Rogers Park is a favorite north side community of Chicago. Past and current residents show a lot of pride and enthusiasm for this far north neighborhood located along Lake Michigan. Lush green trees populate the streets and parks that are lined with Victorian homes and little bungalows. Residents of Rogers Park have a number of small, uncrowded street-end beaches to lounge and play at. Loyola University Chicago is located within the neighborhood, adding to the positive, creative, and progressive atmosphere that’s been nurtured here since early on. With a number of cafes and small theaters, like Heartland Café and Lifeline Theatre, Rogers Park is one of Chicago’s more artistic and bohemian communities. This area also boasts one of the most diverse populations, with over 8 languages being spoken here.
Rogers Park is the northern most community of Chicago, located along Lake Michigan. It is nine miles north of the Chicago Loop and immediately south of Evanston.
Neighborhoods surrounding Rogers Park are West Ridge to the west and Edgewater and Lincoln Square to the south.
Rogers Park was a village before Chicago annexed it in 1893.
Outside.in dubbed Rogers Park one of the nation’s “bloggiest neighborhood” in 2007 due to the community’s high internet presence.
Over 80 different languages are spoken in Rogers Park.
Population (2000) - Total 63,484
Density 34,326.3/sq mi
African American 29.6%
Hispanic/ Latino 27.8%
Median income $31,602
Rogers Park is named after Irishman, Philip Rogers, who purchased approximately 1,600 acres of government land between 1830 and 1856. Originally the land was a convergence of two Native American trails and was inhabited by the Pottawatomi.
Rogers Park was incorporated as a village in 1878 and later annexed by Chicago in 1893. Already growing steadily, the community saw steady growth after the annexation.
In 1908, the Northwestern Elevated Railroad opened its Howard station in Rogers Park and the community saw another quick spike in population.
Residential developments, especially large apartment buildings, began to take up much of what was left of open land in the area. Commercial developments, entertainment spots and religious institutions sprouted up along with the housing developments.
Mundelein College, which is now part of Loyola University, opened in 1930.
Throughout the 20th century the community continued to grow steadily with a diverse and eclectic population. The presence of Loyola University, and Northwestern University to the north, have helped make the community a progressive and affluent one.
Street parking around Rogers Park can have its limitations, especially around the sizable campus of Loyola University. Permit parking is enforced.
In West Rogers Park permit parking is enforced on a block-by-block basis.
Public transportation is a breeze with access to four different CTA Red Line stops. The CTA Red Line runs 24-hours between Howard and 95th/Dan Ryan.
The northernmost stop, the Howard station, is located at 7519 N Paulina St. Connecting CTA buses at the Howard station are the 22, 97, 147, 151, 201, N201 (overnight), 205, and 206; and the connecting Pace Buses providing service to the suburbs are 215 and 290.
The Jarvis station is located at 1523 W Jarvis Ave. This station offers indoor and sheltered bike parking.
The Morse station is at 1358 W Morse Ave. CTA buses 96 and 155 connect here.
The Loyola station is located at 1200 W Loyola Ave., and drops passengers off across the street from the campus. CTA bus 147 connects here.
Residents also have access to the CTA Purple Line, which originates at Howard. The Purple Line provides service to Wilmette and Evanston. During weekday rush periods the Purple Line also provides express service to downtown Chicago.
Also originating at the Howard station is the CTA Yellow Line, which provides express weekday service to Skokie.
Rogers Park scores 89 out of 100 on the Walk Score scale, which is well-above the average score of 49.
Rogers Park is home to excellent public and private elementary schools and academies. It’s also home to Loyola University Chicago, which the US News & World Report called a “best value” in their 2008 rankings, as well as a tier one national university. The university’s part-time Graduate School of Business was also ranked in the top 10 by US News & World Report. In 2009, BusinessWeek ranked Loyola’s Graduate School of Business Administration #1 in Ethics nationwide.
Rogers Park claims a modest nightlife of small, neighborhood bars that often offer cheap drinks, fun activities, live entertainment, and friendly chatter.
Oasis (6809 N Sheridan Rd, 773-973-7788) is a Rogers Park neighborhood bar. A great place for a pre-show drink, Oasis is also Rogers Park’s number one afterhours hot spot. Monday through Friday, and Sunday, they are open until 4 a.m. and they stay open until 5 a.m. on Saturdays. They have darts, pool, cheap drinks and great specials.
Hamilton’s Bar & Grill (6341 N Broadway St, 773-764-8133) has an energetic atmosphere and is a favorite of Loyola students. Hamilton’s offers unbeatable specials, like their $1.50 quarter pound burger and a $1.75 Busch Light draft on Mondays.
The Glenwood (6962 N Glenwood Ave, 773-764-7363) is a bar with an artsy café kind of feel. The Glenwood is a great place for lounging, chatting with friends and patrons, or play some Wii, pool or darts. The bar is also dog-friendly and known for its friendly staff.
When residents of Rogers Park homes need a little live music, maybe some bluegrass, funk or punk or jazz; or if they get the hankering for some stand-up comedy or live theatre; or if they just want to shoot a game of pool, they need look no further than just outside their doors.
Morseland (1218 W Morse Ave, 773-764-8900) promises good eat and nice beats. Morseland is a music venue, bar and restaurant all wrapped up into one. This venue provides an intimate atmosphere for live music, which features everything from jazz to hip-hop to latin and rock. Morseland is also popular for its menu, which includes steak, seafood, sandwiches and other fresh American fare.
