GOLD COAST— There’s a new bar opening in the former Room Seven space (which was among a few Chicago police shut down last year). It’s called Play Kitchen & Cocktails. There’s a Facebook page with women opening champagne. They don’t appear to actually be inside the space at 7 W. Division Street.
LINCOLN PARK— Progress continues on Galit, the eagerly anticipated Chicago debut for New Orleans chef Zach Engel and industry vet Andrés Clavero. They’ve just applied for a liquor license for the space at 2429 N. Lincoln Avenue.
LOGAN SQUARE— Superkhana International, the new “Indian-ish” restaurant from Zeeshan Shah (Biscuit Man at the Long Room) and Yoshi Yamada of the Bombay Breakdown pop-up along with Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe) could open in February. There’s no exact date, but right now the crew is figuring out the right wine, scotch, and gin that will go with their dishes at 3059 W. Diversey Avenue.
LOGAN SQUARE— There’s a new BYO spot specializing in Korean-style chicken wings coming to Logan. It’s called Landbirds, and Block Club Chicago reports it’s really close to opening at 2532 N. California Avenue.
IRVING PARK— B-Side is the name of the new restaurant replacing Bread & Wine at 3732 W Irving Park Road. Block Club Chicago reported that it’s a retro-inspired burger joint. Ownership should add an ice cream parlor this spring. It’s owned by same family who owns Alps Pancake House. It’s unclear when it’ll open — Block Club reported a “soft opening” for last week and then a “grand opening” in March. That’s a long time in between debuts. A call to the restaurant wasn’t picked up.
RAVENSWOOD— Redline VR, the new virtual reality bar pegged for 4700 N. Ravenswood Avenue, should open in mid-December. A spokesperson said ownership hit a few permitting snags. They just applied for a liquor license as they’ll offer VR cocktails along with standard bar drinks.
RIVER WEST— There’s a building permit at 830 N. Milwaukee Avenue for a Wing Stop.
ROGERS PARK— A new Rogers Park jazz club should soon open at 6970 N. Glennwood Avenue. It’s called Le Piano. Co-owner Chad Willetts told Eater Chicago that the decor features real taxidermy, not fake. They’ll serve small plates, desserts, and have a late-night kitchen. Block Club Chicago talked to the owners.
RIVER WEST— The Swill Inn, the new restaurant from Dustin Drankiewicz (Deadbolt, Dusek’s) and chef Lamar Moore (Currency Exchange Cafe, the Smoke Daddy) should open soon in the former Paramount Room space. They held a friend and family service over the weekend and they’re inline for their final city inspections this week at 415 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
SOUTH SHORE— A new brewery will also serve Metropolis Coffee at 7101 S. Yates Boulevard. It’s called South Shore Brew, and Block Club Chicago spoke with its owners.
WICKER PARK— After Yeti announced plans to take over the Double Door space, locals felt that Wicker Park was over. The folks from Capital One say, “hold our coffee.” There’s a building permit for a massive 13,000-square-foot Capital One Cafe at the corner at North and Damen — the former Tavern site at 1958 W. North Avenue.
VERNON HILLS— Kuma’s Corner, the heavy metal burger chain, is close to opening a location in suburban at 925 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Vernon Hills.
BUCKTOWN— A new tenant in the former 24 Karrots Juice Bar space will sell coffee and watches at 2004 W. Armitage Avenue. The business has a Facebook page and it’s called Horolokōhī.
LINCOLN PARK— Parson’s Chicken & Fish has its familiar signage up at the site of its new Lincoln Park location. It appears there still needs to be much more construction at 2435 N. Halsted Street.
THE LOOP— Dos Toros, N.Y.’s burrito chain, is set to open its fourth Chicago location inside the John Hancock Center, according to a news release. Management aims for a winter opening on the ground floor in the Hancock’s sunken plaza.
MAG MILE— The new vegan restaurant from celeb chef Matthew Kenney is in the hiring phase. Althea is to be located inside the Saks Fifth Avenue store on the seventh floor.
RAVENSWOOD— Red Line VR, a VR arcade and bar, is shooting to open later this month at 4700 N. Ravenswood Avenue. The opening has been delayed due to permitting issues, a spokesperson emailed.
