ANDERSONVILLE— After 20 years, Aroma Pizza & Pasta has moved to a new location. Find a variety of thin-crust specialty pizzas and more inside the fresh new space. Status: Certified open, 5350 N. Broadway Street.
HUMBOLDT PARK— The restaurant’s name maybe redundant, but Chicken Pollo Shack is open. The Tribune spoke with the pedigreed chef about his buttermilk fried chicken. It also serves burgers. Status: Certified open, 3944 W. Chicago Avenue.
HYDE PARK— The Soul Shack, a new restaurant from the owners of Mikky’s Retro Grill and LiteHouse Grill, is open. They’re serving fried okra, fried chicken and waffles, jerked Cornish hens and more. Status: Certified open, 1368 E. 53rd Street.
RIVER NORTH— Film director Kevin Smith should be happy that Veggie Grill has opened its largest location in Chicago at 2,956 square feet. It’s the third location in Chicago for America’s largest vegetarian chain. Overall, it’s the company’s 33rd location, according to a news release. Status: Certified open, 629 N. Wells Street.
WICKER PARK— A family-owned Filipino restaurant, Cebu, has opened. It has lumpia, fun desserts, and crispy lechon. There’s also a full bar. Status: Certified open, 2211 W. North Avenue.
EDGEWATER— Velox Coffee, a specialty coffee roaster, has opened a shop in Edgewater. It also sells bagels and pastries. Edgeville Buzz spoke with the owners. Status: Certified open, 6206 N. Broadway Street.
GALEWOOD— BaseHit BBQ serves its applewood and hickory-smoked meats, like baby back ribs, rib tips, and chicken, at different spice levels. There’s also a mango-pineapple barbecue sauce. Status: Certified open, 6606 W. North Avenue.
IRVING PARK— The owners of Cuba 312 in Roscoe Village have opened another restaurant. It’s called Mima’s Taste of Cuba. There are sandwiches (even a Puerto Rican jibarito), ropa vieja, and more on the menu. Status: Certified open, 2925 W. Irving Park Road.
THE LOOP— Lito’s Empanadas continues its expansion from its Lincoln Park roots. It’s now open in the basement food court inside the Thompson Center, joining standouts such as City Rock Korean. See, Midway International Airport: Publicly-owned spaces can have solid food choices. Status: Certified open, Thompson Center, 203 N. LaSalle Street.
BOYSTOWN— Elevate Coffee is a new coffee shop in Boystown that also serves breakfast sandwiches. Status: Certified open, 3344 N. Halsted Street.
BRIDGEPORT— Regional Italian fare is the name of the game at Tria, the full-service restaurant above Fabulous Freddie’s. It’s open and will serve brunch this weekend. Status: Certified open, second level, 701 W. 31st Street.
GOLD COAST— Le Colonial will open in a new location this weekend. The French-Vietnamese restaurant has left its old Rush Street location to evoke its 1920s-era aesthetic. The 6,000-square-foot space is divided into four sections. Status: Opening on Saturday, 57 E. Oak Street.
LAKEVIEW— The former Bobtail Ice Cream parlor has been converted to Johnson’s Real Ice Cream. It’s an Ohio company with ties to Bobtail’s owners. Status: Certified open, 2951 N. Broadway Street.
RIVER NORTH— JoJo’s Milk Bar brings boozy desserts to Hubbard Street. It also has games, a colorful space, spiked milkshakes, and ramped-up diner food. Status: Certified open, 23 W. Hubbard Street.
UPTOWN— After nearly 50 years in River North, The Baton has opened its new location in Uptown. The famous drag club is back to bring top-notch drag queens and drinks to the new neighborhood. Block Club Chicago has more details. Status: Certified open, 4713 N. Broadway Street.
OAK BROOK— Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises hasn’t opened a restaurant in few seconds, so Chicago’s largest restaurant company decided to unveil a new Beatrix in the suburbs. That’s its health-conscious restaurant brand with a coffee shop with Streeterville, Fulton Market, and River North locations. Status: Certified open, 272 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook.
LINCOLN PARK— The former Fuh Vietnamese restaurant space is now a Chinese restaurant called Xi’an Dynasty Cuisine. It’s a tidy menu that includes hand-pulled noodles, savory pancakes, and more. Status: Certified open, 2218 N. Lincoln Avenue.
