Chicago Helicopter Express, a tour company that offers helicopter rides for tourists and executives, plans to build a facility on the South Branch of the Chicago River. The development includes the creation of a water taxi dock and a terminal with a rooftop observation deck. The location will be in close proximity to the Stevenson and Dan Ryan Expressways, and the CTA Orange Line. The planning process is still in the early proposal stages and more details are expected in a few months.
AAA announced its list of five-diamond restaurants, and Chicago has seven restaurants that received the coveted ranking. The awards are only given to restaurants that offer a "renowned, world-class experience, cutting-edge menus, unique food preparation by highly acclaimed chefs, and a maître d' that leads an unobtrusive expert service staff." The seven restaurants that received five-diamond status are Acadia, Alinea, Arun's, Everest, Grace, Sixteen and Tru. Fifteen Chicago-area restaurants reived four-diamond designation.
Chef Rodelio Aglibot, formerly of Sunda, will open a dim sum restaurant in Lakeshore East called Yum Cha. The menu will include traditional Cantonese dishes, some 50 to 60 types of dim sum, as well as some modern twists. Yum Cha will have a full bar with craft beers, cocktails and a variety of teas. The restaurant is slated to open in March.
OTO Development bought a 8,100-square-foot piece of land on North Franklin Street downtown, where it plans to build an 18-story, 206-room Hyatt Place hotel with about 3,000 square feet of meeting space. Chicago has been experiencing a large hotel boom over the past year, with 1,800 rooms under construction downown, and an additional 5,800 in the planning stage.