—A Georgia restaurant tried to name itself "Smoque" — and the Chicago barbecue stalwart of the same name quickly put an end to it, reports the Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.). Turns out that Smoque trademarked the name in 2008, so don’t expect another restaurant to use it any time soon. Mark Jones, the owner of the Georgia restaurant that’s now named Smoke, was asked in the story if he would be willing to take part in a cooking contest over the name, to which he replied, "I don’t know if they would be willing to put that on the line...but you don’t mess with country boys."
—In the aftermath of a soda tax passing in Cook County, Chicago bars and restaurants now have to deal with another legislation that could make turning a profit more difficult: a surcharge on satellite TV feeds. This means that local spots that have premium NFL and college football packages would pay hundreds of dollars more annually, Crain’s reports, and many people in the industry are distressed about it — Illinois Restaurant Association president Sam Toia tells Crain’s that the city is "going to kill" small bars and restaurants.
—The owner of a West Side restaurant did major humanitarian work this Thanksgiving. Quentin Love, who owns Turkey Chop at 3506 W. Chicago Ave., gave away 1000 turkeys with his employees on Wednesday to people waiting in a line that stretched down the street, DNAinfo reports, after raising more than $11K for the birds via GoFundMe. Also check out a profile on the inspirational Love in the Sun-Times.
—Loop drinkers and happy hour goers have a new option in Early Society, the all-day Wacker Drive restaurant from Adolfo Garcia (Pearl Tavern, Flamingo Rum Club), which quietly started full liquor service following a dry opening in May. Check out the full cocktail and beer menu here, and the happy hour deal here.
—And finally, a couple of unique holiday cocktail popups are opening in town this week. Lost Lake will turn into "a holiday Tiki paradise" named "Sippin Santa’s Surf Shack." Paul McGee’s bar will serve a nine-drink menu of "Polynesian cocktails with a holiday twist" coordinated with tiki legend Beach Bum Berry (Latitude 29, New Orleans) and Sam Gauthier (Boilermaker, NYC) from Dec. 1 until Dec. 24.
—Meanwhile, CH Distillery will turn into a scene from the classic movie "A Christmas Story" from Nov. 29 until Dec. 23 that’s based on the fictional 1950s department store "Bigbee’s" from the movie. The Dogma Group is behind the event and the 1950s-themed cocktails, which include a chili chocolate phosphate, "Uncle Eddie’s Frozen Egg Nog," and a "Soap Shot" (lavender and jasmine-infused CH Key Fin, lemon, gelatin, "soap foam"). Food will continue the theme, such as cheese balls, little smokies, and fondue.