LOGAN SQUARE— Son of a Butcher by WHISK is back open in Logan Square after closing on January 1. Owner Rick Rodriguez said he closed the restaurant to make some repairs. The restaurant is back open but without a liquor license, it will be BYO. Rodriguez teased other news on the space, but he’ll wait to share details. Status: Certified open, 2934 W. Diversey Parkway,
UNIVERSITY VILLAGE— Bureau Bar opened a location in January near University of Illinois at Chicago. There’s live music, DJs and a soul food menu during brunch, dinner, and late night. Status: Certified open, 724 W. Maxwell Street.
BOWMANVILLE— City Coffee, a new coffee shop, has opened near Foster and Damen. It also serves wraps. Status: Certified open, 5139 N. Damen Avenue.
BRIDGEPORT— The owners of Nana have opened a Caribbean restaurant called Mojo d’Ajo. Block Club Chicago spoke with the restaurant’s owners. They’ve got rice bowls, salads, and more. Status: Certified open, 752 W. 33rd Street.
IRVING PARK— A new/old casual Mexican restaurant, O’Manny’s Mexican Restaurant, is now open. Status: Certified open, 3641 W. Irving Park Road.
LAKEVIEW— Australian-style savory pies have arrived near Belmont and Sheffield. Barangaroos Aussie Pies is open bringing a taste of down under near Wrigley Field. Status: Certified open, 3208 N. Sheffield Avenue.
RIVER NORTH— Clutch Bar, the new spot from the owners of Concrete Cowboy, is open this weekend. Management is keeping the news under wraps, preferring to invite the public full scale later this month as staff gets used to serving customers. But they are taking reservations. Status: Opening on Friday night, 316 W. Erie Street.
SKOKIE— Hampton Social, the River North bar, has begun its expansion plans. They’ve opened a location in Skokie. Fans are begging them to open in Naperville. Status: Certified open, Westfield Old Orchard, 4999 Old Orchard Center, Skokie.
PILSEN— Reservations are live for La Luna, a Mexican-American bar and restaurant from first-time restaurant owner Samantha Sanchez. Sanchez learned the business from her father, well-known Chicago restaurant owner Sam Sanchez (John Barleycorn’s, Old Crow Smokehouse, Moe’s Cantina). Sam Sanchez hasn’t returned messages about updates, but they’re posting about happy hour specials. Status: Certified open, 1726 S. Racine Avenue.
SOUTH SHORE— Community-focused coffee shop and cafe South Shore Brew held its grand opening on Saturday in Jesse Jackson Jr.’s former office building. Expect Metropolis Coffee, sandwiches, and more. Status: Certified open, 7131 S. Yates Boulevard.
UPTOWN— A new Vietnamese spot has replace Pho Lily in Uptown. It’s called Lotus Seed and the menu includes banh mi, Thai and Vietnamese appetizers, smoothies, and iced drinks. Status: Certified open, 5100 N. Broadway Street.
WEST GARFIELD PARK— A new location of local chicken wing favorite Uncle Remus has opened with an attached “cocktail cupcake” bakery. Gus Uncle Remus & Guilty Pleasurez Bakery also serves catfish, ribs, fried chicken, sweet potato pie, and more. The grand opening was today at 11 a.m. Status: Certified open, 4731 W. Madison Street.
WEST LOOP— Demera, an Ethiopian favorite in Uptown, has opened a location inside Chicago’s French Market. It serves coffee, salads, and wraps. There’s also a version of the awaze wings served at Demera’s sister bar, Safari Lounge. Status: Certified open, Chicago’s French Market, 131 N. Clinton Street.
ALBANY PARK— Louderusk Cocina serves Latin American food from countries including Argentina and Guatemala. Status: Certified open, 4505 N. Kedzie Avenue.
BRONZEVILLE— Sip & Savor, the mini chain of coffeeshops with locations in Bronzeville, Hyde Park, Beverly, and South Loop, has opened another location at the Rosenwald Court apartment complex. Status: Certified open, 76 E. 47th Street.
LAKEVIEW— The former Mizrahi on Clark is now Istanbul Grill. They’re cooking classic doners and more. Status: Certified open, 3037 N. Clark Street.
