About This Listing
Convenient to both the Magnificent Mile and the Loop, and very close to major 'L' metro stations, this is a comfortable guestroom in a quiet vintage building in the very popular River North neighborhood.
This vintage (125 year old) River North Gallery District home is highly walkable to major (and minor) destinations downtown (a WalkScore of 98)! Extremely convenient to transit as well (a TransitScore of 100)! Even quite bikeable, with Divvy bike share station a block away (and a cycle score of 77, and I bike to work)!
Our quiet spare room is in a two-bedroom, one-bath home in a well-maintained vintage walk-up building in the River North Gallery District filled with restaurants, nightclubs and, or course, galleries. We are walking distance to most of downtown Chicago (I walk to work in the Loop), and with excellent transit access to the rest of the City. Our visitors get the best of a local experience! Our great reviews show people have loved it so far, so we're sure you will too! As always we still ask no cleaning fee.
With these new additions, we think for location, convenience, comfort and price we offer the best value in the city! There is no additional charge for a second person - couples (straight, gay or platonic) are welcome.
Towels and sheets
Both passes above also include other discounts to area attractions
Hair dryer available
Desk with chair
High-speed internet with 2.4ghz and 5ghz wifi
Nice selection of Chicago travel books in English and a few other languages
Iron w/ironing board
Washer / Dryer
Use of well-outfitted kitchen
Within a 20-minute walk:
Loop/CBD, North Michigan Avenue shopping district, the Watertower, Hancock Building, Daley Plaza, Old Town, Museum of Contemporary Art, Oak Street, downtown campuses of Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and Loyola University, Northwestern Hospital, Tribune Tower, Wrigley Building, Architecture Foundation boat tours, Merchandise Mart, the Gold Coast, Oak Street Beach (maybe 21 minutes) and more!
Brown Line Chicago Ave "L" stop (3-minute walk)
Red Line Chicago Ave subway stop (8-minute walk)
66/Chicago bus (3-minute walk)
22/Clark bus (2-3 minute walk)
156/Lasalle bus (1 minute walk)
11/Lincoln bus (1 minute walk)
Airport transit travel time:
O'Hare: Blue Line to Brown Line, total time 60 min.
Midway: Orange Line to Brown Line, total time 45 min.
1) I have one white cat (but she's sweet and well-reviewed)
2) I'm on the 4th (top) floor of a walk-up (no elevator) building.
3) I do a little painting that sometimes incorporates walnut oil. Anyone with severe walnut allergies should consider whether artists' walnut oil is an allergen for them.
4) No check-ins before 7am.
As a guest, you sleep in your own private room but also have access to the kitchen, my laundry facilities and living and dining rooms - and of course the bathroom.
Interaction with Guests
My partner and I live in the apartment, and I have personally met nearly all the guests from my hundreds of bookings.
Depending on each guest's and my schedules, we may only see each other heading in or out, or we may talk for hours or even share a meal. I tend to respect guest's privacy and alone time, letting guests decide whether to initiate conversations, but I am happy to talk about Chicago or the neighborhood or travelling or almost any other subject with anyone interested in taking advantage of ready access to a local.
The part of River North my apartment is in is a short 10 minute walk to Michigan Avenue, a 15 minute walk to the Loop, and about a 3 minute walk to the nearest metro station, so it's a great launching point to explore Chicago.
The blocks around my place are filled with shops, galleries and wonderful restaurants but it still manages to be quiet and relatively calm despite the proximity to so much of downtown.
Many popular attractions are less than a 25 minute walk from my place, but for things further afield - or to avoid walking - taxis can be easily hailed on the street.
For transit, my place is a 3 minute walk to the nearest Brown Line station, an 8 minute walk to the nearest Red Line station, and less than a 5 minute walk to these buses: 66/Chicago, 22/Clark, 65/Grand, 36/Broadway, 37/Sedgewick, and 156/Lasalle. There are also many express buses that run on Michigan Avenue which is just a 10 minute walk due east of me, and a station serving every other metro line is just a 15 minute walk away.
