ALBANY PARK — Filipino chain Max’s Restaurant, popular for its fried chicken, lumpia, and pork adobo, opened last weekend inside Seafood City, according to photographs posted on Facebook. The nearly 75-year-old brand runs around 20 restaurants across the U.S. and Canada as well as restaurants in the Philippines and the Middle East. Status: Certified Open, 5033 N. Elston Avenue.
LINCOLN SQUARE — Serbian-American spot 016 Restaurant opened this month, ownership confirmed in a call to the restaurant. The current owners took over the space from Bosnian restaurant and market Kiko’s, and are offering food inspired by their hometown of Leskovac, Serbia made with local ingredients. Status: Certified Open, 5077 N. Lincoln Avenue.
SOUTH LOOP — Neighborhood eatery the Grail Cafe will open Wednesday in Printers Row, ownership wrote in a Facebook announcement. The menu offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner options as well as wine, beer, and Champagne. Status: Opens Wednesday, 715 S. Dearborn Street.
THE LOOP — Art of Dosa, Chicago’s first restaurant dedicated to the iconic South Indian dish, opened this week inside Revival Food Hall. Made from fermented lentil batter that’s grilled and then rolled, dosa are frequently accompanied by savory fillings and sauces. The new stall also offers vegan ice cream in a variety of flavors. Status: Certified Open, 125 S. Clark Street.
BRONZEVILLE — Boutique bakery Emeche Cakery and Cafe opened in late October, according to a Facebook post. Customers can expect baked goods including hot buttered rum cakes as well as breakfast sandwiches and coffee. Status: Certified Open, 3453 S. Prairie Avenue.
BUCKTOWN — The owner of Lazo’s Tacos has opened new Cuban spot Little Lazo’s Latin Cafe across the street from the Margie’s Candies building, an employee confirmed in a phone call. The casual counter-service cafe offers Cubano sandwiches, empanadas, burritos and more. Status: Certified Open, 1961 N. Western Avenue.
NEAR WEST SIDE — Mediterranean restaurant Kabobchi opened in early December, according to a Facebook post, offering dishes such as lamb shank with dill rice, shish kabob, and falafel. The space formerly housed Mediterranean and Greek restaurant Jubrano’s. Status: Certified Open, 1519 W. Taylor Street.
ROGERS PARK — New Greek restaurant Charcoal Flame Chicago opened this month, according to local blogger Titus Pullo of ChiBBQKing. It’s the first city location for the ownership, which operates the original restaurant in suburban Morton Grove. An online menu isn’t yet available, but photos of gyros and more are posted to Yelp. Status: Certified Open, 7003 N. Clark Street.
THE LOOP — A Halal Guys restaurant has reopened under new ownership in the Loop, a spokesperson said. The spot closed over the summer along with Gold Coast and Wicker Park locations due to a dispute between the former franchise group and corporate ownership that resulted in franchisees filing a federal lawsuit. The Gold Coast location is also slated to reopen with new ownership. Status: Certified Open, 172 N. Wabash Avenue.
WEST RIDGE — Halal Peri Peri Chicken & Grill is finally open in a longtime empty storefront on Devon, ChiBBQKing Titus Pullo also observed. Signage has been up since last year, so some locals have wondered if the spot would ever come to fruition. Offerings include spicy peri peri wings, sandwiches, and chicken biryani. Status: Certified Open, 2350 W. Devon Avenue.
WICKER PARK — Vegan health food spot Graze opened its Wicker Park location this week, according to an Instagram post. Best known for its smoothies and bowls, the former Revival Food Hall stall announced plans to move into the former Scone City space last month. The Wicker Park baked goods shop closed in October. Graze also runs spots in River North and Lincoln Park. Status: Certified Open, 1632 W. Division Street.
EVERGREEN PARK — Wisconsin-based chain Cousins Subs opens its sixth Chicagoland location in the suburbs today, according to a rep. In 2018, the company announced a plan to open 40 city and suburban locations over eight years. The menu features the chain’s grilled-to-order subs and sides such as cheese curds, fries, and mac and cheese. The new spot will offer both catering and delivery. Status: Opens Today, 9204 S. Western Avenue in Evergreen Park.
LISLE — The husband-and-wife team behind organic bread and nut butter purveyor Manna Organics opened their first restaurant, Manna Kitchen, in the Western Suburbs, according to the Tribune. The entirely vegetarian menu integrates flavors from Germany, India, Thailand, and beyond in salad, bowl, and entree form. Status: Certified Open, 2801 Ogden Avenue in Lisle.
NAPERVILLE — Fast casual Mexican-Korean chain Seoul Taco opens in the suburbs today, according to a rep, making it the third Chicago-area location for the brand. It already operates locations in River North and Hyde Park with dishes including bulgogi steak tacos. Status: Opens Today, 206 S. Washington Street in Naperville.
FULTON MARKET — Time Out Market opened in late November, but on Friday it added a new restaurant. Arami Sushi Bar, one of the city’s best sushi restaurants, opened a location on the food hall’s mezzanine level. It takes over a space ticketed for Funkenhausen, as the West Town German-American restaurant pulled out of the project. It’s Arami owner Ty Fujimura’s second project inside Time Out. He also owns Entente. Status: Certified Open, Time Out Market, 916 W. Fulton Market.
