Part of Riverwalk Extension Opens Saturday

The first blocks of Chicago’s new riverwalk extension will open Saturday, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Friday that the second phase of the $100 million project, a reported two blocks from State to Clark streets, will open this weekend. There are also plans to open another block to LaSalle Street in early June.

At a tour of some of the finishing touches, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a list of vendors that plan to set up shop along the water.

"Since we announce this Riverwalk, there is now -- I've lost count -- but somewhere between $7 to $8 billion in private development happening along the river, just because of the public investments we're making," he said.

Chicago's Riverwalk Expansion Plans

The new lineup includes several dining options, live entertainment, biking, kayaking, cruises, boat rentals and water taxis, the mayor’s office said. Vendors including WanderBikes, Urban Kayaks, Island Party Hut, Wheel Fun Rentals, Cyrano’s Café & Wine Bar, Mercury Cruises, O’Brien’s Riverwalk Café, City Winery and more.

O'brien's Riverwalk Cafe has been on the existing section of the riverwalk since 2007, and management there said they're looking forward to having competition.

"Activity brings activity," said Jennifer Tremblay.

The final phase of the riverwalk project is scheduled to begin this summer with the extension continuing to Lake Street, officials said.