RIVER NORTH— The new bar from the daughter-father team of Lanie and Rick Bayless is now hiring and slated to open in mid-November. There’s no other update for the small bar in the basement of Frontera Grill as reps haven’t responded to inquiries for more information.
STREETERVILLE— Pinched Mediterranean Grill, a suburban Lombard restaurant, plans to open its city location near Illinois and McClurg in January or February, according to a Facebook post. They’re looking for employees.
WEST LOOP— Here’s a little bit more info about the Darling, the new restaurant replacing WonFun/2Fun at 905 W. Randolph Street. The Tribune reported that A10 chef James Martin will helm both floors, and customers will enter through a flower shop. It’s in the same vein as entrances at Dorian’s (record shop), Chicago Magic Lounge (laundromat), and Blind Barber (barber shop).
WEST TOWN— A new Nepalese restaurant is slated to open inside the former Charlatan space at 1329 N. Chicago Avenue in December. It appears Vajra’s co-owner worked at Cumin, but Block Club Chicago only identifies it as a Wicker Park restaurant on Milwaukee Avenue. Not too many other places for momos along the Hipster Highway.
WICKER PARK— The former Birchwood Kitchen space has a tenant in a family-owned Filipino restaurant. Block Club Chicago has the goods on Cebu Bar & Grill at 2211 W. North Avenue. They’re gunning for a November opening.
WICKER PARK— The empty space at the southeast corner of Ashland and Division will house a Checker’s/Popeye’s combo. Block Club Chicago grabbed the scoop.
RIVER NORTH— The former C Chicago/Ocean Cut was bought by the Parlor Pizza Bar team. They’re going to open later this year at 20 W. Kinzie Street with their dessert bar called Dessert Dealer. It’s got alliteration and it goes with the “parlor” theme.
VERNON HILLS/SCHAUMBURG/NAPERVILLE— Those three lucky suburbs are going to get B.Good. That’s a Boston-based restaurant chain that’s claiming to be healthy with salads, burgers, spaghetti, and more. The chain has 50+ locations and this is its first Chicago-area expansion.
WILMETTE— Downtown Wilmette’s getting a new restaurant called Pescadero. It’ll serve fish and management’s looking for an executive chef at 1167 Wilmette Avenue.
ANDERSONVILLE— Colectivo Coffee will open its third Chicago location on Monday in Andersonville at 5425 N. Clark Street, according to a news release. It’s a 2,500-square-foot space with a sidewalk patio.
HYDE PARK— A celebrated chef has plans to take over the vacated A10 space in Hyde Park for his own restaurant. Erick Williams, formerly of MK, could open his unnamed restaurant by the end of the year. He will serve Southern cuisine at 1462 E. 53rd Street. The Tribune first reported the story.
HYDE PARK— The SOPHY, a new 98-room hotel, is slated to open on October 1 at 53rd Street and Dorchester, according to a news release. The hotel’s F&B option is Mesler Kitchen|Bar|Lounge. The menu should include chicken & waffles, pastas, a burger, and various steaks, a rep says. The kitchen’s helmed by chef Bradford Shovlin.
LOGAN SQUARE— Cafe Marianao’s shutter led to an outpouring of love from fans of the small freestanding restaurant at 2246 N. Milwaukee Avenue — that is before the restaurant reopened with a slightly different name in Irving Park. The old site’s been purchased by the owner of the Hollywood and White Palace grills. It now has a name, according to a liquor license application: Victory Cafe.
LOGAN SQUARE— The neighborhood could get another brewery when Pilot Project hopefully opens in early 2019 across from the Congress Theater at 2140 N. Milwaukee Avenue. The “experimental brewery incubator” and taproom will rely on food trucks, according to Block Club Chicago.
RAVENSWOOD— Escape rooms and virtual reality fans who like cocktails may enjoy Redline VR. It’ll also offer “virtual cocktails” as customers will wear headsets while bartenders mix their drinks. It should open on October 1 at 4700 N. Ravenswood Avenue, according to a news release and the Tribune.
