City approves earlier start for Sunday boozy brunch
Earlier this week, Chicago’s city council adopted an ordinance so restaurants and bars that serve food could start serving alcohol earlier on Sunday mornings, moving the start time from 11 a.m. to 9 a.m. That means Sunday boozy brunches can now start two hours earlier. The old law was a leftover from the city’s blue laws that at one time restricted the sale of meats on Sundays. The new boozy brunch hours start on March 18.
Big-name chefs from across the county to converge in Chicago
A new conference will launch in April from Pilot Light, the Chicago charity that helps feed needy kids. The inaugural Citizen Food Conference is scheduled to take place on Monday, April 20 at the Ace Hotel Chicago in Fulton Market. The day-long conference will cover topics including racial and gender equality, education and school lunch programs, sustainability, and immigrant rights. The lineup includes Dan Barber (Blue Hill) and Tunde Wey (SAARTJ, BabyZoos). Local participants include Paul Kahan (One Off Hospitality), Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe, Marisol, Superkhana International), and Matthias Merges (Folkart Management Group, Billy Sunday, Mordecai, Hush Money). Tickets are available for purchase on the event’s website.
Man charged with sexually assaulting toddler at River North McDonald’s
A 34-year-old homeless man was arrested this week after he allegedly sexually assaulted a 3-year-old at a McDonald’s bathroom on Monday morning in River North. The attack happened while the child’s father was also in the bathroom and helping a sibling, according to the Sun-Times. The suspect, Christopher Puente, is being held without bond. The McDonald’s is the company’s flagship on the parcel that formerly held the chain’s famous rock ‘n’ roll location.
Pilsen alderman wants food festivals to donate to the community
In recent years, Pilsen has hosted several festivals, including several that feature food (Mole de Mayo, Michelada Fest, Tacos y Tamale Fest). Pilsen Alderman (25th) Byron Sigcho-Lopez wants all festival organizers to give back to the community. The alderman told Block Club Chicago he’s going to scale back the number of fests; residents say traffic and noise are nuisances. Sigcho-Lopez also suggested that organizers donate 20 to 25 percent of proceeds to Pilsen youth initiatives. Organizers haven’t responded on how they feel about the suggestion.
Suburbs get in on restaurant week fun
Winter doesn’t only affect Chicago restaurants, as several suburban communities have rallied to organize their own week-long promotions during this frigid downtime for the industry. The Tribune has a round-up of the events, include restaurant weeks in Elmwood Park, La Grange, and Rosemont. For city dwellers, Black Restaurant Week continues through February, and Pilsen’s restaurant goes from March 1 to March 7.