In a city known for its style and art, no other neighborhood better represents Chicago than River North. With more clubs, galleries and studios than any other part of Chicago, River North attracts creatives looking for a trendy community full of inspiration.
River North is a little over three square miles in size but home to an estimated 27,000 people. The neighborhood can easily be accessed by the L, Chicago’s extensive metro network, along with other public transportation. There is ample space for bikers and pedestrians too. Families can take advantage of a number of highly-rated schools in the area, like Noble Street College Prep, along with several sports facilities for solo and team activities.
When you’re looking to get outside, there are no shortage of options around River North. Locals often enjoy picnics at Ward (A. Montgomery) Park on the north bank of the river, meet-ups at one of the neighborhood’s dog parks and strolls along the winding riverside.
Foodies love River North too. With new restaurants popping up in the neighborhood all the time, eating in River North never gets boring. On top of great food, locals benefit from the area’s location and well-connected transport system, high quality grade schools, and beautiful riverfront.
Read on to learn why creatives and professionals are flocking to River North.
Character Steeped in History
After the Chicago Fire of 1871, much of River North was rebuilt into a manufacturing district with shipping yards, railroad tracks and tall warehouses constantly chugging out plumes of smoke. Locals aptly nicknamed the area ‘Smokey Hollow’. The Merchandise Mart was built near the railroad tracks in the 1930’s, the largest building in the world at the time. Once the port was relocated to another part of the city, Smokey Hollow was slowly abandoned by most of its residents over a period of more than 40 years.
Things started changing in the 1970s. As developers began seeing the potential of the affordable, well-positioned neighborhood, creatives began repurposing the industrial buildings into studios and galleries. Today, it boasts the largest concentration of art galleries outside of Manhattan and the most diverse restaurants and entertainment of anywhere in Chicago.
River North is a haven for art lovers of all genres. With twenty different galleries near the Franklin and Super Street intersection alone, the neighborhood showcases trending sculptors on international tours alongside Chicago stars breaking into the arts scene.
The Zolla/Lieberman Gallery is a great example of a River North staple. Housed in an old warehouse since the 1970s, the gallery offers patrons a titillating mix of figurative and abstract paintings, sculptures and more. Another fixture, the Ann Nathan Gallery, displays drawings, paintings, and handmade furniture designed by both new and well-known artists.
The Andrew Bae Gallery and The Project Room regularly showcase international artists working in more multimedia formats, including photography, film and more. The Project Room often hosts workshops, seminars and concerts on art-related topics throughout the year as well. Artwork in the Andrew Bae Gallery is concentrated on operas from China, Japan and Korea.
Art in River North is not confined to galleries. The River North Design District (RNDD) has some of the best interior design showrooms in the country and hosts an annual gallery walk full of events and openings every September. In the summer, River North visitors and locals alike come together in the tens of thousands to enjoy the music and culinary festival Taste of River North.
Food for Every Taste
When the sun sets in River North, a whole other side to the neighborhood comes alive. Many of the area’s old warehouses and business areas have been converted into chic night clubs or restaurants that will make your mouth water.
No visit to River North is complete without a stop at Topolobampo, the neighborhood’s long-time Michelin-starred restaurant that offers innovative Mexican fare in a beautiful art-filled space. In 2019, michelin-starred Entente relocated to River North along with its exquisitely crafted modern American cuisine.
A number of Bib Gourmand restaurants are also located in River North, including oldtown Gilt Bar, spacious Pacific Standard Time, sustainable True Food Kitchen and dinner-and-show venue Untitled. Local favorites GT Fish & Oyster and Pizzeria Bebu earn rave reviews too.
Anyone looking to enjoy a top-notch meal with one of the best views in Chicago will want to stop at one of River North’s well-known riverside restaurants. Chicago Cut Steakhouse offers patrons a bird’s eye view of the river along with an incredible wine selection and top-notch menu. River Roast is a highly rated restaurant and event venue with a beautiful patio overlooking the river.
Just a few blocks from River North is Chicago’s beloved Riverwalk, a popular hangout spot all year long. There are a number of famous restaurants to enjoy, like the Chicago Brewhouse, along with bars, cafes, and more. Visitors love seeing the Riverwalk’s floating garden near the Jetty, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza, and riverside sights of Chicago’s most famous architecture.
Residents with dogs will want to check out Ohio Place Dog Park to mingle with their furry friends near N. Orleans Street. Larrabee Dog Park on the north side of Ward (A. Montgomery) Park runs along the riverside, offering large patches of green to enjoy a nice day. Just across the river outside of the neighborhood, the Navy Pier, Millennium Park and Grant Park are within walking distance along with the lake shore.
Luxury Living in River North
Residents of River North get the best of both worlds, having the pick of modern apartments and condos intermixed with incredible cultural and culinary offerings. Luxury buildings like Grand Plaza Apartments offer residents added amenities like a private dog park, a business center and various sports facilities. Another River North gem is Hubbard 221, with its terrace, grilling stations and cabana-surrounded pool.
With art and design in its bones, River North has grown into a creative paradise complete with impressive food, entertainment and sports activities that will keep your schedule full all year long. Neighborhood residents get to take advantage of even more perks when living at Draper and Kramer’s luxury apartments in River North.
Make River North Your New Home
To learn about Draper and Kramer’s luxury apartments in River North or to schedule a virtual tour of any of our properties, please visit www.draperandkramer.com today.