Thank you for visiting Old Town, Chicago! The Old Town Merchants & Residents Association invites families, friends, neighbors, visitors, and tourists to explore and experience all that Old Town has to offer. Whether it’s great shopping, fabulous restaurants, entertainment, salons or special services for pets, it’s all here!
The 2014 Old Town Merchants and Residents Annual Report is now available. This year’s edition includes event news, new businesses and developments, ward reports and more.
An online version of the report is available here.
You can also request your hard copy by visiting or contacting:
Old Town Merchants and Residents Association
1520 N. Wells, Lower Level
Chicago, IL 60610
2016-2017 OTMRA Board of Directors
President Giulia Sindler, Kamehachi
1st Vice President Tim Egan, Resident
Vice President Mary Quincannon, @Properties
Chairman Jennifer Tremblay, O’Briens Restaurant
Treasurer Bert Haas, Zanies Comedy Club
Secretary Gary Martin, Resident
David Dattalo, The Fudge Pot
Annie Doppes, Bistrot Margot
Marc Epstein, Benchmark
Frank Guske, Wells Automotive Service
Chad Novak, The Fireplace Inn
Patrick Shaughnessy, Bigwells Technology
Christopher Donovan, The House of Glunz
Michael Endrizzi, Wells on Wells
Don Goldstein, Wells Street Apartments
Peter Lardakis, Kanela Breakfast Club
Sara Plocker, Sara Jane
Tony Tomaska, Navigant Development
Ian M Tobin, Executive Director
Commercial Retention & Attraction Strategy
The area serviced by the Old Town Merchants & Residents Association includes Clark Street to the east, Division Street to the south, Halsted Street to the East and North Ave./Eugenie to the north. Our goal is to continue Old Town’s evolution as a safe and vibrant location to live, work and laugh. Our efforts are centralized around the popular Wells Street commercial corridor, an area flush with varied businesses and services including: retailers, health/wellness services, bars and restaurants, comedy clubs, independent theatre and community organizations.Wells Street is easily accessible by a variety of public transportation methods such as the Brown line train station (at Sedgwick), the Red Line train station (at Clark/Division) and several bus lines (#72, #36, #22, #8, #156, #11). Wells Street is a designated bike corridor as well, with painted lanes in both directions. We are proud to be the home of the world-renown Second City improv theatre, Zanies Comedy Club, A Red Orchid Theatre, the Chicago History Museum, historic St. Michael’s Church and many more popular attractions.
Neighborhood Safety Strategy
The Old Town Merchants & Residents Association maintains a consistent dialogue with the local police district in order to ensure residents, businesses and visitors are assured a safe and secure experience in Old Town. Additionally, the local Special Service Area — SSA 48 Old Town — provides weekend on-street security service to supplement the efforts of our district police officers. Combined, this provides the order and eyes necessary to help Old Town thrive.
Communications & Media Strategy
OTMRA endeavors to consistently share information about our businesses so that they can see actual, tangible success in their businesses through their memberships. Located at the top of each page of this website, you will see links to our various social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc.) as well as a sign-up link for our e-newsletter. We encourage you to utilize all of these tools to stay up to date on what we and our business members are doing. For member businesses, please contact our office directly if you have any stories worth sharing on our website or upcoming events/specials we can help you promote through our ever-growing social media lists.
District Marketing Strategy
In 2015, OTMRA will be producing out-of-home pieces which will be installed on select routes and lines of both Chicago’s elevated train system and its bus system. Through sponsorship support of businesses, and OTMRA’s own expense, we expect these materials to be seen by more than 18 million sets of eyes over the course of the campaign. Print guides will be updated and distributed to Choose Chicago visitor centers as well as hotels. Additionally, OTMRA will endeavor to update its website and social media platforms on a regular basis in an effort to provide consistent and timely information for those seeking information on the neighborhood and its businesses. A new ‘Business of the Month/Week” feature will help our organization take on a more active role in directing customers to businesses by highlighting special events or discounts.