Chicago doubles food and drink tax at restaurants
The cost of eating and drinking at Chicago’s restaurants will increase in the new year after aldermen approved Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s 2020 budget which doubled the tax on food and drink by raising it a quarter-percentage point. The tax will go into effect on January 1. The city estimated the tax will bring in $20 million a year, aimed to combat an estimated $838 million shortfall in the 2020 budget. City officials described the tax as adding an extra 25 cents to a $100 restaurant tab.
Band of Bohemia mourns original chef with Monday fundraiser
Michelin-starred brewpub Band of Bohemia is holding a fundraiser dinner on Monday for the family of the restaurant’s opening chef. Matt DuBois died on Thanksgiving Day, as his wife, Amelia DuBois, said she found him unresponsive inside their home. Matt DuBois, who opened Band of Bohemia in 2015, is a well-respected chef around the Chicago area and in Portland, Oregon where he worked at Carlyle restaurant. DuBois is survived by his wife and three children ages 4, 7, and 11. Many of Band of Bohemia’s opening team, including sous chef Kevin McMullen and bartender Carlos Matias, will be on hand from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to serve items from DuBois’s original menu. Admission is $50 per person for a buffet, not inclusive of drinks, and a la carte items will also be available at an additional cost. Reservations are available, but walk-ins are encouraged. All proceeds go to the DuBois family. A family friend also started an online fundraiser, and donations are welcome.
Chicago French Market to celebrate a decade in West Loop
The Chicago French Market will celebrate its 10th anniversary with specials from the market’s vendors, prize drawings, plus a chance to win a trip for two to Paris, according to a news release. Participating vendors include bubble tea spot B.I. Tea, Indian stall Klay Oven Kitchen, and health food company Chicago Raw, which will offer deals and chances to win free items on Monday, December 16 through Friday, December 20 at 131 N. Clinton Street. A full list of discounts and prizes is available on the market’s website.
Ravenswood brewery to take over Andersonville brewpub space
Andersonville Brewing Co. will close at the end of year after a decade on Clark Street with a new brewery taking over the space. Ravenswood beer maker Urban Renewal will replace it, Block Club reported. Andersonville Brewing’s Ashley Wright, who also co-owns burger and drag spot Hamburger Mary’s next door, cited increased competition in the area and ever-increasing rent costs as the reasons for the shutter. This summer, an online listing revealed that the building that houses both Mary’s and Andersonville Brewing is for sale. Urban Renewal’s owners, who have seen criticism for the name’s relationship to displacement and gentrification, plan to open their first taproom in March at 5402 N. Clark Street.
Eat a saganaki grilled cheese for lunch at Avli River North
And finally, downtown diners now have more opportunities to try River North’s new modern Greek restaurant as staff have begun offering lunch service, according to a news release. Avli River North’s midday food options include a saganaki grilled cheese sandwich (kefalograviera cheese, tomato, lettuce, focaccia) and an ouzo-cured salmon sandwich (black tarama, candied olives, pickled zucchini, focaccia, Greek slaw), as well as shared plates, salads, and more. The lunch menu is available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday through Friday at the restaurant, 702 N. Wells Street, which debuted last month.