Chicago’s renowned dining scene is closer to its pre-pandemic self than ever before. As of May 14, the city’s restaurants and bars can operate at 75 percent capacity with at least six feet of space between tables, according to city guidelines. That’s welcome news for many in the hospitality industry who are hoping for a profitable summer after more than a year of pandemic struggles.
There are other changes too: the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that masks are no longer necessary for those fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot have followed the CDC’s lead and lifted mask mandates, but stress that restaurant and bar owners have the right to require customers to wear face coverings inside their businesses. Diners should remember that not everyone is vaccinated, including young children.
The following are just some of the restaurants that have reopened their dining rooms, patios, and takeout windows. It will be updated periodically.
Know of a restaurant back open? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with details so they can be included when this post is next updated.
Edgewater: New neighborhood pizzeria George’s Deep Dish opened for delivery and carryout on Tuesday, according to a Facebook post. The team makes a limited number of pies per day, all featuring a cold-fermented sourdough focaccia-style crush, crispy caramelized cheese along the edge, a cornmeal base, and sweet tomato sauce. Creatively named specialty options include Carlin’s Layover (pineapple rings, cup-and-char pepperoni, jalapenos, grape tomatoes). George’s Deep Dish, 6221 N. Clark Street, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Fulton Market: Alinea Group’s famed progressive cocktail bar the Aviary is slated to reopen Saturday with a la carte and prix fixe selections, according to a rep. The bar’s downstairs speakeasy-style lounge the Office, known for a collection of rare spirits, has also returned. The Aviary, 955 W. Fulton Market, Scheduled to reopen Saturday.
Lakeshore East: Avli on the Park, the new flagship restaurant from Greek-American chef Louie Alexakis and sports anchor Lou Canellis, debuted this week in the space that formerly housed III Forks Steakhouse. The enormous taverna and rooftop space is the fourth Avli restaurant in the Chicago area, and is lead by executive chef Nikolaos Kapernaros (Hyatt Regency Chicago, Grand Resort Lagonissi). Take Eater’s tour of the space and get a peek at Kapernaros’ blend of classical and contemporary offerings. Avli on the Park, 180 N. Field Boulevard, Open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday
Noble Square: Eagerly anticipated Jamaican restaurant Dr. Bird’s Jamaican Patty Shack is open in a transformed Burger King on Milwaukee Avenue. Owner Hakim Lee and his brother, whose parents in 1981 opened the original Dr. Bird’s Caribbean Rasta-Rant in Buffalo, New York, want to spread the love of Jamaican patties (baked or fried savory stuffed pastries), along with hits like jerk tacos, rasta pasta, and fruity punches with an optional rum boost. Stay tuned for more on this new spot with island vibes. Dr. Bird’s Jamaican Patty Shack, 1215 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
River North: Brindille, the celebrated French fine dining restaurant from chef Carrie Nahabedian, is scheduled to reopen Wednesday, May 26, according to a rep. Staff will offer indoor table service, patio dining and drinking, and takeout. Brindille, 534 N. Clark Street, Scheduled to reopen Wednesday, May 26.
South Loop: Grant Park Bistro, the restaurant inside the Hotel Essex, reopens Friday first time since the state shut down indoor dining October, according to a Facebook post. The all-day spot opened in 2019 on hotel’s ground floor. Grant Park Bistro, 800 S. Michigan Avenue, Open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Ukrainian Village: One of Chicago’s oldest and most venerable dive bars, Rainbo Club, has reopened after 14 months of pandemic hibernation, according to Block Club Chicago. The bar’s home on Damen Avenue has served as a watering hole under various names and proprietors since the 1930s. Current owner Dee Taira purchased Rainbo in 1985, and over the next decade, it became a favored hangout for local musicians and rock bands like Liz Phair, Veruca Salt, Urge Overkill, and Material Issue. Rainbo Club, 1150 N. Damen Avenue, Open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Friday; 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday.
Andersonville: Neighborhood Italian favorite Bar Roma has reopened for indoor dining with a spring dinner menu of pastas made on-site, its popular meatballs, and plenty of wine. There’s also a charming outdoor patio space. Reservations are via Resy. Bar Roma, 5101 N. Clark Street, Open 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday; 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Lakeview: Premier Chicago beer shop Bitter Pops has opened its highly anticipated taproom in its newish home on Lincoln Avenue. Customers can choose among 20 taps that highlight craft brews or order off a smart and fun cocktail menu. Bitter Pops, 3357 N. Lincoln Avenue, Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Alcohol sales start at 11 a.m.
Lakeview: Veggie Grill’s meat-free burger spinoff Stand-Up Burgers has opened its second Chicago outpost after launching its first last week in the Loop, according to a rep. Vegan and vegetarian junk food fans can expect a riff on In-N-Out Burger with “Save the Animals-Style Fries” (crispy onions, special sauce), a selection of Impossible burgers, and oat milkshakes. Stand-Up Burgers, 614 W. Diversey Parkway, Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Lincoln Park: Frozen health food meal delivery company Daily Harvest, known by many for plentiful sponsored posts on Instagram, on Saturday will open a tasting room where visitors can try “complimentary sips, bites, and scoops” and buy items to take home, according to a rep. Daily Harvest Tasting Room, 854 W. Armitage Avenue, Scheduled to open Saturday.
Logan Square: The owners of South Side food truck Big Mouth Steaks and Subs have made the leap to a physical restaurant that opened last week, according to Block Club. Co-founders and fiancees Craig Brown and Letasha Lewis launched the truck in October and have already garnered a community of fans with their cheesesteaks, Polish sausages, and enormous Hungry Man sub sandwich. Big Mouth Steaks and Subs, 2903 W. Diversey Avenue, Hours not yet posted.
