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Trench & Eden Launch Brunch, Kokonas Tackles the ‘Restaurant Apocalypse’, More Intel

Plus, Papajin’s not coming back to Wicker Park

Eden is kicking off brunch on Sunday in the West Loop.
Marc Much

Trench, the reborn Trencherman in Wicker Park, is kicking off weekend brunch service on Saturday. Featured items include fried chicken and waffles, grilled skirt steak and sunny side eggs, and crab Benedict. Pastries are still a big deal for the space, as there’s also a pastry flight on the menu. There’s also specialty brunch cocktails.

—There’s more brunch village news, as Eden in the West Loop will launch Sunday brunch service this weekend. Service goes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every week. Highlights include a sweet potato & pork belly hash; and a seasonal vegetable omelette with gruyere, herbs, and greens. There’s also a cherrywood grilled pork belly and a maple bruleed ruby grapefruit. A variety of brunch drinks, like a verde Maria, are also available.

Papajin, a Chinese-American favorite that became a Wicker Park stalwart before the big restaurant groups noticed the neighborhood, won’t reopen. The restaurant’s building was demolished last year after it closed in 2015. Papajin’s owner—also the building’s landlord—had said he would bring back the restaurant. But now he tells DNAinfo that retail will make more money in the storefront. Thus after two decades Papajin is no more at 1551 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tears would only make the General Tso’s chicken soggy.

Boltwood’s Brian Huston chats openly with Medill News Service about the struggles he’s had running his Evanston restaurant. He shares revenue numbers and talks about how the addition of brunch helped. However, the Cubs’ World Series run, the presidential election, and competition from new Evanston restaurant openings made operations difficult. Huston even talks about OpenTable versus Reserve.

—Speaking of reservations...Nick Kokonas is taking this blogging thing seriously. Since the calendar switched to 2017, Kokonas—partner in the Alinea Group and Tock—has been prolific in writing posts on Medium. This time he tackles the narrative that the restaurant industry will crash. Spoiler alert: He doesn’t think much of the bubble.

—Terra & Vine is the site for Dinner With The Dead’s stop in the Chicago area. The dinner party features celebrity psychic Thomas John “communicating” with the dead and relaying messages from the other side to guests. This happens while a five-course meal is served. They’re holding two seatings: at 7 and 10 p.m. on Saturday in Evanston.

—Distancing itself from its original mission as purely a mezcal bar, Mezcaleria Las Flores on Monday is hosting an event with CH Distillery to celebrate the Chicago debut of Amargo de Chile, a collaboration between CH and The Dogma Group, a cocktail consultancy. Free samples and food, plus $6 cocktails featuring the liquor will be available. The party starts at 9 p.m. Apparently MLF will be looking to host more of these events in Logan Square.

Mezcaleria Las Flores

3149 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL

Boltwood

804 Davis St., Evanston, IL 60201 (847) 859-2880 Visit Website

Terra & Vine

1701 Maple Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

Trench

2039 W North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622 Visit Website

Eden

1748 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60611 Visit Website

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