The national art supply retailer hosts the grand opening of its new Loop location on October 21

Blick Art Materials’ newest retail store is located at 16 W Randolph St., in the heart of Chicago’s theater district.

If you’ve been wondering about all the excitement at that impossible-to-miss building with the large glockenspiel clock at 16 W Randolph, it’s due to the arrival of its newest tenant, Blick Art Materials.

On Friday, October 21, Blick will host the grand opening of its new store in downtown Chicago. Located just steps from the Lake Red Line station and the Washington Blue Line station, the national art-supply retailer will cater to students and educators from the nearby campuses of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Columbia College Chicago, and the American Academy of Art College (with whom Blick proudly partners, along with other arts and community organizations nationwide), while serving the greater Chicago arts community. The two-story space will contain an expanded assortment of art supplies from top-name vendors and private label products, including an enhanced selection of Utrecht Artists’ Paints. They’ll also stock plenty of trending craft items, stationery, and unique gifts—just in time for the holiday season.

The building the new store is housed in has a fascinating history of its own. It was built in 1934 by brothers Max and Robert Eitel as the site of their new venture, the Old Heidelberg Restaurant, where they planned to dish up the classic German dishes they grew up on in their native Stuttgart to local theatergoers. The Eitels commissioned Graham, Anderson, Probst and White (the same architecture firm responsible for the Merchandise Mart, the Wrigley Building, and Civic Opera House) to create an aesthetic in homage to a traditional German village. That can be seen in the building’s stunning façade, which features arched doorways, a decorative parapet, and an ornate glockenspiel clock, whose small wooden doors conceal the building’s quirkiest feature—a colorful statue of King Gambrinus, the legendary icon of beer. Created by Chicago artist Edgar Miller for the Old Heidelberg in 1934, the merry king once regularly emerged to the sound of chimes to mark the hour. The clock is currently undergoing repairs.

The building has changed hands multiple times over the years and Blick is honored to be part of its legacy while providing Chicago’s creative community with the city’s best selection of high-quality art supplies and superior customer service.