4 Great Rooftop Bars to Frequent This Summer

Nice weather has a small window in Chicago so we need to be prepared to take advantage of it. So why go to an indoor bar for your weekend plans? There are gems all across the city where you can sip a cocktail, indulge in an exquisite meal and enjoy the great outdoors with friends. When planning your night out, make sure these rooftop bars are on the top of your list.

GreenRiver | 256 E Erie St.

Sitting atop an unlikely building, GreenRiver is on the 18th floor of the Northwestern Memorial Hospital office complex in Streeterville. Don’t let the location fool you, however. GreenRiver’s cocktail list boasts 32 modern libations. Each drink comes with a paragraph backstory about its old-world Irish name. On top of the history lesson, Chef Aaron Lirette has designed a menu filled with Midwestern fare sure to satisfy.

Streeterville Social | 455 N Park Dr.

Streeterville Social rests on the 3rd floor rooftop of the Loews Hotel. One of the more spacious options on the list, this rooftop oasis boasts 9000 square feet of green space populated with plenty outdoor couches and lawn games like cornhole and giant jenga offering a relaxed summer vibe. As for their drinks, many have a sweet-fruity vibe and they pair them with a small plates menu; an excellent recipe for a summer night.

Tanta Chicago | 118 W Grand Ave.

Tanta is a Peruvian influenced hot spot that lies in the heart of the River North neighborhood. Their rooftop terrace is an urban paradise and one of two bars on the property. Known for their Pisco Sour, all of their signature drinks offer a Peruvian flare for a unique combination. Don’t just come for a drink though. Chef Gaston Acurio, world renowned restaurateur, serves top notch authentic Peruvian dishes which will have you more cultured by the time you leave. If you are in River North you must start off the night with a Pisco Sour while taking in the rooftop views.

The J. Parker | 1816 N Clark St.

The J. Parker is one of the hottest spots in Lincoln Park, and with good reason. This rooftop bar offers one of the best views of Lincoln Park and the lake; that being said, the food and drinks might outdo the scenery. The cocktail list is full of destination based drinks from all over the globe and Chef Paul Virant has designed the perfect small plates menu to compliment the worldly drinks. Be sure to check it out!

Green Envy: City Trends in Outdoor Living

Just because youre in the city doesnt mean you cant enjoy the world outdoors and get your fingers green at innovative city parks and community farms. In fact, many of the current fashions in outdoor living are happening in the heart of urban dynamos like Chicago.

Rooftop Gardens

One of the Windy Citys crowning glories is City Halls Rooftop Garden, a green space of more than 20,000 plants that was completed in 2001 and envisioned by Mayor Richard M. Daley and a team of architects, engineers, and ecologists. The lofty garden is filled with herbaceous beds and wildflower meadows; although the beautiful arrangement is extremely well thought-out, it almost looks like a design done by nature. And as a special and significant bonus, it also improves the areas air quality. On the other hand, if you prefer your Chicago rooftop gardens with a touch of alcohol, we recommend the inventive cocktails, courtesy of Craig Schoettler, at the tree-fringed Drumbar.

City Parks

Grant Park must be one of the liveliest public parks in the country. The Petrillo Music Shell hosts everything from the Chicago Jazz Festival to Lollapalooza; add to that the “Bark Park” for dogs, the lively marinas, and the resplendent Buckingham Fountain—you could come here and do something different every day of the year.

Meanwhile, Jackson Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux—the two urban park geniuses behind New Yorks Central Park—is a sprawling green space of diversity and ingenuity. The newly rejuvenated Garden of the Phoenix paints an idyllic picture with its koi pond spanned by a traditional Japanese bridge, while elsewhere, among the 1,055 acres of trees and flower beds, you can go boating on one of the lakes or admire the resplendent Statue of the Republic.

