Category Archives: Around the Hood

Around the Hood: Chicago Magic Lounge Opens in Andersonville (Video)

The Chicago Magic Lounge opened this week in the old laundromat space at 5050 N Clark St.

It looks like you can go in off the street anytime after 5pm (through the old laundry) to check out the library & and have a drink at the bar. If you want more magic experience you can head on back to the 120 seat cabaret theater they have named the Harry Blackstone Cabaret.

Below is a video clip with co-owner Joey Cranford on ABC7 this week.

Around the Hood: Edgewater Craft Cocktail Crawl Next Thursday

It looks like there are a few Edgewater Glen hot spots on the first-ever Craft Cocktail Crawl next week. It is also a great opportunity to check out the brand-new Gallery 1070 space before it opens to the public and sample spirits from CH Distillery.

More info from the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce below.


Thursday, November 9 at 5 PM – 8 PM

Get Tickets at:

Get creative with us for an evening of cocktails, spirits and crafts! Meet local art-based businesses and enjoy demonstrations or hands-on activities while sampling spirits from Chicago distilleries!

Ticket price includes spirit tastings from seven distilleries, food samples at three locations and craft demonstrations. Revival Social ClubIncome Tax and The Growling Rabbit will be offering special cocktails featuring participating distilleries for purchase. A portion of the ticket sales will benefit the The Chicago Mosaic School.

*Broadway/Thorndale Stop*
The Growling Rabbit
Celebrate The Growling Rabbit’s new liquor license with a sample of their seasonal Bloody Mary and a tasting from Almighty Spirits. Dig into some Maple Bourbon Sticky Chicken bites. Vegetarian options will also be available. If it’s the day of the Crawl you’re looking for more food & drink, show your passport or ticket confirmation and receive 15% off your bill! (Only applicable on November 9, 2017).

Income Tax
Experience the critically-acclaimed fine restaurant and wine bar. Choose from their cocktail specials featuring CH Distillery, made exclusively for crawl participants ($9 each).

Independent Spirits, Inc.
Check out Edgewater’s favorite local wine and spirit shop with a tasting of brandy selections from RHINE HALL. The founders of Edgewater Candles will take you through their process of hand-poured candles.

*Broadway/Norwood Stop*
Edge of Sweetness Bakery and Commercial Shared Kitchen
Enjoy samples of bourbon bacon popcorn and bourbon blondies. FEW Spirits will offer their spirits in addition to the Pocket Watch, a cocktail featuring FEW Bourbon and apple cider. Third Coast Comics will recommended comic pairings.

RAM Art Studio
Check in here first to get your passport and enjoy glass fusing demonstrations.

Whole Foods Market – Edgewater
Crafthouse Cocktails will offer a taste of their Gold Rush, Moscow Mule, Southside, and Paloma. Make and take a slip knot bracelet or necklace with AVP Jewelry & Beads.

*Granville Stop*
Aartwerk Studio
Exercise your creative side with a make and take pastel inspired by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec while you explore a selection of spirits from North Shore Distillery.

Revival Social Club
Cozy up at Revival and savor special cocktails featuring CH and KOVAL, made specifically for the Crawl ($9 each).

The Chicago Mosaic School
Appreciate the art of mosaics through demonstrations at the preeminent school in the United States while relishing in the Rye, Bourbon and Four Grain whiskeys in addition to Dry and Barreled Gin of KOVAL Distillery.

Gallery 1070
Tour the brand-new gallery featuring Edgewater Artists in Motion before it opens to the public and sample spirits from CH Distillery.

Tastings and additional partners include:
CH Distillery
Few Spirits
KOVAL Distillery
North Shore Distillery
Crafthouse Cocktails
AVP Jewelry Granville
Edgewater Candles
Third Coast Comics

Around the Hood: You Are Invited to The Edgewater Glen Fall Plant Swap Tomorrow

Fall is the perfect time to thin and transplant daylilies, iris’, peonies or most any other plants that you have too many of.

The Edgewater Glen Fall Plant Swap will be tomorrow, Saturday, September 23rd from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, in the backyard of 1420 W. Glenlake.

