Category Archives: Things to Do

Chicago Startup Shurpa Guarantees You’ll Receive Your Packages

Chicago Startup Shurpa Guarantees You’ll Receive Your Packages


Have you ever ordered something online and worried whether your package would be at your door waiting? Have you ever missed a birthday present from your mom because it couldn’t be found at your door step? Many Chicago buildings don’t have doormen who will collect deliveries, leaving residents’ packages at risk of theft or misplacement.


Ben Fornell, Lakeview resident, noticed his packages often went missing. Since he lived in a building without a doorman, he took a bet on whether every Amazon order would show up. Ben’s entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and he seized the opportunity to make the shipping process safer, simpler and more trustworthy for Chicago’s residents.


Ben started Shurpa in the summer of 2014, prepping for the holiday shipment season. Shurpa works like this – you ship to their address (a Lincoln Park storefront) as your shipping address with a unique code that is issued to you when you enroll. When Shurpa receives the package, they identify your parcels with the code, and send an automated text message allowing you to schedule delivery when you’re actually home. When convenient for you, a courier will bring the package directly to you – no hassle of waiting by your door step all day.


Shurpa Delivery Storefront


“This makes it so much easier for busy Chicagoans,” Ben explains. “There’s always someone to sign for your package, and if you’re not home until 10:30 p.m. we’ll still deliver it directly to you.” Shurpa delivers between the hours of 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturdays. This way your work and travel schedule doesn’t hinder you from receiving your packages in a convenient and timely fashion.


How do you get started? Visit to sign up for your unique shipping code. Enter your preferred delivery time and a courier will deliver the package in your hands, when you’re actually home. Typical pricing is $4 for your first package, and $1 more for each additional package in the same delivery. Social sharing is encouraged, and will earn you free delivery.


Shurpa Delivery Courier


“Shurpa brings joy and security back to online shopping,” says Ben. They can service residents in older buildings and cover quite a bit of ground (their delivery boundaries are Montrose to the north, Pulaski and Kedzie to the west, Roosevelt and 16th to the south, and the lake to the east). The goal is for everyone in Chicago to be able to take advantage of Shurpa’s services.


Sign up for peace of mind today!


{Photos courtesy of Shurpa}



305 Fitness: Turning Your Workout into a Party

305 Fitness: Turning Your Workout into a Party


The name in itself 305 is the area code in Miami where this “rave-meets-workout” was inspired. ((305)) Fitness is a dance cardio workout that started on the East Coast but is now sweeping the nation with their pop-up classes.


You might ask, what is ((305)) Fitness? ((305)) Fitness infuses dance moves, sports drills as well as high intensity interval training (HIIT) which creates a full body workout that will make you want to come back for more. This fun dance club style class features a live DJ as well as New York’s Best Instructors. This one hour non-stop cardio class feels like a night out dancing and partying with your friends. Through this high energy and fun loving class you can burn over 800 calories.


305 Fitness


Another question you make ask is, “How can I join in on the fun in Chicago?” ((305)) Fitness is always looking for new places to plan their next non-stop cardio party. They have popped up in Chicago this week (May 10, 2015) and are here all week. Classes go from Sunday May 10 through Thursday May 14. Classes will be held Monday through Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday at 7 a.m. at Lakeshore Sport & Fitness located at 211 North Stetson Ave. Chicago, IL 60601.


The lovely instructor teaching the class in Chicago this week is founder Sadie Kurzban. This 25 year old “ball of energy” is a founder and the brilliance behind ((305)) Fitness. Her positivity and high energy is what makes this class so enjoyable. She inspires her class to have fun and work hard. Through her sense of humor and easy going attitude she pushes her classes to use her motto, “Go big or go home.” From taking her class you can expect explosive energy, lots of jokes and plenty of sweet dance movies. ((305)) Fitness is located in New York City, Montauk and Washington D.C. They also have popup experiences throughout the country. To find a popup class near you visit


305 Fitness


Photos courtesy of ((305 Fitness))



Heating & Cooling (HVAC) Pub – Wrigleyville’s New Pizza and Concert Joint

Heating & Cooling (HVAC) Pub – Wrigleyville’s New Pizza and Concert Joint


There’s a new pub in Wrigleyville, and it’s to die for! Heating & Cooling Pub, also known as HVAC Pub, is just a couple of steps from Wrigley Field and serves up amazing appetizers, craft beers, and pizza like you’ve never seen before. They are located at 3530 N. Clark St.