LOGAN SQUARE — George Liakopoulos continues to open diners around Chicago. Victory Grill is the latest from the owner of the Hat, Hollywood Grill, Griddle 24, Plymouth Restaurant, Tommy’s on Grand, and White Palace Grill. This train car-inspired restaurant replaces Cafeteria Marianao, which was razed to construct a new building. Status: Certified Open, 2246-48 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
LINCOLN PARK — Fatso’s Last Stand has opened a second location. Known for its char dogs and burgers, this location is larger than the West Town original and has a liquor license for boozy shakes and beer. It’ll also be open late. Status: Certified Open, 1982 N. Clybourn Avenue.
NORTH PARK — New quick-serve taco spot Taqueria Las Flores from the team behind essential taco restaurant Taqueria El Asadero opened in late October, ownership wrote on Facebook. Patrons can grab tacos, tortas, nachos, and agua frescas, also available to go. Status: Certified Open, 3352 W. Foster Avenue.
THE LOOP — Salad chain Sweetgreen has opened another Chicago location. This store is inside Willis Tower, on the first floor. It’s part of Catalog, the overarching name for the ongoing dining renovations at the city’s tallest building. A Lincoln Park location near Crate and Barrel is also on its way. Status: Certified Open, Willis Tower’s first floor, 233 S. Wacker Drive.
PILSEN — Independent coffee shop Foxglove Coffee opened last month in the former home of La Parada Coffee near the Pink Line “L” stop at 21st Street and Hoyne Avenue. Staff offer breakfast sandwiches, pastries, Mexican hot chocolate, and coffee from local purveyor Four Letter Word, Block Club reported. Owner Michelle Yee hopes the shop becomes a gathering place for young entrepreneurs and business-minded Chicagoans to develop ideas and host events. Status: Certified Open, 2059 W. 21st Street.
RIVER NORTH — Local barbecue mini-chain Blackwood BBQ opened yesterday inside the Merchandise Mart, according to a Facebook post and a representative. It’s offering live country music on the second floor today, and the company is donating a school meal for every meal sold through non-profit One Feeds Two. Status: Certified Open, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Second floor.
SOUTH SHORE — Local Market, a new grocery store and eatery from independent market chain Shop & Save, opened this week in the space left by the last Chicago Dominick’s when it shuttered six years ago, according to the Tribune. The space in the Jeffery Plaza shopping center includes both a juice bar and a wine and beer bar. Status: Certified Open, 2102 E. 71st Street.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — Creative Chicago-Italian restaurant Passero reopened yesterday in a larger suburban space just down the street from the original on West Campbell Street, according to a news release. The new dining room seats 100, and offers a plethora of house-made pizzas and pastas. Status: Certified Open, 3 S. Evergreen Avenue in Arlington Heights.
HIGHWOOD — Indian and Nepalese restaurant Himalayan Sherpa Kitchen will debut a new suburban location Sunday, ownership wrote on Facebook. The first location in Lincoln Square opened this summer. Status: Opens Sunday, 410 Sheridan Road in Highwood.
SCHAUMBURG — Another location of Molly’s Cupcakes is open, this time in the suburbs. Eaters can now go see Santa and grab a sweet treat inside the Woodfield Mall. Status: Certified Open, Woodfield Mall, lower level, 5 Woodfield Mall Drive in Schaumburg, near Lord & Taylor’s/Nordstrom.
SKOKIE — Suburban Japanese restaurant Makisu Sushi Lounge & Grill reopened early this month after a fire forced it to close this summer, ownership wrote on Facebook. No one was injured, but the clean-up, restoration, and inspections took around five months. Diners can expect the same menu of sushi, teriyaki, yakisoba, and more, as well as a full bar. Status: Certified Open, 7150 Carpenter Road in Skokie.
BRIDGEPORT — The co-founder of local mini-chain Strings Ramen and owner of new-ish Chinatown juice bar Juisy Cafe has another fresh business, this time further on the South Side. Juisy CBD Lounge opened last month, according to a video posted to its Facebook page. The menu features a selection of fruity juice and tea drinks with optional CBD additions, as well as specialty CBD drinks such as “Kumato” (CBD orange blossom water, lime, pressed apple juice) and “Smoky” (CBD ginger ale, smoky applewood, pineapple, jasmine tea). Status: Certified Open, 1029 W. 35th Street.
BUCKTOWN — Essential Chicago coffeeshop and cafe Oromo Cafe has opened its second location, ownership wrote on the business’s website. Patrons can anticipate a menu of fair trade coffees and espressos from India, Turkey, Africa, and beyond, as well as teas and light eats with gluten-free and vegan options. Staff can also spike beverages with superfoods for a nutrient boost. Ownership launched the original location in Lincoln Square three years ago. The new Bucktown space formerly housed Hero Coffee Bar and Belly Shack. Status: Certified Open, 1912 N. Western Avenue.
LOGAN SQUARE — Family-owned restaurant Yaba’s Middle Eastern Grill opened last week inside corner grocery store Plaza Food in Logan Square, Block Club reported. Founder and longtime neighborhood resident Ghaleb Masoud told reporters that he hopes favorites such as chicken shawarma, falafel, and kafta kebabs will help keep customers flowing into the struggling grocery store, especially since the area lacks many Middle Eastern options. Status: Certified Open, 3011 W. Armitage Avenue.
OLD TOWN — Coffeeshop Kapéj Coffee is open in the space that formerly housed neighborhood spot Eva’s Cafe, an employee confirmed in a phone call. Offering beans and brews from Asia, South America, Africa, and more, ownership posted a detailed mission statement on its website, explaining the shop’s commitment to high-quality coffee, sustainable farming, and fair labor practices, as well as education on home coffee brewing techniques. Status: Certified Open, 1447 N. Sedgwick Street.
