—The highly-anticipated Publican spinoff is getting close to opening in Wicker Park. Busy workers removed the plywood from Publican Anker this weekend in the former Francesca’s Forno space in the neighborhood nexus of Milwaukee and Damen avenues, yet paper still remains on the windows. There’s no official word yet on an opening date, although it has long been slated for a fall opening. Stay tuned.
—Grandma J’s Local Kitchen, a Humboldt Park restaurant that was repeatedly in the news for being a vandalism target, has sadly, finally, called it quits. Ownership made the announcement in a Facebook post that was first noticed by DNAinfo.
—The days before and after Thanksgiving have traditionally been a times for partying and shopping, but this year brings a fun wrinkle for Chicagoans: the release of the Goose Island’s 2016 Bourbon County Stout. Kick off your shopping at the official release party on Friday at 9 a.m. at Binny’s in Lincoln Park (1720 N. Marcey St.) that includes swag, breakfast burritos, Intelligentsia coffee and more, while a few bars are throwing their own parties: Timothy O’Toole’s Pub (Wednesday and Friday evenings), Beer Bistro (Wednesday evening), Sheffield’s (Wednesday evening), The Long Room (Friday afternoon), and Fatpour (Friday afternoon).
—In more barrel-aged beer news, Moody Tongue Brewery is releasing its own interesting new brew on Friday: a limited edition bourbon barrel aged gingerbread imperial stout. The 14.2-percent beer is aged in Four Roses bourbon barrels and "carries the aromatics of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven alongside the flavor of bourbon-soaked gingerbread," according to a news release. It will go on sale at Moody Tongue’s new tasting room at 5 p.m. and costs $10 for a draft pour.
—And finally, have you ever wanted to recreate a recipe for a dish you ate at a long-closed restaurant? The Tribune and WBEZ put together a story with eight tips on how to do it, using the fried chicken at Mandis the Chicken King, a Portage Park restaurant that shuttered in the early 1970s, as an example.