There isn’t any typical bar food at HVAC, everything is made from the freshest ingredients. If you’re grabbing a drink with friends, make sure to check the appetizer menu. The bacon-wrapped dates have goat cheese and applewood smoked bacon, making it a crowd pleaser, as well as the bruschetta, with tomatoes and basil leaves. There are also great appetizers such as wings, nachos, and spinach-artichoke dip to enjoy.


Heating & Cooling’s pizza toppings include pulled pork, baked potatoes, and buffalo chicken to create their gourmet pies. “The Boss” has a combination of calamari, giardiniera, arugula, red sauce and a house cheese blend, showcasing octopus as a great topping for pizza. “Alifornication,” a monstrosity that pushes that fresh aspect, includes chicken, roasted tomato, bacon, avocado, lettuce, ranch dressing, olive oil, and cheese. If you’re looking for a regular slice of pizza, the cheese and pepperoni delivers, or make your own creation from any of their ingredients! Not looking for a whole pizza, but just a meal? Grab the PB&J, a slice of pizza with a beer and a shot of Jameson for only $8.


HVAC Pub Pizza


On Thursdays at 9 p.m., HVAC hosts local Chicago bands in an event called “Thursday Night Live.” Featuring mostly music from the rock/alternative genre, it’s a blast to see bands in such an intimate environment. You can enjoy the show from the upstairs balcony or sit in front of the stage downstairs, either way you’ll get your fix of live entertainment for the week.




During your next trip to Wrigleyville, whether you’re seeing the Cubs or going out with friends, make sure to check out Heating & Cooling Pub for pizza, beer, and a fun environment.


Celebrate Warm Weather This Summer with Concerts, Food, and Fun at Ravinia

Celebrate Warm Weather This Summer with Concerts, Food, and Fun at Ravinia


Is there anything better than a summer night in Chicago? This year, celebrate family, friends, and warmth at Ravinia! Chicagoans are a short train ride away from all that Ravinia has to offer; music performances, dining options, and large, grassy lawns. Known to be surrounded by trees, Ravinia is a little escape from the downtown skyscrapers to beautiful mother nature.


Starting on June 13th, the festival’s summer lineup features everything from country music to metal, bringing in music favorites from all genres. This year, Chicagoans will have the chance to see big stars such as Sheryl Crow, Amos Lee + David Grey, Steve Miller Band, OAR, Aretha Franklin, and Alan Jackson. Ravinia also hosts kid’s concerts and events; this year’s lineup brings symphonic performers to compose music from Tim Burton films and Disney’s Fantasia, as well as the acrobatic group Golden Dragon Acrobats from China.


Tickets for performances range from $10 to $75 based on the venue chosen and who is performing. Ravinia has 5 different venues; two indoor stages, a pavilion, a terrace, and a lawn. The indoor stages and pavilion are for more traditional concerts with assigned seats, while the terrace provides reserved tables that allow eating and drinking during the show. Lastly, the lawn is for those who want to throw down a blanket, relax in the grass, and listen to the music.


There are countless options for dining at Ravinia. With four restaurants, an ice cream shop, and refreshment carts floating around, you’ll never be hungry. Looking to save a few dollars? Ravinia encourages picnics on the lawn! If you don’t want to pack meals for you and your friends, Picnic Box, a service provided by Ravinia, will pack one for you to pick up before show time. Alcohol is allowed at all venues, whether concertgoers bring their own drinks or enjoy the fully-stocked bars, making Ravinia the perfect place for social gatherings.


No matter what age, you’re sure to have a good time. Bring your family and friends to a concert this summer at Ravinia and enjoy the great music, the warm weather, and some fun!


For more about the Ravinia and to see performance schedules, please visit



See below for detailed instructions on buying tickets (from Ravinia). Tickets go on sale Tuesday, April 28 at 5 a.m. Central Time.


For security purposes, anyone who intends to purchase tickets must change his or her password before Ravinia puts more than 100 summer concerts on sale, beginning at 5 a.m. on April 28. Those who do not already have a myRavinia account are advised to create an account now. Ravinia also advises patrons to verify their personal information, including mailing address and phone number, once they log on.



Ravinia manages its own box office, so make sure you are at Ravinia cannot vouch for any secondary-market sellers. One $7 service fee will be added to each order (not to each ticket). Ravinia anticipates the heaviest traffic between 5 and 10 a.m. If there is a wait, please do not log in with multiple devices, as it could cause further delays.

