ALBANY PARK — All-day diner Albany Place Kitchen & Bar launched early this month with a grand opening celebration. The breakfast menu highlights five breakfast wraps and sandwiches, and the lunch and dinner menus are loaded with comforting favorites including house-made jalapeno poppers and a smash burger (American cheese, relish, mayo, fried onions, potato bun). A cocktail list and freewheeling selection of beers are also available. Status: Certified Open, 4551 N. Pulaski Road.
LAKEVIEW — Nepali street food spot Mo:Mo Factory opens today, owners wrote on Facebook. A popular dish across South Asia, momo are tight dumplings filled with meat, vegetables, or cheese. A menu isn’t yet available online, but photographs of tempting combo meals and more are available on social media. The location’s past occupants include Middle Eastern restaurant Zachi Express and Mediterranean spot Falafill. Status: Opens Today, 3202 N. Broadway Street.
LOGAN SQUARE — Namaste Chicago, a new restaurant focused on the highland cuisine of India, the Himalayas, and Nepal opened this month according to a Facebook post. The restaurant “aims to fulfill the expectations of Indian curry lovers,” owners wrote on the website, with a comprehensive menu that features two kinds of “typical Nepali khana,” or Nepali meals, as well as goat, lamb, and tandoori dishes. Status: Certified Open, 2515 N. California Avenue.
LOGAN SQUARE — Coffee shop and cafe Necessary & Sufficient Coffee opens today, according to an official Facebook post. Owner Kate Vrijmoet partnered with Washington-based Olympia Coffee Roasting and Rishi Tea to offer a diverse selection of coffee and tea drinks. Specialty drinks include the “close female friendships” (beetroot latte, rose and vanilla simple syrup). Diners can expect small bites such as empanadas, doughnuts, and muffins. Status: Opens Today, 3624 W. Wrightwood Avenue.
NORTH PARK — Street food spot Rio Tacos opened late last month across the street from North Park University, ownership wrote on Facebook. An online menu isn’t yet available but a photograph of the in-store list is available on Yelp. Offerings include tacos, tortas, and burritos filled with meats such as carnitas, al pastor, and barbacoa. Elote may also be available, a social media photo indicates. Status: Certified Open, 3246 W. Foster Avenue.
PILSEN — New Mexican restaurant Señoritas Cantina from local restaurateur Giulio Spizzirri (La Cantina Grill, Brandi Pizza & Wings) is open, Block Club reported. Chef Bernardino Ocotl hopes to transport diners into an abuela’s kitchen with albondigas al adobo, duck carnitas, and jumbo shrimp tacos. Brunch will also be available, and diners can anticipate chilaquiles and pozole-and-egg topped enchiladas. Status: Certified Open, 1104 W. 18th Street.
PILSEN — No-frills Chinese restaurant YY Hot Pot is open and serving, a call to the restaurant confirmed. It features an all-you-can-eat menu and customers are spoiled for choice of soup bases, meats, seafood, noodles, vegetables, and more. It also includes a sauce bar where diners can mix their own combinations. Status: Certified Open, 1343 W. 18th Street.
THE LOOP — Cozy Italian restaurant and sports bar Giglio’s State Street Tavern opened two months ago, according to a Facebook post. It has 20 TVs and owner Bobby Hitz hopes it’ll be the go-to place for football game day viewing. Hitz is Chicago’s longest-running boxing promoter, according to a representative. He’s offering dishes out of his grandparents’ recipe book and nightly drink specials. Status: Certified Open, 825 S. State Street.
THE LOOP — Opus, a new full-service restaurant from Jewell Events Catering, is open in the space formerly occupied by Italian theater district spot Tesori, a representative confirmed. Located inside the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony Center, Opus offers $45 prix-fixe dinners for concertgoers, as well as a la carte dishes, wine, beer, and cocktails. The space also houses casual bistro Opus Cafe. Status: Certified Open, 65 E. Adams Street.
TRI-TAYLOR — Caribbean spot Jerky Jerk is open in the Medical District and owners held a grand opening celebration last Saturday, according to a Facebook post. It’ll come as no surprise that the menu features jerk chicken in a variety of forms, from a whole bird to jerk wings to jerk stir-fry. Herbivores, dubbed “jerketarians,” have options as well. Drinks selections include sweet tea, espresso, and CBD tea bags. Status: Certified Open, 2253 W. Taylor Avenue.
EVANSTON — Popular suburban breakfast and brunch restaurant the Original Clarke’s Diner is open at its new Evanston address, an employee confirmed in a phone call to the restaurant. Founded in 1985, the family of current owner Yolanda Ewing-Tsatas purchased the business in 1994. The menu will remain unchanged, or as representatives wrote on Facebook, “Same food. New Location.” Status: Certified Open, 804 Davis Street in Evanston.
GAGE PARK — Family-owned coffee shop Hogar Cafe opened this week, owners wrote in a Facebook post. Drink offerings include dulce du leche lattes and masala chai shakes. The menu features breakfast sandwiches and light bites like the “Hogar toast” (sourdough; avocado; cucumber; bacon; pesto, tomato, and mozzarella salad; balsamic glaze). Status: Certified Open, 2753 W. 55th Street.
LINCOLN SQUARE — No-frills Vietnamese restaurant Chicago Pho is open, a call to the restaurant confirmed, but has almost no online presence. Happy reviewers especially appreciate the pho, spring rolls, mi ga xe, and goi ga. Status: Certified Open, 2703 W. Lawrence Avenue.
ROGERS PARK — Whiskey Hill Brewing Company & Pizza Bar from longtime local pizza purveyor Salerno’s Pizza is open, according to social media posts that include the restaurant’s menu. Customers can try bar fare like wings, burgers, calzones, and — of course — pizza. Ownership first applied for a liquor license in April and have not responded to requests for more information. Status: Certified Open, 1631 Howard Street.
