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Updates On Upcoming Chicago-Area Restaurants & Bars, Winter 2017

A regularly-updated list of forthcoming restaurants and bars

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Construction is shaping up at the former Ronny’s space.
Daniel Gerzina

March 28

THE LOOP— Chicago’s new Blues museum will include restaurants when it opens in 2019 at 25 E. Washington Place. Crain’s has details of the Chicago Blues Experience, the museum that finally honors one of Chicago’s great gifts to the musical world.

LOGAN SQUARE— Construction is shaping up at Land & Sea Dept.’s new project with a roof deck at the former Ronny’s space at 2101 N. California Ave. It’ll hopefully, finally open sometime this year.

PILSEN— There’s a little news on Furious Spoon’s Pilsen location, which has been lost in the shuffle as the ramen shop chain expands to Evanston and Boystown. There’s a liquor application now submitted for the location at 1316 W. 18th St. It should open sometime this year.

FULTON MARKET— Shake Shack is on track to open later this year at 185 N. Morgan St. They’ve applied for their liquor license.

FULTON MARKET— Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ first foray into Fulton Market is hiring. Beatrix is looking for staffers for its upcoming location at 834 W. Fulton Market, which is slated to open in May.

In case you haven't heard, Beatrix is headed to the #WestLoop & we're building our opening team! Want to be part of...

Posted by Beatrix on Monday, March 27, 2017

HYDE PARK— A restaurant on the ground floor and a rooftop deck are part of a seven-story boutique hotel at 53rd Street and Dorchester Avenue. Curbed Chicago has the dish on the project.

LINCOLN PARK— Lincoln Park High School students need to blink, as Brothers Beef has closed at 723 W. Armitage Ave. There’s signage up for a new fast food spot, called Big Bob & Fritzy’s.

Awnings are up! We're just about ready to go and bring amazing comfort food to Lincoln Park!

Posted by Big Bob and Fritzy's on Friday, March 24, 2017

WICKER PARK— The folks behind The Robey, the new hotel off North/Damen/Milwaukee is getting closer to opening its rooftop pool-side bar and eatery next door named Cabana Club. It should open in a “couple months,” according to a news release. Latin and Mediterranean-inspired small plates and signature craft cocktails are part of the plan.

WICKER PARK— There’s been some movement inside The Monarch, which closed in September. A liquor license has been applied for The Delta at 1745 W. North Ave., where Eldrige Latrelle Williams is listed as president. It doesn’t have an online presence yet.

BRONZEVILLE— Culver’s is about to start construction on its first Chicago restaurant at 35th Street and King Drive. DNAinfo scored a rendering of the project.

RIVER NORTH— Moxy Hotel will feature a ground-floor restaurant when the eight-story spot opens at Grand and LaSalle. Curbed Chicago has the details.

RIVER NORTH— Fat Baby Tacos, the taco joint from the guys behind Boss Bar, should open sometime this spring at 109 W. Hubbard St., according to a news release. Tacos, burritos, and pozole will be featured. It’ll also serve craft cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. It will be open daily until 5 a.m., and there’s a 50-seat dining room and a 12-seat all-season patio, too.

AVONDALE— There’s been some construction at the new space from the Whistler crew over at 3734 W. Belmont Ave. There’s still no update from ownership for the space known as Sleeping Village.

AJ LaTrace

UPTOWN— Nick’s Uptown continues its comeback story. The sibling bar to Nick’s Beer Garden in Wicker Park closed six years ago, but it should open soon at 1140 W. Wilson Ave.

ROGERS PARK— Chicago’s first dedicated marshmallow cafe is coming. XO Marshmallow is coming to the corner of Sheridan and Lunt, according to RedEye.

HOMEWOOD— Vice District Brewing is branching out from the South Loop, planning to open a suburban location in mid- to late-April, according to the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle. The taproom is located at 18022 Dixie Highway.

March 21

THE LOOP— After Cochon Volant, WellDone Hospitality Group—whose partners include James Beard Award-winning chef Roland Liccioni (Le Francais, Les Nomades)—is building another Chicago restaurant, according to the Tribune. Taureaux Tavern, Bar and Brasserie should open in spring 2018 inside a 39-floor building at 440 S. LaSalle St. The French restaurant will be 5,000 square feet. The executive chef will be Matt Ayala.