Magnificent Mile: Deep dish pizza icon Lou Malnati’s will on Tuesday, May 18 reopen its 10,000 square-foot restaurant inside the historic Wrigley Building, according to a rep. Nearly a year in the making, the 200-seat establishment was only open for five months before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Lou Malnati’s, 410 N. Michigan Avenue, Scheduled to reopen Tuesday.
North Center: Robert et Fils, the French fine dining restaurant that opened for takeout during the pandemic last fall, opens its 14-seat patio for dine-in patrons for the first time on Friday, according to a rep. Chef Rob Shaner will offer a light menu of “Parisian drinking fare,” with options including mussels and fries (white wine, fennel, mustard, saffron, herbs) and a soft shell crab sandwich (black garlic and preserved lemon aioli). That all goes with a list of sparkling, rose, and red wines. Robert et Fils, 4229 N. Lincoln Avenue, Open 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
South Loop: Well-regarded Spanish restaurant Mercat a la Planxa reopened this week on Michigan Avenue, according to a rep. The team has added new menu items such as conservas made on-site and a fancy La Mejor De tasting menu with caviar, Iberico ham, mussels in escabeche, and more. Mercat a la Planxa, 638 S. Michigan Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The Loop: Acanto, Gage Hospitality Group’s polished Italian across the street from Millennium Park, in early May reopened to dine-in customers, according to a rep. Executive chef Chris Gawronski is featuring options like polpo fritto (capers, Gaeta olives) and black pepper rigatoni with Catalpa Grove lamb ragout. Acanto, 18 S. Michigan Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday; 3 p.m. to midnight Saturday; 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Washington Park: The Park Supper Club, a new South Side spot with dinner, drinks, and live music, is open Garfield Boulevard, according to Block Club Chicago. Patrons can expect options such as mesquite-smoked grilled salmon (smoked acacia honey), a New York strip, and flatbreads, plus a wide selection of speciality cocktails. Co-owners and spouses MaryAnn and Reginald Marsh also operate jazz club and bar M Lounge in South Loop. The Park Supper Club, 65 E. Garfield Boulevard, Open 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Bucktown/Naperville/Vernon Hills: Gaming bar and restaurant WhirlyBall has reopened all three of its Chicago area locations for weekend dining, drinking, bowling, laser tag, and more, according to a rep. For now, all three are open by reservation only on Sunday through Thursday. The chain aims to draw small groups that can stay relatively isolated while they play, and common spaces are labeled with six-foot social distancing markers. WhirlyBall, 1825 W. Webster Avenue; 3103 Odyssey Court in Naperville; 285 Center Drive in Vernon Hills; Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Logan Square: Popular neighborhood coffee shop, bar and music venue Cafe Mustache will on Saturday reopen daytime indoor seating for the first time since the pandemic began, according to an Instagram post. Bar service hasn’t yet returned but is expected to resume in the near future. Cafe Mustache, 2313 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Scheduled to reopen Saturday.
The Loop: The Chicago Athletic Association last week reopened its Game Room, the bar and restaurant with bocce and other parlor games, according to an Instagram post. Chicago hospitality group Land & Sea Dept. (Longman & Eagle, Parson’s) handles food and drink with spins on street food like wings and falafel plus classic cocktails like Old Fashioneds. Sister spots the Milk Room and Cherry Circle Room (also inside CAA) remain closed for the time being, but should return later this year. Game Room inside the Chicago Athletic Association, 12 S. Michigan Avenue, Open 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
River North: New rooftop drinking spot Bar Avec opened Thursday atop the newish second location of Avec, One Off Hospitality’s Mediterranean stalwart, according to a rep. Designed to evoke seaside cafes on the Iberian coast, the bar features an expansive list of European wines; Spanish, Portuguese, and domestic beers; and cocktails like l’afrique 75 (Hammer and Tongs L’Afrique Vermouth, champagne, Pierre Ferrand Cognac, lemon, rosemary). Customers can also expect snacks, cheeses, and plates like fideo noodle paella (charred eggplant, marinated tomato, fennel). The space was previously home to the Laurel Room, a rooftop bar above Pacific Standard Time, which closed in February to make way for the new Avec. Bar avec, 640 N. Lasalle Drive, 8th Floor, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
South Loop: Pop-up coffee shop Chicago French Press was originally slated to run through the end of 2020, but founder Kris Christian has managed to turn a short-term plan into a permanent situation at the Roosevelt Collection, according to a Facebook post. Chicago French Press, inside the Roosevelt Collection, 1021 S. Delano Court, Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
South Loop: Chinese restaurant chain Lao Sze Chuan from prolific restaurateur Tony Hu last month opened a long-planned location on Wabash that was first reported before the pandemic in February 2020. Hu is credited with educating many Chicagoans about Sichuan cuisine before it was widely available in the city. Local favorites include dry chili chicken, mapo tofu, and Mongolian beef tenderloin. Lao Sze Chuan Wabash, 616 S. Wabash Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Ukrainian Village: Whadda Jerk, the popular food truck known for blending jerk with soul food, is open in the former Clever Rabbit space on Division, according to an Instagram post. Owner Thomas Brewer has four spent years slinging jerk delights from a kitchen-on-wheels, but the pandemic brought new pressures and opportunities that have resulted in a permanent location. Stay tuned for more new on this new spot. Whadda Jerk, 2015 W. Division Street, Hours not yet posted.
