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Lawless' Beacon Tavern Starts Lunch, Mercat's New Chef, More Intel

Plus, Rachael Ray fest announces lineup

Beacon Tavern
Beacon Tavern
Marc Much

—There's a prominent new lunch option downtown, as Beacon Tavern, the brand-new restaurant off the Mag Mile from The Gage owner Billy Lawless, kicks off lunch service today. Dishes exclusive to the midday meal include soft shell crab sliders and a blackened redfish sandwich (read through the full menu here). A shortened menu is available between 3 and 4 p.m. to bridge lunch and dinner.

—South Loop Spanish stalwart Mercat a la Planxa has a new executive chef, Aaron McKay, who was already the executive chef of the Blackstone Hotel which houses the restaurant. McKay has previous experience at NoMI and Schwa, according to the announcement.

Rachael Ray's Feedback announced the food and entertainment lineups for her first festival in Chicago, heading to the Lincoln Park Zoo on June 25. Ray has some Chicago-inspired dishes for the event, including a Pilsen-style Mexican hot dog, while local chefs including Charlie McKenna, Giuseppe Tentori, and Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits are on board. Tickets and more information are available here.

—A video of a 2015 scuffle between an off-duty Chicago police officer who was working security and a patron at Portillo's Hot Dogs in River North was released over the weekend and is making the media rounds. The incident took place following the Blackhawks victory in the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals, when the officer asked the patron to leave after the restaurant was closed, the patron threw hot cheese at the officer, who beat him.

The Angry Crab Wicker Park should open in 2-4 weeks, according to partner Alvin Kay. The Milwaukee Avenue expansion of the Rogers Park Cajun seafood hotspot is beginning hiring and training.

—The Chicago Athletic Association hotel is launching a new popup on Friday, a nautical-inspired event coinciding with the America's Cup yacht race taking place in the former ground-floor pool area dubbed the Cherry Circle Yacht Club. Expect Paul McGee drinks, a storytelling series, and more from Thursdays through Sundays from June 10-26.

Mercat a la Planxa

638 South Michigan Avenue, , IL 60605 (312) 765-0524 Visit Website

Chicago Athletic Association

12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL (312) 940-3552 Visit Website

Portillo's Hot Dogs

100 West Ontario Street, , IL 60654 (312) 587-8910 Visit Website

Beacon Tavern

405 North Wabash Avenue, , IL 60611 (312) 955-4226 Visit Website