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New Ravenswood Bakery to Offer Cupcake-and-Wine Flights

And seven more upcoming Chicago-area restaurants to know

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A glass of beer beside a small cupcake.
Cupcake bar Match Baker is coming to Ravenswood.
Match Baker [Official Photo]

December 17

BOYSTOWN — Community-focused coffeehouse and roastery Two Hearted Queen is planning a second shop at Halsted Street and Cornelia Avenue, according to the Tribune. The menu is still in development stages. The space formerly housed a Peet’s Coffee.

LOGAN SQUARE — The first U.S. location for European chocolate company Chiqueolatte is coming to Chicago, according to Block Club. The company, which currently operates three cafes in Luxembourg and the Netherlands, plans to renovate the former Half Italian deli space at 2643 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Patrons can expect handmade chocolates, coffee, tea, and over-the-top chocolate shakes.

MAYFAIR — The owner of beer, wine, and liquor store Leo’s Liquors Mayfair plans to open a taproom right next door at 4475 W. Lawrence Avenue, according to Block Club. The as-yet-unnamed bar will focus on local craft beer and other spirits.

RAVENSWOOD — Cupcake bar Match Baker is slated to open next spring in the former home of acclaimed wine bar Ampersand, which closed in late 2017, Block Club reported. Ownership plans to offer mini-cupcake flights with wine and beer pairings at 4845 N. Damen Avenue, and will exclusively use natural dyes and ingredients in the sweet wares.

SOUTH LOOP — Fast-casual Japanese food chain Teriyaki Madness plans to launch its first Chicago restaurant in January at 829 S. Wabash Avenue, according to a Facebook post. The company has already opened a suburban location in Lombard, and is planning another few spots around Chicagoland.

THE LOOP — Owners of downtown attraction Russian Tea Time plan to reopen the restaurant in early February after approximately seven months of remodeling, they wrote on its website. The white-tablecloth spot at 77 E. Adams Street, originally slated to reopen this month, is especially loved for its afternoon tea and sweet and savory Eastern European foods.

WRIGLEYVILLE — Movie theater restaurant company CMX CineBistro is planning its first Chicago location across the street from Wrigley Field, according to a Craigslist job posting. It already operates a venue in suburban Skokie’s Old Orchard mall.

NAPERVILLE — Korean-Mexican mashup chain Seoul Taco is “coming soon” to the suburbs with bulgogi steak tacos and more, according to the Tribune and the company’s website. The space at 206 S. Washington Street in Naperville formerly housed a clothing boutique.

December 10

IRVING PARK — Owners of local wine company Meta Wine have signed a lease on a warehouse where they plan to launch a winery, tasting room, and event space, according to Block Club. Founder and CEO Walter Clements told reporters that his team is also developing a food menu and hopes to open the wholesale and retail wine portions of the business in spring and summer respectively at 4300 W. Montrose Avenue.

JEFFREY MANOR — Ownership of all-day Southern food spot BJ’s Market & Bakery announced in a Facebook post last week that they will relocate the shop at 88th Street and Stony Island Avenue to a new space at 1737 E. 95th Street beside Jewel-Osco. The later post notes that the new location will “open soon,” but a specific date is not yet available.

LINCOLN PARK — A resurrected version of iconic French restaurant Ambria is now slated to open in mid-2020, according to Alinea Group partner Nick Kokonas. The collaboration with Lettuce Entertain You will occupy part of the historic Belden-Stratford building at 2300 N. Lincoln Park West, and will push out upscale Japanese spot Naoki Sushi.

NORTH CENTER — Husband-and-wife team Bryan and Delaney Ballard plan to open this month what they call Chicago’s first combination coffeeshop and plant store, Botanical Cafe, Block Club reported. They also plan to offer light food dishes such as paninis and salads, and hope to host monthly build-your-own terrarium workshops at 3740 N. Lincoln Avenue.

RIVER NORTH — RPM on the Water and RPM Seafood, the new restaurant and event space coming to the massive riverfront project that already houses Pizzeria Portofino, appear to be making progress. Management of the collaboration between celebrity couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Chicago’s largest restaurant group, applied for liquor licenses this month for the venue at 317 N. Clark Street, posted RPM Seafood job openings on Craigslist, and its website says it’s slated to open in winter 2020.

