—Old Irving Brewing, the brewpub coming to the northwest side space that previously slated to house the late Homaro Cantu's planned Crooked Fork Brewing, is starting to close in on opening. Ownership shared photos of the sleek new front doorway with a garage door on social media, stating it's opening "soon-ish." The concept at 4419 W. Montrose has chef Matthias Merges (Yusho) on board. More to come.
—Beloved Jefferson Park slashie Fischman's Liquors is rising from the grave. The bar/liquor store hybrid is planning to reopen in the Portage Theater building at 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Portage Park next year, DNAinfo reports. Fischman's announced its rent hike-induced shutter in early May and finally closed on Sunday in Jefferson Park.
—Lula Cafe is starting a female chef dinner series named the "Women's Brigade," where chef de cuisine Sarah Rinkavage will pair with a number of notable female chefs including Jessica Koslow of LA's Sqirl and local chefs Beverly Kim and Iliana Regan, owner Jason Hammel says. The first, slated for August 8, features James Beard Award-winner Jessica Largey (Manresa, Intro, the forthcoming Simone in LA) for a five-course, $70 dinner. Reservations are available by calling the restaurant.
—Uber-popular longtime South Side steak sweet sandwich spot Home of the Hoagy is expanding to the suburbs, the Tribune's Beacon News reports, opening a location in Aurora later this summer. The original, which is more than 60 years old, reopened in a new South Side location in December after temporarily closing after a fire.
—The new curiously-named Lakeview restaurant A-Cupz is closed until further notice, according to its Facebook page. The Belmont Avenue spot from the same people behind Takos Koreanos just opened in June.
—Rick Bayless' original Xoco in River North launched happy hour for the first time last week. Stop by for $3 beers, $5 margaritas, $5 guacamole with two toppings, and more deals on Tuesdays through Fridays between 3 and 6 p.m.