ROSCOE VILLAGE— The team behind upcoming rooftop French spot Le Sud awaits permits, according to a spokesperson, as the restaurant is very close to opening at 2301 W. Roscoe Street. Here’s a nice photo of its nearly finished exterior.
WEST TOWN— Looks like ownership’s doing tastings for a forthcoming new doughnut shop at 1601 W. Grand Avenue. It’s called DonutSlut.
WICKER PARK— Bonchon should open its second Chicago location early next month at 1732 W. Division Street, according to Block Club Chicago. Ownership has delayed the opening, originally reported to be in August. The popular Korean fried chicken specialist’s first Chicago location is in Chinatown.
NAPERVILLE— Allegory is a new restaurant replacing Heaven on Seven at 224 S. Main Street in Naperville, according to the Naperville Sun.
OAK PARK— A long-neglected suburban corner is getting a 144-seat brewpub, according to Oak Leaves. It’s called One Lake Brewing and ownership hopes to open it by the end of the year at 1 Lake Street in Oak Park.
SCHAUMBURG— Woodfield Shopping Center will welcome Stan’s Donuts to the mall on September 29. The chain’s 10th location will have giveaways including “free doughnuts for life.”
ALBANY PARK— Construction is underway at Twisted Hippo Brewing, which could be in league with Roderick Markus of Rare Tea Cellars. Brewers hope to incorporate Rare Tea’s rare ingredients in the beer at the former Finch Kitchen at 2925 W. Montrose Avenue.
IRVING PARK— Baristas will pour Counter Culture coffee and Rare Tea Cellars at Finom, an upcoming cafe at 4200 W. Irving Park Road. Block Club Chicago reported it’ll also serve Hungarian food.
LAKEVIEW— Bombay Wraps, the Indian fast-food spot, is planning another location near Belmont and Broadway. There’s signage at 3149 1⁄2 W. Broadway Street.
WRIGLEYVILLE— Last week, the Wheelhouse Hotel opened at 3475 N. Clark Street, but its food and beverage items weren’t ready to debut. There’s still no opening dates, but expect Union Pizzeria, Union Full Board, and Tinker to Evers to soon open.
WRIGLEYVILLE— Wheelhouse and Hotel Zachary are only the appetizer as Addison & Clark continues to rise near Wrigley Field. This is the new complex with big-box retail, name-brand restaurants such as Shake Shack, and more. And Do-Rite Donuts now has signage for another location too.
RIVER NORTH— Tao is closer to opening its Chicago location. Yes, the Chicago restaurant/club (if only there was a catch made-up word to describe those two things combined?) that packs in the crowds in NY, Vegas and LA is on it way to the former Castle/Limelight space at 632 N. Dearborn Avenue. Management is shooting for a late September opening, and Chicago magazine reported that they’ll offer 20 percent off during the first two weeks. That’s a real soft opening that rewards customers for being guinea pigs while the restaurant works things out.
STREETERVILLE— Hampton Social announced last year it was opening a location in Streeterville at 164 E. Grand Avenue. Management has now announced an opening date of September 10, according to a news release.
STREETERVILLE— Robert’s Pizza Co. should soon open at its new location. Robert has also applied for a liquor license 465 N. McClurg Court.
STREETERVILLE— A second location of Maison Marcel, a follow-up on the Lakeview French bakery, is set for 545 N. McClurg Court, inside the Moment luxury apartments, according to a news release. It’s slated for a December opening.
VERNON HILLS— Kuma’s Corner may have closed its Lakeview location after problems getting a lease extension, but the metal-themed burger chain had its liquor license approved to open in suburban Vernon Hills, according to Pioneer Press, which also reported it’ll be the last Kuma’s expansion in Illinois. It’ll join Kimbal Musk’s first Chicago-area Next Door, City Barbecue, and more in the new Mellody Farm retail development.
FULTON MARKET— Two years after first announced, a new brewery and distillery is taking serious steps toward opening. The co-founder of Angel’s Envy bourbon, Marc Bushala, and his equity firm are opening a new brewery, distillery, and restaurant at Kinzie and Green. The project, from Blind Pig Hospitality, needs city approvals, according to Curbed Chicago.
