Nestled between the trendy Wicker Park and the artistic River North make River West one of Chicago’s most attractive neighborhoods, affording its residents unparalleled access to Chicago’s commercial district as well as some of the tastiest and most happening nightlife in the city. River West was once considered a part of River North but has today become a viable and thriving community in its own right inhabited by those who want peace and quiet, without moving too far from downtown.
River West was historically a thriving market area, the echoes of which can still be seen in flower and produce stands, family-owned restaurants and bakeries. There are many old warehouses and markets that have been converted into art galleries, premier dining destinations and lofts that offer a chance to live in open, uncluttered space. Relatively cheaper than River North, River West homes for sale are mainly office and residential loft conversions and brand-new loft communities rising from old warehouses and factories. These lofts also house numerous art galleries and airy studios where artists promote and teach their trades.
Though off the beaten path, River West has a lot to offer to its new, hip community and to the visitors who are attracted to this trendy place. History buffs would be enchanted by Hull House, built in 1889 by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr who modeled it after settlement houses in London. Today Hull House is a museum owned by the University of Illinois. Patrons of “outsider art,” a term used for a group of unknown, unconventional artists without any formal training or conforming to the mainstream art world, can visit the Intuit to see its private local art collection or attend its exhibitions and educational lectures.
Juicy Wine Company claims to offer “extraordinary wine and cheeses at extraordinary prices”. It stands out from other nightclubs and lounges as its atmosphere is simple and unpretentious. The wine list is expansive, offering all kinds of bubbly. The Buddha Lounge combines the intimacy with the dance club feel and the DJ’s spin an array of beats including hip hop, African, house, soul, and funk- drawing music lovers of all age groups and from myriad backgrounds. There are many niche dining places and Vivo, located in the Randolph Street market serves honest-to-goodness Italian food in honest-to-goodness Italian ambiance. Japonais serves authentic Japanese food in elegant yet cozy dining areas. The entire Randolph Street area has become synonymous with hip and trendy places to live and hang out in. That is why River west is fast emerging as ‘the place to be’ for the trendier set that likes ‘places with a difference’.