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A Look Back on 2020 from one of Chicago’s Top Real Estate Brokers

Posted by Dominic Irpino on December 31, 2020

Our Best Year Ever

2020 has definitely been a trying year for all of us. As this year comes to a close we are more thankful than ever for the health of our team, our clients and our family. Through all the ups and downs this year, we are grateful to have had our BEST YEAR EVER through the opportunity to help the most amazing clients buy and sell homes. We also welcomed several new agents and staff members to our growing team and our office building got a lot brighter with a custom mural thanks to Uptown United and the artist Bojitt.

New Recognitions for our Top Chicago Real Estate Agency

As a part of our mission, we continued to give back to charitable causes this year and did our part in supporting local businesses as much as we could and stood by our friends and neighbors in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. We look forward to continuing this work into 2021 and beyond. We also received several new awards and recognitions in 2020, including:

  • A “Best of Zillow” award
  • America’s Top Real Estate Agents named us in the top 1% of real estate professionals in the country
  • A  “Highly Recommended by Locals” recognition from Alignable
  • And we were featured this year in Chicago Real Producers Magazine

Our Local Business Spotlight Video Series Turns 3

We love being your Local Real Estate Broker here in the Uptown / Buena Park Neighborhood. And for the third year in a row, we have continued our role as an ‘Information Broker’ for the neighborhood through our IRPINO Real Estate local business spotlight video series.

We had the opportunity to interview 12 local businesses and organizations this year and even though we had to change how we interacted with business owners and partners, we still managed to have a LOT of Fun doing it. Some of our videos were done via Zoom and all were done with masks and social distancing, but each month we brought you new content. We hope you were able to be introduced to a new spot in our neighborhood or even ‘reminded’ of a place you used to go that perhaps should support again soon. Remember, it’s now more important than ever to support our local businesses.

Thank you to everyone who participated and thank you to all of YOU for watching.

Watch the video below to look back on the places we visited this year. And from all of us at IRINO Real Estate in Chicago, we wish you a Happy and a Healthy New Year!

We started off the year with our buddy Brian, co-owner of My Buddy’s on Clark Street. Your “home away from home,” My Buddy’s offers neighborhood comfort food with a touch of southern hospitality. If you are looking for some great takeout or delivery, we highly recommend their Totchos!

In February hit the mat with Torriente Toliver at Mind Body Defense to learn some self-defense skills.  Not only does he help you reach your fitness goals, but when you take a class at Mind Body Defense, you will leave feeling empowered and more confident. Check out their virtual classes and socially distant in-person classes.

One good thing that came out of 2020 was the world’s first vegan Jewish deli – right here in Uptown! We sat down with Andy Kalish, owner of Sam & Gertie’s, to talk about the importance of plant based food on both the environment and our bodies and what inspired him to combine the plant based diet with traditional Jewish deli food. Order online for delivery or pick-up, you won’t be disappointed!

As the pandemic took hold of the city in March and many businesses were forced to close their doors, we wanted to do everything we could to support our local establishments. So for our April video we turned to Martin Sorge, Executive Director of Uptown United and Business Partners, The Chamber for Uptown, and John Blick, Director of Business Services to get their advice and suggestions as to what we as residents of Uptown could do to support our local businesses. We set up a virtual interview to get their expert advice.

As we headed into May, it became more important than ever to come together to support one another and our communities. So we decided to bring in an expert who is one of the most important members of our community here in Uptown, Chicago to share with us some thoughts on how we could give back during this time: Chicago’s 46th Ward Alderman, Alderman James Cappleman.

After a difficult month of shut downs and riots, we needed some brightness in June. So we ventured outdoors with our mask to one of the best and brightest places in Uptown: The Clifton Avenue Street Art Gallery. Partially funded by the Uptown Special Service Area and developed by Uptown United in 2019, the Gallery is a partnership with community members and with artists from all over the globe. It’s a unique street art destination, currently showcasing 30 murals by 30 artists – and growing!

With the city slowly re-opening in July, we were able to finally visit a local business in person. This month we got to meet the owners of one of Uptown’s newest establishments: Hearthstone & Terrace. From furniture, rugs and lighting to indoor and outdoor plants, you can find it all at this interior design and botanicals showroom. Check them out in store or online!

August brought one of our most inspirational videos we’ve ever done. We met with Marcus Ward, owner of Urban Grill, a new and delicious fast food restaurant in Uptown. Not only do they make great food, but they give back. When the Chicago Public Schools had to shut down their free meal program temporarily, Marcus stepped up. With the help of Feed the People, countless volunteers and generous donations from the community, his restaurant was able to feed over 25,000 kids around the city. Be sure to support Marcus and order some takeout today!

This September we visited the legendary Carol’s Pub. Originally opened in 1972, this bar has been a Chicago staple for years which is why when they closed their doors 4 years ago, Managing Partner Ed Warm and his team stepped up to keep the legend alive. They gutted and rebuilt the place but still honored Carol’s past of being Chicago’s last great honky-tonk bar and reopened the doors in December of 2018. Check them out for takeout or delivery.

With all of us working from home this year more than ever, we are facing new challenges and less than ideal work environments. That’s why we sat down with Tony Mendiola, Founder & Owner of Human Citizen Workplace this October. We talked about how a co-working space like Human Citizen can help with these new challenges and improve your overall quality of life. Having a dedicated workspace, outside of your home but within walking distance can truly increase your productivity and give you access to a community of local professionals. Check them out today.

In November we featured a different kind of business that has been in the heart of Uptown for over 30 years: European & US Car Service / Hawk Motors. We all our doing our best to shop and dine local this year but did you know that you can stay local for all your car needs as well? Whether you need auto body repair, mechanical repair, or insurance repair, they can do it all. We had a great time talking with owner Warren Preis about their unique business. Visit them next time you need some work done and tell them Dominic sent you!

We ended the year this December by visiting Foursided, a beautiful gift and framing shop on the Uptown / Andersonville border. Whether you are looking for holiday gifts, birthday gifts, or even something for yourself, you can find it here. We had the opportunity to talk with owner Todd Mack about how the shop came to be and got a closer look at some of the unique handmade and vintage finds they have in store.

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