One of the Near North Side neighborhoods of Chicago, River North has quickly transformed from industrial and downtrodden to hip and happening. Forty years ago, it was warehouses. Then it was all art galleries. Now, it’s got a New York City-style gritty chic feel. River North is where the up and coming rent luxury apartments and pack into booming nightclubs. It’s just across the river from the Loop so, by day, it’s serious business. At night, River North lets loose.
This part of Chicago used to be filled with forges and factories. Back then, it was called Smokey Hollow because the billowing smoke would block the sun. In the 1970s, a savvy developer lured artists and galleries to this part of Chicago, creating the River North Gallery District. Today, this neighborhood holds the largest concentration of art galleries in the U.S.A. outside of Manhattan.
River North is known for its art galleries, clubs, and tourist-friendly eateries. At night, crowds line up to get into expansive nightclubs like Excalibur and Soundbar. During the day, it’s more of a business lunch scene—unless you’re a tourist heading to Ed Debevic’s for a ‘50s style meal. You can also find gourmet groceries and other services around here.
There isn’t much in the way of parkland in River North. Park 511 is 6,900 square feet of lawns, a dog area, and riverside paths. There’s also a dog park along Ohio Street.
River North rentals are most often found in residential skyscrapers and high-rises. There are a few single-family homes here as well, but they’re expensive. Most tenants in the River North neighborhood work in the Loop. It’s quite a pricey area. The average one-bedroom rents for $2,108 a month.
This is a very convenient neighborhood to commute from. Most just walk across the Chicago River to work. If that’s not for you, four ‘L’ train stations connect River North to Brown and Red Line trains.
River North is in Chicago City Council Ward 2. The closest branch of the Chicago Public Library is Water Works, in the Gold Coast neighborhood. There’s a United States Post Office in Merchandise Mart Plaza.
River North uses the 60654 zip code.