News about 53rd St. in Hyde Park, Chicago

Two Days of Free Jazz in Hyde Park

If you love jazz, then the Hyde Park Jazz Festival is designed with you in mind. Now in its 5th year, the fest has expanded to two days on Sept. 24 - 25 and will showcase more than 150 musicians in 13 venues on 15 different stages throughout the neighborhood. For those interested in preferred seating at most indoor venues, Jazz Passes are available for purchase.

On the eve of Saturday Sept. 24, 53rd Street will become the home to two acts at the Hyde Park Bank. Starting at 6 p.m., saxophonist and composer Adam Kinner will perform along with drummer Marc Riordan and bassist Daniel Thatcher. At 7:30 p.m., Diane Ellis and The Jazzy Ladies will take the stage.

Find out more information about the schedule, Jazz Passes and volunteering. A free shuttle bus is also available.

Image courtesy of Michelle Olson, 2008

Harper Court Conference & Job Fair

Harper Court Partners, LLC, the team that is redeveloping Harper Court, is hosting a conference for minority- and women-owned businesses and local contractors next Thursday, Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

The Harper Court Opportunity Conference, held at the Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., is free and open to contractors or suppliers interested in opportunities associated with the project. Alderman Will Burns will provide opening remarks at 9:30 a.m.

On Sept. 21, Harper Court Partners, LLC will host a Local Union Job Fair. All attendees must have a union card. The job fair will be held from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Hyde Park Art Center, with Alderman Burns speaking at 9:30 a.m.

“We encourage minority- and women-owned businesses as well as local contractors, suppliers and union workers to participate in these events,” said Chris Dillion, a partner with Harper Court, LLC. “This is an exciting project that is poised to stimulate economic growth in the Mid-South communities and the South Side of Chicago."



Five Guys Draws Crowd

Hundreds flocked to Five Guys on 53rd Street during its opening day to check out the popular burgers and fries joint.

“I kept watching the progress of the building and began to get really excited,” said Kristena Lucky-Bloom, who hung out in the new seating area with her two-year-old-dog Bella. “It’s absolutely beautiful. My husband and I wanted to come out to get a bite to eat at Five Guys today and we’re glad to actually see the changes taking place in Hyde Park.”

Five Guys Opening This Monday

Save the date for Monday, Sept.  5 when Five Guys will open in Hyde Park. Starting at 11 a.m., hamburger lovers are invited to visit the popular restaurant. The tentative daily hours are 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. seven days a week.

“We are very excited to see this project come full circle as we continue our revitalization efforts along the 53rd Street corridor with key tenants ranging in expertise from food to retail and much more,” said James Hennessy, Director of Commercial Real Estate at the University of Chicago.

Officials said minor touches on other parts of the building, such as completing the awnings and some of the terra cotta work will take place next week, but will not impact Five Guys.


Progress Continues For Five Guys

With new signage and the scaffolding recently removed from the soon-to-be home for the first-ever Five Guys restaurant in Hyde Park, the renovation is nearing completion. Officials said the project scope of the University-owned office and theater buildings at 53rd and Harper Avenue includes façade work, tuck-pointing and a complete interior rehab.

A tentative opening date is scheduled for next month.

Take a look below.

Five Guys

Greenery Available At Harper Court On A First-Come, First-Served Basis

As developers prepare to break ground for the new Harper Court, they are offering some of the plants and bushes on the site to the community, free of charge.

Officials said there are some fairly large bushes on the site that can be removed by a landscaper. John Burke, project manager of The Rise Group, will help coordinate the removal of the plants. The plants are available on a first-come, first-served basis; those interested should contact Burke at 312.848.5413.

Wendy Walker Williams, executive director of the South East Chicago Commission, said she’s excited to see a green movement of sorts taking place along 53rd Street. She said several residents have expressed interest in relocating some of the plants to Nichols Park.

“There’s no better place on 53rd Street than Nichols Park to be the new home of the shrubs, flowers and bushes that are currently in Harper Court,” said Williams. “It’s all about being green.”

Harper Court

LA Fitness & University of Chicago Join Harper Court As Anchor Tenants

Harper Court Partners, LLC recently announced that LA Fitness and the University of Chicago will become anchor tenants in the new Harper Court. Harper Court is expected to debut in 2013. LA Fitness will occupy 31,500 square feet on the third floor with a 1,360 square foot first floor lobby. The University of Chicago will occupy 150,000 square feet of office space. 

Officials said negotiations are currently taking place with a variety of restaurants, entertainment venues and retailers to become ground floor tenants.

Learn more here.

Harper Courter

Thousands Party at Celebrate Hyde Park Summer Festival

More than 40,000 people came out to support the second annual Celebrate Hyde Park Summer Festival featuring Chicago favorite Roy Ayers and the '70s hip band WAR. Despite warm and humid temperatures, area residents and friends flocked to 53rd Street to hang out, enjoy the various music guests and wide variety of vendors.

This year, the fest was held over two days and received a groundswell of support from the community. Morning Anchor Dawn Hasbrouck of Fox News Chicago, a native South Sider, addressed the crowd Sunday afternoon and said the festivals have “helped to re-energize Hyde Park as a serious destination for foodies and entertainment.” She added “the festivals have also been a jumping point to bring people back to the South Side.”

Celebrate Hyde Park Summer Festival Hits 53rd Street

Back by popular demand, the '70s iconic band WAR will headline the second annual Celebrate Hyde Park Summer Festival set for this weekend. This year’s line up also includes the legendary Roy Ayers who will take center stage Saturday evening.

The festival, which takes place from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday along 53rd Street, is free and open to the public. A variety of restaurants, vendors and entertainment venues will be on hand throughout the two-day event. Children’s activities are from noon – 4 p.m. in Nichols Park.

Check out the festival schedule here.

University purchases former Borders building

The University of Chicago has purchased the former Borders Books & Music building at the corner of 53rd Street and Lake Park. Located in a prime location, the University is seeking various tenants for the two-story site to help revitalize this central corridor in Hyde Park.

The University recently hired leasing broker McCaffery Interests to help locate potential businesses within the restaurant, entertainment, home goods or retail categories that would be a good fit for the community.

Find out more here.

Borders Books