February has shed its extra day. It keeps snowing, but it doesn’t seem to stick for long. It’s inevitable: winter is ending.
Along with the human bears crawling from their hibernation caves, the air is different in Chicago. People are riding bikes again (on the warm days). The streets are filling up with people. Winter is ending, and spring is upon us.
In addition to rituals like spring cleaning, one common tradition around this time of year is the influx of new businesses. New businesses are the lifeblood of any urban community, and there’s something about this time of year that seems to bring out more and more of them.
Here’s just a few new businesses cropping up in my neighborhood:
Giordano’s and Gino’s East in Pilsen
Amid the anti-gentrification armies in Pilsen, you’ll find dozens of people lining up to buy pizza from Chicago deep dish staples, Giordano’s and Gino’s East. Both cropping up within the last few months, Gino’s East has even declared that the pizza they serve will be Mexican-themed, a la the pizza served at Gino’s East’s location in Mexico city.
My two favorite laundromats in Pilsen are Blue Kangaroo and Silver Coin laundry. The people there are incredibly kind, but it seems like every year, more people buy their own washing machines and a few laundromats go out of business. But more always seem to pop up! Keep an eye out for the new laundromat coming in right on the corner of 18th street and Racine.
Spoke & Bird
With their first location on Indiana and 18th, just near Soldier Field, Spoke and Bird is a hip restaurant with a short menu and a focus on beers and bikes. Gears and chains adorn the outside of their shops, and their new location in Pilsen is set to be the coolest yet. They’re not open just yet, but they are hiring. Stop by and call the number on their door to find out if you’re the right candidate to fill a role here
Not an entirely new business, the newly remodeled Harbee’s is also opening up this spring in Pilsen, right at the corners of 18th and Blue Island. The new location will feature an expanded outdoor patio, as well as a larger dance floor, for anyone looking to get their groove on.
Law Agencies, Payday Loan Shops, Title Loan Shops, and Check Cashing Companies
Among the food, coffee shops, and laundromats that are staples of any neighborhood, you’ll find companies that only deal with one thing: money. Pilsen is no different. You’ll find these new businesses cropping up all other neighborhood, including a few shops that could help you cash checks in Chicago or even get title loans in Illinois, in case you’re low on cash.
So there you have it. New businesses are popping up everywhere. Will you discover something new this spring? Or stick to your old haunts?