— May 7 will be a big day in Chicago food — and not just because of the James Beard Awards. Aurelio’s Pizza will open its Wrigleyville restaurant on that day too, which is the iconic South Side pizza chain’s first North Side location in its 59-year existence. The Chicago-style pizza restaurant opens in the former Myron Mixon’s Smokeshow Barbecue space at 3801 N. Clark Street at 11 a.m. next Monday.
— Eataly Chicago opens a new fresh pasta and wine bar tomorrow, May 1. Ravioli & Co is a quick-serve spot on the first floor of the Italian superstore and food hall in River North serving three seasonally-changing filled and string pastas, a daily special, wine by the glass, and beer.
— Popular local food truck and Chicago French Market stall Beavers Coffee + Donuts will become The Dapper Doughnut and part of a brand that has locations in Las Vegas, Dallas, Boston, and many more either already open or coming soon around the country. The brand is also expanding locally via franchising and plans to open two storefronts in Chicago within the next year and hopes to open 20 more in the area within the next five years, according to a news release.
— The former home of Crocodile Lounge — the previously-popular Wicker Park bar/eatery/dance club that was evicted in January after 10 years in business at 1540 N. Milwaukee Avenue — will get a similarly-named replacement. Alligator Lounge is coming to the space, according to a liquor license application.
— And finally, more than 130 local restaurants are taking part in James Beard Eats Week and serving a special dish or menu inspired by James Beard. It’s currently underway and runs until May 7, the day of this year’s James Beard Awards in Chicago. The full list of restaurants and dishes is available here.