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- 2101 West Rice #402
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Welcome To Ukrainian Village
Ukrainian Village is a unique west side neighborhood full of historical houses, mom-and-pop businesses, Chicago families and a smattering of hipsters. It's the type of place you find neighbors interacting with each other on a daily basis; visiting the local coffee shops, sitting in their backyards and strolling down the tree-lined streets. Ukrainian Village is anchored by three ornate, European-style churches that were the foundation of this Chicago community. These days, the churches are still an active part of life, but the neighborhood draw is spread out over a much broader scope. In fact, the Ukrainian Village is home to quite a few trendy Chicago hangouts. Ultra-cool dance clubs are always a hit and live bands come from all over the country (and world) to perform at Ukrainian Village's popular bar stages like the Empty Bottle and Dark Room. Once a year, residents prepare for a customary celebration of their heritage with the Ukrainian Village Fest, which is centered around the neighborhood's prized churches. Tons of Chicagoans join local neighbors for an all-out party of traditional foods, a spirited beer garden, live music and fun-filled games.
Ukrainian Village Real Estate
Many people will be surprised to see how much the Ukrainian Village neighborhood resembles a European town. Tree-lined streets, over-flowing flower boxes and neighbors hanging out in small groups on their stoops are all characteristics of this Old World community. The buildings greatly reflect the neighborhood’s history, too, as this is an area of mostly old homes. The Ukrainian Village neighborhood is a blend of single-family houses, large apartment buildings, two- and three-flats, and small cottages.
Many of the houses in this area were designed and constructed by William D. Kerfoot, one of the first developers to flourish after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Kerfoot’s intricate Victorian-style homes are normally passed down through family generations, so try not to set your heart on living in one of these residential gems. But no worries, the Kerfoot homes comprise less than half of all the real estate in Ukrainian Village. The remaining homes are just as desirable, many built of redbrick and boasting the oh-so-rare beautiful backyard. There are quite a few newer houses as well, many modeled after the quaint, historical vibe of the neighborhood.
Generally speaking, the average sale price for a two-bedroom condo in Ukrainian Village is around $336,000. If you’re in the market for something a little bigger—perhaps a single-family home—you’re looking at a wide range of prices. A one- or two-story, three-bedroom place could be as little as $400,000 but could also shoot up past the million dollar mark. So it pays to shop around. The great part about buying a place in Ukrainian Village is that the neighborhood takes great pride in its aesthetics. Streets are clean, lawns and backyards are well-kept, and flowers are planted in many spare stretches of green.
Location: 4 miles northwest of the Loop.
Boundaries: Division Street to the north, Grand Avenue to the south, Western Avenue to the west and Damen Avenue to the east.
Bordering Neighborhoods: Wicker Park, East Village, Humboldt Park, East Garfield Park, United Center Park
Crime Statisitics: Visit CLEARMap to search specific streets and areas for crime incidents.
Then and Now
The name Ukrainian Village kind of says it all. The area was first established by Germans, who settled in this northwest neighborhood after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Not long after, a wave of Ukrainian and Russian immigrants followed, and by the early 1900s, the majority of Chicago’s 30,000 Ukrainian immigrants resided here.
Unlike neighboring Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village was primarily working class. In fact, many Ukrainian Village residents spent their days building and repairing the mansions in Wicker Park neighborhood. The installation of the elevated train line down Paulina Street (torn down in 1964) also spurred growth, but the main draw for many of the neighborhood pioneers was the presence of Holy Trinity Cathedral, built in 1903. The cathedral still remains today, and is one of the focal points of this charming Chicago neighborhood.
Over time, the Orthodox and Catholic churches and their congregations have proved important to the Ukrainian Village’s everyday life—preserving the quaint community feel, sustaining a primarily Eastern European population, and maintaining a safe, middle-class environment, even as the areas around the neighborhood deteriorated and changed. Aside from Holy Trinity Cathedral, Ukrainian Village is home to the large golden-domed Sts Volodymyr and Olha Church, as well as the towering baroque-style St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral.
Today, the neighborhood boasts far fewer Ukrainian residents than previous decades, as many families migrated north to other developing areas. A poll in 1990 revealed that only 2,500 residents could claim Ukrainian heritage. But many still remain, and it’s not uncommon to hear Polish and Ukrainian spoken in shops and on the streets.
The neighborhood has become more diverse over the years, composed of families, working singles and young couples from all backgrounds, including Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and African-Americans, as well as white non-Ukrainians. The community is tight-knit, and has yet to be taken over by large chain restaurants and businesses, instead providing many independent shops owned by Ukrainian Village residents.