THE LOOP — Toronto-based Japanese soufflé pancake shop Hanabusa Cafe will open its first U.S. franchise tomorrow, according to the restaurant’s website. Customers who like or follow the cafe on social media will get 25 percent taken off the total bill. Diners can expect piles of fluffy pancakes in flavors like matcha and earl grey, along with bubble, milk, and fruit teas, and espresso drinks. Status: Opens Tomorrow, 29 E. Madison Street.
THE LOOP — Virtual golf lounge Topgolf Swing Suite opened its second Chicago location featuring food and drink menus from Hogsalt Hospitality, which also operates neighboring Aster Hall. Food selections include familiar, casual dishes like chicken wings, meatball subs, and Small Cheval burgers. A full bar with wine, beer, and cocktails is also available. Status: Certified Open, 900 N, Michigan Avenue, 6th Floor.
WEST TOWN — Bakery, gallery, and community gathering place TipsySpace is open in the former Sip Coffeehouse. Aussie-born owner Naomi Levine and her sweet wares have accrued a cadre of celebrity customers, including Kanye West, professional racer Danica Patrick, and Governor J.B. Pritzker. She previously owned Humboldt Park and Bucktown bakeries TipsyCake, and now offers cake, pie, coffee, and more in West Town. Block Club has more on this story. Status: Certified Open, 1223 W. Grand Avenue.
WRIGLEYVILLE — Counter-service Mexican spot La Mexicana Grill is open and serving just minutes from Wrigley Field, a call to the restaurant confirmed. Menu items include ten different kinds of burritos, a la carte tacos and dinners, fajitas, enchiladas, and more. Status: Certified Open, 3731 N. Clark Street.
EVANSTON — Contemporary Japanese and Thai restaurant Shinsen is open and serving in the suburbs, according to an official Facebook post. In the post, ownership promises sushi, noodles, and robata, or Japanese barbecue. The space formerly housed Asian Cajun Too and Ethiopian restaurant Addis Abeba. Status: Certified Open, 1322 Chicago Avenue in Evanston.
BRIDGEPORT — Omar Solis and Audri Simonelli-Solis of Bib Gourmand brunch hotspot Nana launched the first phase of Taco E this week, according to a news release. Inspired by the legacy of Omar’s grandparents, who owned 50-year-old Bridgeport destination Tacos Erendira, the restaurant brings modern twists to classic tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. Though the restaurant is currently a carry out-only operation, owners plan to expand the food and beverage offerings in a sit-down setting next summer. Status: Certified Open, 750 W. 33rd Street.
HUMBOLDT PARK — New Mexican restaurant Barbaro Taqueria y Cantina opened this week, owners wrote in a Facebook post. In an effort to get the food of their youth into the mouths of the masses, David Morales Castañeda and Hector Herrera Yepez offer a selection of classic, regional, and vegetarian tacos. Tortas and gorditas are also available, along with an innovative cocktail list and a rotating group of agave spirits. Status: Certified Open, 2525 W. North Avenue.
RAVENSWOOD — Long-awaited virtual gaming center Redline VR is open after facing extensive red tape due to zoning issues, Block Club reported. Its bar, however, is not yet serving alcohol and owners haven’t yet received their liquor license. They plan to offer some drinks paired with VR films. Status: Certified Open, 4700 N. Ravenswood Avenue.
WEST LOOP — Art and Tyler Mendoza, the father-son team behind new taco hotspot Asadito, opened counter-service restaurant Wok N’ Bao this week, according to a news release. Owners hope to “bridge the gap between American-Chinese food and authentic Chinese food” with made-to-order wok dishes, gua bao, and “M.S.G. wings” (maple, sherry, gochujang), from chef David Wang (Oak + Char, Acadia). Status: Certified Open, 36 N. Clinton Street.
JACKSON PARK — Reggie’s on the Beach, a new drinking, dining, and entertainment spot in a section of the century-old 63rd Street Beach House, is now serving, Block Club reported. It’s from Robby Glick, owner of South Loop rock club and eatery Reggie’s. An online menu isn’t yet posted, but photographs of frozen cocktails and a Chicago hot dog are available on social media. The beachfront spot will remain open through September but must close by November 1, according to Glick. Status: Certified Open, 6245 S. Lake Shore Drive.
HYDE PARK — West Coast cult coffee brand Philz Coffee launched its second Chicago outpost on Wednesday with a three-day “neighborhood preview” with complimentary coffee and food. The Hyde Park location officially opens to the public on Sunday. Philz opened its first Chicago shop in Wicker Park in June. It’s adored for made-to-order coffee and espresso drinks, and management has Lincoln Park and suburban Evanston locations in the works. Philz also has a location inside Facebook headquarters in California. Status: Certified Open, 1425 E. 53rd Street.
LAKEVIEW — Fast-growing bubble tea mini-chain Tea Ninja opened this month, owners wrote in a Facebook post. They also opened a shop in the Loop in late June. Diners can pair their boba milk or fruit tea (flavors include a brown sugar latte and rose strawberry iced tea) with cookies and macaron. Tea Ninja’s original location is in Rosemont. Status: Certified Open, 3141 N. Broadway Street.
THE LOOP — Local Middle Eastern chain Naf Naf Grill opened its latest location this week, according to an official Facebook post. The falafel empire currently operates 18 Chicagoland locations in the city and suburbs, as well as shops in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Delaware, and Washington D.C. The original Naperville location first opened in 2009. Status: Certified Open, 231 S. LaSalle Street.