And if you’re wondering what Chicago did with 2.7 miles of disused railroad lines set high above the city’s streets? In true 21st-century urban fashion, the city transformed this space into a sprawling garden. Running from Logan Square and Humboldt Park, through Bucktown and Wicker Park, theres never a dull moment along the Bloomingdale Trail, the elevated section that connects all of the parks in “The 606.” One moment youre strolling through wildflower meadows; the next youre at a lively dog park; and the next youre gazing at amazing public art displays.

Urban Farms

Chicagos City Farm is a different kind of haven in the midst of the skyscrapers: a green scene that grows tomatoes, kale, beets, herbs, garlic, and more. To taste the fruits (and vegetables) of the farmers labor, head to participating farmers markets throughout Chicago.

Another innovative place that grows organic produce in Chicago is The Edible Gardens at Lincoln Park Zoo. Schools and community organizations take tours of the gardens, learning tricks of the trade such as planting, watering, pollination, and turning compost. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding, and you can taste The Edible Gardens produce at Green City Market, while chatting with one of the farmers from the project.

Those friends of yours who live out in the country can’t be anything but envious of you and all of these green options!

The Pros and Cons of an Open Floor Plan

Open layouts seem to be trending in real estate right now. Generally on the top of buyers’ lists, an open floor plan takes the kitchen, living room and the dining room, removes the dividing walls, and creates one large airy space. To help you decide if this floor plan fits your lifestyle, below is the breakdown of the pros and cons.


Easy Entertaining 

The kitchen, living room, and the dining room are the focal points for entertaining guests. While you are putting the finishing touches on the meal, you may need to excuse yourself while your guests are enjoying themselves in the living room. An open layout allows everyone to be in a large, single room making sure you are still part of the party.

Creates a More Airy Space

600-900 square feet homes in the city are relatively common. Smaller residences can feel even smaller when they are separated into several rooms. Omitting separate rooms for a large, open space can help create a brighter and more airy feel.


Lack of Privacy

Fewer walls mean less privacy. You may enjoy escaping into the kitchen while guests relax in the living for some brief moments of peace. Privacy is something to consider when deciding whether an open floor plan is right for you.

Less Storage Space

Sometimes, additional rooms and walls in a home allow for closet space and cabinets. An open floor plan may eliminate opportunity to build out additional storage solutions in some cases so if ample storage is important to you make sure the open layout you’re considering can accommodate your needs.

Interested in learning more? Contact an expert Related Realty broker today to discuss if an open layout is the right choice for you.

Best Viewing Locations for 4th of July Weekend Fireworks

Next Monday is the Fourth of July! A day where most sit back, relax and enjoy the holiday with friends and family. No matter what your Fourth of July plans include, don’t forget to carve out some time for fireworks. Here are some of the best spots to see fireworks this holiday weekend:

Navy Pier

If you want to keep it simple, just go where the fireworks are being held, right? Navy Pier offers prime real estate to witness what is hands down the best fireworks performance in Chicago. As one of the most popular locations for Independence Day, it will be crowded. While the show starts at 9 p.m. consider arriving at your earliest convenience to secure a spot. A more concrete and less crowded alternative is to book a Navy Pier dinner cruise to enjoy front row seats to the show from Lake Michigan.

360 Chicago

What could be better than viewing fireworks 1,000 feet up in the sky? The 360 Chicago observatory in the John Hancock Building allows you to enjoy a panoramic view of the city presenting firework shows blasting off from several locations. Surely this Birdseye view will be an experience you’ll never forget. For more information on logistics, check out their website here.

Rooftop Bars in Streeterville, find a place

For a more adult-friendly option, watching the fireworks with a cocktail in your hand is the perfect way to wrap up the Independence Day weekend. Throughout Streeterville, choose from plenty of rooftop bars that will give you an elevated angle on the light show. Call your bar of choice in advance to secure a spot and don’t forget to ask about 4th of July specials.

The Lakefront

Being a lakefront city has plenty of advantages. One of them being it is a prime location to watch the 4th of July festivities. Grab you beach towel and sand bucket and head on down to one of the many beaches for lakefront firework show viewing.