Other Things to Note
This is a working household, so there may be occasional minor repairs. Anything major I will give guests plenty of notice about ahead of time. The guestroom is kept clean and tidy at all times, but the rest of the house will vary from "just thoroughly cleaned" to having some "end of a busy week clutter" depending on what's been going on just like any normal home does.
In case you didn't look at the photos, there is a cat. She's cute and very gentle and what I'd call "medium-friendly" for a cat. Not super-affectionate, but not constantly hiding.
No smoking. If you really must have a nicotine fix indoors, I'm ok with e-cigarettes as long as they're the kind where the smell nearly instantly dissipates.
There is a working fireplace, however I ask that guests not use it as it can be kind of peculiar.
Make sure the apartment door is locked and shut every time you leave.
Usually flexible, but no check-ins prior to 7am. Guests arriving before Noon will be able to drop off bags and get keys, but may not have access to the guestroom itself until after Noon (see check-out guidelines below). Out of 250+ guests, I've only been unable to accommodate a requested check-in time a handful of times. However, I don't work at home so please be aware that there are some limitations to my availability for checkins. If you absolutely must drop your luggage at a specific time, please check with me prior to sending a booking request to make sure I'll be able to guarantee that I can be there.
Please be prepared to vacate the room by Noon of the day you leave. I can often be flexible with that, and I can always hold your luggage in the living room if your departure is in the evening, but please be able to vacate the guestroom by Noon.
I had a wonderful experience with Eric. We had great email communications before my arrival and he emailed me within a few hours. Upon arriving his room mate John assisted me with grabbing my luggage up. He's a nice quiet fellow and checked up on us if we needed anything.
I didn't stay long in our room mainly because we were out eating and exploring Chicago most of the time. However whenever Eric and I ran into each other we had conversations about all sorts of things, just like friends would catching up.
The room was plentiful big enough for my girlfriend and I, there was a fan we used to grab in fresh air. Wifi was great enough speed to do FaceTime calls. Shower was clean and hot water was out quick. Wasn't an issue sharing the bathroom for us. 4 stories of stairs we started to get used to as it's just the same distance as walking 1 block.
Overall I have no complaints and it was quiet at night when we slept. Definitely wouldn't hesitate to come back here and stay if I'm back in Chicago. Eric is a great host.
My friend and I decided to visit Chicago for the weekend and wanted to stay somewhere affordable but with a great location to nightlife and restaurants. This place fit both criteria! Eric was very responsive with booking our stay, and very helpful with parking suggestions near his apartment (we were driving so wanted overnight parking close to his place that wasn't too expensive, and he helped us find a great lot!). We loved the cute pictures of his apartment and especially of his cat, Peekaboo. Everything was very smooth and professional with communication leading up to the stay. When we arrived, the apartment is up 4 flights of stairs, but Eric offered to help with bags and answered his phone as soon as i was at his apartment which made things very easy for us.
Eric is very nice and professional, but our experience was only average because it was not what we were expecting. The living room was pretty cluttered compared to the photos, and so was the kitchen and bathroom. It wasn't dirty, but wasn't super clean either. Our bedroom (the guest bedroom) was OK, but was very very hot compared to the rest of the apartment and only had a tiny window that looked at a brick wall. The bed was comfortable and he offered us extra blankets (which we didn't need because it was so uncomfortably stuffy and hot, and this was on a cooler weekend in May). But he did provide us with clean towels, umbrellas, lots of travel books and guides, and even an iron which I really appreciated. Also the Wifi password and username were easy to find and wifi worked really well/fast.
We wanted to make ourselves some drinks to have before dinner, but the kitchen was pretty cluttered and we didnt feel welcome to use that area. We asked for some ice cubes for our drinks but did not feel very welcome to use the fridge or the ice cubes/drinkware.
We also were not expecting the bathroom to be shared with our hosts, which wasn't a huge problem, but it was a bit of a challenge waiting for each of them to use the bathroom and then having us go in after they are done.
Overall Eric is very nice and it was a fine place to stay because it was an EXCELLENT location. We could walk to so many bars in River North and restaurants, and there is this great brunch place called Yolk that was amazing and a 5 minute walk. The parking lot was an easy walk too so that was convenient.
