—That Bub City and Joe's on Weed (renamed for the suburbs as Joe's Live) project in Rosemont, replacing the ill-fated Toby Keith bar/restaurant, has an opening date. Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises announced they'll open on Feb. 25 with country star Frankie Ballard performing.
—Alpana Singh, the former "Check Please!" host and owner of Seven Lions and Boarding House, has gathered up an impressive group of 38 Chicago chefs (click for the roster) for a project celebrating William Shakespeare's 400th birthday. She's working with Chicago Shakespeare Theater's creative producer Rick Boynton on the project called Culinary Complete Works. Essentially, each chef will create a menu based on one of The Bard's plays: Rick Bayless takes on "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Tony Mantuano's pairing with "Romeo and Juliet," while Art Smith interprets "King Lear." They'll release more details soon, but they're calling it a year-long event that will take place at restaurants across the city.
—While Chicago Restaurant Week kicks off today, travelers at Midway and O'Hare International Airports have something to look forward to as Airport Restaurant Week has launched. Running through Feb. 4, airport restaurants like the ones licensed by HMSHost (Tortas Fronteras by Rick Bayless, Wolfgang Puck's) will offer special two- and three-course meals. Check out the website, and no, HMSHost officials told Eater Chicago they have no new details to share just yet on The Publican-project coming to O'Hare.
—LTHForum greeted users this week with a drastic new redesign. The site is one of the most vibrant online communities for Chicago restaurant lovers. Improvements have been made for better mobile readability.
—Matthias Merges (Yusho, Billy Sunday) posted a mysterious new photo Instagram hinting at a new project. The photo is of blueprints, but the location remains a secret. The glut of hashtags in the captions included "#Brewery" and "#ComingSoon." Merges has been coy about revealing details and hasn't responded to multiple inquiries, but in September he did mention two projects in the West Loop and North Side.
—Ritual, a new mobile startup, launched in Chicago this week offering food delivery, but focusing on a unique niche, focusing on office workers downtown and their lunch orders. The app utilizes the GPS in the customer's mobile device to give the restaurant a better idea of when customers will arrive, so food won't get cold waiting for pick up. The company believes this will even the playing ground, giving more restaurants access to a mobile app ordering much in the way a national chain like Chipotle or Starbucks does. LYFE Kitchen and Freshii are among the participating restaurants in the West Loop, The Loop and River North.