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(Above) 500 North LaSalle Street in 2015 when it was a Gino’s East restaurant. (Click on images to view larger versions.)

27-Sep-23 – The latest incarnation of 500 North LaSalle Street will be a steakhouse, with the assistance of a property tax incentive approved by the Chicago City Council.

After an $8.7 million renovation to the interior and exterior, the three-story, 16,500 square foot building at LaSalle & Illinois will be a 220-seat Hawksmoor steakhouse, expected to open during the first half of 2024.

Hawksmoor originated in London in 2006, serving steaks, seafood, and cocktails, and opened its first location in the United States in New York in 2021. Chicago will be its second U.S. location.

Occupants of the 136-year-old building, an official City of Chicago landmark since 2001, have included three restaurants – Gino’s East from 2013 to 2020, LaSalle Power Co, which closed in 2012, and Michael Jordan’s Restaurant from 1993 to 1999.

The building started as the LaSalle Street Cable Car Powerhouse. Built in 1887 by North Chicago Street Railroad Company, it housed engines that moved two miles of cable through channels laid in the streets on Chicago’s Near North Side and in the Loop. Those cables, in turn, pulled thousands of cable cars along 82 miles of track.

Poole & Hunt

(Left) A drawing by P.F. Goist, circa 1882, of a cable car powerhouse prototype by Poole & Hunt, the same company that later built the powerhouse in Chicago.

The Cook County Class L property tax incentive, approved by the City Council on September 13, is intended to encourage the preservation and rehabilitation of city landmarks. The incentive will reduce property taxes on the building by $2.1 million over the next 12 years.

• Previous story: LaSalle Street landmark sold