If you would like to meet your gardening neighbors, share plants with them, and take advantage of this opportunity to experiment with freebie plants, head on over there tomorrow morning. All gardening paraphernalia is welcome as well.

Even if you don’t have anything to share, they usually have leftovers that need a home!

Around the Hood: Garden Entries For This Year’s Edgewater Glen Garden Walk

There is still time to register folks! If you live on the 1200 or 1300 blocks of Norwood, Glenlake, Hood or Granville and would be willing to enter your garden, you can signup online or email Kim Kaulas directly at

Online registration:

The ‘Gardens of East Edgewater Glen’ Garden Walk will take place Sunday, July 9, 2017. Applications will be accepted through July 4th.

If you are interested in checking them out, included below are links to some of the vintage Garden Walk Maps created by our neighbor Dick Merrill that are posted on the EGA website.

Pretty cool!

Vintage Edgewater Glen Garden Walk Maps

Edgewater Glen Garden Walk Map 1974

Edgewater Glen Garden Walk Map 1975

Edgewater Glen Garden Walk Map 1978

Around the Hood: Chicago Spirit Brigade At Midsommarfest (Video)

Great vibe down on Clark yesterday.

If you are heading out for round two this afternoon, lineup below.

Video Link: Chicago Spirit Brigade @ Andersonville Midsommarfest 2017


11:00 AM Lakeside Pride Strayhorns Jazz Combo

12:00 PM Gussied

2:00 PM Brooke and Nice Things– Reflecting the Golden Era of Rythm and Blues, BNTNT brings true Soul music to life in their set. They’re too young to be old school and too old to be new school.

3:30 PM Chicago Spirit Brigade

4:00 PM Libido Funk Circus– Chicago’s premier dance and party band

6:00 PM The Hair Band Night

8:00 PM 16 Candles


11:00 AM The Deliverance Singers- Gospel Brunch

1:00 PM Chicago Spirit Brigade

1:30 PM The Shades– Equipped primarily with their voices and acoustic guitars, The Shades have developed a signature sound that encompasses elements of popular music from folk & rock, to soul & R&B.

2:30 PM She’s Crafty– Chicago’s all-female Beastie Boys tribute

3:30 PM Second City Outlaws

4:00 PM Stache

6:00 PM Maggie Speaks– Dance and sing to your favorites, from that 80s song you love to hear to songs played at concerts in Chicago reaching back to the 50s to Top 40 hits released just last week.

8:00 PM 7th Heaven



3:00 PM BoiseNoise

4:00 PM Laura Doherty and the Heartbeats

6:00 PM The Hat Guys– The Hat Guys bring a taste of the soulful exuberance, pageantry, and revelry of a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade.

8:00 PM- Chicago Jazz Orchestra



1:00 PM Acoustic Brunch

3:00 PM Drag Show with DJ Laura B, Tasha Salad, Ruff N Stuff & Friends

5:00 PM Tea Dance with DJ Moose

8:30 PM The Hits with DJ Jorge



12:00 PM LiveWire

2:00 PM Hodie Snitch– Hodie Snitch plays the songs you know and love from the likes of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and many more.

4:00 PM The New Invaders– The Ultimate 60s flashback show

6:00 PM Lynne Jordan and the Shivers

8:00 PM The Gold Coast All Stars

Jackalope Theatre Company Announces Its 10th Season; Names Nora Leahy Managing Director