WICKER PARK— Iron Age Korean Steak House has opened inside the former Tozi Korean BBQ space. It’s an all-you-can-eat spot with $18 for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m and $25 dinners. That price comes with barley tea. Unlike lunch, dinners have premium steaks and seafood available. It stays open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and midnight on other days. Status: Certified open, 1265 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
MIDWAY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT— Most flying through Midway, including local food critic Michael Nagrant, aren’t very pleased with the food upgrades at Midway. But at least there’s a Big Shoulders Coffee to compete with the poor service at the coffee kiosks. Status: Certified open, Midway Terminal A.
NOBLE SQUARE— Thai-style rolled ice cream in the middle of a polar vortex has debuted near the Ashland/Milwaukee/Division intersection. CoCo Rolled features all the toppings ice cream fans are accustomed to, and more. Status: Certified open, 1108 N. Ashland Avenue.
RIVER NORTH— Galleria Market has expanded its supermarket operation to a full-fledged deli with seating. Besides lunch sandwiches, it also serves breakfast. Certified open, 440 N. State Street.
AUSTIN— Jay’s Backyard BBQ serves jerk-rubbed meats, burgers, and cheesesteaks. Status: Opening on Saturday, 5604 W. Division Street.
LINCOLN PARK— Kizuki Ramen has finally opened inside the NEWCITY development near Halsted and Clybourn. It’s the Japanese import’s second Chicago location. Status: Certified open, NEWCITY, 1500 N. Clybourn Avenue.
OLD TOWN— Thai Aroma is gone and replaced by another Thai spot. It’s called Hom Mali Thai & Sushi. It’s the second location, as ownership also took over the Manee Thai space in West Town. Certified open, 417 W. North Avenue.
THE LOOP— Cousins Subs, the Wisconsin-based sandwich chain, has entered the Chicago market. The company’s first Chicago location opened today and they plan to open 40 in the area by the end of 2025. Status: Certified open, 120 W. Madison Street.
WICKER PARK— Another tenant has moved into the strip mall space at the Northwest corner of Damen and Division where Shata and Pita Grill once called home. The newest restaurant is called Cafe Istanbul. Apparently the owner once worked at Roscoe Village Turkish restaurant Turquoise. Status: Certified open, 2014 W. Division Street.
VERNON HILLS— A chain known for its dog-friendly patios opened its first Chicago-area location. Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar is a California company that serves burgers, soups, and salads. The patio features fire pits for customers and their furry friends, according to The Daily Herald. Status: Certified open, 1111 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Vernon Hills.
CHINATOWN— A new Asian spot specializes in skewered meats in Chinatown. It’s called Friend BBQ. They don’t have much of info listed beyond a Yelp page yet. Status: Certified open, 2358 S. Wentworth Avenue.
LAKEVIEW— There’s a new coffeeshop in Lakeview called Coffee Lab & Roasters. It’s the owners’ second location, a follow-up on their Evanston shop. They serve coffee, sandwiches, and more. Status: Certified open, 2823 N. Lincoln Avenue.
LINCOLN PARK— A new Taco Bell Cantina has debuted near the corner of Clark and Fullerton. They’re not selling booze yet, but signage shows that beer and spiked slushies are on their way. Status: Certified open, 2407 N. Clark Street.
UPTOWN— Harold’s Chicken Shack has opened a new North Side location, according to Uptown Update.The space has been vacant for sometime. Status: Certified open, 1118 W. Wilson Avenue.
UPTOWN— After opening in Chinatown, Bingo Tea Malaysian Cafe has arrived on the North Side. Find Hainanese chicken rice and more. Status: Certified open, 1130 W. Argyle Street.
UNIVERSITY VILLAGE— Coffee and baked goods are available at L’Hours Bakery Cafe. Status: Certified open, 1424 W. Taylor Street.
WRIGLEYVILLE— The Roost Carolina Kitchen opened its fourth location, following fried chicken spots in River West, Lakeview, and South Loop. This one is near Wrigley Field so Cubs fans have a new spot to try out. Status: Certified open, 3474 N. Clark Street.
BERYWN— Burgers, cheesesteaks, and gyros are available at a new fast-food spot in the suburbs called Grill Stop. Status: Certified open, 6623 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn.
HIGHLAND PARK— There’s a new French restaurant in the suburbs. It’s called Chez Benoit. The restaurant is owned by a French immigrant who’s been in America for six years, according to the Tribune. Status: Certified open, 455 Central Avenue, Highland Park.
For a list of the 2018 fall/winter openings, click here.