In the space of time -- less, actually -- that it's taken Hyde Parkers to deep six The Point, to mothball Doctors Hospital, and to even get the ball rolling on a possible redevelopment of Harper Court, a city-within-a-city has arisen on the skeleton of boulevards that frames Chicago's historic heart.
As recently as 5 years ago, when the old boulevards of Indiana, Prairie, State, Wabash and Michigan were being decked out with new high-rises seemingly every week, there was barely a Subway sandwich shop to be found. The whole area had the potential, so it seemed, to go awry in the way that Jane Jacobs argued is most likely when large concentrations of urban development are built at once.
But that doesn't appear to have happened. Now, together with a bustling China Town and Bridgeport, Greater South Loop and the Near South Side offer an increasing variety of attractions for South Siders. To highlight that fact -- and to make life more interesting to Hyde Parkers while we sit out the development deep-freeze in our own neighborhood -- we offer you this and subsequent installments of A Hyde Park Users Guide to South Loop.
Opart Thai House
We visited this place on South State Street a few weeks ago after an event at Columbia College. Located on the ground floor of a new building, we were able to park around the corner and immediately get a seat on a Friday night. This is a third location for Opart, and from what we've heard from those who have tried both of its Chicago locations, it is superior to the original at Western and Lawrence.
Short take: a decent neighborhood Thai place with authentic and flavorful food.
Overall, Opart Thai House is the best Thai experience available to Hyde Park from within a striking distance of about 5 miles. Check it out.
And, it's worth noting, the bathrooms are clean, brand new, and built for use.
1906 S. State Street