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Indie Flick ‘The Room’ Inspires Emporium Pop-Up and More Intel

Plus, a yakisoba burger for one night only in Bridgeport

Hungry as F*ck’s yakisoba burger
Courtesy of Hungry as F*ck
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Emporium Arcade Bar has announced the its latest theme for its Logan Square pop-up space, the space that hosted the popular Stranger Things pop-up. For four days (November 29 to December 2) Emporium will draw inspiration from The Room, a 2003 indie flick from moviemaker Tommy Wiseau. Unlike the Upside Down, this pop-up appears to be authorized by the parties involved. Netflix’s attorneys sent a light hearted but serious letter that implied legal recourse would be pursued in the event the pop-up went past its scheduled run or the owners set up another pop-up using Netflix's intellectual property illegally. An oddly-worded news release from about the new pop-up, which “invites coverage” is from A24 Films and mentions The Disaster Artista film about the making of The Room that’s directed by James Franco. That movie gets released on December 8. Expect Emporium’s staff to do their best to recreate the movie and mix up some themed drinks. Time Out first reported the story.

—After being missing for a week, Chicago police say that a member of Roister’s kitchen staff, Luis Mercader, has been safely located. Friends last saw him on November 8, but suspicions rose from friends in the industry when he didn’t show up to a fundraiser at Animale that he was supposed to work to benefit hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. No other info was released to the Tribune.

—Tonight, head down to Maria’s Community Bar’s Kimski in Bridgeport as Amy Lecza and Kelly Ijichi present the latest Hungry as F*ck pop-up. Their theme is “sleazy izakaya,” A.K.A. Sleazakaya. That means trashy Japanese bar food such as a yakisoba burger: grass-fed beef patty, yakisoba noodles, pickled ginger and "fancy sauce" on a grilled brioche bun. The fun starts at 9 p.m. on Friday.

Wow Bao, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’s fast-casual Asian dumpling brand, is trying something new. They’re opening a fully automated restaurant at 1 W. Division Street in Gold Coast. Customers can order via their phones are at an electronic kiosk — they’ve been using kiosks at other locations for years. They’ll then pick their food up from a custom LED-lit cubby. The robots aren’t completely in charges. Humans will be on hand to handle any concerns and to cook the food. The Tribune has more. McDonald’s isn’t 100 percent automated at a River North location, but they’ve also looked into more ways to incorporate the kiosks.

Frango, the iconic chocolate mints once sold at Marshall Field’s stores is getting a bit of a push over at Macy’s. The Water Tower Place location is launching a Frango’s Holiday Boutique, and the first 100 customers who arrive a 10 a.m. Friday will a free 16-piece box of Frango Milk Mints and a keepsake shopping tote with any purchase. They’re also launching a temporary holiday kiosk at O’Hare International Airport’s Terminal 1 at Gate B12, according to a news release.

Goose Island Brewing Co. is gearing up for the annual Black Friday release of Bourbon County Brand Stout. They’ll again utilize Binny’s Lincoln Park, 1720 N. Marcey Street, where fans of the barrel-aged beers will wait in long lines and probably brave cold conditions to add to their beer stashes. They’ll start at 9 a.m. on November 24 and staff will hand out 1,000 tickets to customers waiting in line — if folks leave they forfeit their place. The first 200 customers in line with get a Goose Island BCBS tote bag, BCBS poster, and Intelligentsia Black Cat coffee. There will also be other freebies. There are six beers in this year’s lineup, including a Northwoods Stout and Reserve Stout.

—A charity arm of Lou Malnati’s has recently made a “seven figure donation” to Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s brain tumor institute, according to Crain’s. The Lou Malnati Cancer Research Foundation has raised $3.5 million for the hospital since 1978. Crain’s detailed how the foundation is personal: Lou Malnati died in 1978 from skin cancer. He was treated at Northwestern.

Water Tower Place

835 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 440-3166 Visit Website

Emporium Arcade Bar

2363 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 697-7922 Visit Website


1904 western, Chicago, IL 60647 (872) 315-3912

Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar

960 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60608 (773) 890-0588 Visit Website


954-960 West 31st Street, , IL 60608 (773) 823-7336


951 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 789-4896