Jackalope Theatre Company, under the artistic direction of Gus Menary, announces its 2017/18 season, the company’s 10th. The upcoming season features four productions, including three world premieres. Jackalope’s 10th season begins with the world premiere of 1980 (Or Why I’m Voting for John Anderson) by Patricia Cotter, directed by Associate Artistic Director Kaiser Ahmed. Next up is the world premiere of Franklinland by Lloyd Suh, directed by Chika Ike, followed by the world premiere of The Light Fantastic by Ike Holter, directed by Artistic Director Gus Menary. The season concludes with Jackalope’s third collaboration with The Yard, the collective of Senn Arts theatre students., under the artistic direction of Gus Menary, announces its 2017/18 season, the company’s 10th. The upcoming season features four productions, including three world premieres. Jackalope’s 10th season begins with the world premiere of 1980 (Or Why I’m Voting for John Anderson) by Patricia Cotter, directed by Associate Artistic Director Kaiser Ahmed. Next up is the world premiere of Franklinland by Lloyd Suh, directed by Chika Ike, followed by the world premiere of The Light Fantastic by Ike Holter, directed by Artistic Director Gus Menary. The season concludes with Jackalope’s third collaboration with The Yard, the collective of Senn Arts theatre students.

Artistic Director Gus Menary and Board President Clare Butterfield announce the appointment of Jackalope’s new Managing Director, Nora Leahy, to join Jackalope’s staff at the start of the season and to lead the company into its next decade, Leahy will begin her tenure at Jackalope on August 1, 2017. She succeeds Nate Silver, who has served in the role for the past four years.

“Nora perfectly encapsulates the creative thinking and adventurous spirit that has come to define our company,” says Menary of the appointment. “As we think of the growth we’ve experienced and our aspirations for the future, Nora is the right person to lead Jackalope on this exciting journey.”

“I am thrilled to join the generous and dedicated artists at Jackalope, and to lead a company whose work I have admired for years,” says Leahy of her new role. “Jackalope is truly a paragon of Chicago storefront theatre, and I look forward to honoring the company’s mission of presenting bold new work that celebrates diverse perspectives, and building upon the company’s tremendous momentum.”

All four of Jackalope’s 2017/18 productions will take place in Jackalope’s theatre space within Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N Broadway. In addition to these three shows, Jackalope will present The 9th Annual Living Newspapers Festival in The Frontier during August of 2018.

“Jackalope’s 10th season is bursting with world premieres from the most exciting and gifted playwrights working on the national stage,” says Menary. “Thinking about Jackalope’s mission and the shifting cultural climate in our country today, these new works capture what is uniquely American and remains unchanged. In these plays we can find ourselves mirrored in our collective history, serving as a reminder that our new national landscape is not without familiar landmarks.”

Jackalope is offering a 2017/18 Season Pass, which gives patrons access to the four productions in Broadway Armory Park, tickets to The 9th Annual Living Newspaper Festival, exclusive access to Jackalope’s artists at special events, reserved seating and free parking for all productions, and special invitations to Jackalope’s lineup of developmental work and supplemental events at The Frontier. The 2017/18 Season Pass is $75 and is available for purchase via

J A C K A L O P E  S E A S O N  10: U P – C L O S E

World Premiere
By Patricia Cotter
Directed by Kaiser Ahmed

October 17 – December 2, 2017| Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway
Press Night: Tuesday, October 24 at 7:30pm

It’s 1980 and an unknown congressman from Illinois, John Anderson, just might have a chance to be President of the United States. In the candidate’s Boston campaign office, four idealistic young campaign workers struggle to spread the hope that their long-shot candidate might bring to the country and to their lives, while staving off that era’s Unthinkable Presidency. 1980 (Or Why I’m Voting For John Anderson) pits youthful optimism against the status quo, in a world premiere comedy about class, race, and the politics of change.

World Premiere
By Lloyd Suh
Directed by Chika Ike

January 9 – February 17, 2018 | Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway
Press Night: Tuesday, January 16 at 8:00pm

Philadelphia, 1752. Growing up as the only son of Benjamin Franklin – the greatest scientific mind in the world; inventor of the lightning rod, the odometer, the glass harmonica, bifocal glasses, and, in his spare time, The United States of America – is not all it’s cracked up to be. In the world premiere of this moving new play, Franklinland asks what it’s like to make your way in life knowing your father’s greatest invention wasn’t you.