SOUTH LOOP — Suburban pizza mini-chain Paisan’s Pizzeria and Bar is headed for Printer’s Row, according to Sloopin and a building permit posted to the forthcoming restaurant’s door. Diners can anticipate hefty red-sauce Italian fare such as deep-dish pizza and meatball sandwiches. The space at 700 N. Clark Street will be the 34-year-old business’s first city location, just around the corner from an as-yet-unopened Roots Pizza.

THE LOOP — Tortazo, celebrity chef Rick Bayless’s new chain that’s a collaboration with wildly popular Filipino fast food brand Jollibee, is now slated to open in January inside forthcoming Willis Tower food hall Catalog. Representatives are slowly posting menu items on social media. The new spot will feature tortas, soups, cocktails, and more, and management originally planned to open in November.

IT'S OFFICIAL: Thursday is now #TortaThursday. We're counting down to our January opening with a delicious dose of Torta goodness every week. Check out our stories for more sneak peeks at our menu, & tag a TORTA er below.

Posted by Tortazo on Thursday, December 5, 2019

UPTOWN — Co-owners Brittany and Marcus Ward are working to open new street food restaurant Urban Grill by the end of 2019, Uptown Update reported. They plan to offer familiar fare such as hamburgers, Italian beef, fried chicken, and shrimp. The Wards are also hiring staff for the restaurant at 1132 W. Wilson Avenue, which was previously home to a Harold’s Chicken Shack.

WEST TOWN — Los Angeles and Southern-style Jew-ish deli Jeff & Jude’s is nearly ready to debut in Ukrainian Village, but first owners are holding a preview at West Town restaurant All Together Now next Tuesday, December 17, according to a representative. Diners can try matzo ball soup, latkes, Reuben sandwiches, and sweet potato and pimento cheese knishes from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 2119 W. Chicago Avenue.

WICKER PARK — The Capital One Cafe originally slated to open in the former Wicker Park Tavern space appears to be nixed. “For lease” signs are back in the windows at 1958 W. North Avenue at the corner of Damen Avenue.

NAPERVILLE — Casual dog-friendly chain Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar is planning a location in suburban Naperville, according to the Daily Herald. With locations in seven states, including one restaurant in suburban Vernon Hills, the chain offers a sweeping menu of burgers, salads, pizzas, and more. It’s slated to debut at 436 S. State Route 59 in February.

November 26

ALBANY PARK — Popular Filipino chain Max’s Restaurant plans to debut its first Illinois location “soon,” according to the company’s website and in Facebook posts, but a representative could not provide an opening date or timeframe. A full-service restaurant, Max’s is known for its fried chicken, lumpia, and pork adobo. It is slated to open inside popular Filipino market Seafood City at 5033 N. Elston Avenue. The brand, founded in 1945, currently operates nearly 20 restaurants across the U.S. and Canada as well as restaurants in the Philippines and the Middle East.

AVALON PARK — Essential sandwich staple Taurus Flavors is making moves after the city shut it down in September due to extensive damage from a car crash in May. Management posted a photograph of the boarded-up restaurant on Facebook, noting that ownership plans to completely remodel the building and a reopening date is not yet available. Those who wish to track the restaurant’s progress can find periodic updates on social media.

We're doing a complete remodel. As of now, we don't have a time frame, but we're working on it. We'll update you with more information soon!

Posted by Taurus Flavors on Wednesday, November 20, 2019

BUCKTOWN — Lauded chef Jason Vincent (Giant) and his team have pushed back the launch of Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar, one of the most hotly anticipated openings of the season. The American Chinese restaurant’s debut is now slated for mid-January, representatives told Eater, at 2165 N. Western Avenue.

FULTON MARKET — City officials approved a 16-story apartment and mixed-use development last week at 1234 W. Randolph Street which will include the 259-room Standard Hotel, a rooftop pool with a bar, and a ground floor restaurant. Curbed Chicago has more on this story.

