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Tour The Riot Fest Pop-Up, Hoping Carnival Food Keeps Punk Alive

The Riot Feast opens on Saturday inside the Saved By The Max space

The Riot Feast
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.

No, Lollapolooza and Pitchfork don’t have restaurants, but the team behind Riot Fest —Chicago’s punk rock festival that debuted in 2005— has The Riot Feast, and it opens on Saturday. Any traces of the Saved By The Bell pop-up have been eliminated in favor of a carnival aesthetic as the punk rock pop-up starts a three-month run in Wicker Park. It’s an unorthodox idea as the Saved By The Max team hopes to again work its pop-culture magic.

Organizers say they borrowed from TV shows like FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show and HBO’s Carnivale for decor inspiration. However, the colors and communal tables almost feel like another iconic television show, specifically The Red Wedding episode from Game of Thrones.

Diners will step right up at to a carnival ticket booth near the entrance and see a batch of house rules, sage advice like “chew with your mouth closed” and to “buy shots for your neighbor.” The food is served family style and customers will likely be sitting next to strangers so “don’t be a jerk” may be the most important rule of them all.

Most good punk songs clock in under three minutes, and the folks at Riot Feast know the good times won’t last forever. It’s a three-month engagement ending at the end of September. So book those tickets to see if the follow-up to Saved By The Max is worthy or just a train in vain. The Riot Feast opens on Saturday. Check out the photos below.

The Riot Feast, 1941 W. North Ave., (773) 687-9824, open 6 p.m. to midnight on Sunday and Wednesday; 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday; closed Monday and Tuesday.

Marc Much

The Riot Feast

1941 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (773) 687-9824 Visit Website