  • Click Login at the top of the home page and log in to your account with your myRavinia e-mail address and password.
  • From the calendar, navigate to the first concert for which you wish to buy tickets. Click on the calendar box to view the performance information. Click “Learn More” to see the concert page and available ticket options. Click on the relevant “BUY NOW” button and specify how many tickets you want to buy. You may purchase up to a maximum of 10 tickets per concert, per order. Remember, everyone needs a ticket, regardless of age.
  • Repeat the previous step for each concert for which you wish to buy tickets.
  • Select Print@Home tickets or choose to have paper tickets mailed to you.
  • Complete and pay for your order. You will receive a detailed order confirmation by e-mail.


Image Credit


Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) Features Food Deals This Week

Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) Features Food Deals This Week


The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo is here again from April 24-26, celebrating pop culture by showcasing exhibitions and panels from the creative geniuses behind popular comics, TV shows, and movies. C2E2 also hosts autograph signings and special screenings for fans exclusively from the creators of some their favorite entertainment. Tickets for 1-day or 3-day admission are available now on, but if you can’t make the event, four different restaurants across Chicago have partnered with C2E2 to highlight pop culture phenomenons through gastronomical food!


Dimo’s Pizza, the extremely popular pizza joint known for crazy toppings like Chicken & Waffles and S’Mores, created a concoction called “Too Many Cooks,” consisting of cool ranch Doritos, chicken nuggets and Combo’s, all tossed in Hi-C’s Ecto-Cooler drink and topped with Spicy Pop Rocks to pay tribute to 80’s junk food. This pizza will be available at their Wrigleyville and Wicker Park locations from April 20th-26th, so make sure to stop by and grab a slice!


At the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, M/X and POI bars are offering 7 different cocktails inspired by superheroes, like the Damsel in Distress, which is a mix of Amaretto & Ketel One with Cranberry Juice and Orange Juice, as well as two different entree options. The first is a grass fed burger with an egg and pepper relish in between a pretzel bun, and the second is a sandwich with bacon, gouda & brie cheeses, onions, and a tomato-basil sauce on long white bread.


Revolution Brewery/Pub is bringing back their famous Galaxy Hero IPA this month, along with the Galaxy Burger, which is made with Tang (that yummy orange drink we all used to drink when we were kids) on a black bun.


Galaxy Hero will also be served in the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, Chucks: A Kerry Simon Kitchen along with the Iron Chef Burger, a beef burger with sharp cheddar cheese and red onion jam. For dinner, you can order the burger doubled. These will be available until the end of April on special, and at a discount for C2E2 fans.


Make sure to snag these one-of-a-kind creations before April is over, and enjoy the C2E2 Expo this weekend!


Your Introduction to Chicago’s Hit New Band, The Central Standard

Your Introduction to Chicago’s Hit New Band, The Central Standard


You love being the first of your friends to discover new sounds and new talent – so The Chicago Lifestyle is introducing you to Chicago’s new bluesy-alt-rock band, The Central Standard. Formed just nine months ago, the band has already taken venues such as Double Door, Metro and Lincoln Hall by storm. On the verge of publishing their first album, vocalist Alex Garrison lets us in on The Central Standard’s history and inner workings.


While living in Indiana, vocalist Alex started writing music. He took the opportunity to be part of a Kings of Leon cover band, and met with a Chicago producer who offered them the chance to make a four-song EP. Paired with a guitarist, Alex would develop the lyrics and melodies, and they’d sync up to find a sound they liked. The songs are reflective of their lives, such as a snapshot of the age of 24 – living through post-college angst figuring out a world of structure and defining the next steps in life. One of their hit songs – Ghosts of Me and You – was written in a 15-minute flurry of creativity on an airplane.


With much room to grow, Alex started seeking out other talented musicians to fill out the band. Through friends and connections, the band The Central Standard is now made up of Alex Garrison on vocals, Steven Phillips on lead guitar, Manny Miller on rhythm guitar, keyboard and back vocals, Mike Bronk on bass and Jack McKee on drums. While each musician has a different taste in music, they have blended their styles to form a sound similar to Kings of Leon. Musical tastes include jazz, indie rock, synth, and finding a depth of sound by blending many different styles.


The Central Standard Band


“Our focus is on sounding great,” explains Alex, “and building our stage presence and energy. During our shows we feature our new music and throw in a few favored covers repackaged with our own sound.” Their chemistry as a band is deepening with every night on stage. The personalities are flowing together not only to put on a great show but also to come together in the creation of their first album, due out later this spring. They’ve each exposed their own talents and creativity in bringing together the best songs and sounds for the album.


