—A Sun-Times/ABC7 investigation claims the city of Chicago is lax about enforcing food truck regulations. Many of the violations revolve around where the trucks are parked—if they’re parked in tow zones or docked too close to a brick and mortar restaurant. Some members of the Illinois Restaurant Association would say the latter is unfair and puts restaurants at a competitive disadvantage. The report goes against the narrative that Chicago’s regulations for food trucks are too strict compared to other cities, a narrative that Sen. Mark Kirk mentioned last year. Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) told the newspaper that people are complaining about congestion in his ward, which includes River North. Will the city take another PR hit and go after food trucks the way they are going after bars with DJs?
—The founder of Stan’s Donuts, Stan Berman, will celebrate his 87th birthday this weekend, so naturally the doughnut chain is selling 87-cent donuts on Saturday. They’re also giving away T-shirts to the first 50 people in line at all six locations in the city.
—Ironside Bar & Galley, the bar that’s replacing Cyrano’s Farm Kitchen at 546 N. Wells St. in River North, is opening on Wednesday to the general public, according to a news release. They’re in the middle of friends and family services right now. The sports bar’s owned by the same team who runs Flagship Tavern & Grill in Lakeview.
—Many Chicago Italian restaurants, including Monteverde, Forno Rosso, Acanto, Filini Restaurant and Bar—as well as Piccolo Sogno and sibling Nonnina—are rallying to raise money to help the earthquake-stricken Italian village of Amatrice. Located in central Italy, an earthquake hit Amatrice on Wednesday, devastating the area and killing at least 250. Amatrice is important to the food world, as the village is credited as the birthplace spaghetti all'amatriciana. The Trib has a rundown on local efforts to help.
—Bored with typical bars? A DNAinfo story reports on an upcoming Kickstarter campaign to build a board game bar in Wrigleyville. It’s called Bonus Round Game Cafe, and they’d charge guests a flat fee for all-you-can play. This isn’t "Clue" or "Monopoly," as patrons can already play board games like that at Guthrie’s Tavern, which is a 10-minute walk west from Wrigley Field. This about more involved games like "Settlers of Catan" or "The Cones of Dunshire." There’s no address for Bonus Round, but they want to open by the end of the year if they raise the funds.
—The city of Chicago and the Chicago Park District were puffing their chests earlier this month after a settlement with the operators of the Park Grill that ended five years of legal gridlock. However, a report by the Cook County Record shows that the government entities spent $7 million in their legal battle that rewrote parts of the 30-year deal the agencies had with the Park Grill to run the restaurant space at Millennium Park. The money generated by those concessions bargained for in the settlement better be more than $7 million because the city can’t exactly spare the change.