SOUTH LOOP — Soul food and chicken spot Harold’s Chicken 88 is open and its franchisees are planning to hold a grand opening celebration September 6, an employee confirmed in a phone call. A menu posted to Yelp highlights wings, combo dinners, livers and gizzards, and sides. It’s from the same team as the Harold’s on East 35th Street. Status: Certified Open, 1450 S. Michigan Avenue.
WEST TOWN — Former home brewers and brother-sister team Cameron Compton and Lanie Veckman opened brewery and tap room Midwest Coast Brewing Co. this week, representatives wrote in a news release. The brewery and tasting room has 12 taps, with five set aside for core beers, such as the bitter, hoppy “Elevator to Nowhere” hazy IPA and a “Local Time” blonde ale. The rest will feature rotating brews. Status: Certified Open, 2137 W. Walnut Street.
ALBANY PARK — Somethin’ Sweet Donuts has expanded its Chicago-area footprint to a second location that opened in Albany Park this month, according to a Facebook post. Specializing in cake, raised, and filled donuts, the shop also offers ice cream, apple fritters, and savory ham and turkey sandwiches. Its original location is on West Fullerton Avenue. The building previously housed an insurance agency. Status: Certified Open, 4456 N. Kedzie Avenue.
CHINATOWN — New juice bar Juisy Fruit and Tea opened this month above Saint’s Alp Teahouse, according to an Instagram post. Customers can choose from a selection of fruit options, including dragonfruit, watermelon, and green honeydew to accompany their tea, and have the option to add CBD to their drink for an additional $3. Its colorful website touts the alleged health benefits of fruit tea drinks. Status: Certified Open, 2157 S. China Place, second floor.
NEAR SOUTH SIDE — Vegas-style dinner and drag extravaganza Lips Chicago opens today with a grand opening weekend celebration starring local drag queens Mimi Marks, Mz. Ruff N’ Stuff, and Angel LeBare. Diners can anticipate over-the-top performances and dishes like the “Batty Davis” (elote corn fritters) and the “Ryan Royale” (flat-iron chicken, kohlrabi slaw), along with frozen cosmos, margaritas, and specialty shots. The mini-chain operates four additional locations in New York City, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, and Atlanta. Status: Opens Today, 2229 S. Michigan Avenue.
OLD TOWN — Booze delivery and market chain Foxtrot Market opened its new flagship cafe this month, according to an official Facebook post. The chain’s eighth location, the Old Town cafe offers more than 80 indoor and outdoor seats as well as a full menu featuring tacos, toasts, and sandwiches. Foxtrot currently operates in Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and most recently, Dallas. Owners plan to open a second Dallas location this year, as well as a few more Chicago shops. The space formerly housed a Le Pain Quotidien outpost that closed in 2018. Status: Certified Open, 1562 N. Wells Street.
ROGERS PARK — Pan Asian restaurant Asian Station opened this month, a call to the restaurant confirmed. The restaurants long and sweeping menu covers East and South Asian cuisine, including Japanese sushi and sashimi, Thai tom kha soup, Vietnamese bahn mi, Indian samosas, and more. The building’s previous tenants were Fungs Mandarin Cuisine and Roots Caribbean Cuisine. Status: Certified Open, 1343 W. Morse Avenue.
SOUTH LOOP — Bakeshop chain Molly’s Cupcakes opened its latest location Monday, an employee confirmed in a phone call. Known for its sweet treats like a French buttercream and red velvet cupcakes as well as pies, ice cream and cookies, Molly’s South Loop is in the former Artist’s Cafe, a downtown landmark that served the city for nearly six decades. This bakeshop is Molly’s fifth in the Chicago area, with locations in Lincoln Park, Streeterville, West Loop and Naperville, as well as New York, Iowa, and Ohio. Status: Certified Open, 1150 S. Wabash Avenue.
WICKER PARK — Irish pub Gracie O’Malley’s opens its second Chicago location today, according to a Facebook post. Owners launched the first location in Edgewater earlier this year. The Wicker Park menu includes pub classics like fish and chips and shepherd’s pie, along with non-Irish options such as a chicken parm sandwich and Cajun chicken pasta. The space previously housed bar and restaurant the Tankard and Lucky’s Sandwich Co. Status: Opens Today, 1635 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
HIGHLAND PARK — Upscale Mexican restaurant Salt Creek Tacos from restaurateur John des Rosier (Inovasi, the Other Door) is open, the Chicago Tribune reported. Everything is hand-made at new taco spot, des Rosier said, and tortillas, salsas, and dressings are made fresh every day. Tacos are the obvious star of the menu, with offerings like a Veracruz-style smoked pork taco (olive, capers, tomato, sunflower seeds, jalapeño) and the “Fiery Pig” (house chorizo, smoked pork, lime, habanero salsa). Status: Certified Open, 431 Temple Avenue in Highland Park.
SCHAUMBURG — Local barbecue mini-chain Blackwood BBQ opens its first suburban location Monday in a development near Woodfield Mall, representatives wrote in a news release. The Schaumburg location will offer fan favorites like 15-hour smoked brisket and smoked jackfruit, as well as new options including half-chickens and dry-rubbed ribs. The restaurant will also offer a seasonal pie selection in partnership with Baker Miller bakery, according to the Daily Herald. Blackwood also operates four shops in the Loop and West Loop, and has another opening pending in the Merchandise Mart. Status: Opens Monday, 1711 E. Golf Road in Schaumburg.
WHEELING — Local group Bottleneck Management opened suburban brewpub City Works on Monday, representatives wrote in a news release. Drinkers can expect 90 draft beers and seasonal and rare brews available on 12 taps, but no bottles or cans: the chain is focused on reducing waste. The menu highlights modern bar fare such as the “Scorpion” burger (habanero pepper jack, jalapeños, five pepper jam, arugula, tomato, scorpion pepper aioli) and filet mignon sliders (two grilled filet medallions, caramelized onions, horseradish cream, pretzel roll). Status: Certified Open, 365 W. Dundee Road in Wheeling.