Going to the Chapel
If you’re enamored with the ornate churches of Europe, you’ve got to check out Ukrainian Village. This small neighborhood is home of some of the most beautiful churches in Chicago. Holy Trinity Cathedral (1121 N Leavitt St, 773-486-6064) was once the beating heart of the neighborhood—and remains so for many Ukrainian Villagers. Built in 1903, it was designed by world-renowned architect Louis Sullivan. Funded in part by Nicholas II of Russia, Holy Trinity contains many elements of provincial Russian architecture, which was a welcome reminder of home for many of Chicago’s Ukrainian and Russian immigrants. The cathedral is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, too.
Though Holy Trinity is the most famous of the lot, you can find beautiful old churches on many blocks in Ukrainian Village. St. Nicholas Catholic Church (2238 W Rice St, 773-276-4537) took its inspiration from the Basilica of St. Sophia in Kiev. Services here are held in both English and Ukrainian, and the Ukrainian services follow traditional customs—which means standing for the entire service. Gothic in architecture, Sts Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church (2247 W Chicago Ave, 312-829-5209) was founded in 1968 after a faction of parishioners split with the cathedral of St. Nicholas following a dispute over the use of the Gregorian calendar.
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What’s on the Menu?
The main streets in Ukrainian Village offer loads of dining options—bakeries, delis and cafes dot nearly every corner. For those who like to dine off the beaten path (or those who are tired of the regular old chain restaurant), Ukrainian Village is a plethora of incredible little-known restaurants and eateries.
Let’s start with the old country cuisine. The front of Saks Ukrainian Village Restaurant and Lounge (2301 W Chicago Ave, 773-278-4445) has more of a bar-ish atmosphere, complete with TVs and a variety of beers, but the back is an old-school restaurant filled with families and regulars, serving up chicken kiev, sausage, borscht, and pierogis. And you’ll be pleasantly surprised when the bill comes—each entree is only around $8. For similar type of food, but served buffet style, we recommend Old L’Viv (2228 W. Chicago, 773-772-7250). Load your plate with cheese blintzes, mashed potatoes, and chicken dishes—and when that’s gone—go back up for round number two! Careful, though, we’ve overeaten one time too many at Old L’Viv—but that hasn’t stopped us from going back as soon as the tummy starts growling again.
Though the Ukrainian food here is some of the best in the city, Ukrainian Village offers more than just old country cuisine. If Italian is more your speed, check out A Tavola (2148 W. Chicago, 773-276-7567). It’s quaint (the space is in an actual house), quiet (a great date spot) and quintessentially northern Italian. Their gnocchi is the stuff of legends and is thrown in a variety of red, white or pesto sauce dishes. They also offer a monthly cooking class, for those looking to boost their culinary prowess. Bacci Pizzeria (2353 W Chicago Ave, 773-342-6500) is a Little Italy original, with a few locations scattered across the city. Bacci is family owned an operated, and uses fresh ingredients to top their delectable pizzas. While we’ve enjoyed our fair share of jumbo slices, we dig the Italian beef and eggplant sandwiches that are also on the menu.
Remember those cafes and delis and bakeries we mentioned earlier? Well there’s a bunch of them, so try to keep up. For those who are into the green thing, Bleeding Heart Bakery (2018 W. Chicago Ave, 773-278-3638) is the first USDA certified organic bakery in the U.S. No small feat, eh? Though the walls are hot pink and the cooler is covered with fur, after you taste the sticky buns, s’mores brownies and dill scones, the decor will be the last thing on your mind. FYI: There’s lots of vegan items served here, too. Cafe Ballou (939 N. Western, 773-342-2909) is another soup/salad/sandwich shop that draws in Villagers with its free Wi-Fi Internet connection, delicious coffee and soothing tea selection. And those sandwiches—like the roasted red pepper and cheese club—aren’t half bad either. If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, give Bite Cafe (1035 N. Western, 773-395-2483) a try. While it’s by no means fancy, you’ll feel like you’re at a four-star restaurant once you taste their challah French toast, veggie burrito or ginger cheesecake. The walls boast artwork by local artists, and it’s still BYOB, so it won’t break the piggy bank.
