It's fascinating how quickly projects like Harper Court come together, isn't it? Last summer, we were looking at a giant hole in the ground, and today...
In the name of blog research and Hyde Park community, I'm testing out each new business as it opens. Akira? Mostly clothes for young people (or less-than-very-young people who are far more hip than I)...lots of space for chitlins to run around, though, and racks to hide beneath. Reasonable prices if you're thinking of going back for a sparkly dress to have on hand or reclaiming your youth via sassy (yep, sassy!) clothes... Plus, the sweetest group of salespeople I've ever met in my life.
Kilwin's? Solid (if a little pricey) ice cream. S's first taste of food coloring (Superman! blech...). Lots of chocolates, a sweet place (bwahahaha) to pick up a gift, or a little something for yourself if Santa neglected your stocking this year. Friendly, patient staff. An unmarked, poorly stocked bathroom (parents of potty-training tots take note), which I hope comes from newness and isn't a permanent problem.
I've had my eye on the theater (Harper Theater, of course), peeking in when a pane of glass broke. It's swanky and beautiful, and I (an expert, of course) have no idea when it will actually open. Today? Tomorrow? Three weeks from now? The website doesn't give much indication, and I'm taking any rumors of open date with a healthy dose of skepticism (it was originally slated to open at Thanksgiving). But I'm excited about the addition to the neighborhood and REALLY excited to introduce S to movies (she sat through thirty minutes of 'Elf' at a time this month, and if I catch her when she's sleepy but not so tired she's on the verge of a tantrum, I've got a good chance of having a new cuddle buddy!).
We should have the hotel and The Promontory sometime in the next few months, and from there, things at Harper Court should unfold pretty quickly.
All this doesn't come without sacrifices, however: I was sad to see that Park 52 won't survive the transition, despite what seems to be a really positive relationship with UC. Though it didn't necessarily fit in with the existing Hyde Park aesthetic, I had high hopes that Park 52 (which, for the record, had great food, really exceptional service, and a totally decent bar (read: stiff drinks!)) would see a real uptick in business when its immediate neighborhood started to grow. I'm sorry to see Park 52 close, but really jazzed to watch what happens there next.
Til next time, Hyde Park!
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