ALBANY PARK — Crepe House Cafe opened this month, an official Facebook post confirmed, offering fluffy bubble waffles, coffee, ice cream, and — of course — crepes. Its owners haven’t yet posted a menu online, but the shop’s social media features photos of a “Queen Berry” waffle piled with fresh berries and powdered sugar, and a “Bananarama” waffle topped with chocolate ice cream. Status: Certified Open, 5033 N. Elston Avenue, Suite 107-A.
BRONZEVILLE — Casual seafood spot Dock’s Great Fish opened its second location this week, according to a Facebook post. The menu is stacked with fried seafood, chicken, sides, and shakes, featuring popular items like butterfly shrimp and a catfish sandwich. Dock’s has operated a location in Country Club Hills for 35 years, according to the restaurant’s website. The space’s previous tenants include a Domino’s Pizza and a Harold’s Chicken Shack. Status: Certified Open, 321 E. 35th Street.
CHINATOWN — Mango Mango Dessert, a very popular New York-based Asian sweets chain, opens its first Chicago location today. The menu offers a wide selection of desserts — many with mango — including bowls, drinks, pastries, custards, waffles, crepes, teas, and more. The chain, founded in 2013, has five locations in NYC, as well as two in Texas, one in New Jersey and Virginia, and another is on the way to Seattle. Status: Opens Today, 2161 S. China Place, 2nd floor.
LAKEVIEW — Eaters near the Lakeview/Lincoln Park border have a new sushi option to try. Hashi Sushi opened last week on Broadway, according to Yelp and Google reviews. The restaurant doesn’t have a website or social media presence, but one Yelper posted the menu, which includes specialty maki, sashimi, standard starters, and other sushi rolls. Status: Certified open, 2835 N. Broadway.
LOGAN SQUARE — Enormous multi-brewery hub and taproom Pilot Project Brewing opens today with 12 drafts from a range of “resident brewers” who offer creative and unusual beer and hard kombucha. Diners can also expect a limited food menu with charcuterie and cheese plates and a cookie flight from Mindy Segal (Hot Chocolate) designed to compliment beer. Status: Opens Today, 2140 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
WEST TOWN — Cajun seafood boil restaurant Spicy Fingers Seafood Kitchen opened this week, owners wrote on Facebook. An online menu isn’t yet available, but a photo of boiled shrimp, corn, crab legs, mussels, and more is visible on social media. “Our goal is to provide more options for seafood love,” a manager wrote on Yelp. Status: Certified Open, 1549 W. Chicago Avenue.
ANDERSONVILLE — Bettie Lou’s, a new restaurant featuring a global take on soul food, opened in June, Edgeville Buzz reported. Chef and owner Kelley Davison named the restaurant for her mother, whose photograph serves as the restaurant’s logo. Menu offerings include peach cobbler French toast, jerk chicken nachos, and fried tacos. The building previously housed Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant, which closed last year. Status: Certified Open, 5633 N. Ashland Avenue.
BRIDGEPORT — WuFu Hunan Cuisine is now open in the former Homestyle Taste space, a call to the restaurant confirmed. The restaurant does not have a website or Facebook page, but eager Yelpers shared photos of a few dishes online, including beef with cumin, pork belly with preserved mustard greens, and radish salad. Status: Certified Open, 3205 S. Halsted Street.
LAKEVIEW — Middle Eastern restaurant Oasis Fresh is open, a call to the restaurant confirmed, though an employee hung up when asked when the restaurant first opened. Menu offerings include chicken shawarma, lamb and beef kefta, and surprises like spaghetti and meatballs. Status: Certified Open, 500 W. Diversey Parkway.
LINCOLN PARK — Urban Nomads Barbecue & Grill House opened in June, according to an official Facebook post. Diners can anticipate Mongolian beef and chicken skewers, burgers, sandwiches, and a whole smoked chicken with rosemary garlic-infused olive oil. Signs first went up in the former Big Bop+Ramen location in May. Status: Certified Open, 2438 N. Clark Street.
FOREST PARK — Suburban spot Small Batch Barbecue opened last month with no-sauce ribs, brisket, and more, the Forest Park Review reported. Owner Gregg Stinton was a home-barbecue enthusiast until 2016 when he entered the Forest Park Rib Fest and was inspired to pursue his passion full-time. Menu items also include pork pulled-to-order and hot links made in-house. Status: Certified Open, 7441 Madison Street in Forest Park.
OAK BROOK — Ever-expanding ice cream empire Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams opened a new suburban “scoop shop” last week at Oakbrook Center, a mall manager confirmed. Management is throwing a grand opening celebration next Wednesday featuring free ice cream and swag for the first 50 people in line, according to a news release. This is the seventh Chicagoland location for the Ohio-based brand. Status: Certified Open, 521 Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook.
OAK PARK — Lounge, bar, and co-working space Flourish opened last month offering games, events, and a self-pour beer system, according to a Facebook post. Customers can expect a rotating selection of about 45 draft drinks, including beer, hard seltzer, kombucha, sake, and more. A menu of cheeses, charcuterie, and small plates is also available, including a comb of Turkish honey, a butter and salt “flight” with three regional, small-batch butters and salts with toast points, and a “pâté of the day”. Status: Certified Open, 193 N. Marion Street in Oak Park.
LAKEVIEW — Sushi restaurant Big Bite Sushi opened this month, owners wrote in a Facebook post. The menu highlights familiar sushi options and other Japanese selections including teriyaki, mochi, and Japanese ice cream with flavors like coffee and red bean. The space was formerly occupied by Thai restaurant and sushi bar Kitchenette, which closed in March. Status: Certified Open, 3811 N. Ashland Avenue.
