Friday, May 23, 2014

Dine Out for McPherson School all day on Thursday, May 29

Yogurt Square 4701 North Lincoln Avenue is hosting a Dine Out for McPherson event on Thursday, May 29. McPherson families, friends, and neighbors are invited to enjoy a bite at a neighborhood eatery.  Help earn a donation for the school. Stop in anytime during business hours (11 AM– 10 PM) and the school will benefit. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Photos: New Tony's Fresh Market opened today!

A new era for family owned Tony's Finer Foods started today in Lincoln Square (ALL photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
 I didn't know what to expect for the Grand Opening of Tony's Fresh Market at 5233 N Lincoln Avenue in northwest Lincoln Square.  Walking in was a jolt!  Gone is the refined aesthetic with walnut trim of the former Dominick's store.  This is now an old school market packed with product.

The pharmacy and clinic areas have been removed.  In it's place is an expanded meat department.
There are dozens of new display tables everywhere.  The food selection looks more diverse than the old Dominick's and the prices look in line or a little better on our most of our staple products.  I was happy to see really great tomatoes for $0.99 a pound.  The meat department is fantastic!  It's easy to walk over and pick out quality selections for grilling on a nice day.

There are display tables everywhere. 

Many of Tony's family members and execs were on hand to greet customers. Although I'm not a fan of the new color palate and general look of the store you can tell these guys are here to do business. They maintained the coffee bar area in the front of the store with added gelato and (I think) smoothie drinks. All the specialty counters (deli, meats, fish) look great.

Bottom line is the store re-delivers a much needed full service grocer to residents of Lincoln Square, North Park and West Ridge neighborhoods.  We congratulate the Tony's family on their new store and look forward to shopping there for a long time!

Read about my trip to the grand opening of Mariano's last month.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Meeting Recap! Plan revealed for Half Acre Beer Company in Bowmanville

The large industrial property at 2050 W Balmoral in Bowmanville (old Duray Fluorescent Lighting company at Balmoral and Hoyne) will be the second and larger home of Half Acre Brewing Company.
ALL photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

A meeting was held at Rogers Park Montessori 1800 W Balmoral last night to introduce the Half Acre Beer Company plans to the Bowmanville community.  Many familiar faces came out from tight knit community to discuss the new business with 40th Alderman Patrick O'Connor and Half Acre's Founder Gabriel Magliaro.

Founder Gabriel Magliaro waits to present the "two phase" plan.  The current zoning for "Phase I" allows for a brewing facility, restaurant, and an outdoor beer garden in the courtyard. That will happen.  A second phase would require a zoning change to allow for more retail and restaurant space along with a tavern license. This will have to be approved.
From the Bomanville Community Organization: "The plans include a brewing facility, restaurant, and an outdoor beer garden in the courtyard. All of this is allowed under the current M1/M2 zoning.

Half Acre is pursuing a zoning change to C3 however, to enable them to increase the amount of space used for retail onsite. They will also be pursuing a tavern license. The zoning change request and tavern license request will follow city processes. "

In short, the community was supportiveAt times, overwhelmingly and comically supportive! Most of the concerns were with, 1) truck traffic (which will be light compared to many types of business that can operate there) and 2) increased foot traffic near the residential homes.  Most agreed the people coming to (and involved with) the brewery will make the area much more appealing and safer than the current state: a vacant building across from a sometimes troubled nursing facility.

The interior of the facility would be an "inspiring space" with the original double barrel truss ceiling restored.
The fully completed site would include a larger capacity brewing facility, canning production, a tap room serving food, new home office and an outdoor patio area carved out of the parking lot. The tavern and food serving area would be designed upon approval of the license and zoning change.  Brewing production should be up and running by October.

Outdoor patio located in what's now the interior courtyard/ parking lot.  A good 45-55 parking spaces would remain.

The office staff would be relocated to the new facility.

Site plan

The North Hoyne side of the building will be beautified... yay!

The town home association along Hoyne facing the facility has a lot to gain along with some concerns with the popular brewer moving in.

The parking lot/ courtyard of the building is along West Rascher and faces other industry buildings like Medina Lawn Care. The new facility will use a Rascher address and people will enter/ exit on Rasher away from residential homes.

Loading docs on the 2000 Block of West Balmoral.  There are a handful of residential buildings across from the Balmoral side of the building (below)

A terrific crowd of mostly immediate Bowmanville residents and Bomanville Community Organization members. The neighbors were very cordial, thoughtful and asked some great questions.  Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty            

I look forward to calling Half Acre Beer Company my neighbor! 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Lake View Township TAX APPEALS due May 12th

Doing my civic duty and appealing my property taxes along with other Lincoln Square and North Center neighbors at the 47th Ward office.

Last week I stopped by the 47th Ward service office to take advantage of a property tax education program sponsored by Bridget Gainer's 10th District Cook County Commissioner's office.  Appealing your taxes can be done easily at home online but I took the opportunity to ask some questions of the commissioner's aides on hand.

**Check your property tax bill for your township (upper right hand corner of your bill) and note your window for appeals at  the Cook County Assessor's web site.  You can appeal twice a year.  Once with the Cook County Assessors Office and once with the Cook County Board of Review**

I was given a nice Citizens Guide to Property Tax Bills handout provided by Bridget Gainer's office.  Please contact them at 312-603-4210 or [email protected]

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Donate NOW for Chappell School Garden Project!

Neighbor Kris Swanberg has launched an Edible Garden Project for Chappell School here in the neighborhood.  She is half-way to her fund raising goal!!

Chappell School (Photo, Eric Rojas)


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Amundsen High School Photography Exhibition

Featuring the Outstanding Artistic Expressions
the Amundsen High School Photography Class
(Teacher Ms. Jessica Gansz)

Amundsen High School photography students are teaming up with Buzz, a neighborhood restaurant located at 1935 W. Irving Park Roadto hold an art show displaying the work of our young student artists!  This show will be on display to all Buzz patrons from May 1st through May 22nd

an Opening Reception with the Viking Artists
on May 5th from 4:30 – 6 p.m.
Soft-drinks and light snacks will be served.

After 6 p.m., anyone interested in remaining at Buzz to indulge in a tasty dining experience that features a variety of gourmet hamburgers and amazing sides is welcomed to stay.
Adult beverages will be available at this time.

Through May 22, to raise badly needed funds for the Amundsen High School Photography Class, Buzz is offering the following to all restaurant patrons that mention Amundsen High School when ordering:

Buzz will make a $2 donation to the AHS Photography Club on any food bill greater than $10
provide a $3 discount on any food bill greater than $10.

(To maximize proceeds to the AHS Photography Class, Buzz’s will increase its donation to the AHS Photography Class to $5 for any patron who is willing to forgo the $3 discount.)
If you are feeling particularly generous, please feel free to leave your donation of any amount in the Photography Class Donation Box, which will be available to all Buzz patrons through May 22.)

More about the Photography Project: The show features work from a project which taught students how to take portrait photographs that examine the lives of students in the halls of Amundsen.

The project focused on questions such as: What can you tell about a person simply by looking at their photograph? What things can’t you tell about someone by looking at their portrait? Students also included a written personal statement to accompany their pictures, which helped them to explore whether or not viewers’ opinions changed after reading the statement.  For most students, this assignment provided students with their first opportunities to use a “real” camera (NOT a cell phone camera).  Students were taught how to use the equipment to obtain desired results for portrait photography. Teacher Jessica Gansz's objective was to give students a chance to express themselves through the camera’s lens, providing a deeper view into the faces and thoughts of Amundsen High School students.  Amundsen High School is very excited to share the work of our talented students with the Buzz community. 

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