Home to the largest concentration of art galleries in the US outside of Manhattan, River North also lays claim to the world famous Magnificent Mile. Located in Chicago’s Near North Side community, River North, which borders the densely populated Loop and Streeterville neighborhoods, is one of the fastest growing areas in the city. Much of River North’s popularity can be attributed to the wide array and variety of bars, clubs, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues.
River North has a unique history, which includes hosting Chicago’s red light district as late as the 1970’s, to experiencing a surge of more than 2,500 rental and condominium units being built in the 1990’s. The River North Business Association comprises of hundreds of businesses helping to promote the area as a major Chicago tourist destination.
In 1980 one of the largest health clubs in America made River North its home. The upscale East Bank Club encompasses more than 450,000 square feet serving more than 10,000 members including, when he lived in Chicago, President Barack Obama.
Condos and apartments make up more than 90% of the housing in River North. Much of the housing was built from 1990 to the present time including Chicago Skyline’s newest showpiece, the 92-story Trump International Hotel & Tower. Several apartment buildings such as The Private Residences of Ontario Place have been converted to condominiums. There are many factors that determine prices in River North such as view, location and size. Because of this there is a wide range of prices from the low $100,000s for a studio to several million dollars for a 4 bedroom townhome.
Most people living in River North work within a mile radius of their residence. Adjacent to the heart of the Loop there are many commuting choices for residents. From a short walk to a quick cab ride, getting around River North is easy. The CTA buses run on all the major streets in River North and the Red Line subway and Brown Line El trains are conveniently located.
Shopping, dining and nightlife
Aside from its key downtown location, a major draw of River North is its incredible array of shopping, dining and nightlife. Shoppers are in awe of the tourist-popular Magnificent Mile. But there are also many boutique type stores nestled off Michigan Avenue including several housed in the Merchandise Mart which spans 2 blocks and attracts more than 3 million visitors a year. Adjacent to the Mart is the Apparel Center which offers the newest in men’s and women’s fashion.
Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat at the original Mr. Beef on Orleans Street or have the time to dine in the upscale Brazilian steak house, Fogo de Chao, River North’s selection of hundreds of restaurants can rival any Chicago neighborhood.
Once the evening hits, residents and visitors have several nightlife options in vibrant River North. Many restaurants remain open into the wee hours while many nightclubs are just getting started such as the Rino Lounge which usually doesn’t open its doors until 10:00 PM. There is always action happening at the Excalibur, a multi-level entertainment venue in an historic landmark building designed in 1892. It’s typical for many River North clubs to remain open until 5:00 AM on the weekend.
There are 100s more dining and nightlife options in adjacent Old Town, Lincoln Park, Streeterville and Gold Coast.
Top-tier public and private schools serve River North families. The Latin School sits at the northern boundary of the Gold Coast, not far from Lincoln Park’s Francis Parker School. Nearby public schools include LaSalle Language Academy, Ogden School, Walter Payton College Prep and Lincoln Park High School, which offers an International Baccalaureate program.