LOGAN SQUARE— The owners of Wormhole Coffee are planning another coffee shop at 3431 W. Fullerton Ave., according to DNAinfo. They’re shooting for a summer opening, and it will be different, not just a second Wormhole location. Perhaps they can find a mini AT-AT Walker from Star Wars to replace the DeLorean from Back To The Future in Wicker Park.

LOGAN SQUARE— Daisies, the veggie-centric spot inside the former Analogue space from Joe Frillman, is tracking to open at the end of April at 2523 N. Milwaukee Ave., according to Frillman. They’re currently in the hiring process.

PILSEN— After a weekend of friends and family, the owners of Alulu are attempting a stealth opening on Thursday. The brewpub at 2011 S. Laflin St. is planning a soft opening where they will be opening only a few days a week (Thursday through Sunday) until expanding days later in the year.

This Friday and beyond, come enjoy some #craftbeer, great food and unique cocktails at our #brewpub in #pilsen.

Posted by ALULU on Sunday, March 19, 2017

OLD TOWN— Another location of Insomnia Cookies is coming inside the former Pulp & Ink stationary store at 1344 N. Wells St. There’s signage up at the vacated storefront.

WICKER PARK— That Bow Truss coffee planned for the former dental office at 1948 W. North Ave. isn’t opening anytime soon. DNAinfo figured it out in this story. It’s like Bow Truss has been busy or something.

UPTOWN— Ba Le, the Vietnamese bahn mi shop, is expanding their bakery operations in Uptown. They’re planning T’oui next door at 5018 N. Broadway St., according to Uptown Update.

AROUND TOWN— Boka Restaurant Group continues to make progresson their new restaurant which will be fronted by former Bohemian House chef Jimmy Papadopoulos. There’s still no location disclosed, but they’re gearing toward a spring opening. And, look, they’re hiring.

OLD TOWN— O’Brien’s Restaurant is ready to come own, as a demolition permit has been issued for 1528 N. Wells St. Curbed Chicago has details on the hotel going up in its place. There will be a replacement O’Brien’s inside.

LAKEVIEW— No, the new restaurant at Schuba’s, the one replacing Harmony Grill, won’t have live music. That’s one nugget from this DNAinfo update on Tied House, 3159 N. Southport Ave.

IRVING PARK— Hearth & Crust just finished installing their hearth at 3608 W. Irving Park. They hope to serve pizza and more this spring.

Finally, the Hearth to Hearth and Crust is almost finished. We have been working on this project for over two years. We...

Posted by Hearth & Crust on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

ARCHER HEIGHTS—Mezquite Express is preparing to open another location at 5160 S. Pulaski Road. Tacos, chicken, and more are on the menu.

GLENVIEW— Cafe El Tapatio is going to the North Shore to follow up their Lakeview location. Enchiladas, veggie options, and more are expected at 9707 Milwaukee Ave.

March 13

LINCOLN PARK— The restaurant formerly known as Gemini Bistro is still closed for renovations, but a rep said the renamed Gemini should open this spring at 2075 N. Lincoln Ave. It’s been closed since January.

LINCOLN PARK— Construction is coming along at Ignoble Wine Bar, a new restaurant near the Clybourn/Ashland/Fullerton. DNAinfo reported that the wine bar should open in April at 2417 N. Clybourn Ave.

LINCOLN PARK/BUCKTOWN— As reported last month, DMK Restaurants is opening a coffee shop at 1765 N. Elston Ave. Now Crain’s has a bit more on Werewolf Coffee (no, it’s not being called Werewolf Cafe) including this tidbit: Coffee will be free for all DMK employees.

LITTLE ITALY— Scoops Ice Cream, is opening a second location in Little Italy at 1151 Taylor St., according to DNAinfo. Given their location, it makes sense they they’re going to make cannoli.

LAKEVIEW— Real Good Juice Co. will open another location on March 22 inside the sprawling new Whole Foods Market at 3201 N. Ashland Ave. It’s a continuation of their partnership with the grocery store.

WEST LOOP— After passing inspections, La Josie, the new Mexican restaurant with a rooftop bar at Halsted and Randolph, is about two or three weeks from opening, according to ownership. The multi-level restaurant has been under construction since last year at 740 W. Randolph St.