LOGAN SQUARE — Sal Ashbach, owner of popular Andersonville burger spot Little Bad Wolf, plans to open a new restaurant in the former Ugo’s Kitchen & Bar space at 2833 W. Armitage Avenue, Block Club reported. Ownership said that future customers at the forthcoming spot, 2833 W. Armitage Avenue, can expect a few familiar dishes from Little Bad Wolf but it won’t be a replica of the original.

NEAR NORTH SIDE — All-day dining spot the Farehouse Market applied for a liquor license at its future home inside Chicago’s historic Montgomery Ward catalogue building this month at 600 West Chicago. It’s designed to cater to hungry office workers and residents with offerings including Pan Asian dishes, pizzas, a single-origin Colombian coffee, and a full bar with wine, beer, and cocktails. Representatives are anticipating a winter launch.

RIVER NORTH — Kostali, the forthcoming restaurant in the Gwen hotel from acclaimed chef Carrie Nahabedian, is slated to open in early or mid-December at 521 N. Rush Street, according to a representative. In July, Nahabedian said that the menu will draw on Italian and North African influences on French and Spanish food.

SOUTH LOOP — Ownership of Chinese restaurant and bubble tea spot My Place have applied for a liquor license at a new location, 1307 S. Wabash Avenue. It’s the second location for the Chinatown-based restaurant, which offers a menu of Chinese and Pan-Asian dishes.

WICKER PARK — Canadian ramen chain Kinton Ramen will open its second Chicago (and U.S.) location in Wicker Park on December 7, representatives wrote in a news release. The new spot at 1426 N. Milwaukee is part of the company’s push to integrate itself in the U.S. market, with planned locations in suburban Chicago and upstate New York. Kinton launched its first U.S. restaurant in the West Loop in May.

EVANSTON — Marcos Rivera, owner of acclaimed Skokie modern Latin restaurant Libertad, has two forthcoming suburban restaurants in the works, according to the Tribune: casual spot Estacion with business partner Arturo Orozco, Jr. at 633 Howard Street in Evanston, and full-service Mexican restaurant Zentli with business partner Piloto Nieves at 1813 Dempster Street in the former Curt’s Cafe space.

EVANSTON — Suburban bakery Hewn’s breads, pastries, and sandwiches are so popular that co-owners Julie Matthei and Ellen King have decided to relocate the business to a larger space, the Tribune reported. They plan to leave Dempster Street for 1731 Central Street in Evanston and hope to open the doors in the spring with a larger oven and seating for customers.

OAK PARK — A new Victory Italian restaurant is slated to open in suburban Oak Park this spring from Chicago-based Victory Restaurant Group, according to a news release. Best known for hearty Chicago-Italian fare, the restaurant at 100 N. Marion Street will be the group’s fourth. Co-founder and chef Joe Farina also operates Victory Italian in River North, the South Loop’s Victory Tap, and Victory Meat & Seafood in suburban Elmhurst.

November 12

BUCKTOWN — Staff of Drive Shack Inc., a giant high-tech driving range, restaurant, and bar planned for the former Vienna Beef Factory Store, encountered concerned locals late last month at a community meeting held by Alderman Scott Waguespack (Ward 32), Block Club reported. Residents raised questions about jobs, light and noise pollution, riverbank preservation, and bird safety at the North Branch Bend. Company members said they hope to open Labor Day Weekend 2021 at 2501 N. Damen Avenue.

ENGLEWOOD — Founders of planned South Side brewery Englewood Brews have begun crowdsourcing funds for their community space, taproom, and beer garden at 821 W. 63rd Street, according to a Facebook post. Co-founders Lesley Roth and brewer Steve Marchese hope to eventually partner with Kennedy King College’s Washburne Culinary Institute across the street.

HYDE PARK — Noodle slinger Strings Ramen plans to open a new location at 1453 E. 53rd Street before the end of the year, the Chicago Maroon reported. Staff will make noodles on-site for steaming bowls of shoyu, shio, miso, and tonkatsu ramen, just as they do at the Lakeview, Chinatown, and Madison, Wisconsin locations. It’s known for the “Monster Hell Ramen Challenge,” a chance for speedy diners to devour a bowl of super-spicy ramen in 20 minutes in exchange for a $50 gift card and a free T-shirt.

