—Remember the controversial noncompete agreements Jimmy John’s would force its employees to sign? The sandwich chain will pay $100,000 to the Illinois attorney general’s office as part of a settlement over the controversial clauses, according to the Tribune. The government believes this as a victory, to ensure employees aren’t restricted to find better jobs. They will use the money on education programs to tell the general public that noncompetes are illegal. The sandwich company maintained they didn’t do anything wrong. JJ’s also settled a similar lawsuit in New York.
—Quiote, the multi-level Mexican spot from Dan Salls (Salsa Truck) still doesn’t have an opening date in Logan Square, but the team has announced a New Year’s Eve event where folks can get a sneak peak inside. There’s plenty of mezcal to be had and tickets range from $70 to $170.
—Coda di Volpe, the pizza-focused space in Lakeview from Billy Lawless, has a new Tuesday night special. Timpano Tuesdays will offer guests a dinner for two for $48. They'll serve insalata mista, timpano, and a trio of gelati and sorbetti. They'l also have bottles of wine prices for $40.
—Some news from one of Chicago’s most-popular restaurant groups. Executive chef Jared Wentworth of 16" On Center is relinquishing some of his responsibilities, as the group says that will allow him to concentrate on upcoming projects. Over at Dusek’s in Pilsen, former chef de cuisine Henry Hill will take over the kitchen. In the West Loop at Saint Lou’s Assembly/MONEYGUN, they’ve promoted chef de cuisine Carlos Cruz to executive chef and executive sous chef Gabino "Bino" Ottoman will replace Cruz. Saint Lou’s is also going through its own changes, transitioning to a full-service restaurant.
—2Fun Chinese, the second floor lounge in the West Loop from Bar Marta’s Austin Baker, is ready to push those dim sum carts. Starting on Tuesday, diners can order from the lounge’s snack food menu, including baos and General Tso’s chicken wings. They can do so from the counter or from one of the carts circulating around the space. They also announced karaoke will happen weekly on every Tuesday starting at 10 p.m.
—Now that the temperatures are freezing, bars like Kaiser Tiger in the West Loop can unveil creative ways of making use of their outdoor space in the winter. The bacon and beer mecca has once more turned their beer garden into a makeshift curling rink. DNAinfo shares more about annual ritual. Opening day for the rink is today (Friday).
—Flamingo Rum Club is still waiting to open its doors to the general public. The cabaret dancers and rum drinks are on standby in River North, as Phil Stefani Restaurant’s still await a few approvals. They were supposed to open this week at 601 N. Wells St.
—The Talbott Hotel and the restaurant inside are closing for renovations. Crain’s reported it will close in January and open in May. The restaurant space is a coveted one in Gold Coast space, but after Mercadito Kitchen closed in January 2015, the hotel could manage only a temporary filler concept. They’re once more promising a new restaurant concept in the space as the hotel says they’re working with a restaurant group.
—Baconfest Chicago may not be until March 31 at the UIC Forum, but tickets for the event went on sale on Wednesday. Early bird VIP tickets have sold out, but there are plenty of other options.
—The 1600 to 1700 block of Milwaukee Avenue in Bucktown may see new bars. Chicago officials have lifted an alcohol ban that affects the stretch, near North and Damen, according to DNAinfo.
—Mott Street has launched a late-night menu over in West Town. There’s three items from the Korean-influenced restaurant that will stave off a nocturnal snack attack or help dampen a hangover: The Mott Dog (all-beef hot dog, roasted garlic kewpie, pickled shallots, bonito-nori flakes); Chitalian beef sandwich (soy-chili braised beef shank, sport peppers, cheese sauce); Mott-chos (fresh tortilla chips, mapo tofu, radish, green onions, cheese).
—And finally, get ready for the return of Chubby Wieners. The Lincoln Square hot dog stand with the oh-so-fun-to-say name had been closed for a spell, but they’ve announced a Jan. 31 reopening at 4662 N. Western Ave. They’re also giving away free sausages that day.