LAKEVIEW — Klein’s Bakery & Cafe II, the second location from the owners of Klein’s in Uptown, opened in July and is listed on the restaurant’s website. The new spot offers plenty of coffee drinks and breakfast items, available until 2 p.m., and also sells baked goods like puff pastry mini-pies and custom cakes. Status: Certified Open, 426 W. Diversey Parkway.
MCKINLEY PARK — Bakery and cafe Butterdough from brothers Lalo and Uva Leon is open, the Chicago Tribune reported. Customers can expect croissants, muffins, cookies, house-made seasonal Pop Tarts, and sandwiches, as well as coffee and a vegan Mexican mocha called a “mochata,” (horchata, espresso) with beans from Sputnik Coffee Company. Status: Certified Open, 3452 S. Western Avenue.
NORWOOD PARK — Sports bar Coach’s Bar & Grill opened last week with a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting with Alderman (41st Ward) Anthony Napolitano. The bar’s menu features classic bar fare like wings, onion rings, burgers, tacos, and plenty of draft and bottled beers. The building’s previous tenant was Revel Bar Chicago, which shuttered in early 2019. Status: Certified Open, 6169 N. Northwest Highway.
ROSCOE VILLAGE — Ice cream and donut shop Roscoe Village Treats opened last month, owners wrote in a Facebook post. Menu items include baked goods like pecan sticky buns and blueberry lemon scones, as well as several flavors of popcorn (caramel crisp, Buffalo ranch cheddar, and more), cake balls, and coffee drinks. The building’s former tenant, Paciugo Gelato & Caffe, closed last year. Status: Certified Open, 2009 W. Roscoe Street.
UNIVERSITY VILLAGE — Saalar on Taylor is opened last month, a call to the restaurant confirmed. Recent Facebook posts include pictures of dishes and calls for customers to try their items. The restaurant seems to tout itself as Indian-Mexican fusion, but the online menu is populated with familiar Indian dishes like chicken tikka, lamb biryani, and aloo gobi. Status: Certified Open, 1519 W. Taylor Street.
WEST LOOP — New taqueria Taco LuLú opened this week inside a former Al’s Beef location, according to a Facebook post that includes photos of the space while it was still under construction. The Italian beef icon still holds the business license for the new restaurant’s address. The concise menu features tacos, burritos, platillos, and more with meat selections that include pollo asado, skirt steak, and chorizo. Wash ‘em down with agua fresca, fountain drinks, or Mexican bottled sodas. Status: Certified Open, 601 W. Adams Street.
EDGEWATER — Family-owned spot Mama K’s Cafe opened last month, an employee confirmed in a call to the restaurant. Diners can expect coffee from Michigan-based Uncommon Coffee Roasters, as well as tea, sandwiches, and salads. House-made pastries and desserts are also available, along with Chocolate Shoppe ice cream. Status: Certified Open, 1036 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue.
NORTH CENTER — New breakfast and brunch-focused diner Northside Kitchen opened this month, according to a Facebook post. The menu offers a plethora of sweet and savory items, including the “Fat Elvis,” (banana bread waffle, bourbon bananas, bacon, peanut butter, whipped cream) and the “ultimate” breakfast sandwich (thick-sliced bacon, tomatoes, jack cheese, mayo, sunny side up egg). The space formerly housed Danny’s Egghead Diner, which closed in January. Status: Certified Open, 2012 W. Irving Park Road.
RIVER NORTH — The Laurel Room, the new rooftop restaurant and lounge above the much-lauded California-cool spot Pacific Standard Time, opened on Thursday. The Laurel Room features a seafood-driven menu, Latin-influenced bar snacks, and plenty of drinks, including a frozen yerba mai tai. A few special desserts are also available, like a house-made bourbon-peanut drumstick. Status: Certified Open, 640 N. LaSalle Drive, Eighth Floor.
THE LOOP — Bike shop/coffeehouse mashup Heritage Bicycles General Store opened this week just a block away from the Art Institute of Chicago, owners wrote on Facebook. Designed to serve flat whites and fix flat tires, the mini-chain offers Heritage Coffee at locations in Lakeview, Uptown, Fulton Market, and River North. Owner Michael Salvatore also operates Uptown cocktail lounge Larry’s. Status: Certified Open, 30 E. Adams Street.
WEST LOOP — Caribbean and Central American spot Garifuna Flava is now open inside the Chicago’s French Market, according to a news release. Named for the Garifuna, an indigenous people originally from the island of St. Vincent, the restaurant offers a combination of Caribbean, Latin, and Garifuna dishes. Owners also operate a stand-alone location on West 63rd Street in Marquette Park. Status: Certified Open, 131 N. Clinton Street.
WICKER PARK — New Miami-inspired bar Wynwood is opening temporarily for Wicker Park Fest this weekend with a limited menu that features a frozen mojito, tequila shots, a Cubano sandwich, and more. The space, which includes custom graffiti murals, formerly housed neighborhood stalwart High Noon Saloon. Wynwood’s Wicker Park Fest food and drink menus are available below. Status: Temporarily open this weekend, 1560 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
FULTON MARKET — Sweet treat purveyor Molly’s Cupcakes opened its fourth Chicago location this week, and representatives posted photos from the shop’s first day to Facebook. The mini-chain is known for classic and original cupcake flavors. The space formerly housed a Taylor Gourmet outpost, which shuttered last year. Status: Certified Open, 177 N. Morgan Street.