RIVER NORTH — Stylish cafe chain Goddess and the Baker opened a River North shop this week, representatives wrote in a Facebook post. Known for coffee drinks, salads, sandwiches, and its eye-catching rainbow cake, the chain operates three Loop locations as well as a spot in suburban Milwaukee. Status: Certified Open, 44 E. Grand Avenue.
ROGERS PARK — Asian snack spot Taichi Bubble Tea opened a franchise last month offering ramen, “sushi burritos,” and of course, bubble tea, an employee confirmed in a phone call. Ramen selections include classics such as tonkotsu and miso (both available spicy or non), as well as the more unusual option of tomato-based broth. Status: Certified Open, 6800 N. Sheridan Road.
WEST LOOP — Dawali Mediterranean Kitchen ownership have completed its relocation from Lincoln Park, where it operated for eight years, and reopened this week in new digs, according to an official Facebook post. The new space is less than a block away from famous diner Lou Mitchell’s, and offers a range of popular Mediterranean dishes, including baba ghannouj, falafel, shawerma, and kufta. Status: Certified Open, 319 S. Jefferson Street.
WICKER PARK — Canada-based chain Kinton Ramen has opened its second Chicago — and U.S. — location, according to a representative. It offers five ramen varieties: original, shoyu, miso, spicy garlic, and spicy jalapeno, as well as shared dishes such as salmon tataki and spicy karaage, Japanese fried chicken. Bar selections include hot and cold sake, popular Japanese beer Sapporo, cocktails, and more. The chain launched its first U.S. location in the West Loop in May. Kinton’s director of U.S. operations Paul Lee said the company plans to open a suburban Schaumburg restaurant in spring 2020. Status: Certified Open, 1426 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
EVANSTON — New suburban spot Habibi In Mediterranean Grill opened last month, owners announced in a Facebook post. Patrons can feast on menu items such as large plate entrees of beef shawarma, gyro, beef kebab, and more, as well as sandwiches, hummus, and fries. Status: Certified Open, 825 Church Street in Evanston.
LIBERTYVILLE — Chinese dumpling spot Dangela’s Dumplings is open in suburban Libertyville, an employee confirmed in a phone call. Patrons can build their own 15-piece combo with steamed or pan-seared dumplings with fillings including pork, shrimp, and Chinese chives; zucchini and egg; and beef and onion, which come with a selection of side salad and a tea-boiled egg. Boxes of frozen dumplings to go are also available, along with tea and mochi ice cream. Status: Certified Open, 133 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville.
ROSEMONT — Pour-your-own beer, cider, and wine spot Tapville Social opened last month in suburban shopping mall Fashion Outlets of Chicago, representatives wrote in a Facebook post. Drinkers can even take their beverage with them while they shop. It’s the mini-chain’s third suburban Chicago location, on top of venues in Elmhurst and Naperville. Status: Certified Open, 5220 Fashion Outlets Way in Rosemont.
SCHAUMBURG — Previously popular Middle Eastern mini-chain Falafill is reborn in the suburbs. The new Schaumburg location opened this week, representatives wrote on social media. A fast casual operation, it offers customizable bowls and wraps as well as fries, falafel, and red lentil soup. Status: Certified Open, 1428 N. Meacham Road in Schaumburg.
LITTLE VILLAGE — Hotly anticipated Latin speakeasy-style cocktail bar Osito’s Tap will launch tomorrow with a grand opening, owner Mike Moreno, Jr. wrote on Facebook. Moreno, also of neighborhood retail institution Moreno’s Liquors, plans to showcase his stash of rare whiskeys, mezcals, tequilas, and more. Status: Opens Tomorrow, 2553 S. Ridgeway Avenue.
MCCORMICK PLACE — New cocktail bar Sage Room Chicago opened early this month near McCormick Place, representatives wrote in a Facebook post. Its comprehensive cocktail menu organizes drinks into five dinner-style “courses,” ranging from “starters” to “dessert.” Large drinks for groups of six are also available. Status: Certified Open, 67 E. Cermak Road.
RIVER NORTH — All three floors are now open at bar/restaurant/nightclub Hubbard Inn, which closed for a revamp months ago, according to a news release. The new spaces include second floor lounge “Blue Violet at Hubbard Inn,” named for the Illinois state flower, and third floor theatrical event space “MASQ.” Patrons can try executive chef Eric Babula’s (Old Town Pour House, Punch Bowl Social) new American menu. Status: Certified Open, 110 W. Hubbard Street.
STREETERVILLE — Bi-level Roman-style pizzeria L’Aventino Forno Romano opened this week, according to the Tribune. Owner Adam Weisell, who grew up in Rome, is focusing on pinzas, spelt-rice-wheat dough flatbreads with sparing toppings. Selections include the capricciosa (tomato polpa, fior di latte, artichokes, olives, mushrooms, prosciutto cotto) and the “Re di Roma” (fior di latte, guanciale, egg yolk, pecorino Romano, black pepper). The space has housed five pizzerias, including Flour & Stone, Robert’s Pizza Co., Urban Crosta, and Streeterville Pizzeria & Tap, since 2015. Status: Certified Open, 355 E. Ohio Street.
UNION STATION — Sub sandwich chain Jersey Mike’s opened this month inside Union Station on the upper concourse food court, according to its website. The New Jersey-based chain operates more than 1,500 locations in the U.S., Canada, and Australia, including multiple city and suburban Illinois locations. Status: Certified Open, 225 S. Canal Street.
UPTOWN — Vietnamese restaurant Danang Kitchen opened last week, Uptown Update reported. Menu offerings include a pho French dip bahn mi, five-spice pork belly buns, and more. The building formerly housed New Chinatown Cafe and Restaurant. Status: Certified Open, 1019 W. Argyle Street.
