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13 things we can't wait to see in Chicago soon

From the Rock & Roll In-N-Out Burger to the floating tiki island in Lake Michigan, there are some very exciting things on the horizon in Chicago

By Brent DiCrescenzo |

Anticipation is high for the 606, the long-awaited elevated city park along the Bloomingdale Trail. Parks are not the only reason to be excited for what's to come in Chicago, however. Chicago restaurants like Jay Cutler's Steakhouse (tentatively titled Cutler's Cuthouse), the Rock & Roll In-N-Out and the recurring Hot Doug's pop-up have us salivating, too.

Here are the 13 coolest things coming to Chicago this year.

Metra Union Pacific–North Line to Milwaukee

Milwaukee, a mystical city filled with cheese, breweries and brunch restaurants, is just 90 miles away from Chicago, but constant highway construction and Amtrak delays make traveling there a chore. Metra’s new high-speed rail service between Ogilvie Station and Wisconsin’s greatest city will have you washing down cheese curds with Spotted Cow in less than an hour.

ETA: Summer 2015
Last hot dog at Hot Doug's Two weeks before Hot Doug’s closed in October, we waited three-and-a-half hours for one last taste. Among our five sausages, one was the famed foie gras dog, but it’s the Basque-style pork sausage, lined with Virtue Cider musta
Photograph: RosieTulips/Flickr

Hot Doug's monthly pop-up

First Doug Sohn did a pizza at Piece. Then he announced a one-day pop-up at Paulina Meat Market in May. Now, get another taste of Hot Doug’s—for a full week this time!—when he pops up with a booth at the Taste of Chicago this summer.  Finally, an actual reason to hit the Taste.

ETA: July 8, 2015

A young woman works the goldfish game at Riverview Amusement Park on May 25, 1962.

Riverview Amusement Park to reopen

The Riverview amusement park once occupied 74 acres near Belmont and Western Avenues, and boasted one of the most feared roller coasters, the Bobs, which reached speeds of nearly 90 miles per hour and featured a 90-foot drop. The park closed in 1967 and was immediately demolished, but is due for a rebirth, as the developers behind Cedar Point have purchased land alongside the Chicago River (currently partly a DeVry campus) for new thrill rides.

ETA: Spring 2016

Uber Snacks coming to Chicago

Uber has saved us from sketchy late-night CTA rides and standing in the rain while trying to flag down a cab. Now it's becoming even more of a lifesaver with Uber Snacks. When you order your Uber, choose snacks like Dimo’s mac and cheese pizza or Wiener’s Circle cheese fries, and your driver will have them ready for you when you get in the car. Tip: Order a bottle of coconut water or Gatorade to further mitigate tomorrow’s hangover.

ETA: June 2015

New York Times to take over Sun-Times

After staff cuts and a redesign made to look like USA Today, the Sun-Times seemed to be thrashing about on its death bed. Turns out, the Trib is in for some stiff competition, as angel investor the New York Times will sweep in to take over the paper from Wrapports sometime later this year.

ETA: July 2015

Three Floyds' taproom in Fulton Market District

Sure, you can get lots of Three Floyds beers in Chicago already, but considering how Chicago residents basically keep the Munster, Indiana, brewery in business by drinking so much Alpha King, it's rewarding us with a brewpub within city limits.

ETA: Fall 2015

Ventra to again accept CTA tokens

Retro is in, and public transportation is not immune to nostalgia. There's no clearer evidence than Ventra's decision to bring back CTA subway tokens. Those frustrated over the effectiveness of Ventra cards should start shopping for artisanal leather coin purses on Etsy.

ETA: December 2015

The CTA Gold Line

Speaking of the CTA, we’ve often fantasized about being able to travel between the Red Line and the Blue Line without taking a bus or going all the way to the Loop. That dream will soon come true, thanks to the CTA’s $1 billion “Ringing in the Future” initiative, which will fund the creation of a connector train line on the city’s North Side, bridging the Belmont Blue Line station and the Belmont Red, Brown and Purple Line station.

ETA: Early 2017

In-N-Out Burger to buy Rock & Roll McDonald's

We’d devour an insanely delicious double double animal style burger from In-N-Out Burger over a Big Mac any day. So we’re not exactly sad that McDonald’s is vacating its huge Rock & Roll location and the California darling is taking over the River North space later this year. 

ETA: November 2015

Cutler's Cuthouse – A Jay Cutler Steakhouse

Jay Cutler is not a exactly popular figure in Chicago right now, but wait until you taste his beef. The polarizing Bears quarterback is following in the footsteps of Mike Ditka and Michael Jordan with his own Gold Coast restaurant. Buy one steak, pick six sides, and don't worry about leftovers—take home sides like butter fumbled carrots in a Jumbo Jay Sack.

ETA: Fall 2015


Rahm Emanuel statue on future site of Lucas Museum

Even if Rahm isn’t able to get himself re-elected, he’ll be leaving his mark on the city with a soon-to-be-classic piece of public art. We’ve learned that Emanuel has commissioned a sculpture of his right hand (the one that’s missing part of its middle finger) to be prominently displayed outside of the forthcoming Lucas Museum.

ETA: Early 2016

Paul McGee's floating tiki island

Last year, you may have heard about Breakwater, a proposed party island in Lake Michigan accessible only by boat. This year, we’ve got something even better—Paul McGee’s Tiki Party Island, a floating oasis on Lake Michigan that takes tiki out of the dark bars and into the sun.

ETA: August 2015
1910s Weeghan Park old fashioned
Photograph: Courtesy Levy Restaurants

Cubs relocate, turn Wrigley Field into world's largest open-air bar

With historic Wrigley Field in the middle of a heavy renovation, a recent leak from the Ricketts family reveals the owners are planning to relocate the team to suburban Schaumburg by mid-season, citing a schedule of excessive day games for the team's ongoing futility. The Friendly Confines will not change much, however, as the stadium is to become the world's largest open-air bar, complete with cornhole grounds and a permanent music stage.

ETA: 2017-18 season