Sunday Boozy Brunches could soon start earlier
Much to the delight of boozy brunchers, a quirk in Chicago’s liquor laws that restricts restaurants and bars from selling alcohol before 11 a.m. could be on its way out, according to PBS Chicago and multiple other news reports. City Council’s Committee on License and Consumer Protection voted to pass an ordinance Thursday that would allow restaurants and bars with food menus to start liquor sales at 9 a.m. on Sundays, as long as the drink(s) in question are served with food. The ordinance will be submitted to the full City Council on Wednesday.
Chicago alderman works to save Lincoln Square pizzeria Jimmy’s Pizza Cafe
Alderman (40th Ward) Andre Vasquez is asking developers to alter their plans to raze a building that houses Lincoln Square’s New York-style pizza shop Jimmy’s Pizza Cafe and a handful of other businesses at 5155-5159 N. Lincoln Avenue, Block Club Chicago reported. Grand Properties Acquisitions LLC plans to tear down the two-story building to create a five-story apartment building, but needs a zoning change to commence construction. Owners of businesses, including Jimmy’s, in the building told reporters they were never properly notified of the tear-down plan, and now Vasquez hopes to figure out a way to keep the popular pizzeria in the neighborhood.
Polish those pans — the U.S.’s Bake Off spinoff is casting Chicagoland bakers
The Great American Baking Show, the American spinoff of across-the-pond mega hit the Great British Bake Off, is on the hunt for Chicago-area amateur bakers to travel to England and compete in the famous white (and apparently hot) tent. Would-be competitors must be 18 or older and legal U.S. residents, shouldn’t have any formal training within the past decade, and can never have worked as a full-time baker, cook, or pastry chef. Applications are due February 25 and must include a photo of the aspiring baker, pictures of their bakes, and a short video about themselves, their affinity for baking, and why they are a “great candidate” for the show. Details and applications are available online.
Touring James Beard pop-up Taste America to hit Chicago this spring
The James Beard Foundation continues to ramp up anticipation for its annual awards gala in May with a Chicago stop on its Taste America pop-up dinner tour on April 1 at Tzuco, Carlos Gaytán’s newish Mexican-French River North restaurant. The four-course meal features a menu designed by “visiting all-star” chef Lorena Garcia (Chica) and Gaytán that emphasizes “the diverse flavors, cuisines, and backgrounds that contribute to American cooking,” according to a news release. It also includes a reception with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Details and tickets (ranging from $175-$350) are available on the foundation’s website.
South Side’s Marz brings back Paczki Fest 2020 with milk stout and more
Bridgeport’s Marz Community Brewing’s Polish Mardi Gras party Paczki Fest 2020 kicks off Sunday, February 23, so would-be attendees can get ready to “fatten up and get glutenous” with festive paczki-themed food and drink from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. The party celebrates the release of Marz’s, now annual, Paczki Milk Stout, and this year the brewery will release its original stout along with a pistachio cream variant, reps wrote in a Facebook event post. Other timely offerings include gumbo from Bumbu Roux (Politan Row), special paczkis from Brunchlox, paczki ice cream pops from Pretty Cool Ice Cream, Creole dishes courtesy of Marz, and — of course — plenty of paczkis in a variety of flavors. Proceeds from the fest go to South Side nonprofit Public Media Institute and one if its projects, Lumpen Radio, which is run by Marz’s head honcho Ed Marszewski.
Malört-infused beer offers Chicagoans an appropriate V-Day aphrodisiac
And finally, Chicagoans today — Valentine’s Day — will be bombarded with over-priced dinners, heart-shaped pizzas, pink pastas, and other novelty items. But a suburban brewery has everyone beat. Lunar Brewing Company in Villa Park on Thursday posted on Facebook that it was incorporating Chicago’s No. 1 aphrodisiac, malört, into a beer. Its taproom will serve a stout aged in malört barrels. That’s something that other breweries, like 3 Floyds Brewing Company, have don’t in the past. The real kicker was that Lunar was also offering Jeppson’s Malört shots that have been dyed red. Depending on the perspective, these rose-colored shots would either be romantic, or the perfect elixir to forget about the holiday.
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Awards.