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Portions of the Chicago Riverwalk open after improvements Niko Apostal 05/26/15

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If you were wandering around downtown over the three-day weekend, you may have noticed something new: portions of the Chicago Riverwalk, which have been under construction for several months, are finally open to the public as part of Phase 2 of improving Chicago’s river area downtown.

However, according to CBS 2 Chicago, the city may have been a bit overzealous in opening the section of the Riverwalk (on the south side of the river between Clark and State) so early in the season. Although the “walk” section of the Riverwalk is finished, there are still empty storefronts and restaurant spaces along the stretch, which some visitors said still felt “empty.”

The lack of dining options is hopefully temporary. According to Eater Chicago, the Riverwalk improvement is set to bring in several new restaurants spread across the themed blocks — the two blocks that opened over the weekend are “The Marina” and “The Cove.” According to Eater, vendors that have signed a deal with the city so far include City Winery, Island Party Hut, Cyrano’s Café & Wine Bar and Flander’s Belgian Beer & Fries, as well as river staple O’Brien’s Riverwalk Cafe, which for years has operated on the water under a Chicago Park District contract.

According to Curbed, the third block in this phase, “The River Theater,” is set to open in June and that will complete Phase 2 of this $100M river improvement program. No word yet on when the businesses and restaurants will open, however.

*Photo courtesy of Flickr user

File: Chicago Riverwalk