Evanston/Skokie: Sketchbook Brewing Co. this week reopened both its suburban taprooms, according to a Facebook post. Founded by former home brewers with a penchant for historical and outside-the-box beer styles, Sketchbook aims to highlight the artful side of beer with offerings like a Orange Door double-dry hopped IPA and a Pinky Sweater red rice pilsner. Sketchbook Brewing Co., 821 Chicago Avenue in suburban Evanston, Open 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday; 2 p.m. to 10 pm. Tuesday through Thursday; noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, 4901 Main Street in suburban Skokie, Open 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday though Thursday; noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Austin: Longtime local caterer Veah Larde on Friday is opening a comfort food restaurant under banner of Two Sisters Catering, the business she’s operated for eight years in Chicago and its suburbs. Larde’s menu includes options like smothered pork chops and lemon garlic pepper fish for carryout, curbside pickup, and delivery. Two Sisters, 4800 W. Chicago Avenue, Suite 1, Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Bucktown: Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club is back in the game in Chicago starting on Saturday. The cavernous space near the 606 will invite players back, but they will lanes vacant to promote social distancing. Hour-long reservations and walk-ins are accepted for Saturdays only for groups up to eight. Royal Palms Shuffleboard, 1750 N. Milwaukee Avenue, reservations via Resy on from 3 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. on Saturdays only.
Gold Coast: Adorn, former Cleveland chef Jonathon Sawyer’s restaurant that in October replaced Allium inside the Four Seasons Hotel, reopens Friday, according to a rep. Sawyer has previously said the menu is inspired by his international travels, resulting in items such as “Joe Beef”-style lobster and spaghetti. Adorn, 120 E. Delaware Place inside the Four Seasons Hotel, Open 3 p.m. to midnight (bar menu) daily; 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (dinner menu) Thursday through Saturday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (brunch menu) Saturday and Sunday..
Gold Coast: Upscale seafood chain Truluck’s Chicago, a Texas-based brand that specializes in Florida stone crab, reopens Saturday for the first time in over a year, according to a rep. Patrons can expect options like Hawaiian ahi tuna, Alaskan king crab, and South African lobster tails for indoor and outdoor dining. Truluck’s Chicago, 41 E. Chestnut Street, Open noon to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday; 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Satuday; 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Lakeview: Japanese cult cream puff chain Beard Papa’s on Saturday will open its second Chicago outpost, according to owner Hassan Jaffrani. The brand has become an international sensation for its unique, airy puffs with crispy shells and fillings like green tea matcha and brown sugar boba. Like its predecessor in Bucktown, the new cream puff shop is also attached to an I Dream of Falafel location that’s also owned by Jaffrani. Beard Papa’s Lakeview, 851 W. Belmont Avenue, Slated to open Saturday, May 1.
Logan Square: Veteran chef Sam Engelhardt (Longman & Eagle, Au Cheval) last week opened En Passant, his Old World-influenced restaurant that was poised to debut last March just before the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite numerous obstacles, Engelhardt persevered and now is offering dishes such as fennel sausage with Chinese broccoli and Calabrian chili caramel. Block Club first reported this opening. En Passant, 3010 W. Diversey Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Logan Square/Ukrainian Village: Cult Chicago dessert favorite Black Dog Gelato has reopened two of its three locations for the season, according to Block Club. Patrons can swing by for pallet-pleasing flavors like whisky bacon and goat cheese cashew caramel. A third outpost is slated to return May 15 in West Loop. Black Dog Gelato, 2662 N. Sawyer Avenue; 859 N. Damen Avenue, Open noon to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Loop: Stand-Up Burgers, the Veggie Grill spinoff that features meat-free Impossible Burgers along with vegan fries, shakes, and floats, has opened its first Chicago outpost at Lake and Wells, according to a rep. The California-based company is aiming at a May opening for a second location in Lakeview. Stand-Up Burgers, 204 North Wells Street, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
North Center: European bistro and bar Cobblestone reopened Thursday with new executive chef Michael McCloud (Tortoise Supper Club), according to a rep. McCloud has introduced some new menu items, like braised short rib and grilled shrimp. There’s also a serious drink list with more than 50 ciders and beers. The team plans to bring back brunch service in July. Cobblestone, 4337 N. Lincoln Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Ravenswood: Filipino-Cuban hit Bayan Ko reopened for dine-in service last week, according to a Facebook post. Co-owners Lawrence Letrero and Raquel Quadreny have earned critical praise for options like juicy lumpia; pancit luglug with saffron, scallops, and uni; and peanut-based oxtail kae kare with funky fermented shrimp paste. Bayan Ko, 1810 W. Montrose Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Wrigleyville: Mordecai, the two-level cocktail bar inside the Hotel Zachary and across from Wrigley Field, is reopening Friday for the first time since the pandemic, according to owner Matthias Merges. It’s been 13 months since they’ve served customers. Hush Money, the complementary concept within the same space, will open at a future date. Mordecai, inside the Hotel Zachary, reservations via Tock for parties up to 6 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on most days; open at 11 a.m. on select Sundays.
Berwyn: Gina’s Italian Ice is one of the Chicago area’s top spots for the refreshing summertime treat, and now it has reopened for its 44th season, ownership writes in an email. Generations of fans return year after year for flavors like cherry limeade, guava, and Willy Wonka-inspired snozzberry. Gina’s Italian Ice, 6737 W. Roosevelt Road in suburban Berwyn, Open 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily (weather permitting).
Oak Park: Popular suburban bakery Spilt Milk from sisters Meg and Molly Svec reopened this month in a new space after a kitchen flood forced them to close their former location on Oak Park Avenue, according to a Facebook post. The siblings have developed a loyal local following for their flaky, delicious pies and much more. Spilt Milk, 811 South Boulevard in suburban Oak Park, Open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 9 a.m. to noon Sunday.
