Mayor Richard M. Daley today officially welcomed the vendors and artists taking part in this summer’s Riverwalk Concession program featured along the Chicago River, between Lake Shore Drive and Franklin Street. He welcomed five new cafés, three returning cafés, along with boat tours, water taxis, bike rentals, and crafts and souvenirs during a press conference along the Riverwalk at Wacker Dr. and Wabash Ave.
“In Chicago, we are known for taking advantage of every opportunity to improve the environment and our natural resources – and the Chicago River is one of our most valuable resources,” said Mayor Daley. “One of our most exciting expansion projects has been the Chicago Riverwalk, a new focal point of our city for recreation and tourism, and a great new attraction for downtown.“
As part of this year’s program the City has also installed three blocks of new public art between State and LaSalle Streets.
The exhibition, “Chicago Looks: Portraits by Chicago Artists”, features artwork by 40 Chicago artists ranging from recent graduates to senior citizens. Running through mid-October, the exhibition features “portraits” of the City of Chicago and is on view daily and showcases a variety of methods and media from traditional painting to digital photography.
The Mayor also reminded residents that this summer the Chicago Department of Transportation will begin phase one of its construction on expanded river-level walkways beneath the Michigan and Wabash bridges.
“These walkways will feature landscaped areas and provide a continuous connection along the river from Lake Michigan all the way to State Street, making it easier for residents and visitors to visit the many attractions the riverfront offers,” said Mayor Daley.
The concession program is a partnership of the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, and the businesses on the Riverwalk.
Listed from east to west, this year’s Riverwalk amenities include:
Between Lake Shore Drive and Columbus Drive:
• Babette’s Liquid Assets (NEW!) – featuring bubble tea, exotic coffee drinks and beignets.
• Summer Chill (NEW!) – Hawaiian shaved ice and other frozen confections.
• Bike Chicago Rentals & Tours – rent bikes, take a guided tour, or hire bicetaxi service to Navy Pier.
Between Columbus Drive and Michigan Avenue:
• Cyrano’s Café and Wine Bar on the Riverwalk (NEW!) – featuring French cuisine, wine and spirits.
• Women-Eye – featuring retail crafts and souvenirs made by local women entrepreneurs.
• Chicago’s First Lady and the Chicago Architecture Foundation – offering architectural river tours, and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline offering lake and river tours.
Between Michigan Avenue and Wabash Avenue:
• McCormick Tribune Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum – located inside the southwest tower of the Michigan Avenue Bridge.
• Wendella Boats – offering architectural, lake and river cruises daily.
• O’Briens Riverwalk Café – featuring burgers, steak sandwiches, beer, wine and spirits.
Between State Street and Dearborn Street
• Diosa on the River: Sushi and Grill (NEW!) – featuring sushi and kabobs.
• Robinsons # 1 Ribs – featuring BBQ ribs and various sandwiches.
Between Dearborn Street and Clark Street
• Lagniappe Creole Cajun Joynt (NEW!) – featuring authentic Creole and Cajun dishes.
Between Wells Street and Franklin Street
• Shoreline Sightseeing Water Taxi (opening in July).