—The folks behind Beauty Bar have fired the latest salvo in the ongoing battle between bars with DJs and Cook County officials who seek back taxes and claim DJs shouldn’t be exempt from the county’s amusement tax. Beauty Bar on Monday decorated their storefront window with the words "fine art" and a picture of a manicured middle finger, presumably directed at county officials. DNAinfo has more details. While the story so far has been government stooges versus creatives, it’s not like Beauty Bar’s owners, which include Peter Toalson (Land & Sea Dept.) and Bruce Finkelman (16" On Center) have shallow pockets. It might be a matter of principle, but some promoters and DJs who frequent the circuit have been saying if bars are successful in staving off the county’s collection, these bar owners should invest more money into equipment and other resources to improve the industry and make it more accessible to DJs. Otherwise this protest rings hollow.
—In their quest to drum up more business, Eataly Chicago will host their inaugural September Fest. Hot off their all-you-can-eat pizza bonanza, they’re now taking it a step further. On Sept. 16, they’re offering all-you-can-eat Neopolitan pizza, gelato and focaccia, plus unlimited beer and wine. They were inspired by private event buyouts and want to try it with the general public. The one-day event starts at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16. Tickets are $45 and kids 10 and under are free. Get tickets here.
—Mayor Rahm Emanuel said all the right things to restaurant officials on Tuesday when he ordered a crackdown on food truck operators who are breaking parking laws, including docking too close to brick and mortar restaurants. The Sun-Times has painted the issue as food trucks having an unfair edge over those restaurants and that the city should be enforcing laws. But nowhere in their investigative report (they were joined by ABC7 Chicago) have they mentioned the projected impact of how much money these trucks are supposed taking away from restaurants. There’s only speculation to how much more money the city could collect in fines. It’s not like the cash-starved city could raid or end a TIF for any money anyway, right?
—Starting on Sept. 6, new ownership with take over New Line Tavern at Lake and Clinton in the West Loop. Adam Sherman, owner of the Brownstone Tavern in North Center, will close the bar until that date as his crew will renovated the space. Expect 10 new TVs, custom wood signs and new photos. They’re also kicking off weekend brunch that will feature a new Bloody Mary bar.
—The Broken Shaker, home to some of River North’s best cocktails, has another solution for hungry patrons. Starting this week, the Freehand Chicago’s hotel lobby will transform into a taco pop-up called Tacoteqa. Diners can nosh on a rotating menu of tacos and quesadillas from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Thursday through Saturday. They’ll also host a special DJ performance. Cook County hasn’t commented if they’ll be going after taxes from the Freehand, even though most will agree that tacos are art.
—The third annual Taste Talks, Chicago’s unique food festival that’s curated by Lula Cafe’s Jason Hammel has announced its lineup. The event, from Sept. 30 through Oct. 3, will kick off with a party at the Virgin Hotels Chicago featuring indie rock band drummer Glenn Kotche from Wilco. New York chef Paul Liebrandt will chat with the Tribune’s Louisa Chu and other panels include chef Sarah Grueneberg (Monteverde) demo’ing how she makes pesto and Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia) speaking about Chicago’s restaurant history. Participants also include Brian and Jennifer Enyart (Dos Urban Cantina), Charlie McKenna (Lillie’s Q, Dixie), Chris Pandel (Swift & Sons), Julie Warpinski (Big Star) and Paul McGee (Lost Lake). Get tickets here.