Here at Related Realty, we want to wish everyone an excellent 4th of July. We hope these tips help to make your weekend memorable.

Your Guide to Chicago Summer Fun

As nice as some of the amenities are in the properties that Related Realty sells, summer is here! It’s time to get outside and experiencing the great outdoors.

As you Chicagoan’s know our great city are constantly chocked full of exciting events. With the dizzying array of things to keep track of across Chicago, it can be hard to navigate through the times, dates, and locations. This guide below is your tool to conquer all the summer fun to be had.

Related Realty Launch Leasing Efforts for Sienna Flats.

A new boutique rental apartment building has arrived in Streeterville. Located at 423 E. Ohio, in the heart of Streeterville, Sienna Flats is now pre-leasing for anticipated August move-ins.

Sienna Flats offers a fresh new take on city living and offers a limited number of boutique rental apartments. Here, 50 private flats combine higher ceilings with spacious floor plans to create an environment that balances an upmarket but free-flowing vibe.

Sienna Flats exhibits first class amenities including a state-of-the-art fitness center and pet grooming station; to escape some of the city’s chaos, the rooftop holds a breathtaking view of the city while having grilling stations and lounge furniture to unwind after a long day.

Residence Details

One bedroom residences start at $2,480, and two-bedroom residences, start at $3,445.These residences feature Oak plank flooring throughout, European-style frameless kitchen cabinets, in-apartment washer and dryer, floor to ceiling porcelain tile, and walk-in closets.

For more information on the finishes, amenities and floorplans please contact Related Realty agents Will Goldberg and Leticia Andrade at [email protected] or call 312.644.4230.

You may also apply directly for the residences of your choice here.

Related Midwest Signs Deal for 62-acre Site

There are big changes coming to the Chicago landscape courtesy of Related Midwest! We are thrilled to announce a signed deal for the 62-acre site of former railroad land southwest of Clark Street and Roosevelt Road. We look forward to beginning work on Chicagos next great neighborhood that will link the South Loop and Chinatown.

Read more about our joint venture and role as lead developer of the 62-acre site at Clark & Roosevelt in this Chicago Tribune article.Related Midwest buys 62 acre plot

Chicago’s Top Five Comedy Venues

Fiercely loyal sports fans, deep dish pizza, windy weather, and the glistening Lake Michigan in the summer are all to be expected if you’re looking to move to Chicago and into one of the properties offered by Chicago real estate brokerage firm Related Realty. What you might not know about your future hometown is that Chicago is also the funniest city in America. The city has edged out New York and Los Angeles, with nothing short of a renaissance in comedy culture that encompasses a crop of new venues, rising talents performing every night of the week, and new hometown heroes such as breakout television star Hannibal Buress.

Chicago is a city with a rich history of comedy stretching back to the vaudeville era of the late 19th century, when massive theaters like the Folly, the Palace, the Haymarket, and the Majestic opened, and Chicagoans got their laughs from traveling revues and local funnymen. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that Chicago cemented its place in the American comedy canon as the birthplace and hub of modern improvisational comedy and the training ground for countless 20th-century comics like Joan Rivers, John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, Chris Farley, Amy Poehler, and Amy Sedaris.

Today it’s not hard to find intimate local venues throughout the city to catch up-and-coming talent and established heavyweights. Here’s a guide for navigating some of the city’s funniest spots:

Zanies | 1548 North Wells Street For nearly 40 years, Zanies has been a mainstay on the Chicago comedy circuit, nurturing the careers of such comedy superstars as Roseanne Barr, Jay Leno, and Jerry Seinfeld. This stand-up showcase features weekly shows from local and national acts and also offers classes providing basic instruction on stand-up comedy, including the history of the medium, how jokes work, and how to create an act that stands out from the rest.

