Bar Louie scheduled to open
Bar Louie, a restaurant with 10 locations in the Chicago area known for its urban décor and jumbo martinis, is expected to move into the lobby of the Flamingo Apartment building by late January. Zoning restrictions, which had previously jeopardized the chain's coming to Hyde Park, have recently been resolved.
Restaurant Development Group (RDG) was hoping to open the restaurant earlier, but is still waiting for the city to ratify the final building permits. Until the permits are approved, the renovation of the lobby cannot begin.
"The environmental permit, the building permit, everything's been approved. They all go to a final review, and that's what RDG is waiting on," said David Sherman, president of IRMCO, which manages the Flamingo.
The new restaurant will resemble the other locations around Chicago, serving food and an assortment of beers and liquors in a bar setting.
"We're opening three restaurants in the next three weeks. If Hyde Park looks like it's going to come through, we'll shift focus," Lathoris said.
In response to problems with available parking near the Flamingo Apartments, RDG has decided to charter a valet service during the evenings, Sherman said.
Aside from parking issues, residents have welcomed the restaurant. "Everyone is really receptive," Sherman said.
According to Sherman, residents are accustomed to having a restaurant in the area. TJ's in the Park, the former restaurant occupying the lobby of Flamingo, closed last March.
The original RDG proposal for Bar Louie required the door leading to the lobby of the Flamingo apartment building to be used as a main entrance for the restaurant, but a zoning restriction prohibited that. Although the zoning could have been changed, residents were concerned that changes to the zoning might attract undesirable businesses and inappropriate levels of noise. Residents were also opposed to any outdoor patio for the restaurant.
RDG has since revised its original plan for an outdoor patio, opting instead for one in the lobby.
Fifth Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston recently approved an amendment to the zoning ordinance, which will allow for access to the restaurant from the street as opposed to the lobby, according to Hairston's chief of staff, Kimberly Webb.
"The wording of the official ordinance was changed to allow Bar Louie to move into the building. [Hairston] has done everything she was supposed to do," Webb said.
Students volunteered at Day of Service
Undergraduates, graduate students, and University staff members volunteered throughout the Chicago area Saturday as part of the University Community Service Center's (UCSC) fall quarter Day of Service.
This quarter's day of service concentrated on women's issues. "I think the issue was important and relevant for a number of different people all over campus," said Pamela Bozeman-Evans, director of UCSC.
Students helped at organizations such as Sarah's Inn, the Girl Scouts of America, Rainbow House, Rape Victim Advocates, Southwest Women Working Together, the Chicago Women's AIDS Project, and the Harris YWCA, all organizations that are dedicated to improving living conditions for women in Chicago.
Bozeman-Evans said that the day embodied the variety of problems UCSC concentrates on each quarter.
The range of issues involved in the living conditions of women in the city resonated with a wide range of people at the University, she said.
Students who helped Southwest Women Working Together (SWWT) aided in administrative tasks and file management for the group that helps women and children on the southwest side of Chicago.
"I thought we helped them out a lot," said Becky Fine, a second-year in the College who helped SWWT. "It probably saved them a lot of money having volunteers do it. And it was probably something that needed to be done."
Students who have participated in previous UCSC events expressed satisfaction in the value of the work offered and how well run the day was.
"Logistically, it just gets better and better," said Matt Fine, a third-year in the College who has gone on several service trips and participated in Summer Links, UCSC's ten-week summer internship program.