LINCOLN PARK— The former Crossing space at 2548 N. Southport Avenue is getting a makeover from Wine Not Hospitality Group. The new space, slated to open in early fall, is called Broken Barrel Bar. The group hired Bryant Anderson (Cafe Selmarie) as executive chef and consultant Miranda Breedlove (upcoming Good Fortune) is creating the bar’s drinks. A news release mentions a “bright, airy atmosphere” and a private dining room.
MILLENNIUM PARK— About Last Knife is the upcoming restaurant planned for a fall opening in the Hotel Julian Chicago. Oxford Capital has converted the Atlantic Bank Building at 168 N. Michigan Avenue into a 218-room hotel. Straight from the news release: “About Last Knife features a modern take on the classic steakhouse alongside a progressive beverage program.” Nifty.
SOUTH AUSTIN— At 5963 W. Madison Avenue, right across the Oak Park border, there’s a permit for a new fast-food spot called Chubby’s Char House. Apparently, in the same vein as Felony Franks, it’ll hire ex-offenders, according to Crain’s.
SOUTH LOOP— Tea Pot Brew Bakery is coming to 1802 S. Wabash Avenue. The Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance Facebook page posted a photo.
SOUTH LOOP— Showroom Food Hall will be the new dining option inside the Marriott Marquis Chicago, 2121 S. Prairie Avenue, on August 18. Unlike other food halls, these vendors aren’t known brands; they’re either newcomers or restaurants made up by Marriott. Here’s the list: Revolution Coffee Counter, Argosy Soup & Sandwich, Hot Licks (specializing in potatoes; akin to One Potato Two Potato), Winger Warrior (wood-fired pies, chicken wings), and Nomad Beer & Wine (cocktails, draft beer, wine).
WICKER PARK— The owners of Happy Camper/Home Slice have revealed more details about their Wicker Park project. Originally called Trailer Park Queen, over the weekend the owners pivoted to a new name: Paradise Park Chicago. There’s an outdoor patio in front of the restaurant at 1913 W. North Avenue. Block Club Chicago has more details. They will serve pizza.
WRIGLEYVILLE— Another hotel is springing up soon on Clark Street in Wrigleyille. The Wheelhouse Hotel is hiring and it should open this month at 3465 N. Clark Street. It’s from the same owners as Fieldhouse Jones in Wicker Park, and it should have a few intriguing dining options and a cocktail bar.
EVANSTON— Fudge and ice cream are coming to Evanston from Kilwin’s, as the Michigan chain is opening a location at 1724 Sherman Avenue.
OAK PARK— Mora Asian Kitchen has either opened or is about to in suburban Oak Park. They’re doing friends and family services, so it’s unclear if they’ve opened up the doors to the general public at 201 Harrison Street in the suburbs.
FULTON MARKET— Construction has started on the Time Out Market, a food hall from the owners of the lifestyle magazine brand. The media company has opened a market in Lisbon and wants to open more across America and the world. The Neighbors of West Loop Facebook group had an update for 916 W. Fulton Market.
LAKEVIEW— The former Crossing bar is being converted to Broken Barrel at 2548 N. Southport Avenue. Check out Facebook for updates.
LINCOLN PARK— The second Chicago location of Parson’s Chicken & Fish is on its way. Ownership applied for a liquor license for 2435 N. Halsted Street, but hasn’t provided an update in weeks.
LINCOLN PARK— Construction has started on The Wrightwood Tap’s conversion to Tapster, the pour-your-own beer bar that debuted in Wicker Park. Check out the progress on Facebook at 1059 W. Wrightwood Avenue.
PILSEN— The outrage is real in Pilsen where Taco Bell plans on opening a location, continuing the chain’s expansion in Chicago. Block Club Chicago reports anger over the chain’s arrival at a predominantly Mexican/Mexican-American neighborhood on the 2400 block of South Western Avenue.
PILSEN— In less controversial news in Pilsen, Samantha Sanchez plans to open La Luna at 1726 S. Racine Avenue, according to Block Club Chicago. The Mexican restaurant is Sanchez’s first. She’s grown up in the industry as her father, Sam Sanchez, is behind Chicago bars like John Barleycorn, Moe’s Cantina, and more.
