental programming opportunities to help keep patrons active and engaged,” CPD General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly said in a statement. “Patrons of all ages enjoy the experience of signing up and coming to their local park for inexpensive programs that enrich their lives.” Online registration for programs at parks located west of California Avenue opened at 9am on Monday, while registration for parks east of California will open at 9am on Tuesday. In-person registration opens March 4 at most parks. Some sites, including the McFetridge Sports Center and Morgan Park Sports Center, will begin in-person registration March 6 and 7. You can see a full list of spring programs here. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.