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Beard Award-Winning Boka Group Announces Upcoming Japanese-Italian Restaurant

Plus, a River North beer bar now offers growlers to go, and more intel

A portrait shot of an Asian-American chef in a white coat sitting on a flight of stairs.
Momotaro chef Gene Kato will debut pop-up Momotaro Italia next month.
Jenny Grimm

Beard Award-winning restaurant group Boka announces new Italian-Japanese restaurant

Lauded chef Gene Kato and Beard Award-winner Boka Restaurant Group announced a new venture, a Japanese-Italian restaurant called Momotaro Italia, a representative wrote in a news release without specifying a location. Kato will highlight itameshi cuisine — a portmanteau of “Italian” and meshi, Japanese slang for meal. A pop-up preview of the restaurant will open January 4 at Wrigleyville’s Dutch & Doc’s, offering spaghetti with uni, mentaiko, and shiso; “tonkatsu-style” veal with Asian pear; and a hamachi crudo with mustard greens, bottarga, trout roe, and yuzu. Reservations for the pop-up are now available on OpenTable. The Tribune has more on this announcement.

We’re excited to announce Momotaro Italia, a test concept by Chef Gene Kato of Momotaro! Following on the heels of the...

Posted by Momotaro on Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Beer bars dive into growler market, now legal in Illinois

River North craft beer destination Centennial Crafted Beer & Eatery is among the first bars in Chicago to offer growlers to go, giving patrons a chance to stock up on a few rare and tap-only brews to imbibe at home (or elsewhere). It’s the result of HB3610, a law signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker in August, that allows bars to fill and sell growlers, howlers (half growlers), and crowlers, 32-ounce cans sealed in-bar by a special machine. Before the law passed, purveyors were only allowed to fill growlers in the location where the beer was made, ultimately limiting the field to taprooms and breweries.

Bridgeport’s Ramova Theatre development adds brewery to restaurant plans

The Chicago developer that previously announced plans to include a restaurant from chef and South Side native Kevin Hickey (the Duck Inn) added an as-yet-undisclosed brewery from a national company to the proposed $23 million redevelopment of Bridgeport’s historic Ramova Theatre, according to Block Club. Development company Our Revival Chicago hopes to open the restaurant and brewery in an adjoining building beside the theater at 3518 S. Halsted Street, and will buy the adjacent property from private ownership — they plan to break ground after the new year. The Community Development Commission has approved the sale of the theater, but the City Council has yet to sign off on funding.

Local developer purchases Bucktown’s infamous Dolphin club property

And finally, a local developer has purchased the Bucktown building that once housed club and restaurant Green Dolphin Street, the site of fatal shootings in 2015 that was later reopened under the name Rio Chicago. Ownership filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this fall, Crain’s reported, and a Glascott Realty affiliate has signed on to pay $4.7 million for the property at 2200 N. Ashland Avenue near developer Sterling Bay’s massive Lincoln Yards project. Glascott executives have declined to announce plans for the parcel at this time.

The Duck Inn

2701 South Eleanor Street, , IL 60608 (312) 724-8811 Visit Website


2220 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 (773) 395-0066 Visit Website

Centennial Crafted Beer & Eatery

733 N La Salle Dr, Chicago, IL (312) 284-5353 Visit Website

Dutch & Doc's

3600 North Clark Street, , IL 60613 (773) 360-0207 Visit Website


820 West Lake Street, , IL 60607 (312) 733-4818 Visit Website