LITTLE VILLAGE — Owner Mike Moreno Jr. has pushed back the grand opening of Latin speakeasy-style cocktail bar Osito’s Tap at 2553 S. Ridgeway Avenue to November 28, he wrote in a social media post. It’s right beside his family’s store, Moreno’s Liquors, and will feature a wide selection of agave spirits.

LOGAN SQUARE — The apartment development on the former Logan Square Megamall site will house quick-serve spots Big Wig Tacos, K-Fire Korean BBQ, and Jersey Mike’s Subs, according to Block Club. Called the Logan Apartments, the building at 2480-2522 N. Milwaukee Avenue will contain 220 apartments and 62,000 square feet of retail space, and all the restaurant tenants will all be located on the ground floor. Developers plan to open in the spring.

ROGERS PARK — Ownership of forthcoming spot Athena Board Game Cafe have hit a zoning snag and are now seeking a new Rogers Park location, they wrote in a social media post. The cafe was originally slated to open on North Glenwood Avenue.

THE LOOP — Construction is winding down at the Willis Tower’s Catalog, a massive dining and retail project that will include ground-floor restaurants, and New York-based food hall Urbanspace. Photos of the unfinished spaces are available on Facebook. Upcoming spots include new Rick Bayless and Jollibee collaboration Tortazo, Danish coffee and juice chain Joe and the Juice, and salad giant Sweetgreen.

MELROSE PARK — Chicago developer Mitch Goltz plans to bring a number of as-yet-unnamed restaurant chains to his ongoing development at the defunct Maywood Park horse track at 8600 W. North Avenue in suburban Melrose Park, Crain’s reported. He’s secured eight of the 10 development sites and hopes that his “outlot projects” will be a hit.

October 29

ARCHER HEIGHTS — Brighton Park Mexican seafood restaurant Mariscos El Puerto’s owners announced a new location at 5004 S. Archer Avenue in a Facebook post last week. An opening date is not yet nailed down, but representatives wrote that diners can expect the same menu, which includes pulpo a la plancha, and mojarra Nayarita (tilapia, onion, house Nayarit sauce).

AROUND TOWN — The owners of Lincoln Square’s Himalayan Sherpa Kitchen announced a new planned location on Facebook this month, but have not yet disclosed its address. Co-owners Raj Thapa, Bhim Rai, Gopal GC, and Bidur Kafle first opened their Himalayan and Indian restaurant in July.

BRONZEVILLE — Suburban Oak Park-based fried seafood mini-chain Surf’s Up has a city location in the works at 4317 S. Cottage Grove Avenue, owners wrote in a Facebook post. Diners can anticipate crab legs, fried lobster, chicken wings, and more, as well as shrimp for sale by the pound. The Cajun Connoisseur previously occupied the space before shuttering in May.

EDGEWATER — The owner of the Edgewater Beach Cafe hopes to open a new cafe and wine bar inside a storefront at famous pink Edgewater Beach Apartments building at 5555 N. Sheridan Road, according to Block Club. Since would-be operator Quan Dao wants to serve alcohol, he needed the city council, community, and alderman to lift a liquor moratorium on Sheridan Road between Hollywood and Catalpa avenues. He now has their blessing and plans to submit a tavern license application in the next few weeks, he said in a phone call.

HYDE PARK — Caribbean restaurant 14 Parish is relocating from its former South Loop home to 1644 E. 53rd Street, representatives wrote in an official announcement. Described as a “restaurant and rhum bar,” the new spot will offer the same menu of Caribbean favorites in addition to a new full bar and cocktail menu. Its owners have not yet announced an opening date.

PORTAGE PARK — A new tea shop called Portage Park TEA is slated to open next month at 5755 W. Irving Park Road in the former Tea’se space, according to an official social media post. In the comments, representatives promised a similar tea selection plus a few new additions.

UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — Burger and boozy milkshake spot Shake-It broke ground last week at 820 N. Damen Avenue, Block Club reported, after years of contentious community meetings with neighbors concerned about noise, parking, and logistics. Parent group Forward Hospitality first announced plans for the restaurant and expansive patio in 2017.

SCHAUMBURG — Fast casual Middle Eastern-style spot Falafill announced plans for a new suburban location at 1428 N. Meacham Road in Schaumburg in a Facebook post today. Its Lakeview location closed in 2016 after six years in the neighborhood.

