10 Things We Love About Lakeview
Lakeview is a quintessential Chicago neighborhood. With tree-lined residential streets and a wide range of homes waving the “W” flag, it’s a vibrant community with a palpable energy.
Residents can often be found talking to neighbors on their front porches, dining at neighborhood staples, shopping from local vendors at the farmers market, or joining in the fun of street festivals. Several business districts call Lakeview home, offering everything from small-owned shops to big name retailers.
There’s a lot to love about Lakeview. Here are some of our favorites:
Entertainment For Days
More than 50 theaters and live performance venues can be found throughout Lakeview. The Belmont Theater District offers a diverse collection of entertainment, including everything from Chicago-style comedy to world-class theater. The district hosts an average of 150-plus shows each week, and is situated amongst the area’s best restaurants for an after-show meal. The legendary Laugh Factory has been operating since 1979, presenting standup comedy performances from the likes of Drew Carey, Dave Chappelle, Robin Williams, and Adam Sandler. Meanwhile, The Athenaeum Theatre sits at the opposite end of the spectrum as the city’s oldest continuously-operating theater complex outside of The Loop, and has a 985-seat opera house where patrons enjoy an array of theatrical performances.
History buffs will find quite the selection of landmarks in Lakeview such as the former Marshfield Trust and Savings Bank. The flatiron-shaped building was built in 1924 and sits on Lincoln Avenue. A few blocks south, the Kwanusila Totem Pole serves as a replacement for an original pole carved in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exposition. The totem pole is hard to miss with its towering sea monster, whale, and thunderbird.
Part of the Belmont Theater District, the Music Box Theatre lures movie lovers with its neon beacon and its selection of cult films, classics, and everything in between. Music Box has been open for over 90 years and retains its original architecture and design.
Lake Michigan Shoreline
Lakeview residents have great access to Lake Michigan and the Lakefront Trail, which runs 18 miles from Ardmore Street on the north side to 71st Street on the south side. Public tennis courts can be found along the Lakefront Trail at Waveland Park, where nearly a dozen courts are open for use. Down the trail, the Belmont Harbor houses over 700 boats and has breathtaking views of downtown Chicago as well as nearby grassy fields that make for the perfect picnic spot by the water.
A Golfer’s Haven
Situated near the lakefront, Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course is run by the Chicago Park District and offers unparalleled views of Lake Michigan and the skyline among gorgeous trees and well-kept greens. Golfers must bring their own clubs but are able to book tee times online 24/7. In addition to the course, golf aficionados can test their skills at the Diversey Driving Range and Mini Golf Course, which feature a synthetic turf range, two putting greens, 18 holes of miniature golf, and covered and heated hitting areas.
Street Festivals Galore
Year-round street festivals bring neighbors together for local food, live entertainment, and days of fun. Southport Corridor hosts many of these events such as the Southport Wine & Chocolate Stroll, Southport Sidewalk Showcase, Southport Art Festival, Sam Adams Lakeview Taco Fest, and Trick or Treat on Southport, to name a few. Other Lakeview festivals include the Chicago Craft Beer Fest, which features over 35 breweries and dozens of specialty beers every summer, and the Taste of Lincoln that supports the Wrightwood Neighbors Association.
Art Around Every Corner
Lakeview is on its way to becoming one of Chicago’s most creative and artistic neighborhoods. The community’s growing collection of public art includes murals, sculptures, galleries, and a wealth of events that support burgeoning local artists. The Lakeview Public Art Committee regularly seeks innovative artists to create highly visible works such as Anthony Lewellen’s “Lake View” mural on Lincoln Avenue and Louise Jones’ “Urbs in Horto” mural on Southport. The Lakeview Low-Line is another one of the neighborhood’s artistic endeavors that aims to connect the community through dynamic and creative public spaces.
A Foodie’s Paradise
Regardless of the season, restaurants in Lakeview add to the welcoming spirit of the neighborhood. In the summertime, restaurants pour out onto the sidewalks of Southport Corridor, beckoning passersby with the smell of gourmet burgers, artisan tacos, and unique creations. Come wintertime, friends gather around warm dishes at local favorites such as Crosby’s Kitchen, Mia Francesca, and Tango Sur.
Cubs fans will find Lakeview’s proximity to “The Friendly Confines” quite exciting. Home to 2016’s World Series champs, Wrigley Field is the perfect place to catch a game or even a summer concert. Come baseball season, waves of fans donning blue, white, and red can be seen making their way towards the field for blocks, high-fiving fellow fans and cheering as they pass by. Fans also support their beloved Cubbies at the many bars or restaurants in Wrigleyville, and they are sure to find some team apparel at shops on Clark Street.
Let’s Talk Business
Lakeview is home to three unique business districts. Southport Corridor is closest to Wrigley Field, and has a convenient stop along the CTA Brown Line. Local charm defines this strip of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and salons, and brings neighbors out to socialize regardless the time of year. Lincoln Hub is another quaint area that celebrates home-grown businesses and authenticity. Home design and furnishing shops find their place here, as well as the historic Athenaeum Theatre. Lastly, the Paulina Station District is made up of shops like the Chicago Music Exchange and iconic spots such as Dinkel’s Bakery and Paulina Market. The district regularly welcomes a number of new locally-owned businesses.
Lakeview residents are just a quick train or bus ride from downtown. They have access to four CTA bus routes three CTA train lines, including the Red, Brown, and Purple lines, which have stops throughout the neighborhood. Lakeview also has several Divvy stations for those who prefer to travel by bike, and drivers can secure parking passes through the City Clerk’s office or a local Alderman’s office.
Please note that some businesses may be closed amid COVID-19, so be sure to check each website for the most up-to-date information.