The Salt Shed, Chicago’s newest music venue, opens next week at Morton Salt’s site along North Branch

GOOSE ISLAND — Concerts begin Tuesday outside the former Morton Salt Warehouse on the North Fork of the Chicago River near Goose Island, the first scheduled lineup at the site before a concert hall opens in room planned for early next year.

The Salt Shed, 1357 N. Elston Ave., is part of a development on the site that includes the concert hall and offices.

While construction is still underway at the covered site, organizers have launched a series of outdoor concerts taking place in August and September.

The first Tuesday night show features local jazz drummer Makaya McCraven, along with 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 hotel group that owns the Empty Bottle, Thalia Hall, and other Chicago-area venues and restaurants.

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

The complete outdoor range is available here.

In addition to music, the outdoor shows will include concession and retail options from local vendors like Cafe Tola and Pizza Friendly Pizza, as well as semicolon books and record breakers. The capacity of the outdoor space is around 4,000 people, English said.

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

Part of Salt Shed’s redevelopment includes the painting of the iconic Morton Salt logo and sign, visible from the nearby Kennedy Highway.

The logo was originally repainted last year, but started chipping in bad weather this winter.

It was expected, a representative for developer Blue Star Properties told Block Club in February. Crews used vinyl material as a temporary measure until they could do a “much stronger” paint job in the spring, the rep said.

English said the final painting is currently underway and will be complete soon.

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

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