—Despite delays and budget snafus, Chicago’s first cat cafe is moving along. The new Tree House Humane Society location at 7225 N. Western Ave. on Saturday held an open house and sneak peek of sorts, which included a glimpse of the cafe, DNAinfo reported first. The cafe, which could open to the public in summer 2017, is a two-room lounge with a coffee machine for prospective adopters as well as "catios." Word of the cafe first broke in March 2015.
—Goose Island’s brick-and-mortar brewpubs continue their expansions, as news reports reveal that the Chicago-bred and now Anheuser-Busch funded brewery is opening an outpost in London....this week. Named The Vintage Ale House, it’s opening in the south London neighborhood of Balham on Dec. 16, Drinks International reports, which Imbibe terms the UK’s "first American craft beer bar." Goose Island announced its first international location, in Toronto, in April.
—On the heels of a Cook County judge dealing a major blow to Chicago food trucks last week that the city’s stifling laws are legal, the owners of the Beavers Coffee + Donuts truck and Saucy Porka/Spotted Monkey (whose owner ran DucknRoll)— responded in an op-ed in Crain’s. The frustration in their words is palpable, including that "shutting down is the only option" and that the ruling "sends a dangerous message that our elected officials are allowed to pick winners and losers in the food chain." Do yourself a favor and read the entire story.
—The Chicago Athletic Association hotel’s outstanding main restaurant, Cherry Circle Room, is now serving up late-night specials on weeknights. Available Mondays through Thursdays from 10 p.m. on, you can get a "lowbrow" or "highbrow" food and drink pairing for just $13, including the historic restored restaurant’s triple prime burger and a can of Capital Supper Club Lager.
—Broadway Cellars, the decade-old Ravenswood neighborhood favorite restaurant, has rebranded as Cellars Bar and Grill. The restaurant as reconcepted from a wine-focused bistro into a more casual restaurant and bar, which is apparent in new food items including fingerling poutine, pork belly mac and cheese, and sandwiches such as the "Mark Cuban" and "Tacos Gringos." It also now serves a plethora of local craft beer on tap.
—And finally, just in time for your holiday shopping, the 2017 A La Card deck is now available for purchase. Every year, the deck includes 52 standout deals to top Chicago restaurants, and this year’s deck features Band of Bohemia, The Duck Inn, Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Smoque, and much more. More information and purchase options are available here.