— Lost in the news about Alpana Singh returning to host Check, Please! this upcoming season was former host Catherine De Orio’s plans. Well, De Orio, who hosted the ever-popular restaurant review show on WTTW for five years, is in talks to helm her own food-centric show that would appear on PBS stations across America, WTTW’s series executive producer Dan Soles confirms in a news release. “I cannot give many details on the specifics on the television project in the works other than to say that there is a food and travel show concept that would capitalize on my over 15 years of experience in the food & dining space coupled with my years spent living and working in Europe in the art/museum sector,” De Orio says. “This concept is something more consistent with my own personal brand and will allow me to express my personality and tastes in my own way.” Stay tuned for more details when they become available.
— Replay Lincoln Park, which has basically turned into a venue for rotating pop culture-themed pop-up bars, becomes a Pokemon pop-up today. It will take place at its back bar, which will have “specialty Pokémon-themed cocktails, décor and custom artwork,” until June 1 when it will encompass the entire space. All these pop-ups around the city — recent themes of which have included It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Wayne’s World, Rick and Morty, Fleetwood Mac, The Shining, and Star Wars among many others — begs the question: When will Chicago reach peak pop-up? RedEye’s Michael Nagrant also digs into the phenomenon.
— It appears that multiple restaurants in suburban St. Charles had to close this week after they were raided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers who took multiple workers into custody, according to reports by Fox32 and the Daily Herald.
— Amy Morton has hired a new chef for her popular Evanston restaurant Found after longtime chef Nicole Pederson left in December. Bradford Phillips, who was previously chef at Pump Room, Brasserie by LM, and Unite Urban Grill among other local restaurants, has taken over the Evanston spot’s kitchen and is bringing in more of a focus on vegetables, the Tribune reports. Also stay tuned for other changes there that may include a 1960s focus.
— And finally, ever popular Bucktown pizza spot My Pi has released a vegan menu.