—Hopleaf Bar, Andersonville’s 25-year-old beer temple and Belgian eatery, is going to look a lot different soon. Ownership announced a slew of cosmetic changes coming in the next few months, primarily to the outside and the layout on the inside. Get all the details here. Hopleaf will stay open throughout the work.
—Pomp & Circumstance, the Old Town bar/restaurant from the owners of The Hubbard Inn, closed last week when management put up a sign stating that it will reopen on Oct. 25. The sign described the restaurant, which opened in August 2015, as already needing "an early fall tune up." However, the spot has been the subject of rumors that other restaurant operators have contacted ownership to express interest in taking over the space on Wells and Schiller streets. Stay tuned.
—Bar Lupo, the forthcoming "Italian pub" from a former Maple & Ash partner in the old Graham Elliot and Oak + Char space in River North, has a chef now. Marcos Ascencio (Park Hyatt) is that chef, and the Tribune reports that he’s working on "craveable pub foods" and notes a few other dishes—pasta standards (spaghetti pomodoro; fettucine bolognese), red sauce Italian-American (eggplant parm), and a late-night potato dish topped with meat sauce and ricotta. The restaurant is slated to open before winter.
—And more chef news: a new person is helming the kitchen at Scofflaw. Nicole Bayani, a former sous at Yusho who also previously worked at Tru, is now running the culinary show at the ever-popular cocktail bar and eatery in Logan Square. "In the coming months she will push the boundaries of the menu specifically focusing on brunch and late night service," a rep says.
—Nominations are now open for the Jean Banchet Awards, Chicago’s preeminent local dining honors. Click here to make sure your favorites make the ballot before it closes on Oct. 23.
—And lastly, in the wake of fast-casual chain Cosi filing for bankruptcy, three Chicagoland locations have bit the dust: Clark and Lake, Lincolnshire, and at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital.