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Walnut Room’s Future Is Murky, Kitsune Adds Booze, More Intel

Plus, Wiener’s Circle shutters in Vegas and more food carts may be coming this summer

Walnut Room inside Macy’s on State Street
Marc Much

—Changes could be in store for the famed Walnut Room, the Chicago restaurant relic that opened in 1907 inside Macy’s on State Street. Macy’s is planning to downsize the former Marshall Field’s, including possibly turning the upper floors into offices—where the Walnut Room is—Crain’s reports. If that change comes to pass, DNAinfo speculates that the restaurant could move, and quotes a Macy’s spokeswoman saying the department store plans to "to keep the tradition of the Walnut Room." The downsizing is slated to happen sometime this year, so more should be known about the restaurant’s future soon.

—After opening as BYO just more than a month ago, Iliana Regan’s Japanese hotspot Kitsune begins alcohol service tonight, finally making the "pub" portion of its full name a reality. A detailed drink menu is not available yet but it will serve beer, wine, alcohol and spirits. Regan is also planning to open a patio there soon.

—Famed cheeky hot dog stand The Wiener’s Circle didn’t make it in Sin City, as Eater Las Vegas reports it shuttered after less than two years in.

—After speculation two weeks ago, the City Council officially decided to slash the licensing fees for food carts, DNAinfo reports, which could lead to many more operators launching hot dog, tamale, corn, and other carts. The change will take effect on July 1.

—One man’s crusade to recreate or get a hold of Portillo’s discontinued lemon cake —for a $300 offer — resulted in the chain making him one for free and providing a recipe. The man donated $300 to charity instead. Chicagoist has more on this feel-good story.

—"For Grace", the documentary about three-Michelin-starred Grace and chef Curtis Duffy, is now streaming on Netflix.

—Cry tears of gravy, as organizers decided not to hold Poutine Fest in 2017.

—One chef is trying to open a nice soul food restaurant in a South Side food desert but he needs some help. Skyler Dees launched two online fundraisers in hopes of opening a spot in North Lawndale, DNAinfo reports. Follow his progress — and possibly donate — here and here.

—And finally, celebrate Friday with a free sake tasting today. The Japan External Trade Organization’s Chicago office is holding industry and public sake tastings on the 3rd floor of the Chicago Cultural Center at 78 E. Washington St. More information and required RSVP links are here and here.


520 West Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 667-4560 Visit Website

Portillo's Hot Dogs

100 West Ontario Street, , IL 60654 (312) 587-8910 Visit Website


652 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60661 (817) 877-3388


4229 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60618

The Walnut Room

111 North State Street, , IL 60602 (312) 781-3139 Visit Website