—Chicago lost one of its longest-running and most-famous restaurants on New Year’s Eve when Cape Cod Room served its final meal in The Drake Hotel after more than 80 years in business. The Sun-Times reports on what happened during that final tearful dinner, where John and Joan Cusack, Bill Daley, and other local notables stopped by. The paper also reveals that the legendary bar where Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio famously carved their initials will be preserved somewhere else in the hotel, and that other items from the restaurant may be auctioned off or donated.
—Hot on the heels of the news about Bar Toma shuttering, Tony Mantuano also temporarily closed his restaurant in the Art Institute. Terzo Piano shut down for nearly a month for renovations, the Tribune reports, and is scheduled to reopen on Jan. 26. Check out a rendering of the new design above.
—Meet and Whiskey, the new speakeasy-style bar below Porkchop at 941 W. Randolph St., was ordered to cease and desist operations by the city on Dec. 8 for operating without required licenses, DNAinfo reports. Although ownership announced it was open in early December and promoted it to customers as recently as Dec. 30, a rep says it never officially opened to the general public and has only hosted private events thus far, and that it will open once the city approves its licenses.
—Avec is bringing in some of Chicago’s best restaurants and bars for its monthly brunch series, returning on Jan. 8. Between now and April, heavy-hitters including Lost Lake and Half Acre will collaborate on one Sunday brunch service a month at the One Off Hospitality Randolph Street legend, beginning with Honey Butter Fried Chicken this Sunday.
—New Year’s Eve was the last night for Coco Pazzo Cafe at its original location at 636 N. St. Clair St. in Streeterville, as the longtime Italian standby has begun its move and consolidation with sister restaurant Tre Soldi at 212 E. Ohio St. The reopening is slated for early this year.
—Fried chicken fans in Jefferson Park lost an option, as Brown’s Chicken shuttered last week after losing its lease at 5601 W. Lawrence Ave., according to DNAinfo. The local chain still has 22 restaurants in the burbs plus one in Garfield Ridge.
—Someone is finally taking over the long-shuttered Carson’s Ribs space at 5970 N. Ridge Ave., Edgeville Buzz reports, and that someone is a Starbucks.
—And finally, January amazingly marks the 30th anniversary for Everest, the Lettuce Entertain You French fine-dining trailblazer high above the Financial District. In honor of the occasion, chef Jean Joho and the restaurant will bring back dishes from its first year in a $145 tasting menu beginning Jan. 11, as well as bringing back notable kitchen alumni (including Paul Virant, John Hogan, and Thomas Lents) for dinners on Jan. 17 and 24. Reservations are available on its website or by phone.