Fulton Market: Michelin-starred Next, the Alinea Group restaurant that features rotating thematic menus from decorated chef Grant Achatz, reopened Tuesday, according to an Instagram post. The team marks Next’s 10th anniversary with a seven-course “retrospective” of selections from menus past, including Childhood, the French Laundry, and Paris 1906. Reservations are available via Tock. Next, 953 W. Fulton Market, Open 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Logan Square/Irving Park: Miko’s Italian Ice, a top local spot for Chicago’s favorite summertime treat, has reopened both locations for the season, according to Block Club Chicago. Current flavor options include lemon, banana chip, mango, and raspberry. Miko’s Italian Ice, 2236 N. Sacramento Avenue; 4125 N. Kimball Avenue, Open noon. to 6 p.m. daily (weather allowing).
Logan Square: Cozy neighborhood watering hole Smallbar Logan Square reopened Monday, according to a Facebook post. There are spots both indoors and on the patio for customers seeking draft beer, mixed drinks, and solid pub food. Smallbar Logan Square, 2956 N. Albany Avenue, Open 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
River North: Naoki Sushi, the shuttered sushi spot from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and chef Naoki Nakashima, has returned as a virtual restaurant with new menu items for carryout and delivery, according to a rep. The menu primarily consists of maki and sashimi, with some appetizers like sambal chicken skewers and shrimp tempura. The original Naoki Sushi closed in 2019 after three years in Lincoln Park. Naoki Sushi, 21 E. Hubbard Street, Open noon to 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; noon to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Rogers Park: Casual Greek-American spot the Crazy Greek has reopened in a new Chicago location within weeks of leaving its original site in suburban Skokie, according to a Facebook post. Menu items include gyros, souvlaki, burgers, and salads. The Crazy Greek, 6808 N. Sheridan Avenue, Open noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
West Loop: Michelin-starred Elske reopened this week for the first time since last fall. Chefs and spouses Anna and David Posey temporarily shut down operations in October in anticipation of a difficult and fraught pandemic winter. Now the contemporary Scandinavian hit is back with a mix of new menu items and old favorites. Elske, 1350 W. Randolph Street, Open 5:30 to close Thursday through Sunday.
Wicker Park: European-inspired pub Bangers & Lace reopened late last month after spending 20 weeks in pandemic-induced hibernation, according to a Facebook post. Operators invested in a facelift on the space and brought in new attractions like a pool table. Drinks are the main focus, thanks to a mammoth list of beers, wines, and cocktails plus rare and vintage liquors, but a few bar bites like popcorn shrimp are also available. A second location remains closed in suburban Evanston. Bangers & Lace Wicker Park, 1670 W. Division Street, Open 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday; noon to 1 a.m. Saturday; noon to 11 p.m. Sunday.
Wicker Park: Canadian noodle chain Kinton Ramen reopened this week for dine-in, carryout, and delivery, according to a rep. Its original Chicago restaurant — the first in the U.S. — is also open again in West Loop. The chain is best known for a menu of customizable pork or chicken ramen bowls and izakaya-style small plates, plus cocktails, beer, wine, and sake. Kinton Ramen Wicker Park, 1426 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Andersonville: Land & Lake Andersonville, a new spinoff of Land & Lake Kitchen inside the LondonHouse hotel, is open for dine-in service, delivery, and carryout, according to a rep. Patrons can expect familiar options like tagliatelle pasta (beef bolognese, parmesan) and steak frites (10-ounce flank steak, steak sauce, fries). The Clark Street space was previously occupied by acclaimed Korean-Italian restaurant Passerotto, which closed in September after three years. Land & Lake Andersonville, Open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Avondale: Korini’s Pizza, a new side project from James Beard Award-winning chefs Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark (Parachute, Wherewithall), debuted this week with the couple’s take on Korean pizza. Options include Seafood Dream (mixed seafood, tofu, wasabi ranch sauce, tater tot crust, munster) and Kimchi Romance (kimchi, pepperoni, gochujang tomato sauce, mozzarella). It’s only open on Wednesdays — Kim says they’re testing out demand to see if they’ll offer pizza more times during the week. It’s part of the Dough Something effort to raise money for Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Place orders via Tock. Korini’s Pizza, 3472 N. Elston Avenue, open Wednesdays only, for now.
