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Ba Le Expands Downtown; Sushi Samba Closed for Renos

NEAR NORTH SIDESushi Samba Rio is closed for renovations until January 28. They write: "We are evaluating a structural fracture at the truss and are taking the protective measures to repair it. The management regrets any inconvenience, but we are following these procedures for the safety and wellbeing of our guests and staff." [GS]

BUCKTOWN— A new Thai restaurant called O'Cha Thai Cuisine has opened in Bucktown, DNA Info and Wicker Park Bucktown report. The restaurant seats 47 people, and though they "soft opened" today they will officially open on January 26. [DNA; WPB]

THE LOOP— Banh mi purveyor Ba Le has just opened a location at 166 W Washington a block from City Hall. And it looks like they're going to open a new bakery uptown. [Uptown Update]

LOGAN SQUARE—There's more drama in the liquor license struggle between the city and the owner of music venue Congress Theater, Eddie Carranza. There are accusations that the club was reselling drugs confiscated from concert-goers, stories of rival gang fights, alleged beatings and thefts by security guards, and more. Hearings will resume on March 5. [Chicagoist]
[Photo via Uptown Update]