More than 40 merchants from Hyde Park’s 53rd Street will be celebrating spring as they welcome University of Chicago students back to school with the First Weekend event on Friday and Saturday, April 10 and 11, from 6-11 p.m.
Coordinated as part of the University’s UChicago Local initiative to support businesses on the mid-South Side, the upcoming event includes 16 stores, 22 restaurants, and 5 other local businesses – each offering special sales, samples, discounts, raffles, and events for students with a current UChicago ID.
Some of the event highlights for students include the new pop-up shop Lively Athletics’ (5241 S. Harper Ave.) offer of a pair free Feetures socks for the first 50 female students to have a video gait analysis in the store, the Promontory’s (5311 S. Lake Park Ave. West) free tickets to see blues artist Billy Branch for the first 100 students, Bonne Sante’s (1512 E. 53rd St.) shake and panini samples, new pop-up shop Belle Up Boutique’s (1504 E. 53rd St.) gift of a Chicago map necklace with $50 purchase, The Great Frame Up’s (1418 E. 53rd St.) 30% discount on framing, new pop-up shop The Silver Room’s (1506 E. 53rd St.) 10% discount; Pearle Vision’s (1200 E. 53rd St.) coupon for free single vision lenses, Kimbark Beverage Shoppe’s (1214 E. 53rd St.) free “Not Your Father’s Root Beer” floats for students 21 and over, and more. By popular demand, the Doughnut Vault food truck will be back, parked in front of Nichols Park (1355 E. 53rd St.) both nights until the doughnuts are sold out.
Formerly known as “First Friday,” this is the second time that the quarterly event, coordinated by the University’s commercial real estate team and the Office of Campus and Student Life, has been extended to include Saturday night based on positive merchant and student feedback. With 40+ merchants, this event also has the most merchant participation ever; the January event included more than 30 businesses. UChicago will offer increased shuttle service between 53rd Street and the main Hyde Park campus both nights.
“We’ve heard from both businesses and students that the First Weekend event is a great way to increase awareness of all 53rd Street has to offer,” said James M. Hennessy, associate vice president for commercial real estate operations for the University. “with more than 40 businesses participating, the weekend should be a positive experience for our local retailers as well as our student community.”
For the full list of participating businesses and offers, students can visit http://firstweekend.splashthat.com/.