Second City | 1616 North Wells Street This legendary Chicago venue and school single-handedly birthed the genre of improvisational comedy in the US, and since its founding in the late 1950s, has groomed scores of successful entertainers, writers, and directors in its home city, including the lion’s share of Saturday Night Live cast members—Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bill Murray, Tina Fey, to name just a few—Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and most of the cast of 30 Rock. You can catch the next in line of America’s comedy legends any night of the week on Second City’s revered Mainstage Theater, as well as performances in the venue’s smaller theaters—UP, Donny’s Skybox, or the de Maat Studio—to see stand-up, student work, or experimental sketch comedy.

Jokes and Notes | 4641 South King Drive Chicago’s black comics put this woman-owned South Side venue on the map after it opened in the early 2000s, and local talent continues to set the stage ablaze during open mics on Wylin’ Out Wednesdays and monthly Thursday showcases hosted by a rotating cast of hilarious hosts. Each weekend, national acts (past guests include Mo’nique and Bill Bellamy) bring high-caliber comedy to the 150-seat club and swank lounge area.

Laugh Factory | 3175 North Broadway Street The Chicago outpost of this Los Angeles comedy institution opened its 400-seat theater in 2012, bringing an additional permanent venue for stand-up comedy to this improv-obsessed town. With a calendar packed with nightly stand-up showcases, open mics, themed festivals, and midnight programs, the Laugh Factory has proved itself an indispensable destination for stand-up lovers.

iO Theater | 1501 North Kingsbury Street Another mecca for improv comedy is the iO Theater (its initials originally stood for ImprovOlympic Theater). Founded by Charna Halpern and Del Close, two heavyweights in Chicago’s 1980s improv scene, iO bills itself as the premiere place to see long-form improvisational comedy in the city. The Wrigleyville venue offers four theaters, a bar, a training facility for classes, and an events space. Veteran improv ensembles and student teams perform nightly in a range of approaches to the popular comedy form.

Chicago in the Spring | The Best Open-Air Markets and Restaurants with Outdoor Dining

Wrigley building and tribune buildingWith top-notch Chicago real estate brokerage firms like Related Realty offering stunning residences with sprawling state-of-the-art kitchens, dining in is often a great option. For the last few months, a night out has meant huddling in a warm, cozy enclave and avoiding the outside whenever possible, and dining in often involved comfort foods such as soups and stews simmering on the stove. But those days are over now.

Spring is here, and as the breeze off the lake turns from harsh to mellow, the allure of the outdoors beckons. The Windy City is primed to bloom once more, and that can mean only one thing: the return of Chicago’s beloved farmers markets and the opening of restaurant patios and gardens. Here are a few of our favorite outdoor markets and eateries:

Green City Market Over the last decade or so, Lincoln Square’s Green City Market has grown considerably to become the most popular farmers market in Chicago. Running on Wednesdays and Saturdays from May through October in Lincoln Park, the open-air venue attracts around 13,000 visitors each week. A big emphasis is placed on local farming and education with regular cooking demonstrations by top chefs highlighting the robust and remarkably fresh selection of produce. More than 50 vendors sell not only produce but dairy products, baked goods, maple syrup, honey, sandwiches, desserts, potted plants, and much more. Whether you take home everything you need to serve up a meal for family and friends in your own kitchen or just enjoy chatting with neighbors while you shop, this is one of the best farmers markets for connecting with your community.

Daley Plaza Farmers Market Every Thursday from May through October, Daley Plaza is the site of one of the oldest and most well-known farmers markets in the city. Featuring vendors from all over the region, this centrally located market is perpetually buzzing with activity, making it a great place to wander around for a while, try a few things, snack a bit, and leave with some choice selections. Beyond the fresh produce, look out for flowers, homemade jams and honey, and an assortment of baked goods.

90 Miles Cuban Cafe Two of the 90 Miles outposts feature outdoor patios that provide the ideal venue for enjoying both the spring weather and the Cuban food this popular restaurant is known to serve. While the original 90 Miles Cuban Cafe in Roscoe Village serves up tasty take-out that patrons usually enjoy on the large patio, the location in Logan Square (also with a patio as well as weekly flamenco dancing) and the newest operation in Lincolnwood are full-service restaurants. All locations offer expertly prepared Cuban food and coffees.

