11-Jun-15 Flanders Belgian Beer and Fries went down in Chicago Riverwalk history on Tuesday, becoming the first of the new Riverwalk concessions to open. The bistro west of Dearborn Street, owned by the same Texas company that owns Dicks Last Resort, started selling Belgian fries, pretzels, and beer at about 4 p.m. on Tuesday, according to co-owner and manager Dan Reynolds.
(Above) Tables and chairs at left overlook the Riverwalk from just inside Flanders and along the rear wall at right. Photo by Steven Dahlman.
(Left) Flanders employees Elizabeth Paopao (left) and Ellen Youpel (right) pose with a warm Belgian pretzel. Photo by Jason Baumann.
If City Winery is not open by the time you read this, it will be open soon. Tables and chairs have been set up on Marina Plaza west of State Street but officially, says general manager Nathan Holgate, the wine bar and restaurant opens for lunch for the first time on Friday.
Holgate says they have spent the last few days putting the finishing touches on
and waiting on some final licensing from the city.
The City Winery menu will include an Italian Hot Sub and other sandwiches, snacks such as hand crafted cured meats, salads, gelato, and sorbet.
At Downtown Docks, which will rent by the hour a place for boats to dock, they are waiting for cleats, the dock hardware to which boats are tied. Owner Ron Silvia says they would like to be open this weekend.
Their hourly rate will range from $25 to $50, depending on the size of boat and time of day. Overnight stays will not be allowed, says Silvia, but a quick touch and go would be accommodated for $10.
Silvia is president of Chicago Electric Boat Company, which rents small electric boats from Marina City directly across the Chicago River from Downtown Docks.
Urban Kayaks, which will continue to rent from its space east of Columbus Drive but have a new outpost west of Dearborn Street, also hopes to be open by Saturday, says owner/manager James Morro, and be fully up to speed by the following weekend.
Construction of the third new Riverwalk room, the sloping steps of River Theater, is winding down. Chicago Department of Transportation is not officially announcing a date but CDOT personnel have told people informally that the goal is to open this weekend. The stretch of Riverwalk is looking much like the other two rooms looked in the few days before they opened.
(Above) Work along River Theater on Tuesday. Concrete posts at the top of the Riverwalk room have been installed.
River Theater will be a new stop for Chicago Water Taxi. Andrew Sargis, chief of operations, says they will start using River Theater on weekends, beginning later this month, either June 20 or June 27. Water taxis will continue to stop across the river near LaSalle Street Monday through Friday, and then switch to the new south bank location on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.