The biggest issues were the heat because it was a stuffy room on the fourth floor apartment which i know he cant help, but it would be pretty uncomfortable in the summer. Also we did not feel comfortable hanging out in the living room (pictured) because of the clutter and him and his partner always being right there.
I had a very mixed experience at Eric's AirBnB.
-The location was fantastic. Walking distances to restaurants, trains, etc.
-The room was clean and comfortable. The building was quiet.
-Eric provided umbrellas in the closet which was helpful since it rained during our stay.
-The room did not have great air circulation, and the only window looked onto a small brick gap between the two buildings (common for Chicago, but still). This meant the room was very warm and it was difficult cooling down at night even when the temperature outside was 45 degrees and the window was wide open.
-The home was not nearly as immaculate as the pictures showed. There was a great deal of clutter in the living space, kitchen, and bathroom. The kitchen had dirty dishes in it and stuff everywhere. If I'd been expecting to use the kitchen I would have been extremely disappointed.
-4th floor, no stairs. Not a big deal, just something to note.
-The bathroom was shared with the host and his partner. Their hygiene products were scattered on the sink and stacked in the shower, adding to the clutter. In addition, there was always hair in the bottom of the shower, and the drain did not work very well, so you stood in a small pool of water with the hair in it. YUCK.
-We brought back some leftovers from a pizzeria that we intended to eat later that day. When we went back for it, a slice was missing. This seemed was very frustrating as we had not stated that our leftovers were for sharing. It felt like Eric or his partner stole part of our meal.
-The worst part is actually quite strange and disturbing. One afternoon my husband and I were in the apartment getting ready to leave. We were standing in the hallway by the kitchen drinking some water when Eric's partner came walking down the hall completely naked. No clothes at all, not even underwear. It was very startling and off-putting. I can only imagine that his partner didn't think we were home, because when he saw us he yelped as though startled and ran back into his room. Still... you shouldn't be walking around naked when you're renting out your apartment. I was mortified and considered telling Eric while we were there and getting a different AirBnB, but my husband and I tried to shrug it off and enjoy our trip. It was bizarre and really upsetting.
Overall, the room itself and location was fine. Eric seemed like a really nice guy--I don't know if his partner told him about the naked incident in the hallway.
There is a fan kept by the window in the guest room that can be used to help air circulation or to draw outside air in. I'm not sure whether they thought to use the fan in that way.
I mention the stairs in my description - it's even explicitly mentioned as a "caveat" of my space so, yeah. The single bathroom is also mentioned in the listing.
I didn't eat their pizza but it's possible John inadvertently did and, I apologize for that. Neither of us intentionally take guest food and far more often we end up with food guests leave behind and end up throwing out so I can only guess he confused your pizza with pizza we'd had earlier in the week. Nonetheless, it shouldn't have happened and is not a typical occurrence.
"Borderline pack-rat" is certainly a ridiculous description as everything in the public area - except mail that sometimes collects on the front table - has a use and is used. Many of the things are specifically for guest use (such as a variety of coffee tools in the kitchen) and have been provided based on specific requests from other guests and, in the case of the coffee tools, for example, are left in plain view so that guests know they are available. We do keep common hand soap, our toothbrushes and toothpaste on the counter - as I'd imagine nearly every person in America also does, and we keep body wash, shampoo and conditioner in the shower area due to guest requests because multiple guests requested those things that could be discretely "borrowed"! I understand that not every guest needs or wants those, and Eliesa obviously doesn't, but other guests do need or want them. Eliesa's "pack-rat" implication is absurd.
I'm not sure if Eliesa has ever stayed in a vintage building before - and the very first sentence in my listing does describe it as a vintage building - but the plumbing is not always something I have full control over and there is very much intentionally a hair trap in the bathtub that I personally clean when I'm done showering. I have no idea if her husband cleaned it after his showers. If neither of them are used to old-building plumbing, he probably didn't even think of it. I did notice one of them very much intentionally removed the hair trap, allowing hair to wash into the drain and requiring additional work on my part to maintain the drain flow after their departure. Causing the poor drainage and then complaining about it is certainly a novel approach to Airbnb reviews on their part - 300+ guests and no one else has had the temerity to complain about an issue they, themselves, caused.
