Wahlburgers River North is getting closer
The Wahlberg family is getting closer to unveiling their first restaurant in the city of Chicago. The franchisee for the River North location of the Wahlburgers chain at 2 E. Ontario Street is now hoping to open it in March, a rep says. It has been slightly delayed since the company predicted it would open in late 2018, but progress has been made as franchisee Pradeep Patel recently applied for its liquor license and is starting to hire staff. A suburban St. Charles location is also slated to open early this year.
A Top Chef unveils a South Side special for Piece Pizza
Top Chef winner and noted White Sox fan Joe Flamm of Spiaggia is collaborating with Piece Brewery and Pizzeria on a special limited-time pie. Starting on February 1, the Wicker Park brewpub — a member of the Eater Chicago 38 — will offer the “South Side Special” featuring sausage from Tempesta Market in West Town with giardiniera, mozzarella, and red sauce. A 10-percent portion of sales go to Pilot Light. The pizza is available through the end of February. Other chefs with Piece pizzas in the past include Steph Izard (Girl & the Goat) and Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp (Honey Butter Fried Chicken).
Popular Wicker Park beer bar Links Taproom slated to reopen in February
The owner of Links Taproom is hoping to reopen the popular Wicker Park beer bar sometime next month after the city shut it down in late December due to a failed plumbing line below the building. “Unfortunately, there was a failure of the plumbing line buried eight feet beneath Links — and this failure was caused by no action or inaction of our own,” owner/beer director Mike Quinlan says in a statement. “This failure in no way caused any problems at Links, but it affected our neighbors resulting in the closure of Links by the City of Chicago until the issue could be corrected...we were shocked and saddened to learn the problem was irreparable, and the plumbing line would need to be completely replaced. We have been working diligently with the City and our plumber to complete this time-consuming process.”
Acclaimed West Loop restaurant El Che Bar changes its name
El Che Bar — the acclaimed West Loop Argentinian restaurant from chef John Manion — is now El Che Steakhouse & Bar. In a Facebook announcement, management writes that “after months of soul searching, we’ve finally decided to embrace what we always were. A steakhouse.” It’s also now open seven days a week.
Donut Fest happens again this weekend
And finally, Chicagoans can brave the frigid temperature to eat a plethora of doughnuts on Sunday at the annual Donut Fest at Chop Shop. Tickets are still available for the morning VIP session (8-10 a.m.; $50) and the afternoon general admission session (12-2 p.m.; $35). Vendors this year include Longman & Eagle, Huck Finn Restaurant, West Town Bakery, and D&D’s Place.