LINCOLN PARK — The Lincoln Park Zoo’s new family-friendly restaurant Bird’s Eye Bar & Grill is open in the former Café at Wild Things! space, according to a news release. The space features an outdoor pavilion where diners can take in a view of the zoo’s main mall and some of its feathered inhabitants. Customers can expect familiar American fare like burgers, salads, and flatbreads, as well as beer, wine, and n/a drink options. Status: Certified Open, 2200 N. Cannon Drive.
LINCOLN PARK/HEART OF CHICAGO — Chicago-based company Farmer’s Fridge launched two new automated smart-fridge locations this week in partnership with the CTA. The touchscreen-controlled salad, sandwich, bowl, and snack dispensers are located at the Fullerton Red, Brown, and Purple Lines, and the Damen Pink Line stations. Commuters can purchase food items at all hours of the day or night. Status: Certified Open, 943 W. Fullerton Avenue and 2010 S. Damen Avenue.
RIVER WEST — New Korean-American restaurant Perilla opens tonight in the former San Soo Korean BBQ space, owners wrote on Facebook. Run by childhood friends Andrew Lim (City Rock) and Tom Oh (Lettuce Entertain You), the menu features ingredients like Berkshire pork belly and Whittingham Meats prime cuts in elevated homestyle plates. Status: Opens Today, 401 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
SOUTH LOOP — Italian spot Giglio’s State Street Tavern opened this month and owners held a two-week grand opening celebration, according to a Facebook post. The location was first reported in March, and the space was formerly occupied by Pazzo’s and popular sports bar Jimmy Green’s Bar & Grill, which shuttered in 2017. Status: Certified Open, 825 S. State Street.
THE LOOP — Virtual gaming bar and restaurant Topgolf Swing Suite is open inside the Chicago Athletic Association hotel, according to a news release. Players can expect food and beverage from Land and Sea Dept., the restaurant group that operates the hotel’s food and beverage venues on the second floor. Menu items include fried pickles, footlong Chicago-style hot dogs, and a Muffuletta sandwich, as well as classic drinks like scotch and sodas and old fashioneds. Status: Certified Open, 12 S. Michigan Avenue.
WEST TOWN — Mexican-Korean fusion restaurant TaKorea Cocina opened this month, owners wrote on Facebook. Menu items include burritos, tacos, and quesadillas with bulgogi beef, barbecue chicken, chili shrimp, or tofu. Customers can top off their dishes with kimchi, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole, or try serrano green pozole with barbecue chicken. Status: Certified Open, 1022 N. Western Avenue.
ANDERSONVILLE — Uvae Kitchen and Wine Bar opened yesterday on the neighborhood’s main drag, a representative wrote in a Facebook post. The restaurant offers “new American” cuisine, including sausage pie (banana pepper ricotta, tomato, white wine cream sauce), cocktails, and a comprehensive wine list. Ownership is planning a wine club, wine features, and special wine dinners in the future, according to the website. The long-empty space was formerly occupied by Adriatic Restaurant. Status: Certified Open, 5553 N. Clark Street.
BRIDGEPORT — Dessert spot Star Ice Kitchen opened in late June, an employee confirmed in a phone all. Menu offerings include Taiwanese snow ice topped with boba, bubbly Hong Kong-style egg waffles with ice cream, fruit, and syrup, milk tea, and iced tea with fruit. The space’s former tenant was restaurant Mr. Spanky’s. Status: Certified Open, 335 W 31st Street.
JEFFERSON PARK — Gelato shop Ix-Chel Frozen Delights opened in late June, according to an official Facebook post. Customers can expect a range of chilly flavors, including mango, cold brew coffee, and matcha green tea, as well as paletas coated in nuts, coconut, and crushed pretzels. Smoothies and coffee are also available. Status: Certified Open, 4968 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
NOBLE SQUARE — Fast food empire Popeyes has opened a new location on the Polish Triangle along the busy intersection of Ashland, Milwaukee, and Division, Eater staff observed. The franchisee also has an agreement with unaffiliated company Checkers, and is slated to open a location next door to the new Popeyes on July 16. The space was formerly occupied by shoe store Villa. Status: Certified Open, 1555 W. Division Street.
THE LOOP — Suburban bubble tea spot Tea Ninja opened a new downtown location in late June, representatives wrote on Facebook. The shop offers milk and fruit boba tea as well as sweet snacks like cookies and macaron. Drink options include peach ice jelly, red bean matcha milk tea, and purple Oreo slush. Owners also operate a location in Rosemont. Status: Certified Open, 172 N. Wabash Avenue.
UPTOWN — Restaurant, wine bar, and nightlife spot Le Nocturne opens tonight to give locals a chance to take in the space and atmosphere, according to a Facebook post. Owners also gave Chicagoans a sneak peek on July 4. The space includes booths, group seating, and ample space for dancing. The space formerly housed Persian restaurant Caravan. Status: Opens Today, 4810 N. Broadway Street.
EVANSTON — Korean and Japanese restaurant Kokomo is open in Evanston, an employee confirmed in a phone call. Owners are planning a grand opening celebration in the next few weeks. The restaurant offers traditional Korean dishes, as well as shabu shabu, or Japanese hotpot. Shabu shabu isn’t available yet but will be ready for the grand opening, the employee said. The space’s former tenants include JT’s Bar & Grill and Sam’s Chicken and Ribs. Status: Certified Open, 1639 Orrington Avenue in Evanston.
HIGHLAND PARK — Ravinia is offering a new rooftop space with drinks and small plates in the Experience Center building on the North lawn, according to a news release. Named the BMO Club, the venue accommodates 170 and includes bar seating and a drink rail, as well as an “observation bridge” that connects to the dining pavilion. It’s from executive chef Michael Tsonton, who oversees all food and drink at Ravinia. Status: Certified Open, 418 Sheridan Road in Highland Park.