Englewood: Non-profit coffee shop and roastery Kusyana Cafe reopened late last month after a six-month pandemic hibernation, according to Block Club Chicago. Owner Phil Sipka tells reporters that in the meantime, he’s made some changes like replacing some previous menu items with new sandwiches, salads, and grab-and-go options. Kusyana Cafe, 825 W. 69th Street, Open 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Fulton Market: Denver-based dining-and-games chain Punch Bowl Social on Wednesday reopened its Chicago outpost with bowling, ping pong, and foosball, according to a rep. The company has struggled during the pandemic and closed a suburban location last spring, leaving some wondering if would ever return to the city. The company reopened in September downtown but quickly had to close again due to the state’s second indoor dining ban in October. Punch Bowl Social Chicago, 310 N. Green Street, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday; 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Roscoe Village: Southern gastropub Reclaimed and second-floor wine bar Scoperta have both reopened for indoor and outdoor dining, as well as takeout, according to a rep. Diners will find hearty menu items including seared venison loin (brown buttered green beans, leek puree) and Cajun gumbo, plus excellent wines by the glass or bottle. Reclaimed, 3655 N. Western Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Scoperta, 3655 N. Western Avenue, 2nd Floor, Open 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Streeterville: Coco Pazzo Cafe, the casual offshoot of Italian restaurant Coco Pazzo in River North, reopened Wednesday for indoor and patio dining, according to a rep. Operators promise a new menu featuring small plates like saffron-steeped PEI mussels with andouille sausage and taleggio-stuffed arancini with lemon-garlic aioli. The original restaurant is also open for dine-in service. Coco Pazzo Cafe, 212 E. Ohio Street, Open 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
South Loop: Evanston barbecue spot Soul & Smoke has opened a second Chicago ghost kitchen in South Loop just weeks after launching its first virtual outpost in Avondale, according to an Instagram post. Chef D’Andre Carter features delectable barbecue like smoked brisket and slabs of baby backs as well as soul food including Cajun-style shrimp and grits. Carter has spent much of the past year working with chef and humanitarian José Andrés’s charity World Central Kitchen to feed underserved Chicagoans, voters, and first responders. Soul & Smoke South Loop, 2537 S. Wabash Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Magnificent Mile: The Signature Room has reopened for dine-in service inside one of downtown Chicago’s tallest skyscrapers, according to a rep. The dinner menu includes a raw bar and seafood tower plus steaks, salads, desserts, and cocktails. Reservations are highly recommended and available online. The Signature Room at the 95th, 875 N. Michigan Avenue, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and Sunday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Logan Square: Bella’s opens Saturday in Logan Square. It’s a frozen treats spot with Italian ice and Puerto Rican helado de coco. Block Club Chicago has the full story of this family business. Bella’s, 3523 W. Fullerton Avenue, open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
The Loop: All-day virtual restaurant Greenleaf Kitchen & Cocktails has opened its first location outside California inside ghost kitchen hub Kitchen United, according to a rep. Patrons can expect a broad selection of salads, bowls, burgers, soups, and more. Greenleaf Kitchen & Cocktails, 205 W. Wacker Drive, Hours not yet available.
Magnificent Mile: NoMI Garden and Lounge reopened Thursday with new menus and a outdoor terrace, according to a rep. Located inside the Park Hyatt Chicago hotel, the restaurant is a favorite among sushi and seafood tower fans downtown. NoMI Lounge, 800 N. Michigan Avenue, Seventh Floor, Open 6:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Friday; 11 am. to 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; NoMI Garden, Open 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily (weather allowing).
West Loop: B.I. Tea and Dim Sum reopened Thursday inside the Chicago French Market food hall, according to a Facebook post. The three-year-old stall features a plethora of bubble teas, Chinese dumplings, bao, and sticky rice. B.I. Tea and Dim Sum inside Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton Street, Open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
West Loop: Basement hotspot the Loyalist from celebrated chefs John and Karen Shields reopens for indoor dining Friday for the first time in over a year, according to a rep. Located downstairs from two-Michelin-star restaurant Smyth, the Loyalist features some of the best burgers in town. Operators plan to soon open a sidewalk patio on Ada Street. The Loyalist, 177 N. Ada Street #101, Open 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
West Loop: Moneygun, a cool kid watering hole that’s also one of Chicago’s best cocktail bars, will reopen to indoor patrons on Saturday, according to a rep. Operators have added 1,100 square feet to the floor space, and are leaning into a more-is-more ethos with new drink options (in addition to old favorites) and a menu of 1980s-inspired snacks. Moneygun, 660 W. Lake Street, Scheduled to open Saturday.
West Rogers Park: Cafe Alif, a halal restaurant serving cuisine from Central Asia, opened in late March on Devon, according to an Instagram post. Patrons can expect to see soups, grilled meat dishes, desserts, and more from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Cafe Alif, 2245 W. Devon Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Andersonville: Venerable beer bar Hopleaf reopened on Thursday to the relief and delight of its many loyal fans. Owner Michael Roper detailed safety policies and what patrons should expect in a Facebook post, noting changes such as the arrival of new items on the food menu and a bottled beer list that’s been slimmed to a mere 100 options. He also calls for customers to be thoughtful about taking steps to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19.
“This has been the most difficult time in our business and my professional life,” Roper writes. “In order for us and your other favorite businesses to remain viable in the long term, it is vital that everyone remain vigilant and do whatever they can to to put this plague in our past.” Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark Street, Open noon to midnight Sunday through Thursday; noon to 1 a.m. Firday and Saturday. Closing hours may vary.
It's Opening Day at the ball parks and Re-Opening Day at Hopleaf. These red doors open at noon today for lunch. Dinner starts at 5, ends at 10 weeknights, 11 Sat and Sun. All the info soon up on the website. See ya!‘“ pic.twitter.com/JgHLdtrz4n— Hopleaf (@TheHopleaf) April 1, 2021
Avondale: Neighborhood cocktail spot Ludlow Liquors reopened to drink- and dine-in customers late last month for the first time since November, according to an Instagram post. Patrons can cut down on contact with staff by pre-ordering drinks and food or placing digital orders from their table via Tock. Ludlow Liquors, 2959 N. California Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Chinatown: Longtime neighborhood stalwart Triple Crown reopens on Friday to dine-in customers, according to an Instagram post. It’s one of the most well-known and loved restaurants in the area, with a menu of Cantonese specialties and dim sum. Triple Crown Restaurant, 2217 S. Wentworth Avenue, Open 9 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday through Sunday.