WEST LOOP— The Corned Beef Factory is expanding across the street from its original location. There’s signage—similar to what the deli put up at their upcoming Loop location—at 1016 W. Lake St. It’s unclear if this is a replacement for that original Lake Street shop or another endeavor.

Ashok Selvam

ROSCOE VILLAGE— Chicagoans will get a new style of burger thanks to The Region. The restaurant at 2057 W. Roscoe St. will feature thin griddled burgers that supposedly hail from Northwest Indiana, according to DNAinfo.

RIVER NORTH— Here’s an update on the former Crofton on Wells space at 535 N. Wells St. that we reported about last summer. Marchesa should open in May, according to Chicago.

STREETERVILLE— Cantonese specialists MingHin Cuisine appears to be opening a fourth restaurant, this time at St. Clair and Grand avenues, according to the Tribune. The Eater 38 Chinese restaurant is popular for dim sum.

WEST LOOP— The same Trib roundup had news about a soup restaurant called Soup Barz at 133 N. Wells St. They claim a rotating menu of more than 100 soups, plus sandwiches and salads.

BRONZEVILLE— Construction on Chicago’s a Culver’s has started at Lake Meadows Shopping Center, according to DNAinfo. It’s a race for butter burgers, as this location could be the first Culver’s in the city if construction is finished before a planned Wrigleyville location.

THE LOOP— Construction has started on the new Gibsons steakhouse inside River Point, 444 W. Lake St. That’s the restaurant with a retractable roof.


HUMBOLDT PARK—A mysterious new “organic urban eatery” appears close to opening at 2507 W. North Ave. in Humboldt. Full food menus and hours are plastered in the windows of the storefront for a restaurant named Next/Store, which is owned by Joseph Sabath, according to a liquor license application and its business licensing. It should also serve alcohol, hence the liquor license. There’s no official word on when it could open.

Daniel Gerzina
Daniel Gerzina

IRVING PARK— Miko’s Italian Ice is opening its third location on April 15. The new spot is at 4125 N. Kimball Ave., according to DNAinfo.

DUNNING— Friday, March 17 looks to be opening date for Old 41 Saloon. The bar, 7718 W. Addison St., is specializing in craft beer.

Hi everyone, unfortunately we will not be able to open this weekend. We are working diligently and preparing to be open...

Posted by Old 41 Saloon on Thursday, March 9, 2017

ROGERS PARK— There’s a new tenant in the former Growling Rabbit space at 6981 N. Sheridan Road. DNAinfo reported the owners of Wired Coffeehouse plan on opening Nibbles and Nosh. They’ll serve breakfast, weekend pop-up dinners and a late-night menu.

UPTOWN/ROSCOE VILLAGE— A partner in the shuttered Bahn Mi Baget chain is taking two of his former locations and launching a new Vietnamese sandwich/pho shop. Cafe Ciat should open soon at 1046 W. Argyle St. and 2004 W. Roscoe St., according to owner Le Trinh Hien. They’re waiting on inspections. Check out the menu below.

UPTOWN— Eats & Sweets Cafe is planning a shop at 942-944 Montrose St. The menu includes cupcakes, salads and sandwiches.

PORTAGE PARK— Pitchers of beer and pizza are part of Easy Street, the new spot from the owners of The Country Club, Waterhouse, and Pitchfork. Owner Dan Latino said they’ll have 11 TVs and pour Miller Lite and craft brews. The previous tenant, K&H Lounge, had been at 3750 N. Central Ave. for 70-some years, according to DNAinfo.

February 28

LINCOLN SQUARE— Budlong Hot Chicken is about three weeks away from opening in Lincoln Square at 4619 N. Western Ave., according to owner Jared Leonard. The location was supposed to open first, but Leonard had gone on to open location in Lakeview, The Loop inside Revival Food Hall, and in Lincoln Park.

NOBLE SQUARE— Signs are up for a second iteration of Mariscos La Costa at 1132 N. Ashland Ave. It’s the former Kate’s Thai Kitchen which apparently closed late last year. The original location is in Cragin and they specialize in Mexican seafood.

MORGAN PARK— Chicago has an update on Open Outcry Brewing Co. They’re scheduled for a late spring opening at 10934 S. Western Ave. Chef Cesar Lopez, who worked at Fuller House in Hinsdale, will create a menu of Neapolitan pizzas, panini, salads and a beef-pork slider.

