[Feature Photo: The 606 runs through the middle of West Bucktown, offering both recreation and efficient east/west travel by foot or bike.]
While often used as the punchline for jokes about realtors creating neighborhoods out of thin air, West Bucktown has really come into its own. Arguably a part of Humboldt Park or Logan Square, West Bucktown has a dedicated group of neighbors working to ensure that the area maintains its own identity. At Ask Nagel, we recognize the neighborhood as one of the key-value areas in greater West Town. The borders of this community are North Avenue to the south, Armitage to the north, Western to the east, California to the west.
As the name implies, West Bucktown lies directly west of the shopping and restaurants of Bucktown, and share many of the neighborhood’s qualities. Tree-lined streets abound, and the housing mix encompasses lofts, single-families both old and new, and classic and modern multi-unit buildings.
Public amenities are probably West Bucktown’s most prominent feature. The 606, an elevated park built on an old railway line, runs right through the neighborhood, making for quick access to Bucktown proper via foot or bike, while nearby Humboldt Park offers acres of green space, tennis courts, formal gardens, and even a beach.
The main commercial corridors of West Bucktown extend from the intersections of Western and Armitage and California and Armitage. Building on both a renovation of the Blue Line stop and the nearby 606, Western and Armitage, in particular, has seen explosive growth. Large new high-end rental properties have popped up, and many of the existing classic buildings have been renovated, most notably the old bank building that houses the legendary Margie’s Candies. And, of course, as with every other burgeoning neighborhood, a new Starbucks now anchors one of the corners. For California and Armitage, the growth has been primarily culinary, with Armitage becoming a new hot restaurant corridor, featuring Scofflaw, Parson’s Chicken and Fish, Giant, Dos Urban Cantina and many others.
For buyers who may feel priced out of Bucktown proper, West Bucktown can offer a lower-priced alternative. While the neighborhood may have started as a way to make buyers feel like they were buying into Bucktown, the neighborhood has now established its own identity and can stand on its own.
West Bucktown is primarily composed of single-family homes and three-flat condo and apartment buildings, along with some larger renovated loft buildings utilizing some of the old factories that used to operate here. In recent years, many of the old workers’ cottages have been torn down and replaced with new construction, but examples of classic architecture can still be found, creating an eclectic mix of old and new on most West Bucktown streets.
Table Donkey and Stick: Named for a fairy tale, this enchanting neighborhood gem is a perfect date spot, with innovative takes on European classics, a great wine list, and a cozy patio for outdoor dining.
Scofflaw: Gin may be the star at this neighborhood tavern, but expect everything to be expertly made by the pro bartenders. A surprisingly affordable (and delicious) menu of bar snacks and full meals makes this a perfect choice for a night out.
Parson’s Chicken and Fish: On a nice summer night, there’s nowhere better to be than on Parson’s expansive patio. Play some ping-pong, grab a negroni slushy and chow down on some of the best-fried chicken in town at this hipster hangout.
Margie’s Candies: A century-old Chicago institution, Margie’s serves up ice cream, sundaes, and a wide array of chocolates under their iconic neon sign.
Katherine Anne Confections: It’s a world of chocolate at this gourmet confectioners. Whether shopping for a special gift or treating yourself, you can’t go wrong with chocolate. Be sure to try their hot chocolate as well!
An Orange Moon: Find one of the best selections of mid-century classics at this well-curated vintage store on North Avenue.
West Bucktown residents come together in the West Bucktown Neighborhood Alliance. In their own words: “From the greening of the neighborhood, to reducing crime, to connecting residents with each other and the City of Chicago, we proactively seek out initiatives that promise to build a sense of community, beautify our surroundings, and instill pride in our wonderful urban neighborhood.”
West Bucktown is well-served by both buses and trains, and readily accessible to most major highways. The Blue Line is the primary mode of transportation, with the Western stop at Western and Armitage and the California stop at California and Fullerton both easily walkable. The 49 Western bus provides convenient north/south travel.
West Bucktown may have started as a realtor-driven creation but it has grown into a great neighborhood in its own right. As a value alternative to some of the more expensive neighborhoods nearby, West Bucktown’s tree-lined streets and access to the 606 and Humboldt Park, as well as all the shopping and dining in Logan Square and Bucktown proper, make it a great choice for buyers looking to get more for their money. If you want to learn more, give Ask Nagel a call – we know West Bucktown!