Oak Street is Back!

If you’ve walked down Oak Street lately, the argueably most coveted fashion street address in Chicago, you will see many changes. Three older buildings have been torn down, along with the restructuring of the former Esquire Theatre, to make way for a new development that has pumped new life into this iconic street.

Over the past few years, Oak Street like many other popular shopping areas has lost tenants who have either moved locations due to high cost of rent or have gone out of business. One of my favorite stores, Luca Luca, closed its doors early this year as this company has restructured after being on Oak Street for over a decade. Yves Saint Laurent, Ultimo, Marilyn Miglin, Sarah’s Candies and St. John have also left over the years to make way for other stores.

For the past few years, Oak Street appeared to be losing its sparkle as stores like Ted Baker, Scoop NYC, Vera Wang and Suitup signed leases on the adjoining Rush Street, rather than Oak. These stores have benefited from the increasing shopping and entertainment foot traffic in this area.

This has all changed, of late. It appears that Oak Street is back in a big way with the opening of the latest steakhouse to hit Chicago (and we Chicagoans like our steak!), Del Frisco’s, which is scheduled to open on December 1st. This new steakhouse is the latest of ten locations and is expected to take over much of the 35,000 square feet of the former Esquire Theatre. Fun, flamboyant, and pricy, Gibsons is taking notice, as it prepares to open.

The big news is that Christian Louboutin is opening here, also. This coveted shoe with the identifiable red soles is going to be a hit for those that can afford this luxury designer. A Tom Ford store is also rumored to be opening in this location, among other high-end designer stores in a space that appears to resemble the The Ceasar’s Forum in Las Vegas, and is for sure to be a hit with those that love high-end shopping.

These stores join an already impressive group of retailers including, Lanvin (not open yet), Hermes, Tod’s, Jill Sander, Prada, Jimmmy Choo, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Furla, Moncler, Paul Stuart, Lester Lampert, Graff, Escada, Piazza Simone, Barney’s and Geneva Seal. There are many others that make this a must destination for those who love high fashion. It’s the place to be this holiday season. I’ve already picked out my Hermes bracelet for my Christmas present and will be dining at Del Frisco’s in December. I still can’t afford the Christian Louboutin shoes, but it is a woman’s right to look!


About Terri Lee Ryan

Terri Lee Ryan is a former Chicago commercial real estate broker, marketing consultant and hotel developer. An avid writer, she is the author of Life Is One Big To-Do List. In “People, Places and Property” she dishes on leaders in real estate, new places in your neighborhood and deals being done in Chicago.