UPTOWN — BYOB Thai restaurant In-On Thai reopened last week in a new neighborhood, according to Uptown Update. The relaunch comes after a developer razed its original building on the 3800 block of North Broadway in Lakeview in the spring. An online menu is not yet available. Status: Certified Open, 4641 N. Broadway Street.
NAPERVILLE — Gaming restaurant and bar mini-chain Whirlyball opens a new location in suburban Naperville today, a representative wrote in a news release. Known for its eponymous game, a cross between lacrosse, hockey, basketball, and bumper cars, the company operates locations in Bucktown and suburban Vernon Hills, as well as restaurants in Colorado and Wisconsin. Status: Opens Today, 3103 Odyssey Court in Naperville.
OAK BROOK — Healthy restaurant and bar chain True Food Kitchen, founded by integrative medicine proponent Dr. Andrew Weil, opened a new location in suburban Oakbrook Center this week, representatives wrote in a news release. The Arizona-based company debuted its first Chicago restaurant three years ago in River North, and operates locations in 17 states. Status: Certified Open, 105 Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook.
FULTON MARKET — The London-based Hoxton Hotel opened a full-service co-working space this week called Working From_Fulton Market, Time Out reported, along with a cafe called 3rd Floor Canteen + Bar from Boka Restaurant Group. Workers can purchase light breakfast fare, salads, sandwiches, and snacks, as well as wine and beer. Status: Certified Open, 200 N. Green Street, Third and Fourth Floors.
IRVING PARK — Best-of-the-Midwest sandwich spot J.T.’s Genuine Sandwich Shop is open, owner Chris Cunningham wrote in an email and announced on Facebook. He’ll hold a grand opening party tomorrow during the Michigan State vs Michigan game called “Coney Fest 2019,” complete with Detroit coney dogs. Cunningham hopes to turn it into an annual party at the shop. A full menu is available below. Status: Certified Open, 3970 N. Elston Avenue.
LINCOLN SQUARE — New breakfast and brunch spot LizzyJ Cafe debuted early this month, according to a Facebook post, offering hearty classics such as shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, and blueberry lemon brioche French toast stuffed with mascarpone. Owner and chef Jamie Gilmore also operates sister business LizzyJ Catering. The space formerly housed Apart Pizza and Sicilian restaurant Braciole Station. Status: Certified Open, 2205 W. Montrose Avenue.
LOGAN SQUARE — Chicago’s acclaimed Scofflaw Group (Scofflaw, Slippery Slope, the Moonlighter) opens new wine bar Outside Voices today with a focus on “minimal intervention” wines, charcuterie, and snacks. Wine offerings include a range of white, red, orange, rose, and sparkling varietals, and patrons can order meats and cheeses as well as snacks including mussels in escabeche, Utz potato chips, and sardines in tomato sauce and olive oil. A full menu is available below. Status: Opens Today, 3204 W. Armitage Avenue.
UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — New Chinese restaurant Lao Peng You (“old friend”) from two Chinese American brothers launched this week, owners announced on Instagram. Brothers Daniel Wat and Eric “Chops” Wat created a menu with numerous noodle dishes and dumplings in spicy sour soup, as well as small plates and snacks such as eggplant salad (garlic, cilantro, chili oil) and Xi’an bing, or lamb and cumin bread. Block Club has more on this story. Status: Certified Open, 2020 W. Chicago Avenue.
WICKER PARK — The Boil Cajun Seafood opened late last month in the space formerly occupied by Bob San/Harvest Moon, ownership wrote in a Facebook post. Menu offerings include a selection of po’boys as well as raw, fried, and boiled seafood. Owner Huanhuan “Angela” Liang is also behind suburban Japanese sister restaurant Sushi Nova. Status: Certified Open, 1805 W. Division Street.
EVANSTON — Suburban beer purveyor Sketchbook Brewing Co. reopened its expanded taproom yesterday, representatives wrote in a Facebook post. Co-founders Cesar Marron and Shawn Decker first opened the brewery in 2014, and plan to launch a new production facility and taproom in suburban Skokie next year. Status: Certified Open, 821 Chicago Avenue in Evanston.
ROSEMONT — Texas-based piano bar chain Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar opens its first Midwestern location today in suburban Rosemont with live music and big cocktails from two bars. Patrons can expect at least two musicians or even a full band playing nonstop from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays, along with monstrous 52-ounce drinks such as the popular “Lucky Duck” (Pinnacle Tropical Punch vodka, Blue Curacao, muddled lemons and lemonade). Status: Certified Open, 5540 Park Place in Rosemont.
SCHAUMBURG — Virtual golf venue, restaurant, and bar Topgolf opens another today, according to the company’s website and the Daily Herald. It recently opened “Swing Suites” in Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, the Mag Mile’s 900 N. Michigan Avenue Shops, as well as a location in suburban Naperville. Status: Opens Today, 2050 Progress Parkway in Schaumburg.
LITTLE ITALY — New Japanese-style sweet treat spot Kurimu opened this month, ownership announced on Facebook. An online menu isn’t yet available, but would-be patrons can see cones filled with soft-serve and wrapped in gold or silver leaf along with a variety of milk and boba tea drinks in an introductory YouTube video starring a hungry panda. Status: Certified Open, 1159 W. Taylor Street.
LOGAN SQUARE — Pan Asian restaurant Wonder Chop is open in Logan Square, an employee confirmed in a call to the restaurant. Offering Chinese and Japanese dishes as well as sushi, the restaurant features an extensive menu and lunch specials. The space formerly housed Chinese restaurant Blue Willow. Status: Certified Open, 2418 W. Fullerton Avenue.
