—Police violence protestors crashed a variety of well-regarded restaurants in Wicker Park and Lincoln Park, including Dove's Luncheonette, Kanela Breakfast Club and Summer House Santa Monica during busy New Year's Day brunch hours, according to multiple reports. The protests, which trended on social media with the hashtag #BlackBrunchChi, were peaceful. A One Off Hospitality spokeswoman submitted a statement saying "we support free speech and peaceful protest. Everyone is welcome at our establishments."
—Food Network host Jeff Mauro announced that his first restaurant, Pork & Mindy's, will open on Jan. 8 in Bucktown, Crain's first reported. A second location in Old Irving Park is slated for a spring opening.
—The second shuttered La Pasadita will become a Thai restaurant. Kate's Thai Kitchen should open soon at 1132 N. Ashland, and it already received its business license.
—Gapers Block, the online culture publication, is on indefinite hiatus and may not come back. The website covered food and restaurants among other topics.
—A car crashed through the front window of Freshii in Evanston on the evening of New Year's Day, according to multiple news reports, after fleeing a routine traffic stop and hitting another car. Freshii lost its front window but didn't sustain any structural damage.
—New restaurant and market Spanish Square, which opened on New Year's Day on Belmont in West Lakeview, revealed its opening menu. There's an array of hot and cold tapas, small Spanish sandwiches, tostadas and more.