—Chicago-area restaurants and their customers have endured hateful episodes targeting Muslims, African Americans, and Bottled Blonde’s allegedly racist dress code during this month alone. Now, a hateful incident at a suburban Jewish deli sadly joins that list, as ownership of Schmaltz Delicatessen claims the popular Naperville restaurant was vandalized with anti-semitic graffiti yesterday—Fathers Day. In a Facebook post that’s going viral, owner Howard Bender doesn’t reveal exactly what the spray-painted message said, describing that it was “intended to be anti-Semitic just outside our front door,” before writing that Naperville PD is investigating it and that “we know this is not the true Naperville we are a part of, and that we have endless support from our customers and the rest of the community. We encourage everyone to be kind and reach out to those that are different from you.” Eater will update this story if any more details and news on this awful episode are revealed.
UPDATE: The graffiti in question read “Free Gaza” and was spray painted on the sidewalk near the deli’s front door, the Daily Herald reports. Bender told the newspaper that he considers it to be a hate crime. The Naperville Patch reports that local police are indeed investigating the incident as a hate crime and has a photo of the graffiti.
—In happier news, the Alinea Group’s Roister now has a swanky new sidewalk patio. Grant Achatz shared chef Andrew Brochu’s photo of it on Instagram, which shows tables with drawers and cubby holes outside the group’s Michelin-starred casual restaurant on Fulton Market.
—Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises is being sued by a former employee for “harassing and ultimately firing her for refusing to participate in activities she believed were illegal and for reporting them to her supervisors,” the Tribune reports. She asks LEYE to rehire her and back pay with interest, while a LEYE rep declined comment on the suit.
—Izakaya Mita, the popular Japanese restaurant and sake bar at Damen and Armitage avenues in Bucktown, is in immediate financial trouble. Ownership has started a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of raising $50,000 to pay off debts and “stay open through the end of the month and through next.” The restaurant laid off its head chef in February and started weekend lunch service to lower labor costs and bring in more revenue, according to the page. The space has quietly been available on the real estate market for many months as well. The funding campaign has raised $3,900 of its $50,000 goal at this time.
—Uncle J’s BBQ, one of the very best barbecue restaurants in Chicago, is preparing to move from 502 E. 47th St. to somewhere on 63rd Street, according to a Facebook announcement. The timing of the move is “still in the works.” Ownership wrote that it’s “time for a change” and that hopefully the new location is “a much better one with more parking.” Read more about the restaurant’s legacy in this interview from one year ago.
—And finally, more than 100 people were evacuated from Soho House Chicago on Friday afternoon during a fire at the West Loop members-only club and lounge with public restaurants. No one was hurt in the blaze, as Ald. Walter Burnett told DNAinfo that "the only hard thing was getting people out of there because they didn't want to give up their drinks." Its cause was a grease fire that reportedly started in a kitchen on the top floor, and the fifth floor sustained heavy water damage.