The Southport Corridor is known across the city as a top shopping and dining destination.
That’s not all though. It’s also one of Chicago’s most charming residential neighborhoods. The Southport Corridor is an affluent, walkable area just 6 miles north of the Loop. A top lifestyle neighborhood, the area offers a relaxed, welcoming community. Residents enjoy lovely homes, quiet streets, and an easy commute to the Loop with the CTA Brown Line.
Southport Corridor Neighborhood Guide
Shopping, Dining, and Entertainment. Oh My!
Southport Avenue isn’t quite the “yellow brick road”, but it offers plenty to explore. While shopping is the star, the neighborhood has also grown into one of Chicago’s new dining hotspots. And with top cultural institutions like Schubas and The Music Box Theater, the businesses on the Corridor are as diverse as the residents!
Southport Corridor Shopping
An ideal blend of national retailers and Chicago-owned boutiques, the area’s shopping even draws some tourists away from the Mag-Mile. The focus here is on clothes, particularly for women. Alongside chains like Anthropologie and Gap, great local stores include Mint Julep and Krista K Boutique. Threads aren’t the only game in town; a recently opened Amazon Bookstore and Foursided, a local gifts store, round out the strip.
While other neighborhoods may have gotten more buzz, the Southport Corridor’s excellent restaurant more than holds its own. You can find anything from a quick lunch to a romantic date-night spot within walking distance.
Some dinner favorites include Coda di Volpe, serving authentic Southern Italian in a romantic atmosphere, Coalfire, a family-friendly pizzaria. For dessert, people line up for Jeni’s Ice Cream, featuring specialties like Bangkok Peanut and Churro alongside classic flavors. Looking for something familiar? Chain restaurants, like Potbelly and Noodles and Company, are also available.
Culture and Entertainment
While shopping may fill your closets (and empty your wallet!), the local culture will raise your spirit. The Music Box Theater might top the list. Since opening 1929, the lovely theater has been a favorite for independent and foreign film lovers.
Music fan? Southport has you covered, Schubas and the Metro are hotspots for both local and touring acts. Interested in theater and comedy? Try the Annoyance Theater, for rousing comedy shows, and Stage Left Theater for more serious fare.
And, if festivals are your thing, the neighborhood hosts the Southport Arts Fair and you’re only blocks from the Pride Parade in Boystown. Want to dip your feet into nightlife? Nightlife centers (Wrigleyville and Boystown) are a short walk away (though far enough to spare you the noise and chaos!).
And, of course, Wrigley Field and the Chicago Cubs, are just a few blocks to the east. There’s simply nothing better than baseball on a summer Chicago afternoon!
Parks and Recreation
One of the few downsides to the Southport Corridor, and Lakeview, in general, is the lack of public green space. That said, one can find playground parks, including Sheil Park on Southport Avenue. It’s a bit of a hike to Lake Michigan, but it’s worth it. The lakefront Lincoln Park offers a lakefront trail with stunning skyline views and acres of grassy parkland. While Lakeview portion of Lincoln Park only offers a popular dog beach, just to the north and south sit some of Chicago’s nicest swimming beaches.
Southport Corridor History
Southport Avenue was once little more than a trail path used by local Native Americans. The first European settlers came to the area in 1837. Soon the area was full of celery farms, small saloons, and cottages. The area began to change in 1853, with the construction of the Hotel Lake View. A popular resort for wealthy Chicagoans, the hotel attracted investment and new residents to the area.
Becoming Southport Corridor
Many of the Southport Corridor’s classic cultural institutions opened in the early-20th century. Between 1910 and 1930, The Athenaeum, The Music Box Theater, and Schubas were all established. In 1914, Wrigley Field was built just to the east of the corridor. The Chicago Cubs played their first game in the stadium in 1916. Drawing thousands of residents in part with the beautiful stadium, much of the area’s housing stock was built in these years.
Southport Corridor Today
With its major institutions in place, Southport Avenue developed into a major shopping area. In the last 20 years, Southport Avenue filled in with national retailers and local boutiques. Around it, the Lakeview neighborhood continues to grow and change. The distinct areas– East Lakeview, Southport Corridor, Boystown, and Wrigleyville– together form a diverse and vibrant community. And in 2016, the Cubs finally snapped the curse of the Billy Goat and won their first title in over 100 years. Fly the W!
Southport Corridor Homes
Whether they are walking their dogs on quiet residential blocks or enjoying a latte in a local cafe, residents love the Southport Corridor. Housing in the area ranges widely in style, type, and price. An affluent area, prices here can be higher than in surrounding neighborhoods. Home options include single-family homes, vintage walk-ups, new construction three-flats, loft buildings and high-rises.
Looking for a relaxed, yet thriving neighborhood to call home? The Southport Corridor could be a perfect fit. Come check it out!