Jack & Ginger’s At Bucktown pub Jack & Ginger’s, the drinks are nearly overshadowed by the food, which, in turn, is nearly overshadowed by the large outdoor dining area. The interior’s warm and inviting atmosphere spills out onto the patio, where tables and chairs are flanked by televisions on one side and shade trees on the other. Incredible wings and tacos and high-quality pizza and burgers help the menu rise above those found at other pubs in the area, and the al fresco dining experience seals the deal.

Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits The famous Bang Bang Pie shop in Logan Square began as a food truck and eventually laid down roots in its current location. The sprawling outdoor space is filled with rows of picnic tables, so even on a busy day or night you can usually find a spot to enjoy a slice in the open air. Hungry for more than just dessert? Bang Bang serves up comfort foods such as chicken pot pie and biscuits with gravy plus other delicious options, most with a biscuit on the side. And then there are the pies, which range from coconut cream, chocolate, triple-berry jam, and key lime to maple bourbon pecan and brown butter chess. There is no wrong decision here—just close your eyes, point, and chow down.

Chicago’s Hyde Park: A Storied Past

Located on the shore of Lake Michigan seven miles south of the Chicago Loop, Hyde Park is deeply rooted in tradition, boasting a diverse cultural landscape. Bordered by a trio of Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks to the west, south, and southeast – Washington Park, the Midway Plaisance, and Jackson Park, respectively – the 1.65-square-mile neighborhood has a pleasant, almost suburban feel. In fact, when Hyde Park was first settled in the 1850s, it was Chicago’s first suburb. The area was annexed to the city of Chicago in 1889.

Home to the University of Chicago, Hyde Park is known as the birthplace of atomic fission and has claimed dozens of Nobel Prize laureates as denizens over the years. In more recent history, the Obamas were longtime residents until their White House move, and it’s a continued source of pride to locals and Chicago real estate agents that the President and First Lady still own a home here today.

Along with distinguished residents, Hyde Park has its fair share of landmark residences. Most notable may be the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Frederick C. Robie House, a U.S. National Historic Landmark built between 1908 and 1910 and one of just four historic sites in Chicago included in the original 1966 National Register of Historic Places. The Robie House is widely considered to be the preeminent example of Wright’s “Prairie School” style of architecture, a uniquely American aesthetic inspired by the wide, flat, treeless landscapes of the Midwest that sought to depart from classical European styles. Prairie houses are built around a horizontal orientation, a distinctly American design motif, and are generally sprawling structures. That feature of its aesthetic makes sense, as early cities in the United States simply had more wide-open tracts of land in comparison to the older, more established urban centers of Europe.

And yet, as much as they sought to diverge from Old World influences, Wright and his peers in the Prairie style of architecture shared much in common with the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century in England and Scotland. Both movements prized craftsmanship and attention to every last interior detail, down to the furniture, fixtures, and even textiles. In this, too, the Robie House is considered a masterwork. As described by the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust: “The house is conceived as an integral whole—site and structure, interior and exterior, furniture, ornament and architecture, each element is connected.”

A few blocks away is another Wright masterpiece, the Isidore H. Heller House—the architect’s first Hyde Park project. Designed in 1896 and also designated as a National Historic Landmark, the Heller House is considered a turning point in Wright’s career and an early departure from styles that were popular at the time to a new era of geometric and highly modern designs. The Heller House also provides an interesting counterpoint to the fully realized Prairie style of the Robie House, which was designed more than 10 years later.

Both the Robie House and the Heller House are located within the Hyde Park-Kenwood Historic District, which is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Other notable homes in the district include the Frank R. Lillie House, Arthur H. Compton House, and Robert A. Millikan House, none of which was designed by Wright, but all of which are historically significant for their famous former residents.

Tallying the sum of all of its many intriguing parts, Hyde Park is a special place, indeed—something to keep in mind when searching for Chicago homes for sale.