PORTAGE PARK— Junebug Cafe will serve French Creole food when it opens at Six Corners, according to Block Club Chicago. Ownership is targeting a summer opening at 4944 W. Irving Park Road.
PORTAGE PARK— Veloria Cafe plans to bring coffee from around the world to 3936 N. Cicero Avenue, according to the Six Corners Association.
RIVER NORTH— TAO, the clubstaurant that’s a celebrity magnet in New York and Las Vegas, is interviewing potential employees. Ownership is still planning a September opening at 632 N. Dearborn Street. SPACE Architects + Planners is working on both Parson’s and TAO.
WEST TOWN— The former Briciola space will go Thai. Block Club Chicago reported Tai Nang, a restaurant from a chef who worked at nearby Silom12 in Bucktown and the Tsukiji Fish Market in West Town, will soon open at 937 N. Damen Avenue.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS— A new gastropub and music venue, Hey Nonny, is opening in October at 10 S. Vail Avenue in Arlington Heights. The space will host jazz, rock, blues, country, reggae, classical, and folk six days a week, according to a news release.
EVANSTON— Prairie Moon has put up a new sign for the new space at 1502 Sherman Avenue.
NAPERVILLE— Molly’s Cupcakes is planning suburban locations, according to the Naperville Sun. The city of Naperville is next, although there’s no date when it’ll open at 30 W. Jefferson Street. Molly’s has locations in Lincoln Park and Streeterville.
NAPERVILLE— Whirlyball is opening a third location and second in the suburbs, coming to Naperthrill near Route 59 and Interstate 88, according to the Naperville Sun.
LOGAN SQUARE— A misunderstanding with city inspectors may have snarled the opening of Bixi, the Chinese-inspired brewpub from Owen & Engine’s Bo Fowler. The project, three years in the making, is still on target to open this month at 2515 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
LOGAN SQUARE— Taco Bell’s second location that serves alcohol on Milwaukee Avenue is on its way. The fast-food giant has applied for a liquor license for the space at 2432 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
THE LOOP— The owners of Taureaux Tavern, Bar and Brasserie have applied for a liquor license. The space, originally slated for a spring opening, is from the owners of Cochon Volant (WellDone Hospitality Group). The French restaurant is at 440 S. LaSalle Street.
THE LOOP— Five Guys Burgers is coming to the Mag Mile. The D.C.-based fast-food restaurant is coming to 180 N. Michigan Avenue. That’s really close to the Crain’s Communications building (150 N. Michigan Avenue). In a stunning coincidence, Crain’s first reported this breaking burger bulletin.
UKRAINIAN VILLAGE— The former Red Apple convenient store at the northwest corner of Chicago and Damen is being converted by the same owners into a fried chicken restaurant. It’s going to be called Backyard Chic, but it’s not an original concept. In truth, Block Club Chicago reports, the restaurant will be the third Chicago location of Louisiana Famous Chicken. The New Orleans chain’s been around for 42 years and the new restaurant is at 2000 W. Chicago Avenue.
WEST LOOP— Starbucks spokespeople still say it won’t open until next year, but there’s two banners hanging at the site of Princi, 1000 W. Randolph Street. This is the bakery cafe from Italy that will sell pizza.
WEST TOWN— Crazy Bird Chicken, a fried chicken spot that closed in June 2017 in Lawndale, is closer to opening at its new location at 1160 W. Grand Avenue. It should open later this summer as construction has started.
WICKER PARK— No Bones Beach Club, the tropical vegan restaurant and bar from Seattle, should open in September, according to founder MacKenzie DeVito. Management just filed for its liquor license at 1943 W. North Avenue, formerly Santullo’s pizza.
WICKER PARK— The second Chicago outpost of Bonchon, the Korean restaurant that specializes in fried chicken, should open in either late July or August, according to a rep. Its signage is up at 1732 W. Division Street. There’s also a suburban location.
ELMHURST— Fry The Coop is opening a second location for Nashville hot chicken in the suburbs. The first location opened in November in Oak Lawn, and now a second should open sometime this summer at 623 W. North Avenue in Elmhurst. A news release stated it will be 48 seats and 2,800 square feet.
For a list of the 2018 spring updates, click here.