A familiar face around this part of the neighborhood is Kasia Bober, owner of Kasia’s Polish Delicatessen (2101 W. Chicago, 773-486-6163). Hailing from Poland, Kasia has been filling Ukrainian Village bellies with her famous pierogis, potato pancakes, beef stew, stuffed cabbage, and other Eastern European delights for years. Another deli stop in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood is Rich’s Delicatessen (857 N. Western, 773-235-5263). While the neighborhood shoppers may not know who Rich is, they love stocking up on the wide variety of polish sausages, smoked meats, cheap cheese and borscht at this Polish grocery store. Don’t forget to grab a six-pack of your favorite Eastern European beer on the way out.
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Best Shopping Stops
In a walk-able neighborhood like Ukrainian Village, it’s easy to get all that necessary (and not-so-necessary) shopping done in one day. Ukrainian Village has a variety of shops were you can spend your time, and hard-earned dollars.
Willow (908 N. Damen, 773-772-0140) is probably the only store in Chicago where you’ll find antler-inspired candlesticks next to skull throw pillows. The home accessories store blends prim and proper with dark and disturbing, so there really is a taste for every decorative palate here. Since you’ll need something to place those antler candlesticks on, check out Modern Times (2100 W. Grand, 312-243-5706), a vintage furniture store. Their focus is on the pioneers of design, so here you’ll find Milo Baughman chairs, Clark Vorhees lamps, and Frank Gallo sculptures. There’s also a variety of jewelry and handbags here, so you can accessorize your outfits as well as your new home.
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Night on the Town
It’s impossible to discuss Ukrainian Village nightlife without mentioning Tuman’s (2159 W. Chicago, 773-782-1400). Formerly known as Tuman’s Alcohol Abuse Center, this dive-tastic bar is housed in a newly-restored building that has been around since 1890. Sheesh! Little glimpses of history can be found in the milk-glass ceiling and tiger oak bar, but neighbors drop by for the cheap beer, bar food menu, and jam-packed patio.
Head to the area around Damen and Division and you’ll encounter a trio of not-too-dirty dives, all popular hangs for Ukrainian Village residents. Rainbo Club (1150 N. Damen, 773-489-5999) is the hipster mecca of West Town, and a gathering spot for fledgling musicians and the fans who love them. This bar is known for its ultra-cool clientele which includes a rotation of bands that are on the cusp of blowing up, and many a famous Chicago rocker has gotten their start bartending here. The booths are comfy enough to camp out in, the photo booth provides wholesome entertainment, and the drink prices are reasonable.
Innjoy (2051 W Division St, 773-394-2066) has more of a clubby vibe, with weekend DJs, soft green lighting, and sleek bar. Their menu of comfort food is a great way to start the night, as well. Next door at Smallbar (2049 W Division St, 773-772-2727) you’ll find beer aficionados (they offer more than 120 varieties) mixing with fans of English football (that’s soccer to us Americans), as most of the games are shown on one of their many televisions. During the World Cup, there’s hardly a more energetic place in the city. We know it’s a few years away, but we’re still excited.
If checking out new artists is one of your pastimes, you’ll be spending many a night at Darkroom (2210 W. Chicago, 773-276-1411). They showcase local photographs all along the black and red walls, and bring local bands and DJs to their stage. The Empty Bottle (1035 N Western Ave, 773-276-3600) focuses on emerging and lesser-known acts. Rock, pop, punk, jazz—all are welcome on their intimate stage. The Empty Bottle is one of the most storied rock clubs in Chicago, and it endures as one of the city’s most popular. It’s probably one of the smallest clubs around, so be sure to get tickets well in advance if you’re looking to catch a popular act.
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Mark Your Calendar
The Ukrainian Village neighborhood lives for the Ukrainian Village Fest (2245 W. Superior Street, 312-829-5209), which takes place each year in early September. Residents congregate around Saints Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church for authentic Ukrainian food, live music, entertaining games, and a super-social beer garden. Don’t worry—that $5 donation goes to a good cause: funding the church’s parish, which is an essential part of the Ukrainian Village way of life.
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Your own two feet are oftentimes sufficient if staying within Ukrainian Village, or heading over to nearby Wicker Park or neighboring East Village. But when that winter wind is blowing, or the summer sun is beating down, or you’re looking to venture outwards, travel may require something with a bit more horsepower. Many Ukrainian Village residents rely on cars, mostly because parking in this neighborhood has remained easy—it’s still unmarred by permit parking and inexplicable 'No Parking' signs.
However, many Villagers prefer the car-less lifestyle, thus relying on public transportation. The CTA elevated train system (known as the 'El') doesn’t run through Ukrainian Village, but there are a handful of bus lines to take you where your heart desires. We recommend the #66 Chicago Avenue bus if you’re heading downtown—it takes you right to the Magnificent Mile. The #50 Damen or #9 Ashland bus routes are a great way to get north and south, and the #65 Grand bus will take you down to Navy Pier.
