— Il Tavolino, the Italian daytime cafe and coffee spot in the ground floor of the Conrad Chicago hotel in River North helmed by celebrity chef Richard Sandoval, is no more. Hotel brass is shutting down the restaurant today after nearly a year in business in order to eventually reconcept it, according to a statement, which cites new competition nearby as the reason for the move: “Since its opening, news of similar establishments opening in proximity to Il Tavolino encouraged plans for a more unique concept. Starbucks announced it plans to open a four-level Starbucks Reserve Roastery flagship on Michigan Avenue just steps away from the hotel. Around the corner, Italian chain Vapiano will open its second Chicago location in the AC Hotel. The closure is part of the hotel’s strategy to bring a more distinctive restaurant concept to the neighborhood.” The hotel will initially use the space for private events and corporate meetings while promising an announcement for a new restaurant there in the near future. Hotspots Baptiste & Bottle and Noyane remain open in the hotel.
— After M Burger became the first Chicago restaurant to serve the viral Impossible “bleeding” veggie burger, two other spots are about to start serving it too. Both local Umami Burgers (Wicker Park and West Loop) are about it add it to its menus too, according to a news release, as all Umami Burgers will serve the burger after initially only serving it in its California restaurants. Umami serves it with two patties, caramelized onions, American cheese, miso-mustard, house spread, dill pickles, lettuce, and tomato. The West Loop location also has a new patio.
— A Chicago chef didn’t win the finals of the whole-pig cooking competition Cochon 555 last night, as Jonathan Granada of Otium in Los Angeles was the winner of the Grand Cochon last night at Morgan Manufacturing. Ricardo Jarquin of Travelle Kitchen + Bar was Chicago’s finalist.
— As Ravinia Brewing Co. prepares to open its city brewpub in the former Breakroom Brewery and The Finch Kitchen space at 2925 W. Montrose Ave. in Albany Park, the north suburban beer-maker will introduce itself to the city by starting distribution at shops and bars on Friday, DNAinfo reports. There’s no word yet on when the brewpub may open. A kickoff party for the brand’s distribution happens at Fountainhead on Friday at 6 p.m.
— And finally, Blue Line Lounge & Grill, the throwback bar and eatery next to the Damen Blue Line stop in Wicker Park that’s known for a massive selection of inexpensive martinis, is closed for remodeling until Oct. 13, DNAinfo reports. It opened in 2001.