SOUTH LOOP— Bulldog Ale House has its signs up at the corner of State and 9th streets. Sloopin’ has photos as they invite prospective employees to apply.

BUCKTOWN/SOUTH LOOP— A new coffee shop planned for Milwaukee Avenue turns out to be a prospective chain that also has plans for Los Angeles, Houston, Minneapolis, and Miami. The first is slated to debut at the end of March at 1620 N. Milwaukee Ave. It’s called Fairgrounds Coffee, and they’ll have beans from Stumptown, Dark Matter, Verve, Collectivo, and Irving Farm. They’re also planning on a neat tea program with Rishi that will including sparkling drinks. A second location is planned for the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, and they’re targeting a May opening. Crain’s has additional details.

WEST TOWN— 'Nduja Artisans, a Franklin Park deli, is coming closer to downtown. Crain’s reports that they’re opening Tempesta Market at 1372 W. Grand Ave. Feast on a selection of cured Italian meats. The space will include a 40-seat restaurant.

LOGAN SQUARE— Mi Tocaya is targeting a mid-March opening at 2800 W. Logan Blvd., according to chef/owner Diana Dávila. Dávila was the chef behind Cantina 1910’s opening and left well before the Andersonville Mexican restaurant closed. DNAinfo grabbed a few photos of how they’re changing up the former Catalpa Kitchen space and had news that the EZ Inn’s Matt Frederick will be in charge of drinks.

It's beginning to look a lot like a restaurant in here!

Опубліковано Mi Tocaya Antojería 17 лютого 2017 р.

THE LOOP— The National Restaurant Association has leased 51,000-square-feet of office space inside the Willis Tower, according to Crain’s.

LAKEVIEW/THE LOOP— Houston-based Muscle Maker Grill plans on opening two Chicago locations. One is at 111 W. Jackson Blvd., while the second is at 920 W. Belmont Ave., according to Chicago Business Journal. The fast-casual chain already has two suburban locations. It looks like this is the place where folks can go after to the gym to “get large.”

SAUGANASHAlarmist Brewing is inching closer to opening its taproom. Construction should be finished in two to three weeks attached to their headquarters at 4055 W. Peterson Ave. Owner Gary Gulley has posted a blog update.

ANDERSONVILLE— Detroit-style square pan pizzas are on their way to Andersonville. Jet’s Pizza intends to open next to the new Dollop Diner at 5058 N. Clark St., according to DNAinfo. Perhaps their mascot, Jet Man, will make an appearance or two.

WICKER PARK— Work continues at 1904 W. Division St. for Sushi Taku. There’s no formal update, as a banner only reads “coming soon.”

Ashok Selvam

DEERFIELD— Fresh off the news of a new Gold Coast coffee shop, La Colombe is expanding to the suburbs. A poster on LTHForum noticed signage for the Philadelphia-based coffee shop at 2175 Deerfield Road.

HIGHLAND PARK— Fans of Honey’s Hot Chicken in Highland Park were sad to see it closed, but it appears a new chicken shop is flocking over to 1791 St. John’s Ave. The second iteration of Drumstix appears headed over to the spot, an LTHforum reader posted. That’s confirmed by the restaurant’s website. It will join the original in Northbrook.

NAPERVILLE— Quiubo is the new restaurant in Naperville from Bien Trucha Group. It’s from the same group which runs Bien Trucha in Geneva and a Toda Madre in Glenn Ellyn. The new Mexican restaurant should open on March 8 at 120 Water St. in Naperville, according to a news release.

February 20

LOGAN SQUARE— Bo Fowler (Owen & Engine, Fat Willy’s Rib Shack) is making progress on Bixi, her upcoming Pan Asian restaurant and microbrewery announced back in 2015. Check out the construction photos from 2515 N. Milwaukee Ave. posted on Instagram.

FULTON MARKET— The newest Kuma’s Corner is clearing another hurdle. Ownership applied for a liquor license for the multi-tiered space at 834-856 W. Fulton Market.

LAKEVIEW— There’s a new Brown Bag Seafood Co. coming near the Paulina CTA Brown Line stop at 3400 N. Lincoln Ave. This post by the Lakeview Chamber has some details.

LAKEVIEW— Kosher meals and shawarma are coming to 3037 N. Clark St. Mizrahi Grill is taking over the Meatball Hero and Pasta space, according to DNAinfo. Check out their Facebook page.