Red Line Tap (7006 N Glenwood Ave, 773-274-5463) is another favorite music venue of Rogers Park residents. This music venue and tavern offers all kinds of entertainment, from a game of pool to classic videogames like Galaga and Pac Man, as well as live music. Regular performers have included the bluegrass band, The Mudflapps, a “drinking band with a music problem”.
Pressure Billiards & Café (6318 N Clark St, 773-743-7665) aims to be an amalgam of a traditional café, restaurant and lounge. Patrons frequent Pressure for the laid-back atmosphere, the 13 professional 9-foot Brunswick pool tables, the board games and free wi-fi. Pressure Billiards & Café also presents live music and stand-up comedy. Their café serves coffee, teas, smoothies, as well as beer and plenty of delectable edible choices. And they’re open until 2 a.m. daily.
For live theatre, residents of Rogers Park homes attend performances at Lifeline Theatre (6912 N Glenwood Ave, 773-761-4477). Lifeline Theatre specializes in adaptations of literary works, making use of unconventional staging in an intimate setting. Past performances have included Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman), Busman’s Honeymoon (Dorothy L. Sayers), The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde), and The Island of Doctor Moreau (H.G. Wells).
The New 400 Movie Theaters (6746 N Sheridan Rd, 773-856-5980) showcases first run films at unbeatable prices. Breaking the bank to catch that latest blockbuster has become the norm, but The New 400 isn’t the norm with $5 matinees before 6 p.m. and $7.50 general admission. The New 400 also offers a full bar.
A great many diverse and ethnic restaurants can be found in Rogers Park. Whether it’s Jamaican or Ethiopian or Peruvian cuisine you’re craving, you’ll find your needs met in this cozy neighborhood. You’ll also find plenty of cafes, taquerias and burger joints to round out the choices.
Heartland Café (7000 N Glenwood Ave, 773-465-8005) is a popular, charming and funky café right off the Morse Red Line stop. Heartland Café seems to have been pulled out of some California beach town and dropped right in the heart of Rogers Park. The menu at Heartland Café includes Pecan Breaded Ruby Red Trout, Vegan Pasta Primavera and Apple-Honey Glazed Chicken Breast with Fruit Salsa. Heartland Café also has a full bar, drink specials and live entertainment.
Taste of Peru (6545 N Clark St, 773-381-4540) serves up authentic native dishes and has received high praise from the Chicago Tribune. Taste of Peru is owned by Peruvian immigrant, Cesar Izquierdo, a colorful character who takes pride in serving up only the best, most fresh, most vibrant dishes in Chicago’s north side. The papa rellena, lomo saltado, and ceviche pescado are only a few dishes that keep diners coming back again and again.
The Hop Haus (7545 N Clark St, 773-262-3783) is a gastropub specializing in gourmet burgers garnished with fresh, delicious and inventive toppings. The Hop Haus cooks up traditional steak burgers as well as burgers made from ostrich, kangaroo, wild boar, lamb, bison, blackened catfish and more. The Hop Haus will even help you pair that adventurous burger with a frosty brew or fine wine.
La Cazuela (6922 N Clark St, 773-338-5425) is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago’s north side. With a clean and sharp interior, La Cazuela presents diners with a comfortable and intimate setting. Their menu is popular for their homemade soups and seafood, as well as their enchiladas, tacos and burritos. La Cazuela is a BYOB restaurant, too.
The Waterfront Café (6219 N Sheridan Rd, 773-761-3294) is right along the edge of Lake Michigan offering breathtaking views of the beach and water as well as the Chicago skyline. It’s the perfect place to relax with a drink after a stroll along the water’s edge. The menu showcases a homemade soup of the day, fresh salads, and savory sandwiches, as well as beer and wine.
The Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest & Open Studio Walk showcases art, theater, food, drink and two stages of live music in historic Rogers Park. This three-day fest is free and also has a KidFest area, hands-on arts activities, and other family-friendly events.
Celebrate Clark Street is another fantastic annual event taking place in Rogers Park. This two-day event features two stages of live world music, children’s activities, great international foods, a diverse market and more.
A good number of Chicago parks are within the Rogers Park community, all offering great amenities and sprawling green spaces for picnicking, relaxing or strolling; however, since Roger Park has Lake Michigan as its eastern border, the most popular parks in the area are the handful of small beaches.
Jarvis Beach, located at 1208 W Jarvis Ave, is a small stretch of lakeshore beach that offers a quiet, relaxing atmosphere for catching some rays as it is not commonly overrun with beach-goers.
Leone Beach, at 1222 Touhy Ave, at eight blocks long is Chicago’s largest beach. Like Jarvis Beach, Leone Beach (sometimes called Loyola Beach) also affords local beach bums some space to stretch out. The park near the beach has a couple ball fields, as well as grills for barbecuing.
Rogers Beach, at 7705 N Eastlake Terrace, is one of the area’s smallest beaches, barely a block in length. This beach park comes with a couple tennis courts to make up for its small stature.
Other beaches in Rogers Park include Juneway Terrace Beach, Howard Beach, Pratt Beach, Hartigan Beach and North Shore Beach.
A non-beach related park that residents would be remiss to ignore is Indian Boundary Park. This gem features a stage for performances, a lagoon, a small zoo, a children’s water park area, and tennis courts.