News about 53rd St. in Hyde Park, Chicago

Akira

Shop ‘Small Business Saturday’ on 53rd Street

Several 53rd Street businesses will host special events today in recognition of Small Business Saturday.

While Black Friday is the official kickoff of the holiday shopping season, Small Business Saturday reminds shoppers that there are great deals to be found at small businesses around the country. American Express started the Saturday observance in 2010, and the South East Chicago Commission is seizing the occasion to promote mid-South Side businesses.

Events in Hyde Park include:

Tea and Cookies at Akira

1539 East 53rd Street, Chicago IL. 

Come celebrate Akira’s 1-year anniversary in Hyde Park!  In the spirit of celebration, Akira will offer buy one, get one half off an entire purchase when customers present an ad or promotional flyer for Small Business Saturday in Hyde Park.  Sexy dresses, denim, jewelry, & handbags from over 200 designer brands and smaller fashion houses line the walls at AKIRA, ensuring that even the most discerning customer won't leave the store empty-handed. Patrons will also receive complimentary tea and cookies at the time of purchase. Shop Akira on Small Business Saturday and enjoy the celebration.

Sip and Shop at Sir and Madame – All Day

1504 East 53rd Street, Chicago IL. 

This will be a social event with sangria and music to enhance the shopping experience. Sir and Madame will feature their winter collection and special discounts to patrons. Sip and Shop will appeal to individuals that appreciate shopping at boutiques and in upscale environments. Individuals will also learn about the Unwrap Chicago: Eat, Drink, & Buy Local initiative and the take the 365 Pledge to spend $365 in 2014 at a small business.

Wine and Live DJ at Independence – All Day

1506 East 53rd Street, Chicago IL. 

 To celebrate Small Business Day and enhance the shopping experience Independence will have a live DJ and serve complimentary wine while customers shop. Patrons will also receive information about the Unwrap Chicago: Eat, Drink, & Buy Local 365 Pledge that encourages individuals to spend at least $365 in 2014 at a small business. 

Hyatt Place Small Business Day Happy Hour Jazz Event 5pm – 9pm

5225 South Harper Court Avenue, Chicago IL. 

The Hyatt Place will host a Small Business Day happy hour event with local jazz artist Darwin G. Jackson & Company. Special guest speaker Dwayne Hirsh, Small Business Advocacy Council Board Member and Founder of Business Spotlight Networking will speak about the benefits of shopping local and supporting small businesses. Individuals will also learn about the Unwrap Chicago: Eat, Drink, & Buy Local initiative and take the 365 Pledge to spend $365 in 2014 at a small business. The Hyatt Place will offer drink specials during happy hour to enrich the evening as we celebrate Small Business Saturday.

Late Night Dancing Chant Restaurant 10pm – 2am

1509 East 53rd Street, Chicago IL. 

Dance the night away at Chant in celebration of Small Business Saturday. Come enjoy “Late Night Dancing” hosted by Rhonda Flower & CoCo.  Party-goers will experience unground reggae, classic hip hop, soul and house music as they dance the night away. During this exciting event individuals will receive information about the Unwrap Chicago: Eat, Drink, & Buy Local 365 Pledge that encourages people to spend at least $365 in 2014 at a small business. Chant will offer Small Business Saturday drink specials. 

Visit the SECC website for information about Unwrap Chicago and Small Business Saturday events elsewhere on the mid-South Side.

192 CTA bus among new additions to 53rd Street

As of two days ago, there is a new option for getting to 53rd Street from downtown Chicago: CTA bus route 192.

The 192 bus, also called the University of Chicago Hospitals Express, has added a southbound stop for morning riders at 53rd Street and Lake Park Avenue, right next to Akira, CorePower Yoga, and the soon-to-open Promontory. The bus stop is also across the street from the new Harper Court office tower.

The 192 starts at the Ogilvie Metra station and previously ran express from Roosevelt Road and State Street to 59th and Kimbark, before arriving at Goldblatt Pavilion on the UChicago hospital campus.  While the change adds a stop to the morning commute, regular riders need not fear delays. The bus will run express between 53rd and 59th/Kimbark.

For the northbound return commute, the 192 will not stop on 53rd Street. Riders who get off on 53rd Street in the morning, can take either the 28 or 6 route back downtown from Lake Park. The 192 evening bus from the University campus will to start at Goldblatt Pavilion, turn right onto Cottage Grove, stop at 57th Street, proceed to 55th Street, and turn west into the park before continuing the route it used before.

A note for University affiliates: While the new morning route will expand your transport options, the 192 will continue to be a full-fare route.

Updated CTA signage that includes the new stop on 53rd Street is expected to go up this week. The CTA website has more information about changes in the route service.

Deck going up for The Promontory

Construction is underway for a second-story deck that will be part of The Promontory, the new restaurant, bar, and concert venue coming to 1539 E. 53rd Street.

Crews recently completed pouring the concrete slab for the deck. Wooden beams currently erected at the site will support this phase of the deck installation and will be removed afterward. Crews also are working on a parking lot for the building, which also houses Akira and CorePower Yoga.

The Promontory, a partnership between Longman & Eagle operators Bruce Finkelman and Craig Golden, is expected to open in the coming months.

CorePower Yoga opens today with free yoga

CorePower Yoga’s new Hyde Park studio opens for business today and is offering one free week of unlimited yoga to all new students.

The yoga studio is located at 1539 E. 53rd Street, on the second floor of the building, above the Akira boutique. CorePower will offer three different kinds of yoga classes as well as all the accessories needed to practice the art. For more information, including class schedules, pricing and the one-free-week coupon, visit the CorePower Yoga website.

