Once a railway and industrial hub, River West has been rediscovered as a sleek and modern residential area.
Residents enjoy a stunning landscape of converted industrial housing and modern new construction. In the heart of the city — top shopping, great restaurants, and entertainment are all within a short walk. Far enough away from downtown for a little peace and quiet, but close enough to explore all the city has to offer. What could be better?
River West Neighborhood Guide
Just across the river from the Loop, River West residents have plenty to explore within their own exciting neighborhood!
River West residents live in the midst of a world-class dining scene. Renowned restaurants in the area include Au Cheval, Mako, and Cold Storage. That’s just scratching the surface- there are simply too many notable restaurants to mention!
You can’t go out to a tasting menu every day (or can you?), so for everyday life, the area also enjoys a variety of tasty sandwich spots, pizzerias, and premium coffee shops.
A Night Out!
Quiet during the week, River West has great nightlife options for letting loose. La Josie is a popular bar, with a rooftop deck with a great view of the city. Looking for great cocktails in a unique environment? Check out Matchbox. Dance? Try Sound Bar. Eleven Eleven is a classy upscale wine bar. With a long wine-list in its great space, it’s a great option if you aren’t feeling the club.
River West Culture
From art galleries to the Chicago Bulls, folks of all stripes can get their cultural kicks in River West. For years, River North was the gallery hub of Chicago, but nowadays that title is expanding to include River West. Residents can check out paintings, sculptures, and prints by local artists before heading out for drinks.
Just to the west, within a short walk, is the United Center. Home to the Bulls and Blackhawks, the stadium hosts games year-round. For those less into sports, the United Center also hosts concerts year-round! Speaking of live music, the nearby Hideout is one of Chicago’s classic venues.
River West residents are minutes away from some of the city’s most notable neighborhoods. Within a short drive or trip on public transit are great neighborhoods including Wicker Park, River North, West Loop, Little Italy, Greek Town, and the Loop.
Wicker Park is one of the city’s most famous neighborhoods, jam-packed with fun bars, classic music venues, hip boutiques, and great eateries. Little Italy and Greek Town are known for delicious and authentic Italian and Greek restaurants. River North is a nightlife, shopping, and cultural hotspot.
The Loop, in addition to being Chicago’s Business district, is also a cultural hotspot. River West residents can walk to everything from Broadway musicals and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to the Chicago Art Institute and Millenium Park!
Parks and Recreation
One of River West’s few downsides is the lack of green space within the neighborhood. That said, there are plenty of recreation options in the neighborhood. The area is flush with yoga studios and gyms (many buildings even include gyms). The area is bike-friendly with Milwaukee Avenue being a renowned street for its bike lanes, earning its “hipster highway” moniker.
There are also plenty of parks in the surrounding area. From nearby beaches, the Chicago Riverwalk and Millennium and Grant Park, residents have plenty of outdoor space to enjoy.
River West History
Part of Chicago since its founding in 1833, River West has come a long way. The area was known as a manufacturing, meatpacking, and warehouse district. Much of Chicago’s goods were stored and shipped from the area to places across the country, often utilizing the Chicago River. That hasn’t stopped completely, you’ll still bump into a warehouse now and again and see trucks heading along Halsted, but today the area is one of Chicago’s premier residential areas.
Modern River West
The change started in the mid-1980s. Like most stories of neighborhood revitalization, young artists began the process. Looking for workspace and affordable rents, they began to occupy industrial and warehouse space. Before long a massive boom was underway. The burgeoning arts scene was followed by an influx of hip nightlife and top restaurants. Major development followed, with factories and warehouses making way for modern lofts, highrise condominiums, and apartments.
River West Homes
River West homes, despite being so close to the Loop, are relatively quiet and tranquil. The housing stock, as an urban neighborhood, is mostly condominium buildings, converted lofts, and newer townhomes and three-flats. The skyline is dominated by steel and concrete, but a modern innovative design provides needed contrast. Adding to the area’s appeal is that it’s more budget-conscious than other areas around the Loop. Residents can enjoy their neighborhood’s cool and professional charm, walking distance to the Loop, without the premium.
From its industrial roots to an exciting contemporary residential neighborhood, River West has come a long way. Come check it out!