—The latest ramen spot planned for Wicker Park, Kukai, has changed its name to Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya and announced a late February opening timeframe in the former Max's Wine Dive and Covo Gyro Market space at 1482 N. Milwaukee. Chicago Magazine reports that Kizuki will have a "noodle bar" open kitchen to watch the four types of ramen being made, 18 small plates, four types of Japanese spirits, sake, sochu, beer, and possibly "Japanese-style" cocktails.
—Enolo Wine Cafe, Roka Akor's sister restaurant formerly known as Enolo Wine Bar, has brought on a new chef and rolled out a new menu on Friday. New chef Rich Phelps' (Naha, mk) dishes include brie bruschetta, crab in a jar, and pancetta pizza with brie and pear.
—Are ping pong bars becoming a thing? Susan Sarandon's SPiN isn't the only one opening in Chicago, as another, Bounce Ping Pong, is heading to the corner of Clark and Wacker (230 N. Clark), according to a liquor license application and signage at the space, which is on the ground floor of an under-construction residential building.
—Two more locations of yet another fast-fired pizza chain are coming to the area. Pizza Studio, a Los Angeles-based chain, is opening soon at 545 S. State, which was first noticed by Sloopin, as well as the Northwestern Hospital complex in Streeterville (251 E. Huron). Pizza Studio locations are already open in Logan Square and Oak Lawn.
—McPier, the massive under-construction McCormick Place Entertainment District building, is actively looking for a restaurant operator to open on the ground floor, Curbed reports. Who will end up there?
—Taste of Japan, a committee and awards ceremony recognizing contributions to Japanese cuisine, will hold its first (private) Chicago event on Wednesday and bestow an honorary award to Momotaro chef Mark Hellyar. The committee began in London last year and will hold U.S. events in the California Bay Area and Washington D.C. later this year.