Friday, March 18, 2011

Opera Gets a New Face

Something is happening at 1301 S. Wabash Ave. The building once occupied by Opera, is getting a makeover. According to earlier reports here and elsewhere, a new restaurant was scheduled to open within three to four months after Opera closed the end of last year. It looks like they may be on schedule. The word from partner Jerry Kleiner in December, was that it was reopening as a "gastropubby sports bar."

A group of preschoolers cross the street, stopping work outside.
A few weeks ago, it looked as if workers were changing out lights on the facade. But today, work started early in the morning and continued late in the day.

The bottle glass was removed this morning.
When I moved to the South Loop in 2004, Opera was one of the most popular restaurants in the city. It helped bolster the South Loop's image and proved that the north side didn't have a monopoly on all the cool restaurants.

New glass was installed by this evening.

I really enjoyed going to Opera. As mentioned before, it helped make the South Loop the "hottest neighborhood in the country," according to a cover story in Chicago Magazine a few seasons ago. Let's hope this new restaurant brings some excitement to S. Wabash Ave. and the South Loop.

The new entrance up close with what looks like flagstone bricks being installed on either side of the revolving door

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