Cubs Fans Waited 108 Years For This World Series Party

By Ariel Cheung, David Matthews and Stephanie Lulay | November 4, 2016 7:22pm

CHICAGO — The Cubs are finally world champs after 108 years, and fans made sure to celebrate Friday.

An estimated 5 million people flooded the Loop for an epic Cubs celebration that started at Wrigley Field and ended in Grant Park.

There were laughs. There were tears. There were fireworks.

Check out photos from Friday's historic rally.

FULTON MARKET — The city's oldest fresh fish wholesaler has sold its buildings at Fulton and Halsted in Fulton Market, making way for retail at the high-profile site.

Isaacson and Stein Fish Company, a fish market open to the public, sold two connected buildings at 800-810 W. Fulton Market to R2 Companies, a West Loop development firm. The $9 million sale was finalized Sept. 30, confirmed Matt Garrison, R2 principal.

R2 Companies plans to restore the four-story brick-and-beam building at 810 W. Fulton and will tear down the two-story building that now serves as the fish market at the northwest corner of the intersection and put up a new building on the site, Garrison said Wednesday. The two buildings are located steps from the Fulton Market District gateway sign.

The fish market will move out at the end of the year, when construction is slated to begin, Garrison said. In its place, R2 is courting "Class A" retailers interested in a landing their flagship location in red-hot Fulton Market.

"We're talking to the top 100 retail brands in the world," Garrison said.

It is unknown whether Isaacson and Stein owners plan to move the business to a new location at the end of the year or will close up shop. On Tuesday, an employee at Isaacson and Stein declined to comment on the deal. On Wednesday, Isaacson's owner Sherwin Willner was not available at the store and other employees declined comment.

Founded by Lou Isaacson and Willie and Ike Stein, Isaacson and Stein Fish Co. has been located at the same location for more than 80 years, and was bought by Ben Willner and Milton Block in 1958, according to the company's website. The company is the oldest fresh fish wholesaler in Chicago, according to owners.

While the company used to get fish via train shipments, all fish now comes daily via air shipments. The store goes through 10 tons of fish each week, its website says, including from Greece, Brazil, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and all over the Atlantic Ocean.

R2 will not need a zoning change to move forward with current plans and the buildings are located outside of the Fulton-Randolph Market Landmark District boundaries.

R2 Companies also plans to redevelop 800 W. Washington Blvd. and working to rehab a building at 1210 W. Lake St. that could call famous architect Helmut Jahn a future tenant.

By: Stephanie Lulay

Indoor Axe Throwing

WEST LOOP — A Canadian company that specializes in indoor axe-throwing parties is opening their first U.S. location in the West Loop next month.

Bad Axe Throwing will open its first U.S. location at 165 N. Loomis St. near Bottom Lounge on Sept. 9, according to the company's website.

The axe-throwing craze has taken over Canada, and Bad Axe Throwing has opened 10 locations across the country since 2014, said company spokeswoman Melanie St. Amour. Bad Axe Throwing specializes in birthday parties, corporate events, bachelor parties and other celebrations with a lumberjack twist.

Despite a rapid expansion, axe throwing indoors, an alternative to bowling or laser tag, is still a relatively novel idea in Canada, said Jesse Gutzman, chief axe thrower at Bad Axe.

"As far as the States, there are axe-throwing and knife-throwing festivals in some Midwest cities, but it's mostly a small, unheard-of sport," Gutzman said.

No experience is required and participants learn how to throw an axe at a target from expert coaches in a safe environment, Bad Axe Throwing founder Mario Zelaya said. Regular admission for a Chicago axe throwing event will be $45.25 plus tax, according to the company's website, and events last about three hours.

With guidance, the sport has a quick learning curve, Gutzman said. Within five throws, most first-time throwers will stick the target.

And women love the sport, Gutzman said. About 60 percent of Bad Axe's current clients are female.

"It is very easy. You catch on quickly and it's a lot of fun," he said.

While parties will be allowed to bring beer into the facility, throwing coaches strictly monitor throwers to make sure they aren't intoxicated, Gutzman said. Parties are limited to bringing in beer in cans, no hard alcohol of any kind or alcohol in glass bottles is permitted and coaches ensure that participants aren't intoxicated when they arrive at the facility, Gutzman said.

"If people want to have a few drinks that's fine, but we want to keep to environment safe," Gutzman said. "They can loosen up and have a good time, but we don't have anyone taking it too far."

To date, no one has been injured at any of Bad Axe's existing indoor throwing facilities.

"People realize there is a chance that this can be dangerous, and because people are aware, they tend to be a lot safer from the get-go," Gutzman said.

Bad Axe Throwing plans to host a free open house where neighbors can test their steel-chucking talents Sept. 9-11. After the open house, the facility will be open by appointment only.

The Chicago Bad Axe locations plans to launch an eight-week throwing league at the end of November, Gutzman said.

"We're really excited to open our newest location in Chicago," said Zelaya. "It's a beautiful city and we're honored to provide unique and quality entertainment for everyone."

Bad Axe Throwing has longterm plans to expand to other locations around Chicago, too, Gutzman said.

The booming West Loop is becoming a destination for unique entertainment venues. Brooklyn Boulders, an indoor rock climbing gym, opened in 2014 and Brooklyn Bowl, a bowling and concert venue in Fulton Market, is slated to open next year.