—It must be pure coincidence, but chef Diana Davila —who left Cantina 1910 in December— is back in the news days after her former restaurant permanently closed. Though Davila said her acrimonious departure left her depressed for months, she says she's weeks away from closing in on a Logan Square space for her own Mexican restaurant. She won’t disclose the name or address, but said she’s been ready to leave the world of restaurant consulting (she also spent more time with her children), and hopes to close the deal by mid-September and open in a few months.
—Cash-strapped Cook County officials are going after at least $400,000 in back taxes from some bars, saying they shouldn’t be exempt from the county’s amusement tax. Venues that are larger than 750 capacity are exempt from the tax due for "live theatrical, live musical or other live cultural performances," the Reader reported. The Tribune is reporting the county’s going after West Town’s Beauty Bar and EvilOlive After a Monday hearing, the Reader retrieved this quote from Anita Richardson, a hearing officer from the county's Department of Administrative Hearings: "Rap music, country music, and rock 'n' roll do not fall under the purview of ‘fine art.’ The Trib’s editorial board chimed in, writing that how "steeped our city is in modern musical culture, which makes this debate downright embarrassing." Where’s Tipper Gore when you need her?
—Intro Chicago will bring in chef Jonah Reider from a month-long stint starting on Sept. 15. Last year Reider launched his supper club, Pith from his Columbia University dorm room in New York. His youth makes him sound like the Doogie Howser of the restaurant world, and would match Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ ethos for Intro: Giving young chefs an educational experience and more resources to go out into the bigger world. They’e offering a $95 per person "communal supper club experience" from Thursday through Saturday during the stint, with 200 seats available for the entire month, according to a news release. They’ll also offer Reider’s dishes a la carte.
—Dusek’s Board & Beer has made two new promotions in Pilsen. They’ve promoted executive sous chef Henry Hill (Eleven Madison Park, The NoMad Hotel, Salero) to chef de cuisine and Tucker Critchfield (The Peninsula Chicago, Boka, Longman & Eagle/The Promontory) is the new pastry chef. They’ll work with chef Jared Wentworth.
—The Wicker Park mixology pioneers at The Violet Hour are launching a bar-takeover series called "Breaking the House Rules." Every quarter, they’ll bring in staff from a bar across the country and throw out the house rules, which could be good news for fans of baseball caps and smartphones. First up? Detroit’s Sugar House from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 19. They’ll serve their greatest hits including the Blackfoot Old Fashioned, Fool’s Gold and more.