Axios Chicago

Picture of the Chicago skyline.

Happy Monday. On this day in 1976, Mayor Richard J. Daley died in his doctor's office.

Situational awareness: They're back! Janet Davies and Mark Giangreco just announced they will be joining channel 5’s New Years Eve broadcast, after years of hosting on channel 7.

Today's newsletter is 920 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: 2021 violent crime stats by neighborhood

Percentage change in violent crimes per capita in Chicago community areas, 2019 to 2021
Data: City of Chicago Data Portal; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is planning to make a speech today to address violence as 2021 homicides and shootings are close to setting all-time records.

Why it matters: Chicagoans are on edge as violent crime is up 7.5% this year, compared to 2019, according to Axios' analysis of city data.

By the numbers: The city's 2021/2022 budget will pump $411 million more into the mayor's Our City, Our Safety plan, which focuses on 15 of Chicago's most violent neighborhoods.

  • $85 million will go to violence reduction programs, and $62 million toward affordable housing.

Takeaways from city crime data: The Near North Side — River North, Gold Coast and Mag Mile — has had a rough year with smash and grabs, carjackings and high-profile shootings. But the data points to an 8.8% decrease in violent crime from 2019.

  • Northwest Side: Norwood Park had almost a 50% increase and Dunning was over 60%.
  • Far South Side: Big increases in Hegewisch and Mt. Greenwood. South Shore is up 20%.

Between the lines: Bucktown and neighboring Logan Square actually saw a decrease in violent crime.

  • But that hasn't stopped the Bucktown neighborhood association from bringing in armed private security.

The biggest drop: Lincoln Park. But these statistics do not include the recent surge of armed robberies last week. Residents organized a walk in protest last Thursday.

Of note: The data includes all incidents of violent crime, not just those that result in arrests. Tomorrow, we'll dive into why violent crime (and gun violence) is on the rise.

View your neighborhood's violent crime percentages on our interactive map.

2. Out-of-towners attack the Hideout

A photo of the front of a building.

A masked patron gets ready to enter the Hideout Holiday Sale over the weekend. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios.

Yelpers with profiles from Texas, Missouri and California are attacking the Hideout with one-star reviews, some aimed at the Chicago bar's COVID policies.

Why it matters: The one-star reviews appear to be an organized campaign to protest the club's policy of checking vaccination cards and enforcing the state mask mandate.

Between the lines: This comes after the club owners reported white supremacist and anti-vax vandalism to the Hideout in October.

What they're saying: A reviewer from Spicewood, Texas, complained of "horrible service," while one from Kansas City, Missouri, said "all the employees were rude and harassing everyone."

  • A Yelper from San Francisco levied unsubstantiated personal attacks on Hideout co-owners.

The other side: Last week, Hideout supporters from Chicago jumped onto Yelp to counter the negative reviews.

  • "Do not believe all these conveniently-recent one-star reviews," said Matt G. from Chicago.
  • "One of my favorite venues in Chicago" — Sussanah S.
  • "This was 9 yo's first post-vaccine stop!" — Carmin B.
  • "Always a welcoming place" — Eric Z.
  • "Someone's got it in for the Hideout" — Helen T.

Of note: Co-owners Tim and Katie Tuten declined to comment at this time.

Editor's note: Axios Chicago held monthly Office Hours events at the Hideout this fall.

3. Tips and Hot Links

An illustration of hot dogs in the form of a peace sign.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🏥 Area hospital bed availability is at an all-time pandemic low. (Chicago Tribune)

🎌 It's official: Former Mayor Rahm Emanuel is now ambassador to Japan. (WGN-TV)

📻 Chicago radio powerhouse Pat Cassidy is retiring from WBBM Newsradio. (Robert Feder)

🎅 Kanye West played Santa Claus and bought over 4,000 toys for an event in Englewood yesterday. (ABC 7 Chicago)

🏈 The Bears play the Vikings tonight on "Monday Night Football." Will the team have enough players to take the field? (NBC Sports Chicago)

4. Holiday theater shuts down

Photo of a performance on stage.

The Joffrey Ballet's "The Nutcracker." Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

Multiple Chicago theaters canceled or postponed performances this weekend due to the new COVID-19 surge.

The casualties: Shows in theaters from downtown to the suburbs canceled either out of caution or because cast members and crews tested positive for the virus. Those include (but are not limited to):

  • "The Nutcracker" (Joffrey Ballet)
  • "Pretty Woman: The Musical" (Broadway in Chicago)
  • "Teatro ZinZanni" (Broadway in Chicago)
  • "Her Honor, Jane Byrne" (Lookingglass)
  • "Love Actually? The Unauthorized Musical Parody" (Apollo Theater)
  • "Cinderella" (Paramount)

What they're saying: "Our theatres are acting with the utmost caution, requiring vaccinations for cast, crew and staff, as well as audience members," The League of Chicago Theatres' Deb Clapp wrote to Axios.

  • "Nevertheless, we are seeing breakthrough infections, and rather than risk a larger break out, theatres are choosing to cancel performances in an effort to stop the spread."

Of note: The league doesn't have statistics on how much holiday shows make and what will be lost.

The bottom line: "The last two weeks of the year are a time when families get together and see a show," Clapp said. "They are some of the busiest and most joyous weeks of the year for Chicago theatre and our audiences."

What's next: Show representatives say they hope to get back on stage after Christmas.

5. Holiday tipping in Chicago

How much do you tip?
Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Thanks to everyone who filled out our holiday tipping survey last week.

  • We got 38 completed responses, a few folks who ran into glitches (sorry!) and at least one email with more details.

Top tip-getters: Massage therapists, house cleaners, door attendants and hairdressers got the most love from our readers who say they tip an average of $60 around the holidays.

Bah, Humbug: Only one respondent said they tip child care workers.

What to give: Massage therapist Kelsey K. told Axios she loves greeting cards with cash, scented candles and thoughtful books.

  • "I do not like getting gift cards but who's to complain as it's thoughtful of clients to give anything!"

5. 🎄 1 holiday photo to go: Sharing the cheer

Photo of a Christmas tree.

Christmas tree in Millenium Park. Courtesy of reader Christine S.

Thanks to Christine S. for sharing this sparkly shot of Millennium Park's tree, which she considers, "My tree because I live two minutes from there. And I pay loads of property taxes."

🪵 Monica is enjoying Christmas meetups over backyard fire pits this year. They actually make the holiday feel more special. Take THAT, COVID!!

🏈 Justin is looking forward to watching "Monday Night Football." Not for the game, but for the shots of deep dish pizzas and Italian beefs coming in and out of commercials.

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