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School’s in Session
Ukrainian Village has remained a family-friendly neighborhood over the years, in part because of the selection of schools that rest within its blocks. Check out your options at our Chicago Guide Schools page.
Clemente High School 1147 N Western Ave - (773) 534-4000
Columbus Elementary School 1003 N Leavitt St - (773) 534-4350
Mitchell Elementary School 2315 W Erie St - (773) 534-4577
Pritzker Elementary School 2009 W Schiller St - (773) 534-4415
Sabin Magnet School 2216 W Hirsch St - (773) 534-4491
Saint Helen’s Nursery School 2347 W Augusta Blvd - (773) 342-7700
Saint Nicholas School 2200 W Rice St - (773) 384-7243
Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation 2247 W Chicago Ave - (773) 235-8462
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Here’s a quick list of those places you will undoubtedly need at some point.
Chicago Public Library- Midwest Branch 2235 W Chicago Ave - (312) 744-7788
Chicago Transit Authority - (888) 968-7282
Oakley Pharmacy 2252 W Chicago Ave - (773) 276-1414 Ukrainian Village Pharmacy 2317 W Chicago Ave - (773) 235-5330
Saint Mary of Nazareth Hospital 2233 W Division St - (312) 770-2000
Moon Market 2145 W Division St - (773) 394-0411
Ukrainian Village Grocery 2204 W Chicago Ave - (773) 486-6619
Dominicks (opening late summer 2007) Chicago and Damen Aves
GymsHidden Peak Rock Climbing Gym 937 W Chestnut St - (312) 563-9400
Gramma Player 2035 W Division St - (773) 235-0755
Modern Times 2100 W Grand Ave - (312) 243-5706
Willow 908 N Damen Ave - (773) 772-0140
Ukrainian National Museum 22249 W Superior St - (312) 421-8020
Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art - 2320 W Chicago Ave - (773) 227-5522
Ukrainian Cultural Center 2247 W Chicago Ave - (773) 384-6400
Thai Village 2053 W Division St - (773) 384-5352
Bakeries and Cafes
Ann’s Bakery 2158 W Chicago Ave - (773) 384-5562
Bite Cafe 1035 N Western Ave - (773) 395-2483
Bleeding Heart Bakery 2018 W Chicago Ave - (773) 278-3638
Cafe Ballou 939 N Western Ave - (773) 342-2909
Dodo 935 N Damen Ave - (773) 772-3636
Janik’s Subs 2011 W Division St - (773) 276-7930
Kasia’s Polish Deli 2101 W Chicago Ave - (773) 486-6163
Eastern European Cuisine
Old L’Viv 2228 W Chicago Ave - (773) 772-7250
Saks Ukrainian Village Restaurant and Lounge 2301 W Chicago Ave - (773) 278-4445
Greek Corner 958 N Damen Ave - (773) 252-8010
A Tavola 2148 W Chicago Ave - (773) 276-7567
Bacci Pizzeria 2356 W Chicago Ave - (773) 342-6500
Village Pizza 2356 W Chicago Ave - (773) 235-2900
Adobo Grill 2005 W Division St - (773) 252-9990
Couch Bar & Grill 2344 W Grand Ave - (312) 942-9030
Darkroom 2210 W Chicago Ave - (773) 276-1411
The Empty Bottle 1035 N Western Ave - (773) 276-3600
High Dive 1938 W Chicago Ave - (773) 235-3483
Innjoy 2051 W Division St - (773) 394-2066
Rainbo Club 1150 N0 Damen Ave - (773) 489-5999
Sigara 2013 W Division St - (773) 292-9190
Smallbar 2049 W Division St - (773) 772-2727
As one of the many diverse Chicago neighborhoods, Ukrainian Village offers homeowners a wide range of residential properties. Ukrainian Village homes include lofts, condos and townhomes, to name a few. In addition to Chicago real estate, you can get detailed neighborhood information from our comprehensive online Chicago neighborhoods guide. With features like dining, shopping, entertainment, and resources, we’ve done all the leg work already to make your home search that much easier. Now, when a listing in Ukrainian Village catches your eye, you can read all about the surrounding area and what it has to offer, all without setting foot in the neighborhood. Like a Yellow Pages, Metromix and MLS database all rolled into one, this site is your ultimate Chicago neighborhoods visitors’ guidebook.
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