Afternoon Edition: March 22, 2022

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot is now choosing from three remaining finalists to run the Chicago casino. A final decision now isn’t expected until early summer.

Jeff T. Green/Getty Images

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

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Afternoon Edition

Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus issue on Saturdays that dives into the city’s storied history.

This afternoon will be cloudy with a 40% chance of rain and a high near 53 degrees. Tonight will be rainy with a low around 49. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a high near 63 and showers likely.

Top story

Lightfoot cuts Chicago casino hand to three finalists — tosses two McCormick proposals to the discard pile

Chicago’s drawn-out casino sweepstakes is down to three-of-a-kind, as Mayor Lori Lightfoot today passed on a pair of proposals tied to McCormick Place — and extended her selection process by at least a few months.

City officials announced they’ve narrowed the field of five bids for the coveted megacasino down to three development pitches: a Bally’s casino slated for the River West site where a Chicago Tribune printing plant is now located; a Hard Rock casino at the proposed One Central project site over the Metra tracks near Soldier Field; and the so-called “Rivers 78” site in the South Loop.

But while the mayor had previously said she wanted to pick one finalist by the end of March to recommend to state regulators who have the final say on issuing a casino license, officials now say that decision won’t be made at least until early summer.

Jennie Huang Bennett, the city’s chief financial officer, said the lengthy process — now approaching three years since state legislators paved the way for a Chicago casino — comes down to getting more community input.

“If we had selected one site without having had further engagement within the community then, I think that would have been very difficult for us to hold to the values of transparency and community engagement that we do with every major development,” Bennett said.

Eliminated from consideration were a separate proposal from Bally’s that had eyed the McCormick Place truck marshaling yards south of the convention center, and another that sought to overhaul the convention center’s aging, sparsely used Lakeside Center. That bid was backed by billionaire casino magnate Neil Bluhm, who remains in contention with the 78 proposal.

Mitchell Armentrout has more on the finalists here.

More news you need

  1. Friends and family are mourning the loss of Daniel Martinez, a Chicago native and former Marine who was stabbed to death outside a Boston bar last week by a bouncer. Martinez, 23, and his friends were denied entry into the bar by a bouncer who then chased Martinez and fatally stabbed him.
  2. A teen has been charged in the shooting of an 11-year-old boy in Burnside yesterday. The 19-year-old was arrested shortly after the boy was shot in the leg in the 800 block of East 89th Street around 2:55 p.m., Chicago police said.
  3. Chicago Police Supt. David Brown asked for help in identifying a shooter who killed two men and wounded two others yesterday afternoon in South Shore. The gunman, wearing a hood and a mask, fired shots from a bicycle that killed the men, ages 32 and 23.
  4. A discount store was destroyed in an extra alarm fire this afternoon in Albany Park, a neighborhood that has seen other buildings gutted by fire in recent weeks. The blaze broke out about 12:40 p.m. at the JoJo discount store at 3040 W. Lawrence Ave., according to Chicago fire officials.
  5. The United Center announced today that people attending events at the arena will no longer have to present proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Once inside, masks are recommended but optional for eventgoers, the United Center said.
  6. With headlining artists like Metallica, Dua Lipa, Green Day, Doja Cat, J. Cole and more topping the list, Lollapalooza today revealed its 2022 lineup. More than 170 acts will perform at the Grant Park fest running July 28-31, with ticket prices landing in the $350-$4,200 range.

A bright one

A look inside Garfield Park’s food business incubator, The Hatchery

About 100 businesses currently operate out of The Hatchery, a food and beverage incubator at 135 N. Kedzie Ave.

The 67,000-square-foot Hatchery opened in 2018. It has 56 private kitchens and five shared kitchens, as well as storage space and loading docks.

For fledgling restaurateurs, it offers classes on entrepreneurship, technology support and help with licensing.


Wanda Gilmer of Fatso Hard Kitchen prepares potatoes for an upcoming delivery at The Hatchery at 135 N Kedzie Ave in East Garfield Park.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Natalie Shmulik, the Hatchery’s chief strategy and incubation officer, said the goal is to “create a pathway for entrepreneurs to achieve success.”

That success can be difficult to achieve. The National Restaurant Association estimates that before the pandemic, 50,000 eating and drinking establishments were closing every year (compared to about 60,000 opening every year).

“It’s our job to provide them with as much … candid information as possible to give them a very realistic perspective,” she said.

Cheyanne M. Daniels has more on the restaurants operating at The Hatchery here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What do you think of this year’s Lollapalooza lineup? Explain.

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: Pet owners — What’s the coolest trick you’ve ever taught your pet?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Tricks and commands in sign language. When he was barking I would sign for him to use his inside voice and he would mumble.” — Deborah Fuller Tobias

“To run outside (doggie door) when my smoke detector goes off because I burnt something.” — Jill Adams

“Ring a bell when he wanted to go outside.” — Donald Ray Brewster

“Going upstairs to my closet to get my slippers.” — Lynn Gryzlak

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition. Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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