LOGAN SQUARE— The Scofflaw group has applied for a building permit for a beer garden for their new space at 3200 W. Armitage Ave., according to DNAinfo. There’s still little known about this mystery project.

LOGAN SQUARE— Spice House is a new Indian restaurant coming to 2906 W. Armitage Ave. The Tribune reported seeing signage.

RIVER NORTH— March 1 marks opening day for Fieldhouse Jones, a new hotel/hostel at 312 W. Chestnut. It’s a collaboration between Holiday Jones and Urban Holiday Lofts and will feature a public cafe and pastry shop, according to a news release.

RIVER NORTH— Centennial Crafted Beer & Eatery has its signs up at 733 N. LaSalle Dr. They’re opening on March 10.

WEST LOOP— Grange Hall Burger Bar’s new second-floor bar, Backdoor Saloon, is hiring. Check out their Facebook post. They apparently held a friends and family opening on Valentine’s Day. Oh, there will be music.

The Happy Point Restaurant Group Is Hiring! Grange Hall Burger Bar Barback - Not tradional (more of a bartender's...

Posted by Grange Hall Burger Bar on 10hb Februari 2017

WEST LOOP— Construction has started inside a more than 100-year-old building at 1134 W. Washington Blvd. That’s where The Publishing House Bed & Breakfast will go, according to DNAinfo. The basement will feature a wine bar called The Press Room.

WEST LOOP— There’s an opening date for Polenta Bar, the dedicated polenta restaurant that Chicago was missing at 1002 W. Lake St. It’s soft opening on Thursday and Friday, with the official one on Saturday.

RIVER NORTH— Fat Baby Tacos, the new taco spot at 109 W. Hubbard St. from the force behind Boss Bar, should open in “early 2017,” according to a news release. The assembly line concept will feature homemade tortillas.

LAKEVIEW— There are signs of life at the former Mirador space at 2834 N. Southport Ave. The restaurant closed in February 2016. A reader spotted signage for Sal’s Trattoria. There’s no online presence or business license record just yet. Stay tuned.

Sal’s Trattoria
Eater Chicago Tips

RIVER NORTH— Mom’s Place—A Chicago Gathering Spot should open next week at 650 N. Dearborn St., according to a Facebook post. It’s taking over the former The Joynt space.

OAK BROOK— Stan’s Donuts is inching closer to an opening inside Oakbrook Center. They’re gunning for a March date and they’re hiring, according to a Facebook post.

The best thing to happen to The Suburbs since the Arcade Fire won a Grammy! We’re looking for superstars for the new spot, come apply!

Опубліковано Stan's Donuts and Coffee Chicago 17 лютого 2017 р.

HIGHLAND PARK— Blaze Pizza is coming to the North Shore. Marketwired reports they’re opening a location at 600 Central Ave. in Highland Park.

OAK PARK— Café Descartes is almost ready to open another location, according to a Facebook post. They’re adding an Oak Park outlet at 1018 Lake St.

We are almost ready to open. Just a few finishing touches.

Posted by Café Descartes on Saturday, February 11, 2017

February 9

BRIDGEPORT— The Bertuccis are at it again. The family behind Fabulous Freddies Italian Eatery is opening a new restaurant featuring American food, according to DNAinfo. It’s called Tria and it’s located at 3300 S. Halsted St.

RIVER NORTH— Marchesa, the restaurant slated to take over the old Crofton On Wells space, should open in May at 535 N. Wells St. The Tribune spoke with one of the co-owners.

PILSEN— Alulu, the brewpub planned for 2011 S. Laflin St., is in their hiring phase. There’s no word on when an opening date could happen, but it’s coming. Check out their Facebook post.

Posted by ALULU on 8hb Februari 2017

LINCOLN PARK— Construction continues on Colectivo Coffee’s shop at 2530 N. Clark St. The Milwaukee import has applied for a liquor license. DNAinfo snapped a photo of the construction site.

FULTON MARKET— Here’s an update on the Ace Hotel from Curbed Chicago. The cafe, which will include the city’s first Stumptown Coffee Roasters cafe, a restaurant and rooftop bar should open this fall at 311 N. Morgan St.

RIVER NORTH— Steak 48, the new steakhouse from the Mastro’s founders at 615 N. Wabash Ave., is on track for a summer opening, according to a news release. That’s earlier than first announced.

