Featuring top shopping, dining, nightlife, and, of course, the Cubs, Lakeview has become one of Chicago’s most sought-after residential areas.
One of the city’s largest neighborhoods, in addition to Wrigleyville the area includes the Southport Corridor, a fun shopping street, Boystown, Chicago’s LGBT epicenter, and a beautiful stretch of lakeside parks. Residents love their historic homes and quiet tree-lined streets just steps from the action. And with nearby Lake Shore Drive and the CTA Brown, Red, and Purple Lines, getting around the city couldn’t be easier!
Long before Lakeview was the home of the Cubs, it was a used as a trail path for the local Native American tribes. After the first European settler arrived in 1837, the landscape slowly filled with celery farms worked by families from Germany, Luxembourg, and Sweden. In 1853, The Hotel Lake View was built, transforming much of the lakefront into a resort area for wealthy Chicagoans. The resort atmosphere and new train lines attracted investment and many new residents to the area. Annexed by the city, Lakeview officially became part of Chicago in 1889.
While the early 20th century saw much commercial development, the single most important addition to the Lakeview area was Wrigley Field in 1914. First built for the now-defunct Chicago Whales, the Chicago Cubs played their first game in the stadium in 1916. Drawing residents in part with the beautiful stadium, the area became increasingly populated, mainly by young adults. By the 1980s, Lakeview had decisively become one of Chicago’s most popular residential areas. In a historic move, in 1998, Chicago funded over 3 million dollars to add permanent street decorations to Boystown, making it the first ever government recognized gay community.
Today, Lakeview continues to grow and change. The constituent neighborhoods– East Lakeview, Central Lakeview, Boystown, and Wrigleyville– together form a diverse and vibrant community. In 2016, the Cubbies finally snapped the “Curse of the Billy Goat” and captured their first World Series in over a century. Fly the W!
Between baseball games, concerts, festivals, dives, and trendy clubs, Lakeview has something fun on offer every day of the week. Live music is always happening at local spots like Metro, Uncommon Ground, Schubas, and the Vic Theatre. The area also has live theater at the Briar Steet Theater, improv at the iO, and films at the Music Box Theater (come early to hear an organist!). The area has great festivals all year round, including the Gay Pride Parade in Boystown and Northalsted Market Days, a street fair featuring prominent bands.
Looking to get some shopping done? Belmont Avenue, Lincoln Avenue, Southport Avenue, Clark Street, Halsted Street, and Broadway Street are the area’s bustling commercial corridors. Lakeview’s great shops range from local boutiques, vintage stores, and national retailers to comic books stores, indie record stores, and much more.
While overshadowed by its baseball and nightlife, Lakeview’s dining scene holds its own with any Chicago neighborhood. From top fine dining establishments and cutting-edge eateries to affordable family restaurants and classic dives, Lakeview bases are loaded. Local favorites include Wood, for award-winning New American, Crisp, with totally delicious fried chicken, and DryHop Brewers, a friendly local brewpub. Round out the night with great dessert at Bobtail Ice Cream for award-winning homemade selections.
And then there is Wrigley Field! Residents love walking to games or simply soaking up the excitement of the stadium during game days or concerts in the park. And Wrigleyville after a Cubs game (especially after a win!) is unlike anything else in Chicago. The areas sports bars and pubs, including Murphy’s Bleachers, The Cubby Bear, and Sluggers, are packed by friendly faces wearing their favorite’s number.
With beautiful Lake Michigan, the lakefront trail, and acres and acres of grassy parkland, the area makes the most of its shoreline. Also in the area is a golf course and driving range, open playing field, and a boat harbor. While Lakeview proper only has a popular dog beach, just to the north and south sit some of Chicago’s nicest swimming beaches.
More affordable than Lincoln Park, Lakeview is on average younger than its northern neighbor. Diverse buying/renting options include high-rises, condominiums, three-flats, loft buildings, and courtyard apartment buildings. Single-family homes range from historic mansions to contemporary new construction. With its easy access to the Loop, top shopping and dining, and exciting nightlife, Lakeview has been delighting residents for over a hundred years. Check it out and see why!