World Premiere
By Ike Holter
Directed by Gus Menary

May 8 – June 16, 2018| Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway
Press Night: Tuesday, May 15 at 7:30pm

We’re deep in the mid ’90s. Clinton is president, cellphones are a novelty, and toasty R&B jams blast from every available speaker. Grace, a down on her luck phony-storefront-psychic of questionable commitment and sobriety, is on the run and thirsty for cash. When a client meeting goes horribly wrong, Grace is dragged through an intense examination of fake spirituality versus terrifying belief. From the writer of Exit Strategy and Prowess comes The Light Fantastic, a world premiere based on the true story of an infamous, unsolved case of spiritual possession.

Performed by The Yard Ensemble

July 16 – August 18, 2018| Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway
Press Night: Tuesday, July 17 at 7:30pm

Nora Leahy (Managing Director) comes to Jackalope from Lookingglass Theatre Company, where she currently works as the business coordinator. Prior to joining Jackalope, she served as the Co-Founder and Producing Managing Director of Two Pigs Productions, a company that toured professional theatre and educational curriculum to under-served regional venues. She is also an ensemble member at Lean Ensemble Theater in Hilton Head, South Carolina. When she’s not being a business lady, Nora also writes plays. Her full-length plays include: The Bridge (2017/18 Woodward Newman Drama Award Finalist), If You Forget Me (Commissioned by Lean Ensemble Theater 2017), Wonderland (TYA commissioned by the Santa Fe Trail School for the Performing Arts 2015), and The Jungle Book (TYA commissioned by the Santa Fe Trail School for the Performing Arts 2016).

Patricia Cotter (Playright, 1980) is an Emmy Award winning, Groundling Theater Alum. She’s received the American Academy of Arts Letters, Richard Rodgers Award for musical theater. Other honors include the Ovation Award and the Garland Award. Her plays include Rules of Comedy, 39th Humana Festival of New American Plays, 2015; The Anthropology Selection, Rules of Comedy, The Break Up Notebook, and Three. Her musicals (librettist/adaptations) include Rocket Science: A Musical, and The Break Up Notebook: A Musical (based on her play, music and lyrics by Lori Scarlett).She adapted Mulan, Jr. based on the Disney film, MULAN for Disney Theatrical. She was the co-librettist on Justin Love, which won The LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Production 2013. She is a member of the Playground Writers Pool, where she received the 2014 June Anne Baker Prize and commission which honors the top female playwright representing a gifted new comedic or political voice for the stage. She is a 2016 Playwrights Foundation Resident Playwright.

Kaiser Ahmed (Director, 1980) served as the Founding Artistic Director of Jackalope from its inception in May of 2008 through the end of 2011. With Jackalope, Kaiser has directed The Raid, The Killing of Michael X, Long Way Go Down, Slaughter City, and The Last Exodus of American Men. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago’s Theatre Directing program, Kaiser is also an Artistic Associate at The Artistic Home Theatre Company. A member there since 2005, he directed The Late Henry Moss and House of Yes. Kaiser also recently directed Vanya and Washer/Dryer at Rasaka Theatre. Kaiser is a 2015-16 Eugene O’Neill National Directors Fellowship Finalist and a 2016-17 Victory Gardens Directors Inclusion Initiative recipient where he assistant directed Hand To God. Favorite acting work includes Ideation and Lunacy! (Jackalope Theatre).

Lloyd Suh (Playright, Franklinland) is the author of Charles Francis Chan Jr’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery (NAATCO, Guthrie with Mu, Princeton), The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go! (Children’s Theatre Company, Ma-Yi/La Mama, ArtsEmerson, Cultural Center of the Philippines), American Hwangap (Magic Theatre, Ma-Yi, Halcyon/A-Squared, Cultural Center of the Philippines, PCPA in Seoul, Korea), Jesus in India (Magic, Ma-Yi), Great Wall Story (Denver Center), and others. He has received support from the NEA, Mellon, NYFA, NYSCA, Jerome, TCG and Dramatists Guild. His plays have been published by Sam French, Smith & Kraus, Duke University Press and American Theater magazine. He is an alum of Youngblood and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, a resident of New Dramatists, member of EST, and from 2005-2010 served as Artistic Director of Second Generation and Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He currently serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and has since 2011 served as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark.

