—The Field Museum has collaborated on unique beer in the past, but now it’s collaborating on a full popup bar with one of Chicago’s most revered restaurant and bar groups. The Backroom, a museum collab with Land & Sea Dept., is coming to the Chicago Athletic Association hotel on Michigan Avenue beginning Feb. 25 in celebration of its forthcoming exhibit Specimens: Unlocking the Secrets of Life. Look for exhibit samples, Paul McGee cocktails, Field Museum employees helming "interactive programming," and nighttime events including DJs, trivia, and karaoke on Fridays and Saturdays between Feb. 25 and March 25.
—After sadly shuttering on New Years Eve 2013 partly due to a non-compete over croissant sales with neighboring New Wave Coffee, one of Logan Square’s most popular bakeries and coffee spots is planning a return. La Boulangerie, which was open for three years right on the square at 2569 N. Milwaukee Ave., plans to reopen at 3129 W. Logan Blvd. by July, DNAinfo reports. The bakery now also has locations in Ravenswood and Lakeview.
—Chicagoland may lose many Noodles & Co. locations. The struggling fast-casual noodle-themed chain expects to shutter 55 of its 528 restaurants around the country, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. Around 50 locations are in Chicagoland, but Chicago Business Journal reports that how many of those will shutter is unclear at this time. A company rep says the chain "will be disclosing more information about affected restaurants in the coming weeks."
—Roots Handmade Pizza and RefugeeOne are collaborating on a pizza and beer event "to benefit the resettlement of a refugee family in Chicago," bringing in brewery heavyweights 5 Rabbit, Off Color, Temperance, and more on Feb. 23. More information is here on the event where 10 percent of in-house proceeds will be donated, and donations from people who can’t attend are being accepted here.
—In another item pertaining to refugees and Donald Trump’s court-blocked travel ban, Mike Sula in The Reader runs down 10 Chicago restaurants where you can sample food from five of the seven countries that the ban targeted, including Yemen, Somalia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. "New Americans have blessed cities like Chicago, opening their own spots to serve the food from their countries of origin and providing spaces for the homesick to get together, eat good food, and feel connected to the people and places they left behind," Sula writes.
—Tickets for the seventh annual Chowdah Fest are now on sale, taking place March 6 at the Columbia Yacht Club, and some big-time chefs are taking part: Carlos Gaytan (Mexique), Cory Morris (Ronero), and more. Click here for more info.
—And finally, you may have noticed the rise of "Tinder Tuesdays" and other dating app-themed specials at restaurants and bars, but you may not know how big of a boon such events and the customers that use these apps actually are to the establishments that host them. The Tribune takes a look at the trend, and among other nuggets, reports that The Barrelhouse Flat gets 50 percent of its sales on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from dating app users.