Akira gets new sign

53rd Street patrons may have observed a small but notable change in the retail corridor this past week: Akira’s new sign. Die-hard fans of the Chicago-based fashion boutique know the simple but sleek bold lettering that is the store’s trademark. Akira opened last November at 1539 E. 53rd Street, and the sign was installed on the east wall of the building last week.

On the south end of the building, work continues on the space that will house the new Promontory restaurant and concert venue, which are set to open in the coming months. A CorePower Yoga studio also will open in the space above Akira this year.

Now Playing at Harper Theater: 53rd Street

The Harper Theater recently added a new trailer to its lineup of preview clips: a promo inviting moviegoers to explore 53rd Street.

The 77-second video highlights retail, dining, and entertainment options—including newcomers such as Akira, Clarke’s and Kilwins, as well as longtime 53rd Street businesses such as Mellow Yellow, Chant, and Freehling Pots and Pans. The clip also previews CorePower Yoga, Hyatt Place hotel, and new restaurants by award-winning chef Matthias Merges, which are expected to open later this year.

CorePower Yoga Deal Fills Former Borders Building

CorePower Yoga, which offers yoga classes for beginners to advanced students, has signed a lease with the University of Chicago for 4,347 square feet of space in the building at 1539 E. 53rd Street. CorePower Yoga expects to open the new location in mid-2013.

The agreement brings the building, which previously housed a Borders Books and Music store, to 100% leased.

Other confirmed tenants in the 25,000-square-foot building include The Promontory, a new restaurant and entertainment venue by the owners of the popular Longman & Eagle eatery, Bruce Finkelman and Craig Golden; and Chicago-based fashion retailer Akira, which opened on the first floor of the building last week. The yoga studio will occupy the space above Akira.

The University purchased the former Borders building in July 2011 after the now-defunct bookseller closed its Hyde Park store. Securing new tenants for the building has been part of a broader effort to revitalize the 53rd Street retail corridor.

“The building’s size and location make it well-suited for a variety of uses, and we’re pleased that we’ve been able to fill it with some great new options for shopping, dining and working out in Hyde Park,” said James Hennessy, Associate Vice President of Real Estate Operations for the University of Chicago. “These amenities complement the existing and new businesses around the building and add to the economic vitality and momentum of the corridor.”

AKIRA opening tomorrow

Fashion retailer AKIRA is set to open its newest store at 1539 E. 53rd Street tomorrow, Nov. 21. The Chicago-based boutique will bring a new option for women’s apparel to Hyde Park.

“This is going to be one of our larger stores and one of the first locations with both shoes and clothing,” said Eric Hsueh, co-owner of Akira, which operates about 20 stores in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. “There has been a lot of buzz about Hyde Park, and we are really excited to be in the neighborhood.”

Akira will open tomorrow from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., and will reopen Friday, Nov. 23, at 6 a.m. for “Black Friday” shopping. Regular store hours will be 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday – Friday; 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday; and 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sunday.

The opening of Akira, along with the redevelopment of Harper Court and other recent business openings, is part of a broader effort to revitalize the 53rd Street retail corridor. The new Akira is located in the former Borders building in Hyde Park, and the exterior of the building has been completely renovated. The University of Chicago announced the deal to bring Akira to 53rd Street in January this year.

New restaurant and concert venue coming to Hyde Park

The University of Chicago has reached an agreement to lease space to Chicago restaurant operators Bruce Finkelman and Craig Golden, who plan to open a new restaurant and concert venue on 53rd Street. The restaurateurs issued the following announcement:

Bruce Finkelman (Empty Bottle, Bite Cafe, Longman & Eagle, Beauty Bar) and Craig Golden (SPACE, UNION, Longman & Eagle,) have partnered to open The Promontory, a new restaurant, bar and concert venue, slated to open in early 2013. Named after Hyde Park’s beloved Promontory Point, the new venture aims to bring a similar energy, inventiveness and dedication to craft that that can be found in the partners’ current endeavors. Finkelman and Golden are excited to be the first of many exciting new business owners involved with the 53rd Street revitalization project being driven by the University of Chicago. Chef/partner Jared Wentworth, whose work at Longman & Eagle garnered a Michelin Star two years in a row among praise from GQ, Esquire, Bon Appetite, Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, the New York Times and more, will helm this hearth driven kitchen. For further information please contact press@promontorychicago.com

The Promontory will be located in the former Borders building, which also will house the flagship store of Chicago-based fashion retailer Akira, scheduled to open this fall.

Construction Update

A May 31 post reported the beginning of demolition of the façade of the former Borders building. Now, the exterior walls of the building have been largely removed, and construction of the new façade is scheduled to begin next week.

The building at 1539 E. 53rd Street will house a flagship store of Chicago-based fashion retailer Akira. Akira is expected to open this fall, bringing a new option for women’s clothing, accessories and shoes to Hyde Park.

Akira clothing and shoes to open flagship on 53rd Street

The University of Chicago announced today it’s bringing local-based Akira apparel and shoes to 53rd Street in the former Borders building. Akira officials said the Hyde Park site is a prime location for its new flagship store.

“We are delighted to create a unique, flagship store in the heart of Hyde Park to offer women’s clothing and stylish footwear to add to customers’ fashion sense,” said Eric Hsueh, co-owner of Akira. “Our research has shown that many of our current clients drive in from Hyde Park and the surrounding communities to shop with us throughout Chicago. That’s why we believe Akira will bring added value to the neighborhood.”

The grand opening is planned for this fall.

Get the rest of the story here: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2012/01/27/uchicago-brings-akira-clothing-store-former-borders-building-53rd-street


Akira owners Eric Hsueh, Erikka Wang, and Jon Cotay (left to right).


Akira in Bucktown location