Friday, September 24, 2010

Elgin's Halloween Howl

On Saturday, October 30, downtown Elgin is the place to be for all your pre-Halloween fun as we present Elgin's Halloween Howl - A Nightmare on Chicago Street. Bring the "boos" and "ghouls" out for an afternoon of family fun and then "mummy" and "deadly" can return that evening for some ghoulish, grown-up good times!

Here is a rundown of the day's activities:

1 PM - Costume Contest (for kids 12 and under) Registration at Elgin Civic Plaza at 150 Dexter Court; Trick or Treating and Kids Activities (including Pumpkin Decorating, Face Painting, "Thriller" Dance Demo and more) on Downtown Elgin Streets; and Kids Arts and Crafts in the lower level of The Hemmens at 45 Symphony Way.

2 PM - Storytelling courtesy of Gail Borden Library at Civic Plaza

3 PM - Parade of Costumes/Awards at Elgin's Civic Plaza

3:30 PM - Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s Halloween Spooktacular Concert at The Hemmens Cultural Center at 45 Symphony Way, Tickets: $10/kids, $15/adults. Visit for tickets.

8 PM - Rocky Horror Picture Show - The Hemmens Cultural Center, Tickets: $7 - ADULTS ONLY! Visit for tickets. Come out early to The Hemmens to meet your Master of “Scare”-emonies WCIU Channel 26 - The U’s Svengoolie!

Afterwards, be sure to visit Psychosis Haunted House, Elgin's newest Halloween attraction, at 200 Symphony Way for a quality haunt or stay for all the frighteningly fun times that downtown Elgin's nightlife has to offer!

Elgin's Halloween Howl - A Nightmare on Chicago Street is a joint venture between the City of Elgin, the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin, the Elgin Symphony and The Hemmens Cultural Center.

The Scene: Another Big September Saturday On Tap

The song may say, "Wake me up when September ends," but after a fun-filled September slate of family festivals, live entertainment and cultural events the last two weekends in downtown Elgin, you may need another 40 winks at September's conclusion.

Whatever your weekend plans are, cancel them! We've got your Friday and Saturday planned in downtown this weekend:

Friday, September 24th

Ladies first! At 5pm, kick off your heels and celebrate the weekend with Salon Couture at 176 E. Chicago Street and their monthly Martini and Manicure event. For $25, you'll savor an Espresso martini while enjoying $10 chair massages and $10 off all hair, nail, facials and full massages. You'll also be eligible for a drawing to win a $25 Salon Couture gift card.

Don't stop the pampering there! Grab up your main squeeze and head over to Douglas Street Sports Bar at 231 Douglas Avenue for their Fantastic Friday including live music and an $8 Fish Fry or enjoy some live jazz upstairs at Elgin Public House's (219 E. Chicago Street) Pub 217. At 9pm, get your Martini fix again at Martini Room's (161 E. Chicago Street) Harlem Liquor Tasting featuring Harlem RHS shots for $2 and Harlem Tootsie Roll Martinis for $6. Then dance the rest of your night away After Dark-style on Red Bar Winery's (74 S. Grove Avenue) dance floor.

Saturday, September 25th

Good morning sunshine! Start off your Saturday with a morning coffee or breakfast nosh at Domani Cafe at 109 E. Highland Avenue or Ravenheart Coffee at 176 E. Chicago Street.

Then head over to the 2010 Downtown Elgin Car Show & Midwest Green Car Expo from 9am-2pm at the Civic Parking Lot at Highland and Douglas Avenues near City Hall. Check out all the coolest muscle cars, hot rods, classics, vintage and antique roadsters as well as the latest innovations in fuel-efficient technologies, hybrids, E-85's, veggie oilers and much more! Two great car shows for one great price - FREE!

Afterwards, grab lunch at one of over a dozen downtown eateries:

Maybe a burger and a Burns malt at Al's Cafe & Creamery at 43 DuPage Court, wonderful Chinese cuisine at Bangkok House & Shanghai Restaurant at 11 Douglas Avenue, tantilizing Thai food at Toom Toom Thai at 23 S. Grove Avenue, or a tasty Sammie and soup at Quiznos Sub at 59 Douglas Avenue?

Perhaps Mexican food is front-and-center on your menu. No problem. Enjoy all the festive flavors of fine Mexican fare at La Puesta Del Sol at 165 E. Highland Avenue, La Quebrada at 50 N. Spring Street, El Faro at 9 N. State Street, or Camaroncito Loco at 21 N. State Street.