PILSEN — Mexican restaurant Senoritas Cantina opened this fall in Pilsen, owners wrote in an Instagram post. Menu items include 12 varieties of tacos, a sopes flight, and grandiose options such as the mariscada — a mahi mahi filet, a salmon filet, shrimp, mussels, and crab legs cooked in salsa ajillo. The building was previously occupied by Latin American restaurant and club Zebraz 18. Status: Certified Open, 1104 W. 18th Street.
SOUTH LOOP — New Roosevelt Collection restaurant Pacino’s Classic Italian opened this week, representatives announced in a Facebook post. Chef Michael Serratore (Trattoria Isabella), an Italy native, hopes to foster a family-friendly atmosphere and offers dishes featuring risotto, seafood, and fresh pasta. The space formerly housed Mago Grill & Cantina, which closed abruptly last year. Status: Certified Open, 1010 S. Delano Court.
STREETERVILLE — Breakfast-focused chain Egg Harbor Cafe opened this month in new apartment tower Optima Signature, according to a news release. True to its name, the restaurant offers a selection of egg dishes including skillets, scrambles, and Benedicts. The chain operates 20 locations in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Georgia. Status: Certified Open, 230 Upper E. Illinois Street.
WEST LOOP — California-based fast food chain Veggie Grill opened its West Loop location yesterday, according to an official social media post. It’s the first 100-percent vegan spot on Randolph’s Restaurant Row, offering animal product-free comfort food such as the Beyond Burger. The new location is the chain’s fourth Chicago restaurant, joining spots in Lakeview, the Loop, and River North. Status: Certified Open, 911 W. Randolph Street.
WEST TOWN — Popular vegan baker Heather Bodine-Lederman will open her dream bakery, Pie, Pie My Darling, tomorrow with limited hours, she wrote on Facebook and confirmed in an email. Doors open at 11 a.m. and patrons can snag her cakes, pies, and more until 1 p.m., or whenever she sells out. Bodine-Lederman said she plans to expand the bakery’s hours once she’s able to meet the demand, and will hold a grand opening celebration after Christmas. Status: Opens Tomorrow, 2636 W. Chicago Avenue.
WICKER PARK — Wicker Park has a new one-stop spot for pho, Hainanese chicken and rice, and convenient store goods. Phodega’s food menu has chicken or beef pho ($10 or $12), Hainan style chicken rice or fried chicken rice for $10, souped-up packaged instant noodles, snacks including fried chicken skins and pizza puffs, plus Vietnamese coffee and smoothies. Packaged goods include Asian drinks, candies, and chips, plus everyday items such as mouthwash, paper towels, and condoms. The counter-service space is decorated with some street style and seats around 25 at four-top tables and a front window counter. Owner Nate Hoops and chef Anthony Ngo, who previously ran the Chicago Lunch Box food truck, hope to start selling beer and wine in the future. Status: Certified Open, 1547 N. Ashland Avenue.
SCHAUMBURG — Louisiana-based fast food chain Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has opened a new location in suburban Schaumburg, representatives wrote in a news release and on its website. Raising Cane’s currently runs a restaurant in Rogers Park, along with shops in suburban Oak Lawn, Harwood Heights, Riverside, Evergreen Park, and Naperville. Status: Certified Open, 1205 E. Higgins Road in Schaumburg.
ARCHER HEIGHTS — Seafood restaurant Mariscos El Puerto II opens today, owners announced in an official Facebook post. It’s from the same team as Brighton Park BYOB sister spot Mariscos El Puerto and has the same menu, but features a full bar with “super cheap prices,” a representative wrote in a comment. Status: Opens Today, 5004 S. Archer Avenue.
LINCOLN PARK — The husband-and-wife team behind boozy brunch spot Lokal and Earl’s Drive-Thru BBQ opened their new restaurant Ella’s BBQ this week, according to co-owners Art Wnorowski and Gosia Pieniazek. The couple hope to foster a friendly neighborhood atmosphere to go with smoked brisket, pork, chicken, and ribs, and a Nashville-style hot chicken sandwich. Dog and burger spot Fritzy’s Lincoln Park previously occupied the location. Status: Certified Open, 723 W. Armitage Avenue.
LINCOLN PARK — New comfort food spot Hops & Curds opened this month in the space that formerly housed De Quay, Chicago’s only Dutch-Indonesian restaurant, owners wrote on Facebook. The H&C menu features hearty items such as “grown up” grilled cheeses (pimento, brie and green apple, and mozzarella caprese) and cheddar macaroni and cheese (add broccoli, hot dog, house-made chorizo, or grilled chicken for $4 each). Available beverages include beer, wine, cocktails, and non-alcoholic selections. Status: Certified Open, 2470 N. Lincoln Avenue.
LITTLE VILLAGE — Storied local pizza chain Home Run Inn opened a revamped version of its first location on Monday next door to the original 1947 site, according to a news release and Block Club. The new space offers 250 seats and 42 taps, as well as the chain’s popular tavern-style pizzas. Status: Opens Monday, 4254 W. 31st Street.
RAVENSWOOD — Dollop Coffee opened its 15th location yesterday with an increased selection of breakfast items such as bacon, eggs, breakfast burritos, smoothies, and more, Block Club reported. The new spot will also feature a walk-up window that connects to an outdoor patio, a component that excites CEO Dan Weiss, but the window will likely remain closed until spring. Maiden Voyage Cafe, the space’s former occupant, shuttered last fall. Status: Certified Open, 1636 W. Montrose Avenue.