Lincoln Park: Fons, a new restaurant billed as the world’s first 100-percent vegan empanada shop, made its debut Thursday in the former home of local fixture Lito’s Empanadas, according to co-owner Daniel Briceno. He and wife Daniela Crespo are featuring creative spins on the South American pastries with animal-free fillings including Filipino-influenced lumpia empanadas and Italian-inspired Margherita submissions with vegan mozzarella. Customers can pre-order menu items for takeout and scheduled curbside pickup. Fons, 2566 N. Clark Street, Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Lincoln Park: Modern Mexican restaurant Mesa Urbana is open on Lincoln Park West, according to owner Moe Abu-Taleb. It replaces Mundano, the ambitious and short-lived Latin-American influenced restaurant that opened just three weeks before Chicago’s first COVID-19 pandemic shutdown in March 2020. Customers can expect an upscale menu of fusion options like rock shrimp risotto (roasted vegetables, coconut yellow curry). Mesa Urbana, 1935 N. Lincoln Park West, Open 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
Lincoln Park: RealGood Stuff Co., the smoothie and juice mini-chain that has expanded into bowls, salads, burritos, and toasts, is open inside a former Starbucks opposite the original John Barleycorn. The company also operates three stand-alone locations in Chicago and stalls inside four area Whole Foods. RealGood Stuff Co. Lincoln Park, 2275 N. Lincoln Avenue, Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Loop: Tortazo, the casual Mexican restaurant from celebrity chef Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill) and Filipino fast-food chain Jollibee, has reopened to dine-in customers inside the Willis Tower, according to a Facebook post. The flagship restaurant, slated to be the first of many across the country, originally debuted in January 2020 — not long before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Chicago. It now reopens to a starkly different Loop than the one its owners anticipated, with significantly fewer tourists or downtown office workers in need of convenient dining options. Tortazo, inside the Willis Tower, 233 S. Wacker Drive, Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.
West Loop: Chef John Manion’s acclaimed Argentine-style steakhouse, El Che, is slated to come out of hibernation and start serving dine-in customers on Tuesday, April 6, according to a rep. Fans of the restaurant’s pandemic pivot — a retail operation called El Che Meat & Provisions — needn’t worry, as Manion plans to continue selling sauces, tools, and top-notch cuts of beef out of the storefront on Washington Street. El Che Steakhouse & Bar, 845 W. Washington Boulevard, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
West Town: The former executive chef at VU Rooftop Bar has launched three concepts out a West Town ghost kitchen. According to a news release, Mark Hill has started MLC Group Chicago and opened Chicago Rice House (Asian, Italian, and soul food with vegetarian options), Level UpBurger, and Chicago Wing Authority (chicken wings, mac and cheese, tater tots, salads, and chicken nuggets), MLC Group, 3200 W. Grand Street, order online.
Wicker Park: Bangers & Lace, the craft beer in Wicker Park from Footman Hospitality, is back open with a new look and a new menu. In addition to new food items, like fried shrimp, there’s an expanded cocktail menu. The bar’s also added a pool room. Bangers & Lace, 1670 W. Division Street, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday; noon to midnight Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Edgewater: Contemporary Indian-American restaurant Mango Pickle has reopened for indoor service, according to an Instagram post. Ownership has relaunched with 21 Days of Thali, a dinner series that will occur four times per year, each featuring a rotating menu that will be “archived” after completion. The current menu includes lemon rasam (artichoke heart, curry leaf aioli), blue shrimp (seared rice cake, tamarind curry, puffed wild rice), and hibiscus ice. It’s available for dine-in, carryout, and delivery. Mango Pickle, 5842 N. Broadway Street, Open 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 5:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5:30 pm. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Lincoln Park: Matchacita, touted as Chicago’s first cafe to focus entirely on matcha, is open for pickup and delivery inside health food spot Squeez Juice Bar, according to a rep. Co-owner Bianca Pearson (Joy District) chose the name as both a play on “mamacita” and a portmanteau of matcha and cita — the Spanish word for a romantic date. Instagram-friendly menu items include activated charcoal matcha lattes with edible flower petals, matcha waffles, pastries, and more. Matchacita, 705 W. Belden Avenue inside Squeeze Juice Bar, Open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Logan Square: New modern Greek restaurant and pastry shop Andros Taverna has opened its spacious outdoor patio with a glass canopy overhang, according to a rep. The patio can seat 80 in total along the west side of the restaurant and sidewalk on Milwaukee Avenue. Pastry chef Hsing Chen (French Laundry) and husband Doug Psaltis (Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises) first opened for takeout in February and have since expanded to indoor dining. Andros Taverna, 2542 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Logan Square: Easy Does It, the neighborhood wine shop and bar that’s replaced East Room on Milwaukee Avenue, reopened for limited indoor service last week, according to a Facebook post. The wine store is open for bottles to go, and ownership plans to open the outdoor patio in early April. The venue will accept food deliveries for guests, as they encourage customers to order from nearby restaurants. Prepackaged snacks, including items from Great American Cheese Co., are available. Easy Does It, 2354 W. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
Logan Square: The Owl, a popular 4 a.m. bar from the owners of Estelle’s, has reopened for the first time in over a year, according to a Facebook post. Under the city’s current COVID-19 rules, closing time is now slightly earlier at 1 a.m. The Owl, 2521 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
Near North Side: New mini-food hall the Cafeteria opened in January with five different restaurants, according to a rep. Options include Chickpea (Middle Eastern), Like Salads (soup and salad), Planta (smoothies and bowls), Cup-of-Noodle (ramen), and Sweet Cream (shakes). Menus include pre-designed options like shrimp and garlic ramen, as well as build-your-own selections. It was formerly Trio Eatery and Juice Bar. The Cafeteria, 840 N. Orleans Street, Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Old Town: A new casual restaurant serving unusual tacos has opened inside the former home of BomboBar Old Town, according to an Instagram post. Wild Taco serves some familiar options like a chicken tinga taco with refried huitlacoche, as well as novel submissions such as a Reuben taco (pastrami, mustard seeds, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing). Sides include pozole rojo and Wild Esquitas (corn, cilantro-lime mayo, queso fresco, Flamin Hot Cheetos). Its parent company is Crave Hospitality Group, an Idaho-based company primarily focused on virtual restaurants. Wild Taco, 1529 N. Wells Street, Open 11 a.m. to 9 pm. Sunday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
River North: Good Measure, the intimate cocktail bar with punk vibes from chef Matt Troost (Three Aces), will reopen for takeout food and drinks on Friday, April 2 after an extended winter break, according to a rep. That gives the kitchen a chance to preview new seasonal dishes alongside favorites like Nashville hot duck livers. Indoor dining is slated to resume Wednesday, April 7. Former regulars should expect a few changes, as staff have redesigned indoor seating to abide by pandemic regulations. Good Measure, 226 W. Chicago Avenue, Scheduled to reopen April 2.
