—The father of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old who was mistakenly shot and killed three years ago, opened a restaurant on the South Side on the Friday anniversary of his daughter's death, NBC5 reports. The Next Level at 2544 E. 83rd St. has a special mac and cheese in Pendleton's honor.
—Phil Vettel filed his quarterly review of the latest Next iteration, giving the Alps menu three stars. Calling it "Next's least-specific menu since late-2011's 'Childhood,'" he highlights a pretzel centerpiece with various sausages and a trio of Austrian desserts, yet says he "didn't quite get the knock-your-socks-off dish that Next so often delivers." Meanwhile, as Vettel famously reviews every Next iteration, the Tribune filed a separate story linking the reviews of every one.
—Maria's Packaged Goods' restaurant Kimski is getting closer, as it posted a photo of the constructed space to social media over the weekend. It appears to need a little more work before its planned opening early this year.
—A second location of Bucktown late-night standby Sublime Sushi is slated to open in Lincoln Park by the end of the week, DNAinfo reports. The restaurant, in a former Costello's Sandwiches at 2235 N. Lincoln, will serve the same menu as the original at 2009 N. Damen.
—In honor of the new Lincoln Park spot, Firecakes is giving away another year of free doughnuts to the lucky people who find a golden ticket with their order. The promotion lasts until Feb. 7 and is available at all three locations, including River North and its food truck.
—Originally named Progo, a forthcoming Andersonville health-food restaurant named TrueNorth is slated to open around mid-month at 5507 N. Clark, Edgeville Buzz reports.