City Cast

Get to Know West Loop

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on July 19   |   Updated on July 28
Bartelme Park in West Loop

Bartelme Park in West Loop. (Justin Kaufmann / Axios)

Seeing Bon Iver and The Big Thief at Pitchfork this weekend? While you’re exploring Union Park, here’s what else West Loop has to offer.

The neighborhood was once an industrial area lined with factories, markets, and warehouses. It was also the site of the historic Haymarket Affair, a labor demonstration that turned violent.

The latter part of the 20th century in West Loop was marked by transformation, from the construction of the University of Illinois, Chicago to Oprah’s Harpo Studios to the new United Center.

Some of those developments have helped usher in posh apartments, upscale restaurants, and business headquarters like McDonald’s and Google that we see today.

Axios’ Justin Kaufmann, a longtime resident, shared his fav spots.

Something to eat

Green Street Smoked Meats is one of the best BBQ spots in the city. Get the pulled pork and broccolini side.

Something to see

Bartelme Park has a great fountain sculpture, lots of green space, and unreal views of the Sears Tower. Also, check out the Saturday morning farmers market.

Something to do

WNDR Museum has lots of cool exhibits, like the Yayoi Kusama installation.

+ Want to share recommendations in your part of the city? Let’s talk!

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