SOUTH BARRINGTON — Rapidly expanding restaurant mini-chain Hampton Social opens its new suburban location today, the Daily Herald reported. Diners can expect trendy small bites like avocado toast and Parmesan fries, and large seafood-centric plates. Drink offerings include wine, beer, and the chain’s popular frosé (Tito’s vodka, Proverbs Rosé, peach puree). New locations are also planned for Orlando and Nashville, the website indicates. Status: Opens Today, 100 W. Higgins Road in South Barrington.
SOUTH HOLLAND — Seafood market and restaurant Seafood Junction opens a new location today, according to a Facebook post. Customers can purchase raw seafood by the pound and have it cooked on the spot. The mini-chain also has locations in Oak Park and on the South Side. Status: Opens Today, 645 E. 162nd Street in South Holland.
CHINATOWN — Chinese spot Chef Xiong – Taste of Szechuan opened last month, according to Hoodline. Szechuan offerings (spicy and non) include hot pot and street snacks. The titular chef Xiong enjoys international acclaim and was interviewed by Anthony Bourdain on CNN’s Parts Unknown, owners wrote on the restaurant’s website. The space formerly housed Mandarin Kitchen, which closed last year. Status: Certified Open, 2143 S. Archer Avenue.
LINCOLN PARK — Hong Kong-style dim sum and Cantonese restaurant D Cuisine opened in late June, according to an official Facebook post. The restaurant’s long menu offers dim sum classics like siu mai and barbecue pork buns, as well as noodle and rice dishes, beef, chicken, pork, and live seafood. The space was previously occupied by American restaurant the Peasantry, which shuttered in 2016. Status: Certified Open, 2723 N. Clark Street.
LOGAN SQUARE — Staff at luxurious restaurant and bar the Whale started serving yesterday, according to a Facebook post. Owner Ryan Marks is throwing a grand opening celebration today. The luxe operation offers 100-ounce towers of sangrias, mimosas, or bellinis for groups, as well as hearty fare like Colorado lamb chops and Creole-roasted pulled pork. Status: Certified Open, 2427 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
MCKINLEY PARK — First opened in Bridgeport in 1976, Laura’s Pizza and Pasta has expanded and opened in a new location, owners wrote on the restaurant’s website. The restaurant’s menu features familiar, comforting Italian classics like arancini, chicken Vesuvio, meatballs, subs, and pasta. Status: Certified Open, 1546 W. 35th Street.
NORTH CENTER — Pan-Asian spot Silver Plate Restaurant opened this week, according to a Facebook post. The extensive menu includes Chinese, Thai, and Korean dishes, as well as sushi and ramen. The space formerly housed a Radio Shack. Status: Certified Open, 3336A N. Western Avenue.
NORTH KENWOOD — Radio Ribs is now open, according to the Chicago Tribune. A menu is not yet available online, but offerings reportedly include rib and turkey tips, hot links, and fries. Customers can wash it all down with a glass of peach tea lemonade. The restaurant was formerly occupied by a Dunkin’ Donuts and Fung’s Chop Suey, which shuttered this year. Status: Certified Open, 1400 E. 47th Street.
PORTAGE PARK — Neighborhood beer bar Foundation Tavern & Grille opened this week, according to an official Facebook post, and owners plan to hold a grand opening celebration Friday, July 12. Customers can expect live music and entertainment, as well as 16 beer taps. The family-owned business first opened in 1984 under the name Frank and Ann’s, and was later known as Night Cap. Status: Certified Open, 5007 W. Irving Park Road.
ROSCOE VILLAGE — New doughnut shop Dip and Sip Donuts opened this week, according to a Facebook post, serving classic and creative flavors like “the Matchas and the Papas” and “John Lemon Pistachio.” The shop also offers custom donut cakes and coffee. The building was previously occupied by drugstore Heritage Pharmacy. Status: Certified Open, 2256 W. Roscoe Street.
WEST RIDGE — Halal Fried Chicken and Seafood is open, a call to the restaurant confirmed. Customers can expect crispy chicken sandwiches, jerk chicken dinners, and even shrimp tempura. Dessert options include vanilla cheesecake and apple pie a la mode. Status: Certified Open, 6426 N. Western Avenue.
WICKER PARK — Italian pastificio Tortello opened on Monday, according to a news release. A collaboration among industry veteran Duncan Biddulph (Lula Café, the Publican, Marisol, La Sardine) and husband and wife co-owners Dario Monni and Jill Gray, the restaurant is designed to celebrate and maintain Italian pasta-making traditions. Diners can expect wines, beers, Italian cocktails, and espresso drinks, and a retail section stocked with Italian specialty goods. Seasonal pasta offerings include tortelli di burrata con salvia e nocciole tostate (butter, sage, and toasted hazelnuts) and Sicilian spaghetti alla chitarra con astice e pomodorini freschi (lobster, fresh cherry tomatoes). Status: Certified Open, 1746 W. Division Street.
GOLD COAST — Bar, restaurant, and nightlife spot Play Kitchen & Cocktails opens tonight and management is planning a grand opening celebration in July, according to a news release. The 3,600 square-foot space includes a whopping 17 4k UHD TVs, a DJ booth, and custom LED backlit walls. Menu offerings include smoked “jumbo wings” tossed in 24K gold bourbon BBQ sauce with 24K gold flakes and a shot called “the Scorpion” with chili and apricot infused Banhez mezcal and an edible, pickled scorpion. Status: Opens tonight, 7 W. Division Street.
NORTH CENTER — Neighborhood spot the Rambler Kitchen and Tap opened in mid-June, according to an official Facebook post, from the owners of Wrigleyville’s Graystone Tavern. Diners can expect classic fare like a French dip sandwich and a cheesesteak with Cheez Wiz and griddled onions, imported and domestic beers, ciders, and a selection of seltzers. The space formerly housed Tavern on Little Fort, which shuttered in early January. Status: Certified Open, 4128 N. Lincoln Avenue.