RIVER NORTH — Eataly Chicago opens its new restaurant Osteria Del Mercato today, according to a news release, replacing Il Pesce, Le Verdure, and La Piazza inside the Italian restaurant hall and retail haven. The new spot allows diners to create their own dishes from market counters, ultimately integrating restaurant and retail experiences. For those less inclined to forage for their meal, a set menu will also be available. Status: Opens Today, 43 E. Ohio Street.
ROGERS PARK — Pan Asian spot Tai Chi Bubble Tea opened its first Chicago location last week, according to Block Club, with board games and music by request. The menu offers more than bubble tea — diners can order several types of ramen, so-called sushi burritos, and loaded rice bowls. Manager Jessie Lee told reporters that a second location is in the works, which may be on West Taylor Street in Little Italy. The brand currently operates four upstate New York shops. Status: Certified Open, 6800 N. Sheridan Road.
WEST LOOP — New bar and late-night eating spot the Black Barrel Tavern opened this week, an employee confirmed in a phone call. Owners describe the restaurant as “sport-friendly” and offer craft beers, cocktails, and American bar fare with a kitchen open until midnight. Craft beer bar pioneer the Beer Bistro, which closed last year after 13 years in business, previously occupied the space. Status: Certified Open, 1061 W. Madison Street.
WEST LOOP — Turkish food purveyor Turkitch Kitchen opened a new stall in the Chicago French Market this week, representatives wrote on social media. Customers can order items such as Turkish breakfast pastries, kofte (meatballs), and baklava. Owners opened a Lincoln Park restaurant of the same name in March. Status: Certified Open, 131 N. Clinton Street.
ELMWOOD PARK — Mexican-style street food spot Gringo & Blondie opened this month in suburban Elmwood Park, according to a social media post. Menu items include familiar offerings such as tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, as well as fresh churros, and horchata shakes. Customers can also order drinks including margaritas, palomas, and Mexican beers. Status: Certified Open, 7514 W. North Avenue in Elmwood Park.
GLENDALE HEIGHTS — Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers has opened another Chicagoland location, this time in suburban Glendale Heights, representatives announced online. Known for hefty burgers, patty melts, and frozen custard, the Kansas-based chain operates more than 300 locations in more than 30 states, including 14 Illinois restaurants. Status: Certified Open, 556 E. North Avenue in Glendale Heights.
NAPERVILLE — New suburban restaurant Umai Aji-Ya opens today, according to a news release, with a grand opening and a chance for a lucky customer to win free ramen for a year. An online menu is not yet available, but a representative promises steaming bowls of miso ramen, tonkotsu ramen with pork, and vegetable ramen with tofu. Status: Opens Today, 760 N. IL-59 Suite 112 in Naperville.
SCHAUMBURG — The owners of essential Chicago restaurant and Chinese noodle and dumpling palace Imperial Lamian opened their new suburban spot Phat Phat this week, according to the restaurant’s website. In an effort to represent dishes from across Southeast Asia, the menu offers an extensive selection of dumplings, claypot dishes, noodles, and fried rice. Special attention is paid to dessert options, such as three varieties of “snow ice” covered in fruit, sauce, and jellies. Status: Certified Open, 17 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg.
CABRINI GREEN — Healthy spot Trio Eatery and Juice Bar opened this summer, according to an official Facebook post. The shop’s menu offers Mediterranean-style salads, light dishes such as acai bowls, as well as bottled juices, and is designed to serve vegan, gluten-free, Keto and Paleo patrons. Status: Certified Open, 840 N. Orleans Street.
HYDE PARK — Trader Joe’s opened a new location in Hyde Park last week, representatives wrote in an official announcement. It’s the first South Side location and contains murals of local landmarks such as Promontory Point, Jackson Park’s the Garden of the Phoenix, and the Museum of Science and Industry, according to Block Club. The prior tenant was Treasure Island Foods, a family-run grocery chain that shuttered entirely last year. Status: Certified Open, 1528 E. 55th Street.
IRVING PARK — Nearly a year after it shuttered due to a fire, breakfast and lunch restaurant the Churro Waffle reopens Monday, Block Club reported. Ownership confirmed a grand reopening celebration on Facebook. The menu of American and Mexican fare remains unchanged and includes the popular churro waffle, the spot’s namesake. Status: Opens Monday, 2845 W. Irving Park Road.
RIVER NORTH — Longtime Hubbard Street bar/restaurant/nightclub Hubbard Inn reopens today about five months after it closed for a revamp, representatives wrote in a news release. Missouri native and executive chef Eric Babula (Old Town Pour House, Punch Bowl Social) is launching a new menu with shareable American plates and customizable, personalized raw bars during happy hour. Ownership released renderings last month. Status: Opens Today, 110 W. Hubbard Street.
ROGERS PARK — Family-run restaurant Tostini opened in September, owners wrote on social media, with its take on tost, or pressed Turkish sandwiches. The Halal restaurant doesn’t yet offer an online menu, but photographs of soups, olive rolls, hazelnut baklava and more are available on Facebook. The space previously housed ice cream and frozen yogurt spot Casita De Nieve. Status: Certified Open, 1622 W. Morse Avenue.
WASHINGTON PARK — The owners of Jamaican Gates on South Halsted Street opened a second Chicago location this month, they wrote in a Facebook post. Customers can expect a menu of Caribbean favorites, including jerk chicken, oxtail, and curry goat. There are also sides such as rice and peas, plantains, and callaloo. Status: Certified Open, 111 E. 51st Street.
