It's too bad, then, that the landlord of one prominent building at this intersection has decided to go ghetto with their property, and grace it with this classy little establishment:
You may know the building I'm talking about. It's the handsome structure on the SE corner of Hyde Park Boulevard and 55th that has been a dynamic incubator of Hyde Park small retail, or at least an incubator of awesome cosmetology signage:
All Cheesball Points Forfeited
Especially when you know something about the backstory of the little walk-down space at 5503 1/2: the ceiling collapsed on the former tenant, a high-end bike shop, raining mold and asbestos throughout the space. The tenant relocated elsewhere in Hyde Park, and 5503 1/2 sat empty for over a year. It's not clear what repairs were made and whether the environmental hazard was addressed. What is clear is that the former tenant, Tati Bike Shop, was the kind of unique, boutique retail operation that everyone in Hyde Park says they want.
What replaced it is not.
We happen to know that the owner of this building is also the proud landlord of a similarly maintained property at the SW corner of 53rd and Harper Avenue (west of Pizza Capri, and directly south of the old Herald Building), where you can also get bongs, smokes, phone cards, maybe a few extra cardboard cut-out Wild Turkey signs, and knock-off perfume laced with pheremones that will "drive him wild."
So we've decided to give this landlord our quarterly HPP's Favorite Landlord Award. Contestant must score high points in each of the following categories:
1) Plentiful, Cheesy Retail Signage
2) Overall Ghetto Flavor and Wide Selection of Cheeseball Products
3) Locating as Many Hair and Nail Salons on One Strip as Possible
4) Giving a Lease to the Guys who Run That Other Bongs-Smokes-and-Pheremones Place on 53rd St.
This quarter, the award goes to the landlord of 5500 S. Hyde Park Boulevard, hands down. Congratulations! Hyde Park welcomes you!