What can we expect from the first album? “This album plays to our strengths – it has a catchy and approachable sound with several singles that fans will enjoy. The first half is high energy, with the latter half featuring an 8-minute jam track with guitars and atmospheric synth. The back half of the album is experimental, allowing us to show off our influences,” says Alex.


The Central Standard Band


The Central Standard is looking to engage with current fans and connect with new ones. They’ve been featured on college radio shows and their goal is to be featured on Chicago radio and television. With hopes to expand their influence beyond the Chicago market, The Central Standard appreciates Chicago as home. “There is a huge variety of music here – something to fit everyone’s taste,” notes Alex. “Chicago’s music scene is unique in that local bands can enjoy playing at great medium-sized venues that they wouldn’t be able to approach in other cities.” Their favorite venue so far? Lincoln Hall. Working with a great production company, Shoeshine Boy Productions, The Central Standard has opportunities to play with similar-sounding bands to open up their fan base.


Interested in learning more about The Central Standard and hearing what they’re all about? Catch them in their upcoming show at Double Door in Wicker Park on May 9 at 7:30 p.m. and watch for their upcoming album release in June.


{Photo credit: Max Herman}


Feed Your Fusion: Two of Chicago’s Most Innovative Fusion Restaurants

Feed Your Fusion: Two of Chicago’s Most Innovative Fusion Restaurants


Feeling a little adventurous after such a brutal winter? Venture out into the city to two different fusion restaurants that strive to keep food unique and fun. Positioned on the border of Lincoln Park and Lakeview sits Thai Burrito (2439 N. Clark), a restaurant that combines exactly what it says. Upon arriving, guests are greeted by strong Thai scents and an inviting atmosphere. Starting off a meal with Thai Burrito’s crowd favorite, Crab Rangoon, is never a bad idea.


Thai Burrito’s Thai burritos are obviously the stars of the show. There are tons to choose from, but restaurant best sellers include the Panang Curry and Pad Thai burritos. If guests aren’t feeling adventurous enough to fuse completely, they have “safer” choices like Garlic or Basil. Burritos are made of a warm, crisp tortilla, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, rice, refried beans, and the choice of veggie, chicken, beef, tofu, shrimp, or tilapia. There are endless options, all made of fresh ingredients.


Thai Burrito


Not into the burrito craze? Try a variety of Tacos or Thai Nachos. Thai Burrito offers some of the best Thai food that Chicago has to offer as well, ranging from spicy curry to mild Pad Thai, just in case guests don’t want to give the fusion a try. These burritos are great for any time of day, leaving you full without excessive amounts of fat.


Thai Burrito


If you’re in the Loop, Saucy Porka (400 S. Financial Place) is a must-try. Tucked away behind Harold Washington Library, the food truck-turned-restaurant fuses Asian and Latin flavors in tacos, rice bowls, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Upon entering, guests are welcomed by a friendly staff and cozy atmosphere. Saucy Porka is fun, fresh, and innovative – a perfect place for a quick bite to eat during lunch.


The Curry Sweet Potato Fries are incomparable to any other fries in the city. Topped with a sprinkle of cheese and green onions, and paired with a curry aioli, nothing marries sweet and spicy together quite like these. Another appetizer unlike any other are the Chorizo Egg Rolls, a Latin alternative to the classic Asian dish. Served with an avocado aioli, these are a sensational combination of Asian and Latin cuisine.


Saucy Porka’s tacos, or “Bacos,” are freshly steamed bao buns that are served open with different fillings. Soy Ginger Tofu and Miso Braised Beef Short Rib are two customer favorites, as well as the infamous Saucy Porka sandwich, which has pork carnitas and kimchi stuffed in a French baguette. No matter what you eat here, you’ll be impressed.


Thai Burrito and Saucy Porka offer innovative and unique fusion dishes with roots in Asian cuisine, unique finds in Chicago!


5 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago

5 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago


If you’re like most Chicagoans, then every year St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just your average “holiday.” In Chicago it is a huge celebration with good times, good friends and most importantly good food.  Chicagoans go all out when it comes to this festive green holiday.


Here’s how to catch the St. Patrick’s Day spirit:


1. We dye our emerald river green!! In true Chicago fashion, every year around 40 pounds of eco-friendly dye is dumped into the Chicago River and it lasts around 4-5 hours. The dyeing starts at 9:30 a.m. and is located at the corner of Columbus and Wacker Drive.  The dyeing of the river has been a beloved tradition for about 50 years, and it draws in crowds that also follow the parade around the city.


