Adjacent to the windy city’s downtown commercial center, the Loop, is the Near West Side. As the name suggests this Chicago community area lies west of the Chicago River. The near Westside comprises of several neighborhoods including the West Loop Gate popularly abbreviated as the West Loop. Once a very industrial area many of it’s open, warehouse-style buildings have been converted into lofts and upscale restaurants.
The neighborhoods of Little Italy and Greektown which also fall in the community area of the West Loop are still existing enclaves of the original area. The West Loop was traditionally an industrial area and housed several warehouses. However, given its proximity to Chicago’s downtown, changing times dictated the metamorphosis of this neighborhood as warehouses got converted to art studios, restaurants, bars and clubs. In the West Loop homes for sale are in the nature of condominiums and lofts.
The West Loop claim to fame is the Harpo Studios whose renowned owner Oprah Winfrey formerly used this site for her world famous TV show and still headquarters her OWN Network there. Another important landmark of the West Loop is Mars – an art gallery which has dominated the scene since 1988 with its eclectic collection of sophisticated yet edgy and fun artwork.
The West Loop has continued to be the gateway to Europe as it was in the past. One of its most popular places to dine is the Venice Cafe which defines Italian fast food this side of the Atlantic. Nearby Greektown is easily accessible for delectable Greek food at the Nine Muses Restaurant which easily switches avatars between day and night from restaurant to nightclub.
The West Loop is also home to an area known as Restaurant Row. There you’ll find fare from all over the world including that of The Girl and The Goat, a Chicago restaurant so popular you need to make reservations weeks, sometimes months, in advance. If that’s not elite enough for you, simply walk around the corner to the SoHo house, a private club for young professionals that originated in London. The first floor coffee house and restaurants are open to the public but the other 4 floors including a rooftop pool with magnificent views are members-only. No matter what you like to do or eat, the West Loop has something for you.