A third section of the updated Riverwalk opened Friday, marking the final section of the city’s new riverfront recreational area expected to open this summer.
Most of the vendors are now open on the Riverwalk, including all of the restaurants currently contracted.
The new River Theater section, which runs from North Clark Street to North La Salle Street, includes a set of steps that run from Upper Wacker Drive down to the river’s edge that are expected to be the site of performances from the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, according to the mayor’s office.
It also serves as a site for strollers and wheelchairs to get to the Riverwalk via an ADA-compliant ramp.
With Friday’s opening, the first two phases of the project are now complete and all but two of the confirmed vendors are open.
So far, the Riverwalk is home to five bars and restaurants:
- The Island Party Hut, a tiki-themed bar and grill, opened last Saturday and serves grilled burgers, sandwiches and salads along with a full bar.
- Cyrano’s Café and Wine Bar, which offers French lunch fare and wine, reopened their Riverwalk location Friday.
- O’Brien’s Riverwalk Café, a returning riverfront restaurant, features American-style burgers and sandwiches. The café opened at the end of May.
- City Winery opened an outpost on Friday, offering a best-of selection from their menu and wines on tap, according to their website.
- Flander’s Belgium Beer and Fries, which has a Belgian-focused beer list and fries with a number of different dipping sauces, opened Friday.
A number of biking and kayaking companies are now open on the Riverwalk, including WanderBikes, Urban Kayaks, Wheel Fun Rentals and Mercury Cruises.
Six more sections of the Riverwalk are under construction, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He said he expects the sections, which will end at Lake Street, to open by this time next year.
“My goal was for the river to be the next waterfront for the city,” Emanuel said Friday.
“I want to make it accessible and integrated into the city. That carried through in its design.”