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Asia on Argyle

The blocks around the Argyle “L” station are a distinct district within Uptown brimming with character and history. Once a Jewish community, Chinese entrepreneurs in the 1970s as well as refugees from Vietnam and Cambodia following the 1975 Fall of Saigon, transformed the area by opening restaurants, bakeries, pharmacies, and social service agencies. 

Today, Asian-American entrepreneurs continue to be drawn here, with a spate of recent eateries and cafes that opened around the “L” station. Long-standing businesses still thrive, and several have been passed onto second generation owners. Plus, the new shared-street design allows businesses to open sidewalk cafes and provides more space for hosting street festivals like the Argyle Night Market, which draws more than 40,000 annual attendees. 

Alfresco on Argyle
The Alfresco on Argyle program featured expanded dining and place-making, with use of the north and south parking lanes of Argyle Street between North Broadway and Sheridan Road from 2020-2023. Argyle Street remained open to vehicular use to accommodate daily traffic and allow for deliveries and curbside pick-up at select locations accommodating both businesses along this block and also providing clear access to existing streetscape elements such as parking meters and fire hydrant for fire safety. At other locations, a vehicular separation was provided to allow for extended outdoor dining and place-making within the parking lane. The program also provided funding for decoration and activation that brought more vibrancy to Argyle Street to attract customers.

Winter on Argyle
Winter on Argyle was an Outdoor Plaza program which aimed to “winterize” outdoor dining areas with best practices and designs from the City of Chicago’s “Winter Design Challenge.”  Uptown United partnered with SmithGroup, a multi-disciplinary design firm which recently received an award for the “Winter Layers” submission to the “Winter Design Challenge.”  Winter on Argyle brought canopies to outdoor dining plazas to ensure that they could be used continuously throughout the winter months. Ensuring that these spaces could be used throughout the winter maintained Argyle Street restaurants’ ability to serve patrons outdoors, lessening the exposure of patrons to COVID-19. Winter on Argyle was made possible by funding created by the Federal CARES Act.

Ambassadors on Argyle
The Ambassadors on Argyle Program services Uptown’s Asia on Argyle’s community and its needs for public safety, community vibrancy, and economic development. This program aims to establish a welcoming, caring, and safe environment in the Asia on Argyle corridor, and sustains neighborhood health and wellness for its residents and businesses. This is accomplished by promoting community relationships and collaborations, restoring feelings of security, and creating an integrated, coordinated model for public safety. Corridor Ambassadors provide a friendly presence to welcome residents as they walk the commercial corridor, greet passers-by, provide directions and other basic help, and serve as a watchful presence.

Argyle Lunar New Year Celebration
The annual Argyle Lunar New Year Parade and Celebration is a decades-old tradition that features a processional of local groups and floats starting at the Argyle “L” stop–all to celebrate the start of the new Lunar Year! Come for music, lion dances, and other celebrations of local Asian cultures.

HAIBAYÔ is a creative initiative that aims to energize the historic Asia on Argyle corridor through innovative cross cultural, multi-generational collaborations. Their intention is to curate spaces, events, and digital content, while incubating a diverse range of artists, creative entrepreneurs, and local Asia on Argyle businesses. Learn more at:

Argyle Night Market
The popular Argyle Night Market features food from local restaurants plus live cultural and musical performances. This free summer event series draws more than 5,000 people each week and continues to grow in popularity. Part market, part street festival, this vibrant and award-winning event is located on the city’s first and only shared street.

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