October 15

ARCHER HEIGHTS — Plans for a new venue called 47th St. Cantina seem underway at 4311 W. 47th Street — owners applied for a tavern license for the building’s first floor. The space previously housed neighborhood pub Shotays Bar N Grill.

ROGERS PARK — Owners of a new spot called Athena Board Game Cafe applied for a liquor license this month at 7011 N. Glenwood Avenue. On social media, ownership wrote that they hope to create an “inviting, inclusive environment” with a wide selection of board games. A “before” photograph of the empty space is available online.

SOUTH LOOP — A new venue called the Sage Room is coming to the former Velvet Lounge space at 67 E. Cermak Road, according to a Facebook page and subsequent Sloopin post. Stylishly arranged photographs of cocktails and cheese-and-charcuterie boards are available on social media, but owners have not yet responded to a request for more details.

WEST LOOP — Sister-brother team Licia Accardo and Tony Spatara plan to open another Cafe L’Appetito location in late January or early February 2020 at 1258 W. Jackson Boulevard, which housed the recently-closed Ella’s Corner (and before that, the playful Indian spot Tikkawala). The Italian-style cafe will offer a limited menu of coffee, made-to-order sandwiches, paninis, and hot dishes in a grab-and-go setting. The family-owned company currently runs shops in Gold Coast, East Lakeview, Midway International Airport, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

WICKER PARK — Popular Canadian ramen chain Kinton Ramen is planning its second U.S. (and Chicago) location at 1426 N. Milwaukee Street for a November opening, according to a representative. Fans can anticipate steaming bowls of Kinton’s “original” ramen, as well as shoyu, miso, spicy garlic, and spicy jalapeno varieties. Kinton opened its first U.S. location in the West Loop in the spring.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — Suburban modern Italian restaurant Passero has outgrown its digs on West Campbell Street and will relocate to a larger space at 3 S. Evergreen Avenue in Arlington Heights in mid-December, representatives wrote in a news release. Diners can expect house-made pastas, hand-rolled pizzas, and pizzelles, traditional Italian waffle cookies.

EVANSTON — Local developer AJ Capital Partners purchased Evanston’s historic Homestead apartment building at 1625 Hinman Avenue and plan to turn it into a boutique hotel called the Graduate Evanston, Crain’s reported. A 4,000 square-food ground floor restaurant space that was once home to Trio, lauded chef Grant Achatz’s restaurant and, until recently, new American spot Hearth, will become a new restaurant and cafe.

HIGHLAND PARK/SCHAUMBURG — Esteemed Chinese restaurant chain Lao Sze Chuan has two new suburban locations in the works at 1935 Sheridan Road in Highland Park and 1220 W. Valley Lake in Schaumburg, according to its website. Ownership currently runs seven Chicago-area locations, as well as restaurants in Champaign, Minnesota, and Connecticut. The Highland Park building was previously occupied by a Tanoshii Sushi, which still runs a Japanese spot in Andersonville.

OAK LAWN — Juice and smoothie spot Juice WorX/Eco Oxygen Bar and Cafe plans to open a location in suburban Oak Lawn, management wrote on the brand’s website. An official address is not yet available. The company currently operates locations in Uptown and suburban Oak Park, and has a handful of locations planned in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Ontario, Canada.

October 1

ALBANY PARK — Owner Rick Weber delayed the opening intimate cocktail den Bokeh but announced a new date on social media: diners and drinkers can try it out starting October 7 at 4716 N. Kedzie Avenue. The moody, 25-seat bar will offer seasonal small plates and cocktails along with rare vinyl tunes and pieces from local LGBTQ artists.

GOLD COAST — Stockton, the new restaurant taking over the Jellyfish space at 1009 N. Rush Street, is slated to open Thursday. Ownership will hold a grand opening October 10, according to a news release. Offering “eclectic” fare from Gerardo Martinez (Maple & Ash), the restaurant will pay homage to Jellyfish with a handful of sushi rolls. Multi-pronged entertainment venue the Lounge at Stockton will launch with live music and bottle service in November.