Chika Ike (Director, Franklinland) has had the opportunity to work with many Chicago and regional theatre companies, including Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens, The Gift Theatre Company, Eclipse Theatre, American Blues Theatre Company, and Prologue Theatre Company. She is a recipient of the Bret C. Harte Fellowship (Berkeley Rep), the Sir John Gielgud Fellowship (SDCF), and was part of the inaugural Inclusion Initiative at Victory Gardens. Chika will be directing A Swell in the Ground by Janine Nabers for The Gift Theatre this fall.

Ike Holter (Playright, The Light Fantastic) returns to Jackalope, where his plays Exit Strategy and Prowess both enjoyed sold-out runs. Ike has had work produced at Teatro Vista, The Steppenwolf Garage, A Red Orchid, Barrow Street, Primary Stages, The Lily Tomlin Theater, Philadelphia Theater Company, The New Colony, and The Inconvenience, where he is a founding member. A recipient of a Windham-Campbell Literature Prize for drama in 2017, Ike has also received fellowships and commissions from Goodman Theater, Studio Theater, The Kennedy Center, Writers Theater, Teatro Vista, DePaul University and The Playwrights Center. His plays Exit Strategy and Hit The Wall premiered in Chicago and moved to Off Broadway productions in New York. He was named the “Chicagoan of the Year in Theater 2014” by Chris Jones of The Chicago Tribune, and his monologues have been published in The New Yorker and Applause Books.

Gus Menary (Director, The Light Fantastic) is a founding member of Jackalope Theatre Company and currently serves as its Artistic Director. Twice named one of The Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago by Newcity Stage, Gus directed the world-premiere of Ike Holter’s Exit Strategy (Jeff Nomination – Best Director), Ideation by Aaron Loeb, Shawn Reddy’s My Name is Mudd, Andrew Swanson’s Lunacy!, and Moonshiner for Jackalope. He has directed world and midwest premieres for other companies in Chicago including Brett Neveu’s Detective Partner Hero Villain at Strawdog, Nat Cassidy’s Reckoning of Kit and Little Boots at First Floor Theater and Ike Holter and Evan Linder’s B-Side Studio for The New Colony and The Inconvenience, where he is a founding member.

Edgewater’s Little Free Library System Approaches A Record Number Of Libraries

Ever wonder how many little free libraries have been constructed in the neighborhood?

Since neighbors started constructing the libraries, we have a grand total of 70 that have popped up in the neighborhood so far. To help them reach their goal of 100 Little Free Libraries, Edgewater Reads will be hosting another Community Build Day on June 17th at 10 am behind Senn High School.

Little Free Library kits will be provided. You can just bring yourself, a building friend, and a few tools you may have around. The kits are free for residents of Edgewater and a $50 donation for builders joining in from outside Edgewater.

RSVP is required for the event due to limited materials. You can RSVP to Taylor at

Edgewater Reads runs completely off of donations and volunteer hours.

Acting Up Awards – Edgewater Youth Little Free Library Initiative Video below:

“In May 2016, The Chicago Community Trust hosted its annual On the Table event – a day when 55,000 people around the region took part in honest mealtime conversations about community. Afterward, the Trust invited On the Table participants to share their actionable ideas for community impact. This video was one of the winning submissions, whose creators were awarded $1,000 each to bring their ideas to life on behalf of a better Chicago.” – The Chicago Community (YouTube)

“You Are Beautiful” WTTW Good Neighborhood Project 2nd Place Winner

Another great neighborhood clip put together by the students over at Senn…

“Senn Broadcast Journalism students Edgar Flores, Reagan Ivie, and Kendall Jackson Jr. created a stunning video about Matthew Hoffman, the creator of the YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL art installations seen around Chicago.

This video won Second Place at Chicago’s First Annual Good Neighborhood Project sponsored by WTTW. The students won $3,000 scholarship money, kindly provided by the station’s donors.

Thanks to WTTW for the opportunity, and congratulations to the students and Senn on the victory!” – mkcullinane1

Direct Video Link: “You Are Beautiful” WTTW Good Neighborhood Project 2nd Place Winner