THE LOOP — New York-based salad chain Just Salad opened this week at Illinois Center complex, according to a news release. Customers can expect a menu packed with — you guessed it — salads, as well as wraps, soups, toasts, and smoothies. The chain opened its first Chicago location in 2015 and now operates four shops in the Loop, West Loop, and River North. Status: Certified Open, 111 E. Wacker Drive, Lower Level.
THE LOOP — Fast-casual sous vide-centric spot Kaliflower opened this week, serving healthy, made-to-order dishes like “the Spice Road” with shredded sous-vide chicken, marinated kale, creamy green hot sauce, roasted carrots, pickled red onion, toasted almond slivers and red hot sauce. Owner Ben Arnstein makes the under 1,100 square-foot location work by using sous vide machines and induction burners instead of bulky kitchen equipment. Status: Certified Open, 333 N. Michigan Avenue.
THE LOOP — Staff at acclaimed stand U.B. Dogs are back to slinging hot dogs (Chicago-style, doused in chili and cheese, and more) and burgers in the same location. The owner closed the spot in late 2018 then planned to reopen by summer. Status: Certified Open, 185 N. Franklin Street.
LOMBARD — Franchisees Amit and Kalpesh Patel have opened the second Chicagoland location of Wisconsin-based sandwich shop Cousins Subs, according to a news release. The Patels opened the first Illinois outpost in January and plan to launch a total of 40 shops in the city and surrounding suburbs. Status: Certified Open, 793 E. Butterfield Road in Lombard.
SCHILLER PARK — Shoeless Joe’s Ale House & Grille has reopened in its new home after shuttering its original Rosemont location in March, according to a Facebook post. The sports bar operated in Rosemont for 30 years, and also runs an Addison location. Status: Certified Open, 4926 N. River Road in Schiller Park.
FULTON MARKET — Massive restaurant, bar, and event space City Hall opens today with group drinks served in water cooler and “kickback” shots with named with pithy references to Chicago’s infamous political machine. The 18,000-square-foot space includes a sizable patio and offers American bar fare. Status: Opens today, 838 W. Kinzie Street.
FULTON MARKET — New food hall Fulton Galley that houses five restaurants and a bar is open, offering customers flavors from Latin America, Northeastern Thailand, a Jewish deli, and more. The 20-tap bar highlights local beers and offers buckets of single-serve wine bottles, as well as a cocktail menu laden with pop culture references. Wine, beer, and cocktails are half-off during Happy Hour, Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Status: Certified Open, 1115 W. Fulton Market.
HUMBOLDT PARK — Curramba Colombian Restaurant is open, according to an official Facebook post. Customers can expect empanadas, ceviche, arepas, and more. The space was formerly occupied by Puerto Rican and Caribbean restaurant El Faro, which closed earlier this year. Status: Certified Open, 2701 W. Division Street.
LAKEVIEW — Mini-chain Devil Dawgs is open next to CTA’s Belmont Red/Brown/Purple train station in Lakeview, an opening first indicated in January when signs went up in the location. The Lakeview menu is packed with all beef hot dogs with a bevy of toppings like the “Seoul Dog” (a Korean-style dog with shoyu-soy hot mustard, kimchi) and the “Voodoo Dog” (andouille chicken sausage, creole mustard, olive giardinera, “hush hush” slaw). Status: Certified Open, 937 W. Belmont Avenue.
SOUTH LOOP — Mei’s Asian Small Plates & Dumplings inside the Hilton Garden Inn at Wabash Avenue and 11th Street has a now open sign, according to a Sloopin poster. A savvy resident posted photos of the menu to Facebook, showing offerings like crispy pan-fried noodles, spicy tofu with pork, and kurobuta pork meatballs with vermicelli. Status: Certified Open, 1101 S. Wabash Avenue.
Update: June 25, 2019, 11:20 a.m. Mei’s is currently only open to hotel guests, not the general public, according to a representative.
WICKER PARK — West Coast cult coffee spot Philz Coffee officially opens its first Chicago location tomorrow. Baristas will guide customers through the menu, grind beans while they wait, and add customized condiments like fresh mint. Diners can also expect light, Mediterranean bites like labneh za’atar toast and bakery items from Aya Pastry and Hyde Park’s Fabiana’s Bakery. Status: Opens Saturday, 1640 W. Division Street.
EVANSTON — Health-oriented spot Mid Kitchen is now open and serving customers, a call to the restaurant confirmed. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a range of gluten free options. The space formerly housed French restaurant Jilly’s Bistro, which closed in March. Status: Certified Open, 1512 Sherman Avenue in Evanston.
UTICA — Essential Cajun spot the Cajun Connection has moved and is now open at its new location, according to a Facebook post. An opening celebration runs through Sunday. Diners can indulge in the flavors of the Big Easy with alligator po’boys, frog legs, and Jamba-2-Fay (etouffee over jambalaya), and wash it down with a hurricane or chicory coffee. Status: Certified Open, 2958 N. State Route 178 in Utica.
VERNON HILLS — The newest Shake Shack location opened today in the suburbs, serving its popular burgers, flat-top dogs, and frozen custard, according to a news release. This location offers customers special frozen custard “concretes,” including “A Sprinkle in Time” (vanilla custard, lemon curd, marshmallow, shortbread cookie, rainbow sprinkles), along with beers from Half Acre Beer Company and Revolution Brewing. The Daily Herald has more. Status: Certified Open, 864 E. Townline Road in Vernon Hills.
For a list of the 2019 spring openings, click here.