If you've got a craving for gaming, bring your crew to the Grand Victoria Casino at 250 S. Grove Avenue to double-down on four distinct dining experiences for appetites of all kinds including Crave Deli, Grand Victoria Buffet, Prime BurgerHouse, and Buckingham's Steakhouse.

Feeling full yet? Save room for the "Cos" as legendary comedian Bill Cosby comes to the Hemmens Cultural Center at 45 Symphony Way for two shows at 5pm and again at 9pm. For ticket information and purchase, call the Hemmens' Box Office at (847) 931-5900 or visit

Cap off the night with friends at the 2010 Elgin Pub Crawl beginning at 8pm. Start off by picking up your passport at any one of the ten participating downtown venues including:

The AfterSet - 158 Symphony Way
Douglas Street Sports Bar & Grill - 231 Douglas Avenue
Elgin Public House - 219 E. Chicago Street
Gasthaus - 15 N. Grove Avenue
Hangout Club & Grill - 51 S. Grove Avenue
La Puesta Del Sol - 165 E. Highland Avenue
Martini Room - 161 E. Chicago Street
Medusa's - 209 E. Chicago Street
Red Bar Winery - 74 S. Grove Avenue
Villa Verone Ristorante Italiano - 13 Douglas Avenue

Procure a minimum of 6 punches on your passport, fill it out and insert it into one of the passport collection boxes to be eligible for some great prizes courtesy of City Beverage and Budweiser including a Michelob Mountain Bike, Budweiser Coleman Cooler, Amber Bock Golf Bag and Bud iPod Speaker Tower.

Volunteers from Senior Services Associates, The John E. McCue Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin will be on hand at each venue selling charity raffle tickets for $5 each with proceeds to be split amongst the three Not-for-Profit organizations. Raffle prizes include a brand new iPad (valued at $525) and a $250 cash prize.

Some of the Pub Crawl venues have special events going on as well including Birthday Night at Medusa's, Comedy Night at Douglas Street Sports Bar & Grill and Hall of Fame blues recording artist Lonnie Brooks performing at 8pm at Hangout Club & Grill's (formerly Mad Maggie's) grand opening!

To make sure everyone gets home safely, A-1 Cab Dispatch will have a fleet of cabs in and around downtown as well as discounted fare coupons (good for the night of the Pub Crawl only) available at each Pub Crawl venue.

If ever there was a weekend to get Downtown, this would be the one!

Enjoy your weekend!

Downtown Elgin Construction Update - Week of September 27

Dexter Court Reconstruction Begins This Week

Reconstruction of Dexter Court begins Monday, September 27. Dexter Court will be closed for two weeks to allow for reconstruction. Access to City Hall is available through the Civic Center parking lot with access from Douglas Avenue, Highland Avenue and Grove Court.

The City's payment drop box will be temporarily relocated during construction. To access the drop box, enter the Civic Center Parking lot from Douglas Avenue. Vehicular access to the drop box will be available in a drive up lane set up in the parking area along the north side of this entrance.

Click here for detour route > > >

The closure of Dexter Court is expected to last until Monday, October 11.

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Installation of brick paver sidewalks continues on the south side of Highland Avenue from Grove Avenue to Douglas Avenue and from Spring Street to Center Street.

Milling of the existing asphalt surface and installation of the first layer of the new asphalt surface throughout this phase of the project is expected to begin the week of October 11.

This phase of the CBD Streetscape project includes Highland Avenue from Riverside Drive to Center Street, Grove Court, Spring Street from Highland Avenue to Division Street, Dexter Court and Center Street from Kimball Street to Dundee Avenue.

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Weekly progress meetings for the Central Business District construction project are held on Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. at the construction office located at 201 E. Chicago Street. Business and property owners are invited to attend the first 15 minutes of the meeting if they have any questions or concerns regarding the construction.

Specific questions regarding the construction may be directed to Shelley Costello with TranSystems at 847-871-3185.

For general information on the project, please contact Joe Evers at 847-931-5955 or visit the City's website at and click the Gettin' Around in Downtown icon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Downtown Elgin ArtSpace Project Receives Funding

The Elgin ArtSpace Project, slated for the Fountain Square campus at 15 S. Spring Street, was recently approved for funding through a grant from the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

For a transcript of the official press release from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's office, click here!

Check out these stories in the Daily Herald and on BocaJump about the Elgin ArtSpace Project being approved for funding through a grant from the Illinois Housing Development Authority:

Daily Herald
"Grant means full speed ahead for Elgin artist co-op"
By Harry Hitzeman

"State OKs financing plan for Artspace project in Elgin"