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One of 2020’s First Big Restaurant Openings Should Happen Next Week

Plus, the Buttigieg campaign will host a Chicago “culinary experience” without Mayor Pete, and more intel

Several plates of Chinese-American food on a table.
Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar is slated to open next Wednesday in Bucktown.
Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar/Galdones Photography

Hotly anticipated Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar to open next week in Bucktown

The long-awaited Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar from James Beard Award-nominated chef Jason Vincent (Giant) will finally open on Wednesday, January 22, according to a news release. Designed as a throwback to American-Chinese restaurants of the 1980s, the Bucktown spot at 2165 N. Western Avenue will offer the dishes its chefs and partners remember fondly, including egg foo young and orange chicken. It’ll also feature cocktails with tropical and botanical flair, the Tribune reported.

Buttigieg campaign to host Chicago “culinary experience” without Mayor Pete

Americans seem to take unbridled delight in watching their presidential candidates stuff their faces, but South Bend, Indiana’s own Mayor Pete Buttigieg won’t even be present at Chicago’s Chefs for Pete “culinary experience” on January 26, which will feature as-yet-unnamed “celebrated Chicago Area chefs.” The Buttigieg campaign plans to video-link the Chicago event to others held simultaneously in places like San Francisco and Stamford, Connecticut. Tickets, which start at $100, are available online. The campaign hasn’t responded to a request about the chef lineup or where the event will take place. Maybe it will happen in a wine cave?

Venerable deli Manny’s to pop up at North Side coffeeshop

Revered deli Manny’s will pop up on January 21 at Passion House Coffee Roasters’s Goose Island location, according to a rep. Patrons can expect a limited menu of the deli’s greatest hits, including hefty corned beef sandwiches and Reubens, black and white cookies, and matzo ball soup. Eastern European Jewish deli pop-ups in Chicago have a pattern of selling out quickly, so fans may be best served by showing up on day one. There’s no word yet on how long the pop up will run.

Manny’s is slated to pop up in Goose Island.

Popular brewery Phase Three plans suburban taproom

Popular local brewery Phase Three Brewing, best known for its trendy Hazy IPAs, plans to take over suburban Lake Zurich Brewing and will remodel its taproom, according to the Tribune. Phase Three owners are currently working on a deal to take over the lease and buy Lake Zurich Brewing’s equipment and hope to have it finalized for a spring opening. The 6,700-square-foot space at 932 Donata Court in Lake Zurich previously housed Black Belt Brewing, which closed after a year in 2016.

Chocolate giant Blommer will close its factory shop next month

Don’t worry, those chocolate smells wafting from River West won’t go away as the 81-year-old Blommer Chocolate Co. will close its factory store on February 28 to create space for a manufacturing facility expansion, the Sun-Times reported. The company, which currently operates a 270,000-square-foot factory at 600 W. Kinzie Street, is North America’s largest industrial chocolate producer. Originally founded in 1939 and still run by Pete Blommer, it was sold to Japan’s Fuji Oil Holding Inc. for $750 million.

Manny's Coffee Shop & Deli

1141 South Jefferson Street, , IL 60607 (312) 939-2855 Visit Website

Blommer Chocolate Co

600 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 226-7700


3209 West Armitage Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 252-0997 Visit Website