—The long-in-the-works botanical brewpub Forbidden Root will finally open its doors to the public on February 18, according to a press release and multiple reports. Expect an array of creative science-minded beers, mix-in elixirs, "American rustic" food from chef Dan Weiland, and around 150 seats at 1746 W. Chicago Ave.
—The long goodbye for Mirabell Restaurant, the three-decade old German staple on Addison Street in Irving Park, finally ended on Dec. 23, its Facebook page and DNAinfo report. But expect ownership to reopen it as M Pub in a few weeks following renovations and a sale of the restaurant's items.
—Old Town could be getting a boutique hotel with a "high-end, white tablecloth restaurant operated by one of Chicago's top groups" and a rooftop bar in the O'Brien's Restaurant & Bar space at 1528 N. Wells, which would relocate to the second floor, Curbed reports. But the plan still needs approval and neighborhood NIMBYs have filed a petition.
—Gina Stefani has pushed back the opening of Mad Social, the first new Phil Stefani Group restaurant in 14 years, from Feb. 3 to Feb. 8.
—Meanwhile, Phil Stefani himself will be honored with the 2016 Chicago Classic Award at Friday's Grand Chef Gala, tickets for which are still available here. Gene & Georgetti won the award last year.