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The Salt Shed, Chicago’s Newest Music Venue, Opens Next Week At Morton Salt Site Along North Branch

Concerts outside the development along the Chicago River will run through September. The indoor venue is expected to open early next year.

A rendering of The Salt Shed along the North Branch.
Chicago Department of Planning and Development / Provided
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GOOSE ISLAND — Concerts begin Tuesday outside the former Morton Salt warehouse on the North Branch of the Chicago River near Goose Island, the first programming planned at the site ahead of an indoor music venue slated to open early next year.

The Salt Shed, 1357 N. Elston Ave., is part of a development on the site that includes the music venue and office space.

While construction is still underway on the indoor venue, organizers have launched an outdoor concert series that runs through August and September.

The first show Tuesday evening features local jazz drummer Makaya McCraven, as well as Son of Kemet and Nubya Garcia.

Other shows include indie bands like Fleet Foxes, Death Cab For Cutie, Courtney Barnett and more. The venue is operated by 16″ On Center, the hospitality group that owns the Empty Bottle, Thalia Hall and other venues and restaurants around the Chicago area.

“We wanted to get some shows under our belt. And that’s why we created this series to go through September. And then the indoor space is opening in early 2023. So it kind of gives us some time to reset, announce some of the shows that are happening in 2023 and really get ready for that that indoor announcement,” said Kris English, the Salt Shed’s marketing manager.

The full outdoor lineup is available here.

In addition to music, the outdoor shows will feature concession and retail options from local vendors like Cafe Tola and Pizza Friendly Pizza, as well as Semicolon Books and Record Breakers. Capacity for the outdoor space is around 4,000 people, English said.

Credit: Provded
A rendering of the outdoor concert space at the Salt Shed, 1357 N. Elston Ave.

Part of the Salt Shed redevelopment includes the repainting of the iconic Morton Salt logo and sign, visible from the nearby Kennedy Expressway.

The logo was temporarily replaced with vinyl lettering, but it began peeling during inclement weather this winter.

That was expected, a representative for developer Blue Star Properties told Block Club in February. Crews used the vinyl material as a temporary measure until the sign could be painted this spring, the representative said.

English said the repainting is underway and will be completed shortly.

Credit: Chicago Department of Planning and Development / Provided
A rendering of the Morton Salt project.
Credit: Izzy Stroobandt/Block Club Chicago
The old Morton Salt factory at 1357 N. Elston Ave. on Goose Island. Temporary vinyl letters on the redone roof were peeling due to winter weather. The sign is currently being repainted.

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