West Loop: Avec, the acclaimed Mediterranean-influenced restaurant from One Off Hospitality (Publican, Big Star), reopened its intimate dining room last week, according to a rep. Patrons can expect a menu that includes the restaurant’s famous chorizo-stuffed medjool dates, as well as a wood-oven paella (chicken thigh, morcilla sausage, shrimp), and a sumac-glazed 28-ounce bone-in ribeye with harrisa brown butter. Ownership recently opened a second location, Avec River North, in the space that used to house Pacific Standard Time. Avec, 615 W. Randolph Street, Open 4:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday.
West Town: Popular patio spot Parson’s Chicken & Fish has opened for delivery only in the space that formerly housed the Rookery. An opening date for dine-in service should be released next week. The restaurant, known for fried chicken and Negroni slushies, also operates locations in Lincoln Park and Logan Square, both of which have reopened for in-person dining. Another forthcoming Parson’s outpost is coming to the former home of Stone Fox and the Pork Shoppe in Andersonville. Parson’s West Town, 2109 W. Chicago Avenue, Hours not yet available.
Wrigleyville: The Bar at Hotel Zachary, perched on the hotel’s second floor, is slated to reopens for indoor drinks on Friday, April 2, according to a rep. The patio and kitchen will stay closed, but customers can expect wine, beer, and cocktails, and are allowed to place orders from adjacent taco hotspot Big Star Wrigleyville. The Bar at Hotel Zachary, 3630 N. Clark Street, Scheduled to reopen April 2.
Bridgeport: Las Vegas-based coffee roaster Bad Owl has opened its first out-of-state roastery and cafe in Chicago, owners tell Eater Chicago. Originally conceived with a Harry Potter theme, the brand has grown into an identity of its own with options like orange chiffon lattes and signature ButterBrews (sweet cream, cocoa). Patrons can also expect pastries, egg sandwiches, bagged coffee beans, and more. Stay tuned for more on this new coffee shop. Bad Owl Coffee Roasters, 3315 S. Morgan Street, Open 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Irving Park: Longtime Chicago-area chain Eggsperience has opened a new location with a private outdoor patio, according to a rep. Historically associated with breakfast food, the brand also features an eclectic dinner menu with pasta, seafood, barbecue, and more. Eggsperience, 4925 W. Irving Park Road, Open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Logan Square: Logan Arcade, one of Chicago’s quirkiest and best arcade bars, has reopened reservations for small, masked groups on the weekends, according to a Facebook post. Inside, patrons will find one of the biggest public collections of pinball and video games in the city, along with a solid beer list and full bar. Email email@example.com for details on availability. Logan Arcade, 2410 W. Fullerton Avenue, Email for availability.
Logan Square: Ice cream and burger spot the Freeze, a favorite among neighbors of all ages, has reopened for the season, according to Block Club Chicago. Originally founded in 1950, the unfussy stand has added new options this year including an allergen-free sunflower butter shake and an orange hard shell coating for soft serve cones. It’s currently open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily with regular hours starting next week. The Freeze, 2815 W. Armitage Avenue, Open 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily (regular hours).
Logan Square: Way Out, a new spot with cocktails, pizza potstickers, and chicken parm supremes (with pepperoni on garlic bread), opened in January, according to Block Club. It’s from Neil Kopp and Nathan Case-McDonald, a pair of former Longman & Eagle staffers. It’s located in the space that formerly housed Sink|Swim. Owners say they hope to open for in-person service soon when conditions are safer. Way Out, 3213 W. Armitage Avenue, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
River North: Legendary downtown restaurant Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse, named for beloved Chicago baseball announcer, reopens Friday, according to a Facebook post. Staff have been serving takeout during the pandemic and in early February reopened indoor inside another location at Water Tower Place. Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse, 33 W. Kinzie Street, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
The Loop: Sophisticated downtown dining spot the Dearborn from Irish-born sisters Amy and Clodagh Lawless reopened Wednesday on the corner of Dearborn and Randolph streets, according to a rep, squeaking in just before St. Patrick’s Day. Executive chef Aaron Cuschieri (Kinmont, Slurping Turtle) is featuring familiar favorites like fish and chips, tavern-stile pizzas, and fried chicken. The Dearborn, 145 N. Dearborn Street, Open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Wicker Park: Michelin-starred restaurant Schwa has reopened for indoor service. Known for a creative fine-dining menu served in an unpretentious environment, Schwa turned to takeout in the early days of the pandemic. Now chef Michael Carlson and his team have returned to the intimate space with a menu that includes chowder (clam, pomme dauphine, ogo) and quail (plum, matsutake, fennel). Reservations are required. Schwa, 1466 N. Ashland Avenue, Open 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Wrigleyville: As fans are allowed to return to Major League ballparks this season, Big Star, one of Chicago’s best-known taco spots, on Thursday reopened its enormous bi-level outpost across from Wrigley Field at the Hotel Zachary. The original restaurant and popular patio in Wicker Park is also open. Big Star Wrigleyville, 3640 N. Clark Street, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Wrigleyville: Popular barbecue restaurant Smoke Daddy has reopened its Wrigleyville location for the first time since the fall, according to a rep. It first opened in 1994 in Wicker Park and quickly became a destination for beer, blues, and barbecue meats; ownership debuted a second location in 2018 inside the Hotel Zachary across from Wrigley Field. Smoke Daddy Wrigleyville, 3630 N. Clark Street, Open 11:30 a.m. to 9 pm. Wednesday and Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Avondale: Revolution Brewing, the Chicago’s largest independent, craft brewery, reopens its taproom on Friday for the first time since October, ownership announced on the brewery’s website. Revolution welcomes patrons back with its first-ever food menu with snacks like a vegetarian seven-layer dip and a cured meat plate. Customers will still be able to bring in or order outside food and staff will continue to offer curbside pickup. Revolution Brewing, 3340 N. Kedzie Avenue, Open noon to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Avondale: Irish pub Chief O’Neill’s reopened Wednesday after four months of pandemic hibernation, according to owner Brendan McKinney. There’s indoor and patio seating, as well as a heated tent with masked and socially distanced live music events. It’s one of the top spots in the neighborhood, known for an extensive whiskey collection and popular fish and chips. Chief O’Neill’s, 3471 N. Elston Avenue, Hours not yet posted.