I will also say that the guests immediately ahead of Eliesa used the kitchen, as do about 1/3 of my guests. It's bigger than a New York kitchen, but it is a city kitchen, functional but not spacious by any stretch of the imagination.
As to her "bizarre" claim, I don't know how to respond. This is the first I'm hearing about it. This is the first any guest has ever reported anything like that. I have no idea what may have happened and since she didn't mention it during her stay and decided to mention it first only via a public statement, I'm admittedly a little defensive. If she or her husband had brought it up during the stay, I would have gone out of my way to make them happy or at least try to offset what she describes as an upsetting experience. I spoke to them and asked them how things were every evening when they returned from their daily activities, which I try to do with all guests exactly so I can fix any complaints. They didn't mention ANY of the things they mention here.
I understand that people can be reluctant to complain in person, but it's incredibly frustrating to want to have happy guests and then to have people who choose to voice problems after their stay - some of which would be easy to fix or provide context for in real time if only they'd ask.
The location is perfect situated ... and truely "walking everywhere". The room was ok, approximately 10 square-meter and offered all what I need. The atmosphere of the room remembered me in typical student style :-) and it was relatively dark. It has only a small window without any view.I didn't saw Eric and his friend very often ... and if I met one of them it seems to be a little distance to me and I wasn't sure if they are really interested in to communicate with me or are to tyred or maybe to shy? Thats a little bit pity because I presented a little souvenir at time if arrival and shared my prepared meal 2 times with his friend. Maybe it could be a reason that I don't speak English fluently. I could use the kitchen equipment, it was "medium clean", so I used only the oven for a short time of frying. At the last day (Sunday) I didn't want disturb them in their sleeping room when I had to leave and so I spoke only "Good Bye" but I think they didn't hear this. So generally its a good address if somebody only needs to stay central and expect only a place for sleeping.
Wasn't sure what to expect with my first Airbnb booking, but Eric put any anxieties at rest with his warm smile and handshake. He was kind, generous, and fun to talk to. Felt more like he was a long-time roommate than someone I had just met. Grateful to have been able to stay in such a great neighborhood with such a great host.
We had a very comfortable stay with Eric.We greatly appreciated his relaxed approach to Airbnb especially when we arrived later than expected.We also felt free to call in at the apartment when necessary during our stay and loved the superb,central location.
About the Host, Eric
Both my partner, John, and I live in the apartment and we are easy-going and respectful. We are both helpful with advice on the city and John's schedule is currently more flexible than mine so there's a good chance he will check you in or be around to answer local questions. His flexible schedule sometimes leaves him available for giving guided tours, too. He grew up in the city of Chicago, so has an insiders perspective on some aspects of "real" Chicago that many tourists won't have the opportunity to see.
I enjoy travel, movies, playing with my cat and exploring cities - including my own, Chicago. I grew up on the West Coast in the wine country southwest of Portland, Oregon. I went to university in a small school in Indiana, and ended up staying in the Great Lakes region, first a couple years in Minnesota and in Chicago for the past 15+ years. I've lived in my present place, in the River North neighborhood, for 10 years now and really enjoy it for its close proximity to so much in the central area and excellent access to transit, while my building still manages to be quiet and peaceful.
I've travelled a fair bit myself, having visited over half of the States here in the U.S., plus Canada (Toronto), Mexico (Yucatan), Panama (Panama City), Spain (Madrid, Barcelona), Puerto Rico (San Juan, Vieques, Ponce), France (Paris), China (Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Hefei), Sweden (Stockholm), the Netherlands (Maastricht), Austria (Vienna), Norway (Oslo, Bergen, Haugesund, Feoy), Finland (Helsinki) and Russia (Moscow, Tver, Novgorod, Leningrad, Khabarovsk, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk) (was still the U.S.S.R. at the time) and Andorra.
I do work full-time outside of the home, but my office is nearby in the event of emergencies and to aid in flexible check-in times.