2. We have TWO parades! We have a parade on the north side of the city which usually resides on a Saturday (this year March 14) so that families and tourists can come out and enjoy the festivities. The downtown parade starts at 12 p.m. at Columbus and Balbo. The parade proceeds north on Columbus and the viewing area is in front of Buckingham Fountain.


The Second Parade that takes place in Chicago is the South Side Irish Parade. It is a family friendly event which is supported by the surrounding community.  It is said that this parade is one of the biggest Irish Heritage celebrations outside of Dublin. This year it is on Sunday March 15. It starts at 12 p.m. and is located on Western Avenue between 103rd and 115th Streets.


3. We have the best food! As Chicago is known for being a foodie city, there are many restaurants around the city that make authentic Irish cuisine. Several locations include McNamara’s on Irving Park and The Abbey Pub just off of Elston Ave. on Grace St.


4. We have numerous parties around the city! In Chicago, we do St. Patrick’s Day pretty big. Whether this means going to the parade, or starting the fun bright and early at 8 a.m. with a pub crawl, Chicagoans are very diverse on what they like to enjoy throughout the city. Most restaurants in the city take part in the St. Patrick’s Day festivities, whether it is signing up to be a stop on a bar crawl, or having green beer specials, this is one holiday that bars and restaurants enjoy.


5. Four words: Irish American Heritage Center. The St. Patrick’s Day celebrations that go on here are among Chicago’s largest. The Irish American Heritage Center is hosting two celebrations: one on March 14 and the other on March 17. What sets these celebrations apart from the other ones throughout the city is the live music, food, and activities all in one place. Saturday March 14, the center will hold its St. Patrick’s Festival which will follow the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade on the north side of the city. This is a fun and family oriented event which includes traditional as well as contemporary Irish music, dance, food and arts and crafts. For more information on the festivities going on at the Irish American Heritage Center you can visit


Have a great St. Patrick’s Day!



Get Your Live Music Fix with the GigScout App

Get Your Live Music Fix with the GigScout App

Do you love listening to live music or are you trying to add more concerts to your weekend lineup? Chicago features all kinds of live music acts, but it’s not easy knowing where to seek out the best concerts. Download the GigScout app, and you’ll have a list of all the upcoming concerts in your vicinity. The app makes it simple to find the venues closest to your location, pick an artist by listening to a quick clip of their music, and even buy tickets.


GigScout was dreamed up and developed by Chicagoan John Cifelli. John always had an appreciation for Chicago as a music town, and loved going to concerts and events. Because the Chicago music landscape is so spread out, there are venues on every side of town and no clear resource aggregating where all the upcoming concerts are. John’s frustration in researching venue after venue led to the idea for GigScout – the goal is to make it easy for anyone in town to find a concert they’ll love.


While GigScout is now available in many cities across the country, its Chicago roots help it continue to grow. Learning how users interact with the app allows John to come up with new and innovative functions to try. Currently, the app:

  • Shows a map view and list view of upcoming concerts
  • Plays a 30-second preview clip of the artists you’d like to hear
  • Shares the artist biography and type of music
  • Allows you to purchase tickets for some of the events
  • Connects with Uber to call for transportation to the venue


Beyond the goal of helping users find great concerts, GigScout has the power to introduce people to new venues, new styles of music, and up-and-coming local artists. This is a modern platform for discovering new music, and uses technology to advance the music and performance industry.


Local and up-and-coming bands are benefitting from GigScout as well. A band without much publicity or marketing can tap into a new fan base by being listed on GigScout. As the app expands, John has had the opportunity to interact with many of the local bands in Chicago. He’s now an expert in venues and musicians. When asked who his favorite musician is? “Buddy Guy – classic Chicago musician.”


The next time you’re yearning to hear a new band, try a new venue, or just explore more of what Chicago has to offer, download GigScout from the App Store (currently available on iOS and will later be available for Android).


Chicago Auto Show Captured on Video

It’s that time of year again – when thousands of people flock to McCormick Place to visit one of Chicago’s biggest events and the nation’s largest car show, the Chicago Auto Show. Featuring over 1 million square feet of cars, trucks, test tracks and interactive displays, the Chicago Auto Show is an impressive display. The Chicago Lifestyle caught the Auto Show on Instagram video – click below to watch the spirit of the Auto Show. And don’t forget to visit before February 22!