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Checking out the Fulton Market Street area in Chicago


I have been trying to get to the Fulton Market area of Chicago for a while to see what all the fuss is about.  It’s the meat packing district of Chicago, slowly being taken over by chic shops, eateries and galleries and a funny, funky coffee shop.

I finally got there in September when a friend and I went to Chicago to check out the Poetry Foundation.  We had a little time and the day was gorgeous so off we went.

First stop was the Jupiter Outpost.  Seems to be quite the gathering spot in the area.  We were sorry the owner wasn’t there. She’s on a YouTube post and appeared to be a pretty cool lady.  Would have enjoyed talking to her.

I liked the hodge podgy of decor, a good cup of coffee, cute bike vehicles.



We meandered on down the street to find the Morlen Sinoway shop.  I’ve seen this shop mentioned in design type magazines for years and wanted to experience first hand.  Not disappointed.

The shop is a wonderful accumulation of hip furniture, home accessories, jewelry.  All carefully selected and displayed.  I liked the chalk board with the red Navy 111 chairs making an attractive window display.

We loved the bright yellow tiles surround the doorway.  One needs to know to hit the buzzer to be let in…..we didn’t and stood, noses pressed the window wondering how to get in while watching Morlon work at his desk, surrounded by a picture frame.

Finally he looked up, heard us knocking and came to open the door. You had to know to buzz on the mail box panel.

I will go back in June when he does what has become an institution in Chicago–The Gorilla Truck Show. It’s held during Neocon and draws fashionistas and design mavens from all over.   Stay tuned.  Will blog about it when I get there.

 We also checked out the exterior of Grant Achatz’s much ballyhooed new restaurant, NEXT.  Again.  Hard to find.

Well, we didn’t eat at the restaurant, too early in the day and reservations are almost impossible to come by, but  we found it on a urban street, standing out with its outdoor sofas, landscaping and oozing coolness.  Took us a bit because the sign was very tiny and a tone on tone affair.  Had to know it was there, kind of thing


 The spot that absolutely astounded us was the Douglas Dawson Gallery.

At Morlen’s  recommendation, we meandered through Fulton Market to find it.  Just when we were ready to turn around because the urban scape was decayed and a little spooky, we saw the letters of the gallery shop on he wall.  It’s a very sophisticated store exterior.


The gallery and its garden is an absolute jewel of an oasis surrounded by urban grit. The gallerist told us that during the early part of the day, people are working and streets lively.  When we were there late afternoon when the area was a little desolate and a little scary.

But once in side. Wow.  Like Double Wow.  I’d love to go to a gallery happening here.  The space is spacious and elegantly loft like, the grounds beautiful. We enjoyed  photos of Japanese gardens, fabulous ceramics and  odd and wonderful artifacts. Stunning.



Final stop: Girl and The Goat.  This isn’t technically in the Fulton Market area, instead I believe it is the  West Loop.  It’s the restaurant du jour–a spot that takes months to get into.

Lucky us. Tummies rumbling…..we were on Michigan time and had enjoyed only a Chicago hot dog for lunch……. we meandered in and found ourselves a spot on a sofa in the bar area.  They happily served us off the Small Plates menu–goat liver pate’, savory and tasty ham frittes, beet salad and ahhhhh….. Mr. Potato Bread.

It’s a cliche, but true.  “Doesn’t get any better than this.”


Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Oct 27, 2011 Reply

    What a fun and adventurous day it was!!
    Love the visual overlay of the grid wall against the tree………..such foundational concepts…..geometric/organic……and so visually poetic in real life.

  2. posted by
    Don’t miss the Athletic Association Hotel or RH in Chicago | DesignDestinations
    Apr 27, 2016 Reply

    […] done blogs about:  The Wit Hotel.  A Segway Tour.  SOFA.  Fulton Market. Eataly.    The Architectural Boat Tour.  Hearts and/or Refrigerators on Parade.   I could go […]

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