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NYT Discovers Chicago Is Sort of Cool

By Laura Oppenheimer in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 4, 2006 6:39PM

2006_12_marche.jpgIn news that is not news to anyone who actually lives in Chicago, the New York Times discovered this weekend that Chicago's West Loop is hip. Comparing the West Loop to New York's Meatpacking District, the story discovers that, like the Meatpacking District, the West Loop transitions from a meat processing area to one where food and drink abound after the sun goes down.

Interestingly enough, Chicagoist was in the West Loop last night, dining at one of the restaurants mentioned in the story, Marche. We wouldn't necessarily describe Jerry Kleiner's restaurants as hip — they strike us more as a combination of ingenious marketing and competency in the kitchen — but the NYT is convinced, citing his Victor Hotel as an example of the transitioning neighborhood. Other restaurants and bars mentioned in the story include Blackbird, Moto and Fulton Lounge.

While it is pretty lame to cite restaurants and bars that have been open for years as evidence of some type of only-now-apparent trend, we always have a good time at Fulton Lounge. The muted colors and low-key vibe make it an excellent choice for a fun, but not too crazy, night out. Also cited in the article are the West Loop's many galleries including NavtaSchulz Gallery, Kasia Kay Art Projects and Fifty50 Gallery.

Food, drink and art, all in one "transitioning" neighborhood? Sounds like in the eyes of the New York Times, we might someday be cool!

Image via Marche.