PORTAGE PARK— Fischman Liquors & Tavern’s new location inside the Portage Theater, 4054 N. Milwaukee Ave., continues. The packaged goods shop should soon see a resurrection. Check out the photo of the floor installation.


OAK PARK— There’s a vegan cafe going inside a yoga studio. Yoga Trek is moving to 146-148 Harrison St. They’ll then open a 20-seat cafe, according to Pioneer Press. The menu will include items that could be enjoy to go like rice and noodle bars. They’ll also have gourmet coffees.

OAK BROOK— The food hall inside the Oakbrook Center will soon get a Greek Kitchen. The upgrades continue as the shopping center distances itself from a typical mall food court. Check out the photo below.

Coming very soon: our next Greek Kitchen location. See you at Oakbrook Center's District Food Hall!

Posted by Greek Kitchen on Tuesday, February 7, 2017

February 1

THE LOOP— The Willis Tower is in line for some serious food upgrades. Chicago’s iconic skyscraper is set for $500 million in improvements, and the Sun-Times reported that includes six levels of restaurant/entertainment space. Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) said it’s a chance to make the building formerly known as the Sears Tower a hospitality destination. Here’s more from Curbed Chicago.

THE LOOP— There’s more poke coming to The Loop, courtesy of High Tide Poke. The new restaurant is planning to open a 80-seat spot in early April at 203 N. LaSalle St., according to a news release, where it’ll serve signature and build-your-own poke bowls, salads, and wraps. A preliminary website and social media accounts are here.

LINCOLN PARK— A new wine bar — Ignoble Wine Bar — is coming to 2417 N. Clybourn Ave. Ownership applied for their liquor license, and they’re aiming to be one of Chicago’s most diverse wine bars with 25 grapes represented on their wine list. They’re also planning to serve local spirits and beer, lunch and dinner, and a small plates menu with French and Italian staples.

FULTON MARKET—The Polenta Bar, the new polenta-themed restaurant coming to 1002 W. Lake St. near the Morgan Green Line stop and across the street from Federales and the Corned Beef Factory, passed a licensing inspection last week so its opening could be imminent. There’s no official date yet, however, but there is a chef, Camillo Villa, who’s moving from Italy.

BUCKTOWN/WICKER PARK— Yolk, the breakfast restaurant chain, has shared more details on their expansion plans. They plan on opening this summer at 1819 W. Division St., and late this year at 1767 N. Milwaukee Ave., according to Crain’s, in addition to a River North location in Marina City that’s slated to open in mid-February.

LOGAN SQUARE— Mi Tocaya keeps chugging along at 2800 W. Logan Blvd. Diana Davila (Cantina 1912) is posting multiple construction updates on her first restaurant on social media, including paint, dishware, seating, tile, and a bar top. The Mexican restaurant is slated to open in the spring.

Progress! Our beautiful new bar top is being installed today. #mitocayachi

Posted by Mi Tocaya Antojería on Monday, January 16, 2017

WICKER PARK— It doesn’t look like anyone was hurt after the building that previously housed the shuttered Beachwood Inn — and is under construction for a new concept and tenant — collapsed on Friday. DNAinfo snapped some photos of the scene at 1415 N. Wood St. Pioneer Tavern Group, the force behind Frontier, was rehabbing the place for new concept. There’s no word yet on an updated timeframe for reopening, but odds are that it will be delayed now.

WICKER PARK— Purple Llama Coffee & Records is coming to 2140 W. Division St. They’ll serve Counter Culture Coffee, reported DNAinfo. It’s a 25-seat cafe, just what the neighborhood needs. They’ll also sell newly released or reissued vinyl.

NORTHBROOK— Clean eating that’s naturally-gluten free is the focus at Jar Bar, coming soon to 1350 Shermer Road in Northbrook. Construction is coming along in the burbs.

EVANSTON— Sushi Burrito cleared another hurdle in their quest to open their fourth location. This one’s in Evanston at 1565 Sherman Ave. The Daily Northwestern reports that one Evanston official is worried that Sushi Burrito is too similar to an upcoming Aloha Poke Co. that’s going up nearby.

