— After Chicagoans have seen festivals for nearly every food and drink imaginable, the city will finally get a festival for one of its iconic foods later this month — the Italian beef sandwich. Happening in two sessions on May 26 at Revolution Brewing Tap Room at 3340 N. Kedzie Ave., The First Annual Italian Beef Festival will feature iconic local brands Al’s Beef, Buona and Mr. Beef as well as Revolution beer. Tickets cost $30 each and a portion of proceeds going to the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation. More info and tickets are available on its website.
— Bar Biscay, the Spanish-inspired hotspot in West Town from the folks behind mfk, starts Sunday brunch service this weekend. Check out the menu below, which includes tortilla espanola with fried squid, creamy cauliflower tartine with paprika mornay, and build-your-own crepes.
— Northwest Side hotspot Eris Brewery & Cider House also kicks off weekend brunch on Saturday. The full menu isn’t available at press time, but items include “Waffle of Chaos” (Belgian waffles, bacon, avocado, radishes, cheddar jack, sunny-up egg, sriracha maple syrup) and shrimp & grits. They’re also launching a new spring menu this weekend.
— Wells St. Market, the new food hall coming to 205 W. Wacker Drive in the Loop, has rounded out its food offerings by adding West Town Italian deli hotspot Tempesta Market. Previously announced tenants include Takashi Yagihashi’s Tabo Sushi, Jimmy Bannos’ Piggie Smalls, Dos Toros Taqueria, Furious Spoon, Firecakes Donuts, and more.
— Fulton Market’s BLVD, the swanky restaurant and bar which won Eater Chicago’s award for Design of the Year, has finally added its missing design centerpiece — a massive chandelier that hangs over the main bar on the first floor. The chandelier is 8-feet wide and 15.5-feet long, weighs more than 1,000 pounds, took more than a year to build, and more than 12 hours to install. Check it out below.
— Shore Club, the multi-prong seasonal waterfront restaurant and club that debuted at North Avenue Beach last year, reopens on May 11 with a slew of new wrinkles including morning service and a new bar at The Patio, and morning fitness classes and new frozen boozy drinks at The Restaurant at Shore Club. There’s also a new menu, which can be read below.
— In more seasonal outdoor hotspot news, Cabana Club, the poolside rooftop bar at The Robey hotel in Wicker Park, reopens tomorrow with a new menu featuring an array of frozen drinks, decor, and a “a 70’s inspired pool party theme.” That menu is below as well.
— And in still more patio news, beloved Wrigleyville dive Nisei Lounge has unveiled a new outdoor space.
Still feels weird to walk out here with alcohol. In a good way. Open until 9 tonight. Dress warm. pic.twitter.com/8l6K8WadVf— Nisei Lounge Chicago (@NiseiLounge) May 3, 2018
— Some sad news: Doc Pellegrino, the owner and founder of beloved Lincoln Park blues bar Kingston Mines, passed away yesterday, the bar announced. There have been far too many deaths in the Chicago restaurant and bar scene this week, as Pellegrino joins the co-owner of Superdawg, the owner of Italian Village, and Jack Glunz of Louis Glunz Beer Inc.
— And finally, in Chicago blues and restaurant news, David Letterman and Buddy Guy filmed at Athenian Room in Lincoln Park and dined on the restaurant’s roast chicken with steak fries for Letterman’s Netflix series “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.” Former Chicago resident Tina Fey recommended Letterman go there and try the dish, the Tribune reports, and after tasting it the former “Late Night” host said “Wow. Holy crap, it’s greasy. I’m not saying that’s bad.” Guy is a fan of the dish and spicy food, as he says in the clip below.