WEST LOOP — Claudia, the fine-dining restaurant incarnation of chef Trevor Teich’s pop-up series, opens today with a 10-course dinner menu. The pop-up earned rave reviews when it launched in 2016, and Teich hopes to keep the momentum going at his new BYO establishment. Eventually, sommelier and general manager Alexander Carlin will offer his own pairings. Status: Opens Today, 540 W. Madison Avenue.
WICKER PARK — New restaurant and bar Little Victories opened last week, representatives wrote on social media. The space was formerly home to the Anthem, one of Division Street’s first sports bars, which shuttered in January after seven years in business. A photo of the menu posted to Facebook highlights “bar snax” such as a green tea pickled egg and smoked meat sticks. Heartier “hot stuff” dishes include a two-patty smash burger and a veggie muffuletta. The space now exudes modern Midwestern aesthetics such as soft, textured tones, plenty of greenery, and vintage-y dart boards. Status: Certified Open, 1725 W. Division Street.
HIGHLAND PARK — The team behind Evanston-based restaurant Curt’s Cafe opened a new suburban location this week, according to an official Facebook post. Designed to employ and trains at-risk youth, Curt’s opened a second Evanston location in 2015 but consolidated the shops in June. Menu items include health-conscious breakfast fare, sandwiches, wraps, and salads. Status: Certified Open, 1766 2nd Street in Highland Park.
HIGHWOOD — Suburban spot Papa Willie’s BBQ opened this week, ownership wrote in a Facebook post. Tempting meaty options include a “bag o’ ribs” (half or full slab), barbecue chicken and broasted chicken (half or full bird), and chicken fingers. There are sweet options too, such as “possum pie” (Oreo crust, chocolate-hazelnut cream, chocolate cream pudding, whipped cream, hazlenut Pirouline cookies). Status: Certified Open, 148 Green Bay Road in Highwood.
LINCOLN SQUARE — Vietnamese restaurant LC Pho is open once again after an expansion, ownership wrote in a Facebook post last week, after a temporary closure for renovations in May. Owners integrated the adjacent storefront into the restaurant, more than doubling the space. The restaurant first opened in 2015 and offers 10 pho selections. Status: Certified Open, 2739 W. Lawrence Avenue.
MAGNIFICENT MILE — Deep-dish pizza icon Lou Malnati’s opened its latest location inside the historic Wrigley Building this week. The 10,000 square-foot space that owners hope will lure tourists off the Mag Mile seats about 200 and includes a full bar. Lunch service is slated to begin within two weeks, and the restaurant offers catering, take-out, and delivery. A walk-through of the space is available below. Status: Certified Open, 410 N. Michigan Avenue.
PETERSON PARK — Indian and Pakistani spot Mirch Restaurant opened in late summer, according to an Instagram post. Menu offerings include kebab, biryani, korma, and burgers, as well as sweet treats such as lassi and gulab jamun. Photographs of dishes, which are also all halal, are available on social media. Status: Certified Open, 5664 N. Lincoln Avenue. MILE
TRI-TAYLOR — Seafood restaurant Hungry Crabs is open and serving, an employee confirmed in a phone call. The menu features fried and grilled calamari, shrimp, catfish, and more, as well as lobster rolls and hot dogs with proteins including alligator and crawfish. A variety of seafood items are also available per pound at market price and cooked on the spot. Status: Certified Open, 2200 W. Taylor Street.
VERNON HILLS — Another suburban City Works Eatery and Pour House location is now open, representatives wrote in a Facebook post. Diners and drinkers can expect 90 draft local and “global” beers with 11 rotating handles, as well as a selection of cocktails, whiskeys, and wines and American bar fare. City Works currently runs brewpubs in suburban Schaumburg and Wheeling, as well as Texas, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and Florida. Status: Certified Open, 929 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Vernon Hills.
CHINATOWN — A Chinese chain specializing in grilled fish has opened its first U.S. location, management wrote in a Facebook post. Tan Lu’s comprehensive menu features fish, boiled crawfish, pig feet, grilled prawns, and more drawing on styles from Chinese provinces including Guangdong, Hainan, and Sichuan. The chain operates locations in more than 30 cities in nine Chinese provinces, and runs around 90 stores worldwide. Status: Certified Open, 2102 S. China Place.
LAKEVIEW — New American restaurant Port & Park is open in the space that previously housed SIP Southport & Irving, an employee confirmed in a phone call. Co-owners Adam Gutkin and Steve Salameh are offering brunch and dinner menus with dishes including gingered carrots (rainbow carrots, walnut-tamarind brittle, caramelized onion vinaigrette, ginger and coconut puree) and “pork and beans” (slow-cooked pork shank, Great Northern beans, braised cabbage and bacon, herbs, citrus). Beer, cocktails, and cider are also available. Status: Certified Open, 4006 N. Southport Avenue.
MIDWAY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT — Famous Chicago brands Harry Caray’s Shortstop (Terminal A) and Home Run Inn (Central Market) have joined the concession lineup at Midway Airport, the Chicago Department of Aviation wrote in a news release. The additions are part of a nearly $400 million plan called the “Midway Modernization Program” that executives expect will create 2,500 jobs. Status: Certified Open, 5700 S. Cicero Avenue.
RIVER NORTH — The second prong of Carlos Gaytán’s three projects is open in River North. Panango is a casual bakery with sandwiches, bread, and pastries from Gaytán’s native Mexico. Tzuco, Gaytán’s Mexican restaurant, opened in September next door. A fine dining Tales of Carlos Gaytán is opening soon to complete the trifecta. Status: Certified Open, 720 N. State Street.