January 23

RIVER NORTH— The long-vacant multi-leveled space that housed The Joynt should soon have activity. Mom’s Place— A Chicago Gathering Spot just passed their inspections for 650 N. Dearborn St. It’s from the same owners of the shuttered Windy City Inn.

LAKEVIEW— March 7 is the target opening date for Ella Elli, the new restaurant neighboring Crosby’s Kitchen from 4 Star Restaurant Group. They’ve taken over the former dental offices around the corner at Southport and Cornelia and brought on chef Nolan Narut (Quay, David Burke’s Primehouse). Look for more than elevated Italian food on the menu. The Tribune has more details.

WICKER PARK— There’s a slew of new construction photos from inside Tapster, the upcoming “pour your own” beer bar at 2027 W. North Ave. The details include a shot bar made out of shotgun shells.

Posted by Tapster on Friday, December 9, 2016

SOUTH LOOP— Crews broke ground last week on the Essex Hotel, a 620-foot building going up at 808 S. Michigan Ave. The dining and drinking options including a chef-driven restaurant and a two-level rooftop bar they’re calling SX. Curbed Chicago has details.

WEST LOOP— Polenta Bar, a Northern Italian spot focusing on — you guessed it, polenta — is coming to 1002 W. Lake St. The Tribune noticed the restaurant’s signage. Check out their Facebook page for more updates.

RAVENSWOOD— There’s activity at the space that housed Bar Rista Cafe, Mangal and Troquet. There’s a liquor license application for Bar Wolcott at 1831 W. Montrose Ave.

OLD IRVING PARK— In more liquor license news, there’s an application for Crawford’s at 3938-3942 W. School St. There’s no details about the concept for the restaurant or bar, but they’re been slowly making their way through the city council since last year.

BRIDGEPORT— One City Tap is in their inspection phase for 3115 S. Archer Ave. They’ve already secured a liquor license.

BRIDGEPORT— A new coffee shop, Joy Cafe, is headed to 258 W. 31st St. DNAinfo first noticed the coming soon sign.

JEFFERSON PARK— A new coffee shop, The Brothers Lounge, is taking over a pizza spot at 4801 N. Austin Ave. DNAinfo talked with the owners who are, in fact, brothers. They’ll serve Turkish coffee as an option.

MORTON GROVE— Burt’s Place keeps inching along, as the legendary deep-dish pizza spot had their inspections on Friday. Ownership is developing the beer/wine list which won’t include box wine, joked co-owner Jerry Petrow. They also added a Facebook update about the “tasting phase” and picking fans to help out.

As construction wraps up on the restaurant, we will move into the "tasting" phase of our project. We are obsessed with...

Posted by Burt's Place on Friday, January 20, 2017

January 12

THE LOOP— There’s a name for the new food court planned for 205 W. Wacker Dr. It’s called Wells St. Market, according to a news release. Ownership has lured restaurant favorite Studio K (GT Prime, Monteverde, etc.) to design the space. The vendor mix hasn’t been shared, but they’re touting a well-known Chicago outlet that doesn’t have a brick and mortar space and a New York import. It shouldn’t be confused with an English market of the same name, as this Chicago food hall’s name is abbreviating the word “street.”

ENGLEWOOD— A new brewery with a taproom could be on its way to Englewood. There’s no location yet, but Englewood Brews is scouting a location near Halsted and 63rd streets, according to DNAinfo. The would-be ownership team won’t serve food, but just secured a $10,000 grant.

MARYCREST— Lawrence’s Fish & Shrimp is close to opening its third location at 3242 W. 87th St. A Facebook post reveals they’re putting the final touches on the space and that they’re hoping to open in late February.

The new Lawrence’s Fish & Shrimp

RIVER NORTH— Chicago should soon welcome Texican to the fray at 869 N. Larrabee St. It’s the restaurant from Kim Dalton, chef-owner of Dodo, the breakfast spot that used to be in the West Loop. Dalton wants to educate Chicagoans on Tex-Mex food, and her menu won’t dwell on heavier items. Chili and King Ranch Casserole, a casserole spin on baked chicken enchiladas, will be on the menu. They’re finishing off the interiors right now.

SAUGANASH— Alarmist Brewing continues to make headway on their tasting room inside their headquarters at 4055 W. Peterson Ave. DNAinfo has an update with photos. They’re now shooting for a mid-March opening.

