For the past few weeks, Lincoln Park residents have noticed vehicles parked near the corner of Armitage and Sheffield with the Hogsalt logo, representing the company the owns restaurants including Au Cheval and Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf. They’ve seen staff walk in and out of the space vacated last year by Le Pain Quotidien, 1000 W. Armitage Avenue, and have speculated to what restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff plans. Sodikoff confirms to Eater Chicago that Hogsalt intends to open a full-service restaurant in the space called Armitage Ale House.
The opening timeline isn’t concrete, as Sodikoff says the news spot will debut sometime “after the pandemic.” Beyond the name, Sodikoff didn’t share other details, saying he’ll reveal more in due time.
During the pandemic, Hogsalt has opened one venue and closed two. The two closures were Maude’s Liquor Bar off Randolph Restaurant Row in West Loop and California Clipper/C.C. Ferns in Humboldt Park. The latter was Hogsalt’s only bar and closed after a dispute with the landlord. In West Loop, in the same cluster where Hogsalt operates Green St. Smoked Meats, High Five Ramen, and Sawada Coffee, the company opened a new restaurant in late 2020 called Trivoli Tavern — the entrance is at the end of the cobblestone corridor in front of those restaurants. It serves steaks and continental American food, while offering patio seating and takeout.
Hogsalt runs nine Chicago restaurants (in addition to Small Cheval locations and Aster Hall food court which are joint ventures). It qualified for more than $1 million in federal coronavirus relief funding.
And in other news...
— A Jewel-Osco location at Roosevelt and Wabash in South Loop is the first grocery store in the country to pilot an automated kiosk for pickup orders, according to the Tribune. Situated in the store parking lot, the kiosk was designed for contact-free pickup for online shoppers, who sign up for a two-hour retrieval window. Jewel-Osco employees aren’t removed from the equation — they fill orders from store shelves and bring them to the pickup area. Parent Albertsons hasn’t yet announced plans for a wider rollout.
— Pastry pop-up Secret Donut Society (from industry vet Pat McBride who was behind ComplexCon’s $500 doughnut) has teamed up with Tubers Donuts, Logan Square’s Paulie Gee’s, and Marz Community Brewing to raise funds for chef Beverly Kim’s (Parachute, Wherewithall) non-profit the Abundance Setting. They’re all pitching in for a charity raffle that gives entrants a chance to win one of 24 packages, which include goodies like a personal pizza from Paulie Gee’s, doughnuts, beers, and more. Purchase a ticket by sending $5 via Venmo with a full name in the text field. There is no limit on entries and the raffle ends at noon on Saturday, January 30. “Hijinks will be had and malarkey will be made, but all in the name of charity,” organizers write.
— Chefs Beverly Kim (Parachute) and Diana Dávila (Mi Tocaya Antojeria) are also at work on separate free meal projects. Dávila will in February launch Todos Ponen (the same name as the restaurant’s video series), a new initiative designed to feed undocumented restaurant workers who are ineligible federal stimulus checks and unemployment benefits. Dávila and her team will make 1,000 free meals for pickup in February from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2800 W Logan Boulevard. Those who wish to donate can do so via PayPal.
Meanwhile in Avondale, Kim — along with husband and co-chef Johnny Clark — have turned their restaurant Wherewithall in Avondale into a community kitchen five days a week. They’re giving away about 120 free meals each day at 3472 N. Elston Avenue. Those who can afford to are encouraged to pay what they want and all donations go back into the canteen.
— In an effort to simulate social occasions canceled due to the pandemic, Bucktown’s staple the Bristol has begun offering virtual cocktail parties, according to a rep. Patrons can choose from a wide selection of kits for classic and craft drinks, from Sazeracs and Negronis to in-house creations like Here We Go Wassailing (berry liqueur, warm spiced cider, honey-infused gin, cardamom tincture). The restaurant supplies ingredients and instructions, and bar director Christain Shaum provides live demonstrations on Zoom. Order online via Tock.
— Chicagoans can take a shot at processed meat greatness and apply this month to take the wheel of the famed Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, according to a rep. Parent company Kraft Heinz will accept applications from would-be “Hotdoggers” — who will represent the brand at events and in media for one year — through Sunday, January 31.