Top Things to Do in Chicago for 2019

January 11, 2019 | By JD Eaton
Reading Time: 6 Minutes

Happy New Year, Chicagoans! A fresh calendar in the city brings all kinds of different opportunities for things to do, restaurants to try, and of course— new apartments in Chicago. We’ll help you plan ahead for 2019 by sharing information about openings, events, and all of the latest real estate details. Let’s get started!

Dining & Drinking in Chicago

It’s no secret that our city loves to eat. When Eataly opened in 2013, it was the second U.S. location outside of New York City and people were very excited. So excited in fact, that the store and restaurants had to close down for a day after opening weekend in order to restock and recover. Chicago ls proud of our award-winning dining scene and the city is filled with amazing options for romantic dinner dates, brunching, and happy hours, so let’s take a look at a few of the new Chicago restaurants joining the scene in 2019.

RPM on the Water

While this may not be the final name for the four-level project coming to 321 N. Clark, you can bet that if Lettuce Entertain You is working on three different restaurants along the river and under one roof, it’s going to be great. There will be multiple terraces and it is sure to be an impressive addition to the Chicago River scene.


Surprisingly, the West Loop’s Restaurant Row does not currently have a strong Indian food option. That’ll change this spring when Rooh opens at 736 W. Randolph. Restaurateurs, Vikram and Anu Bhambri, have already opened another Rooh location in San Francisco and Baar Baar in New York. Eater expects Rooh to be the most lavish Indian restaurant in the city, with creative cocktails and elegant presentation.

Machine: engineered dining & drink

Brian Galati and Chireal Jordan, the people behind Headquarters Beercade, have been hard at work on this restaurant with seasonal midwestern-inspired menus and an in-house florist shop. At 1846 W. Division Street, Machine promises to be a unique experience with a cocktail program by Aneka Saxon from another Wicker Park staple, Violet Hour.

Other promising newcomers that opened in 2018 include: Bar Sótano, a speakeasy underneath Frontera from Rick Bayless, Etta, the popular Mediterranean destination in Wicker Park, and Mini Mott, a spin-off from Mott Street serves one of the city’s best new burgers in Logan Square.

Things to Do in Chicago This Year

Even when it’s not warm enough for street festivals or rooftop bars, there are still plenty activities and attractions throughout the city to keep you busy. From pop-up stores to conventions, 2019 has something for everyone in Chicago. Here are a few of noteworthy events on our calendar this year:

Buddy Guy’s Legends

Until January 27th, Buddy Guy is playing at the South Loop club named after him. Get tickets to see Guy paired with a different supporting act on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays all month. (700 S. Wabash)


Culture publication Complex is expanding their annual event to Chicago in July 2019. The previous conventions in California featured Pharrell Williams, Issa Rae, Future, Ronnie Fieg, and and Tommy Hilfiger. The official lineup for Chicago’s convention at McCormick Place hasn’t been released yet, but it’s safe to expect some local connections. (2301 S. King)

Hamilton: The Exhibition

Can’t get enough Lin-Manuel Miranda or founding father history? The immersive exhibition opens on April 6th at Northerly Island. Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but attendees will be able to step into George Washington’s war tent, sit at Hamilton’s desk, and see detailed replicas of New York City circa 1776.  

Pitchfork Midwinter

From February 15th to 17th, the team behind the Pitchfork Music Festival is hosting an indoor event at the Art Institute of Chicago. (111 S. Michigan)

The Year of Theater

The city has announced 2019 will be the Year of Theater, which will include theater-based programming and exhibits at the Chicago Cultural Center, plus $200,000 in grants to theaters throughout Chicago. Stay tuned to learn more about live performances and a theater-themed edition of Millennium Park’s summer film series.

New Chicago Apartments Delivering in 2019

Chicago is gearing up for another year of new construction openings. The city will gain over 4,000 new apartments, with a strong majority delivering in the South Loop neighborhood. From larger projects like NEMA (previously known as One Grant Park) at 800 units to boutique buildings like No. 508 with 53 residences, Chicago has a new apartment to fit anyone’s search criteria this year. Our experienced team is ready to help you find the best match for your lifestyle. Here are a few of 2019’s new building highlights: 

River City

Bertrand Goldberg’s iconic South Loop building made the news recently as the largest condominium deconversion in Chicago history. River City apartments will welcome new residents starting in March 2019 with a full redesign and renovation of the common areas, residential units, and retail components. Floor plans range from studios to four-bedroom penthouses and the renewed property will offer a range of amenity spaces, including a party room, multiple lounges, co-working spaces, and an acre of outdoor space with grilling stations, bocce ball and dog run. Be the first to know about pre-leasing at River City by joining the VIP list.

A rendering of the Apartments at Lincoln Common's rooftop amenities.
A rendering of the Apartments at Lincoln Common’s rooftop amenities.

The Apartments at Lincoln Common

At the intersection of Lincoln, Fullerton, and Halsted, the former Children’s Memorial Hospital site is being redeveloped by Hines and McCaffery Interests. With two sleek towers, this impressive mixed-use development in the heart of Lincoln Park will add 538 apartments to the neighborhood. Each residence features wide-plank flooring throughout, stunning gourmet chef’s kitchens, and floor-to-ceiling windows. The Apartments at Lincoln Common also offer impressive penthouse residences with enhanced concierge services, integrated panelized appliances and cooktop, and Monolithic quartz backsplash with waterfall countertops. In addition to a fitness center and yoga room, the luxury Lincoln Park building includes a rooftop pool, sky lounge with demonstration kitchen, children’s playground, and much more.

Essex on the Park

At 56 stories, Essex on the Park is one of Chicago’s tallest high-rise apartment buildings. The most unique feature is a remarkable four-story winter garden with an infinity-edge pool, hanging gardens, and green wall. Located along Grant Park at 808 South Michigan Avenue, these South Loop apartments feature programmable thermostats, marble quartz countertops, gas range cooktops, and bathrooms with rainfall shower heads.

The Field’s Lofts

Previously used as a Marshall Field’s warehouse, the Field’s Lofts will soon be pre-leasing Logan Square apartments. With ceiling heights between 14-17 feet, these modern lofts feature top-of-the-line finishes and range from junior one bedroom to two bedroom floor plans. The Field’s Lofts expansive amenities include a communal coworking space, fitness center, yoga studio, and a 3,000 square foot rooftop deck with grilling area, fire pit, lounge seating, and dining tables.

NEMA Chicago

Designed by Rafael Viñoly, NEMA is a stunning 76-story addition to the Chicago skyline. The South Loop apartments are now pre-leasing for spring move-in dates. With 70,000 square feet of amenities, NEMA features both indoor and outdoor pools, basketball court, boxing gym, sports bar, and golf simulator. The building’s location just south of Grant Park provides gorgeous views of Lake Michigan, the parks, and city skyline.


Ready to start your search for a new home this year? The Luxury Living Chicago Realty team can help with both renting new 2019 Chicago apartments and buying a condo in the city. Click the button below to explore luxury listings and start a collection of your favorite apartments.

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