EVANSTON — Philz Coffee, the Bay Area cult chain that seems to grow its Chicago footprint by the minute, opened another shop in suburban Evanston today. A video posted to Facebook shows a ribbon cutting inside the new cafe. Philz is known for its customizable coffee drinks that baristas create on-the-spot. Status: Certified Open, 1030 Davis Street in Evanston.
SCHAUMBURG — Wildly popular burger chain Shake Shack opened in suburban Schaumburg on Tuesday, according to the Daily Herald. Best known for hamburgers, crinkle-cut fries, and griddled hot dogs, the chain’s new location will offer wine and beers from local breweries including Revolution and Half Acre. The shop sits on the edge of Woodfield Mall. Status: Certified Open, 1765 E. Golf Road in Schaumburg.
BRONZEVILLE — The tavern-cut pizza experts at Home Run Inn opened their ninth location this week. The new restaurant houses a pour-your-own beverage wall with handles for 10 beers, five wines, and six cocktails. Diners can dig into the chain’s adored thin-crust pies, as well as wings, salads, and three types of fries. Status: Certified Open, 3401 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
EAST GARFIELD PARK — Creed on Lake, a new Southern-style soul food restaurant, is now open underneath the California Green Line station, Block Club reports. Mississippi native chef Tina Cook is serving up fried chicken, collard greens, fried catfish, peach cobbler, and even smoked meats during lunch and dinner hours. Status: Certified open, 2806 W. Lake Street.
FULTON MARKET — The team behind popular wine bar and cheese restaurant Pastoral opened a new venue, the Wine Bar at Pastoral, this week in the Chicago French Market. The new drinking spot seats 10 along the bar and another eight at wine-barrel tables. Diners can expect a menu stacked with sandwiches, salads, cheese plates, and “Pastoral picnics,” a collection of delicacies that feeds 2-4. Wines by the glass are available, as is a build-your-own flight option along with a limited group of beers and cocktails. Status: Certified Open, 131 N. Clinton Street.
LINCOLN PARK — Grown-up neighborhood sports bar the Dime opens today, according to a representative. It features American shared dishes, televisions wrapping the entire space, and a bar covered in thousands of hand-laid dimes. Designed to serve groups, the bar offers 16 tapped beers with 10 set aside for “fun” local brews. Three tapped wines and cocktails are also available, as are large-format drinks. In the coming months, owners hope to add a late-night food window on Lincoln Avenue that doubles as a limited bar. Status: Opens Today, 2263 N. Lincoln Avenue.
WEST GARFIELD PARK — Caribbean restaurant Jerk 48 opened a new location this week, ownership wrote on Facebook. Menu offerings include various jerk choices — chicken, shrimp, lobster, and catfish — as well as oxtail and Alfredo dinners. Jerk fans can also visit the restaurant’s original location on East 67th Street in Woodlawn. The West Garfield Park space previously housed Shirley’s Cafe and Jack’s Burgers. Status: Certified Open, 4335 W. Madison Street.
WICKER PARK — Cracked on Milwaukee, the new brick-and-mortar restaurant from the owner of popular mobile breakfast spot the Cracked Truck, opened this week. Founder Daniel Krause announced a four-day grand-opening celebration that runs through today on social media. Fans and newcomers can expect portable items such as breakfast sandwiches, as well as plated dishes including biscuits and gravy. Krause also operates Cracked on Green in Champaign. Status: Certified Open, 1359 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
LAKEVIEW — Sushi spot Big Bite Sushi opened this week in the former Kitchenette space, according to a Facebook announcement. Menu items include nigiri, sashimi, teriyaki dishes, and specialty “big bite” rolls. Sweet-toothed diners can top it off with mochi and Japanese ice cream with flavors including green tea and red bean. BYO Asian-fusion restaurant Kitchenette shuttered last year. Status: Certified Open, 3811 N. Ashland Avenue.
LINCOLN PARK — San Francisco-based coffee chain Philz Coffee opens its third Chicago location today, representatives wrote in a Facebook post. Known for its customizable brews and outpost inside Facebook HQ, the brand recently opened shops in Wicker Park and Hyde Park. Plans for the Lincoln Park opening were announced earlier this month. Status: Certified Open, 2323 N. Lincoln Avenue.
NEAR NORTH SIDE — El Parche’s coffee stand inside the 111-year-old Montgomery Ward catalogue building is open, representatives wrote on social media. The location is also listed on the brand’s website. It shares space with the forthcoming Farmhouse Market, slated to open this winter. Customers can expect single-origin Colombian brews and a selection of coffee drinks. Status: Certified Open, 600 W. Chicago Avenue.
NORTH CENTER — Modern European restaurant Transilvania Grill is open and signs to that effect hang outside the restaurant. Menu offerings include shawarma (chicken or beef), cabbage rolls with minced beef and pork, and an eggplant salad (roasted eggplant, mayo, lemon zest, onion). The space previously housed Dos Ricco’s Fresh Mexican Kitchen, which shuttered in June. Status: Certified Open, 4064 N. Lincoln Avenue.
OAK PARK — Chicago-based cafe chain Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea has ventured into the suburbs with a new location in Oak Park. Owners held a grand opening this week, according to an official Facebook post. Fairgrounds currently operates locations in Bucktown, the Loop, and Fulton Market, as well as shops in Los Angeles and Minneapolis. Forthcoming locations are slated to open in suburban Vernon Hills and Milwaukee. Status: Certified Open, 702 Lake Street in Oak Park.
For a list of the 2019 summer openings, click here.