—Aya Fukai, who gained multiple accolades for her work as pastry chef at Sixteen since her hiring in January 2014, is exiting the two-Michelin-starred Trump hotel restaurant in January, the Tribune reports. Sixteen is hiring for her replacement.
—Grandma J's Local Kitchen, a Humboldt Park restaurant that's been targeted by anti-gentrification vandals and robberies multiple times this year, may close by year's end—due to lack of business, reports DNAinfo. A GoFundMe page is raising money in attempt to keep the restaurant open that's been in business for more than three years at 1552 N. Kedzie.
—Beloved counterculture bar and venue the Hungry Brain will indeed be reopening—under new owner and Pitchfork founding director Mike Reed, according to a Crain's interview. It opened for an event on Thursday and will fully reopen sometime in 2016 after shuttering in December 2014.
—Outgoing Tribune food and lifestyle writer Kevin Pang penned a three-star review of Ruxbin following the restaurant's switch to a shared tasting menu in November. Pang begins by comparing its meteoric rise five years ago to that of Parachute, believes that it's still a "fascinating restaurant" that is perhaps "at present the most Chicago restaurant in Chicago."
—2016 Baconfest tickets go on sale at noon today via this link.
—If you blinked you missed it: Stephanie Izard is stealthily holding a Duck Duck Goat preview at Little Goat on Dec. 20, and tickets went on sale at 8 a.m. following a Tribune report at 5 a.m. Then tickets sold out mere minutes later.