HUMBOLDT PARK — Jonny Ifergan and Ryan Sanders of forthcoming brewery Orkenoy say they plan to start construction in the next few weeks inside the Kimball Arts Center at 1757 N. Kimball Avenue. The pair have been hard at work on their first beer, “Mr. Sparkles Emerson,” with the help of Logan Square brewing hub Pilot Project.

LINCOLN SQUARE — Vietnamese restaurant LC Pho And Grill is in the process of more than doubling its size by building into the adjacent storefront at 2739 W. Lawrence Avenue, Block Club reported, but owners have not yet announced a reopening date. Owners temporarily closed the restaurant in May for the expansion, and now an “opening soon” sign hangs in the window.

PORTAGE PARK — Owners of cozy neighborhood cafe Fannie’s announced on Facebook that they will reopen at a new location, 4042 N. Milwaukee Avenue, and will soon publicize an opening date. Originally situated on Montrose Avenue in Portage Park, the cafe temporarily closed in late August. Fannie’s also operates a cafe, bakery, and coffee shop inside the Eisenhower Public Library in Harwood Heights.

RIVER NORTH — Longtime Hubbard Street bar/restaurant/nightclub Hubbard Inn is slated to reopen October 25, about five months after the venue closed for a revamp. 8 Hospitality (Broken English Taco Pub, Joy District) has redecorated the three-floor space at 110 W. Hubbard Street and reportedly sank seven figures into the remodel.

RIVER NORTH — New York-based chain Just Salad is headed for the second floor of the Merchandise Mart at 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, according to a prep chef job posting on Craigslist. It will be the sixth Just Salad location in downtown Chicago, and will offer the chain’s popular bowls, wraps, smoothies, and — no surprise — salads. The location is designed to expedite service and diners can order ahead through the Just Salad app, a representative wrote in an email.

THE LOOP — Owners of downtown destination Russian Tea Time plan to reopen the 25-year-old spot in December, according to the restaurant’s comment on a Facebook post, with permitting issues causing delays. It temporarily shuttered at 77 E. Adams Street in July to make way for renovations.

LOMBARD — Seafood institution Lawrence’s Fish & Shrimp plans to take over Johnson’s Door County Fish & Shrimp at 908 E. Roosevelt Road in suburban Lombard this month, according to a news release. Lawrence’s purchased the Johnson’s brand over a year ago, leadership wrote online, and the revamped location will no longer offer broiled seafood. Fan favorites such as fried shrimp and catfish will be available.

VERNON HILLS — Another City Works brewpub is slated to open October 14 at 929 N. Milwaukee Avenue in the Mellody Farm shopping center in suburban Vernon Hills, representatives wrote in a news release. The new space will seat 200 and drinkers can anticipate 90 beer selections, as well as bar fare such as duck nachos and short rib tacos. This will be the third City Works location in Chicagoland.

WINNETKA — Italian restaurant Tocco, a new incarnation of the Wicker Park stalwart that shuttered last year, is coming in mid-October to suburban Winnetka at 507 Chestnut Street, Chicago Now reported. Owner Bruno Abate said he he planned to open a suburban replacement, which is now apparently coming to fruition.

For the Summer 2019 list of upcoming restaurants, click here.

Taurus Flavors

8534 South Stony Island Avenue, , IL 60617 (773) 374-1872 Visit Website


1266 W Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60642 (773) 687-8895 Visit Website

Strings Ramen Shop

2141 South Archer Avenue, , IL 60616 (312) 374-3450 Visit Website

Lawrence's Fish and Shrimp

2120 South Canal Street, , IL 60616 (312) 225-2113 Visit Website

14 Parish

1644 East 53rd Street, , IL 60615 (312) 291-8379 Visit Website


163 North Sangamon Street, , IL 60607 (312) 374-3942 Visit Website

Hubbard Inn

110 West Hubbard Street, , IL 60654 (312) 273-6207 Visit Website

Just Salad

20 East Jackson Boulevard, , IL 60604 (866) 673-3757 Visit Website


2300 N Lincoln Park West, Chicago, IL 60614

Seoul Taco

738 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 265-1607 Visit Website

Russian Tea Time

77 E Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603 (312) 360-0000 Visit Website