Fine-dining Italian, another of my personal favorites with really excellent, authentic risotto and weekly specials and a nice wine list. Expensive710 N Wells St Chicago IL 60654
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Abstract art gallery739 N Wells St Chicago IL 60610
A vegan restaurant with food good enough to satisfy even the non-vegetarian.738 N Wells St Chicago IL 60654
217 W Huron St Contemporary, playful food, by celebrity chef Graham Elliot Bowles. Michelin Star. Expensive.W Huron St Chicago US
Contemporary Asian art gallery300 W Superior St Chicago IL 60610
737 N Lasalle St Spanish tapas food, reasonably priced, similar dishes to what Ive had in Madrid, great sangria, Spanish programming or futbol on the televisions, open late.N LaSalle Dr Chicago US 60654
16 W Ontario St Small classy bar with live piano (usually jazz piano)W Erie St Chicago US
Wifi, right under the Chicago Ave L station.750 N Franklin St Chicago IL 60610
Nightclub646 N Franklin St Chicago IL 60610
Contemporary dance club with local, national and international DJs (weekend entry off Franklin in the alley north of Ontario)226 W Ontario St Chicago IL 60610
Contemporary art gallery325 West Huron St Chicago IL 60610
Irish pub (owned by actual Irishmen) with frequent live musical acts661 N Clark St Chicago IL 60610
A beautifully designed new building with shelves and shelves of poetry.W Superior St Chicago Illinois 60654
Consistently well-executed Chicago classics like hot dogs, Italian beef and all-American hamburgers.100 W Ontario St Chicago IL 60610
Local contemporary bar.364 W Erie St Chicago IL 60610
Closest grocery store.30 W Huron St Chicago IL 60654
American fine dining, Michelin Star. Expensive.535 N Wells St Chicago IL 60610
30 W Erie St More or less on your way, if youre walking to Michigan Ave.W Erie St Chicago IL 60654
Large nightclub with various dance floors and other activities632 N Dearborn St Chicago IL 60610
536 N Clark St Live blues with mostly local performers.N Clark St Chicago US
35 W Ontario St Not open for dinner, but open both before and after dinner, for standard super-late-night diner food.W Ontario St Chicago IL 60654
2 W Erie Rooftop lounge in the Dana Hotel with great views of downtownW Erie St Chicago US
Contermporary American/Californian, its my personal favorite restaurant in River North and was recently awarded a Michelin Star. Expensive.500 N Clark St Chicago IL 60610
439 N Wells St My personal favorite of the Chicago-style pizza places.N Wells St Chicago US
Elegant wine bar with small plates dining and live music in the lower level601 North State St Chicago IL 60611
The least-expensive of celebrity chef Rick Bayless River North restaurants. Excellent fast-casual authentic Mexican food. Great for take-out.449 N Clark St Chicago IL 60610
Fine-dining Mexican, by celebrity chef Rick Bayless (winner of Top Chef Master), Michelin Star. Expensive.445 N Clark St Chicago IL 60610
Closest Trader Joes, a 10 minute walk.44 E Ontario St Chicago IL 60611
230 W Kinzie Great local bar with good food. Looks fancy, but pretty laid-back. Also sells great fresh doughnuts weekday mornings around the corner on Franklin.W Kinzie St Chicago US
Not exactly cheap, but the least expensive of the quality steakhouses downtown.400 N Wells St Chicago IL 60610
440 N State St River Norths only primarily gay bar - but laid-back and welcoming to all.N State St Chicago US 60654
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300 N Lasalle St A newcomer on the steak scene, but with their modern take and great river views, an excellent steak house in River North. Their menus are displayed on iPads. Expensive.N Lasalle St Chicago US
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679 N Michigan Ave In case you lose your iPod buds ...N Michigan Ave Chicago US
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875 N Michigan Ave For all your non-Apple electronics needsN Michigan Ave Chicago US
One of two super-tall view decks in Chicago, Hancock has amazing views of the Lakefront 96 floors up. Or skip the ticket and go to the Signature Lounge and sip an expensive drink for a free viewN Michigan Ave Chicago US
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Excellent regional fine-dining Mexican food by a chef trained under celebrity chef Rick Bayless.North Wells Street Chicago IL 60610
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210 W North Ave The only 24-hour Starbucks in the city.W North Ave Chicago IL 60610
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