RIVER NORTH— Fat Baby Tacos, the forthcoming late-night shop next to Boss Bar, is coming soon to 109 W. Hubbard St. The Tribune has details on how the team went on fact-finding missions to Maxwell Street Market for research on the menu. They should open sometime this winter.

MIDWAY— A Culver’s is coming near Midway Airport at 6411 S. Cicero Ave. The Wisconsin-based fast-food burger chain cleared another obstacle, as Chicago’s planning department approved the project, reported DNAinfo. Look for an early 2018 opening. The chain has three other Culver’s planned nearby, as their butter burgers (they butter the buns) haven’t made it into the city proper yet.

WEST LOOP— There still aren’t many details about the mysterious upstairs addition to Grange Hall Burger Bar. But ownership applied for a liquor license for Back Door Saloon on the second floor of the restaurant at 844 W. Randolph St.

WEST LOOP— A new restaurant may be on its way to 222 N. Canal St., thanks to the new company run by a former McDonald’s Corp. CEO. Crain’s wrote a story on Don Thompson’s new company, Cleveland Street. There’s a nugget in the piece that Cleveland Street is considering a restaurant inside the three-story, 33,000-square-foot building.

UPTOWN— Could the owners of Nick’s Beer Garden be planning an Uptown comeback? Nick’s Uptown closed six years ago at 1140 W. Wilson Ave. But now comes word via Uptown Update that the bar will reopen.

NORTH CENTER— Peruvian favorite Via Lima is expanding next door at 4024 N. Lincoln Ave. The expansion could take six months.

New year, new plans. Thanks to all your support, we are expanding into the space next door! Stay tuned for more details and announcements over the next 6 months, and thank you all for the continued support!

Posted by Via Lima on Monday, January 2, 2017

January 9

LINCOLN SQUARE— Iliana Regan has confirmed that Jan. 20 will be the opening date for her new Japanese spot, Kitsune at 4229 N. Lincoln Ave. It’s Regan’s follow up (if you don’t count the short-lived Bunny, The Microbakery) to her acclaimed tasting menu restaurant, Elizabeth.

LOGAN SQUARE— Diana Dávila is ramping up her social media presence for Mi Tocaya Antojería. The Mexican restaurant, according to Chicago, should open this spring inside the former Catalpa Kitchen at 2800 W. Logan Blvd. Dávilla was the opening chef at the shuttered Cantina 1910. She also applied for its liquor license.

WEST TOWN— Split-Rail, the restaurant from Zoë Schor (Ada Street), should open “early spring,” according to the Tribune. Diners should expect “moderate prices and simple presentation,” when it opens at 2500 W. Chicago Ave.

KENWOOD— Nando’s Peri-Peri is gearing up for a Saturday opening at 1447 E. 53rd St. Spicy, grilled chicken is the name of the game for the South African import.

LAKEVIEW— The owners of Crosby’s Kitchen just secured a liquor license for their restaurant project next door at 1353 W. Cornelia Ave. However, unlike past reports, the restaurant won’t be focused on Italian food, according to a rep. Ella Eli will serve still serve some Italian items. Stay tuned for more from 4 Star Restaurant Group.

LAKEVIEW— The signage is up at Jennivee’s Bakery near Wrigleyville at 3301 N. Sheffield Ave. However, it appears an opening isn’t yet imminent for the late-night bakery. The last update from the owner indicated they were waiting for an inspection.

AROUND TOWN— The founder of Yolk, the 10-location breakfast-focused restaurant, discussed his expansion plans with the Tribune. They want to grow to as many as 40 locations. They plan on opening at Marina City in February in River North. They’ve also signed a lease on a space on Division Street in Wicker Park.

WICKER PARK— Rhyme or Reason, the new gastropub replacing Jerry’s Sandwiches at 1938 W. Division St., should open in February. Ownership made a Facebook post declaring the news. They’re asking folks to RSVP for the opening. They plan on hosting live music at the venue.

LAKEVIEW— Real Good Juice Co.’s second stand-alone location should open in two weeks. Construction delays have pushed back the opening date, according to a rep. It was originally scheduled to open on Jan. 5 at 3538 N. Southport Ave.

IRVING PARK— Fittingly Delicious, a meal-prep company for athletes and the health crazed, is poised to open up a storefront restaurant 3939 W. Irving Park Road.

For a list of winter 2016’s updates, click here.