Bucktown: Eclectic neighborhood cocktail bar Remedy reopened this week for the first time since September, according to an Instagram post. The late-night spot is from the owners of Estelle’s, another popular watering hole in the wee hours of the morning. Remedy, 1910 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
Chatham: Oooh Wee It Is, a suburban Burnham restaurant featuring modern soul food beside a cereal bar with 100 different brands and seven types of milk, opened its first Chicago outpost in late February, according to a rep. Founded by entrepreneurial spouses Mark and Shae Walker, who made a first made a name for themselves with Oooh Wee Sweet Tea, the venue offers hits like oxtail ‘n grits, fried alligator bites, and macaroni and cheese-stuffed “soul rolls.” Oooh Wee It Is, 33 E. 83rd Street, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Lakeview: Modern Jewish deli Steingold’s of Chicago has reopened inside its new home beside the historic Music Box Theater, says chef and owner Aaron Steingold. The deli closed its original location in December after three years on Irving Park Road in late December. The new space features a walk-up window and fresh menu options, like a Chicago-style deep-dish bagel pizza and everything bagel dogs. Steingold’s of Chicago, 3737 N. Southport Avenue, Open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Lakeview/Chinatown/Hyde Park: Strings Ramen, one of Chicago’s top spots for steaming bowls of Japanese noodle soup, has reopened at all three of its locations in the city, according to a rep. The restaurants went into a year-long hibernation in March 2020 but now returns with indoor dining, carryout and delivery. Order online through the restaurants’ website. Strings Ramen, 919 W. Belmont Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday, 2141 S. Archer Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday; 1453 E. 53rd Street, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Logan Square: Gretel, the eclectic newish bar and restaurant from the owner of burger hotspot Little Bad Wolf, opened for indoor dining this week for the first time ever, according to an Instagram post. Its original debut was slated for March 2020, but when that was derailed by the pandemic, owner Sol Ashbach had to wait until September to open for carryout and delivery. The dine-in menu bears plenty of options that weren’t available for takeout, including a bone-in ribeye dinner for two and two types of ramen — tonkotsu and miso. Gretel, 2833 W. Armitage Avenue, Order online via ChowNow, Open 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 3 p.m. to midnight Friday; 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Logan Square: Alpine-inspired neighborhood restaurant Flat & Point has reopened for indoor dining and plans to reintroduce its outdoor patio in the coming weeks, says co-owner Taylor Bruns. Diners can expect a service designed to minimize contact among staff and patrons with a prix fixe menu booked in advance via Tock. Offerings include three- and five-course dinners featuring celery root schnitzel (caper and horseradish hollandaise, sauerkraut) for vegetarians and pork shank cassoulet (cannellini beans, tomato sauce) for omnivores. There’s also a limited a la carte menu available from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. Flat and Point, 3524 W. Fullerton Avenue, Open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Logan Square: Neighborhood regional Italian spot Testaccio reopened in late February with a new menu, according to a rep. Executive chef Jacob Solomon (Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Dusek’s) is featuring favorites like orecchiette di cacio e pepe alongside whole branzino and Moroccan chicken cooked in a wood-burning oven. Owner Aldo Zaninotto (Osteria Langhe) plans this spring to launch a bar, Soif Wine Lounge, and aims to introduce an Italian street food truck called Pizzica this summer. Testaccio, 2456 N. California Avenue, Order online via DoorDash, Open 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday (brunch); 5 p.m. to 9 pm. Sunday (dinner).
Old Town: Old Town Pour House reopened in late February, according to a rep. The bar is known among locals for its extensive draft menu that features 90 different brews along with bar food like smoked chicken wings and filet mignon sliders. Sister spot Sweetwater Tavern and Grille is also back open in the Loop. Old Town Pour House, 1419 N. Wells Street, Open 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11:30 am. to 1 a.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.
The Loop: Filipino-American pop-up Boonie Foods has opened a permanent location inside Revival Food Hall more than seven months after it first launched as a virtual operation, says founder and chef Joseph Fontelera. The former executive chef at Arami, one of Chicago’s best sushi spots, Fontelera features delights like silog, garlic fried rice and runny egg proteins like liempo (barbecue braised pork belly), “Boonie Bomb Tacos,” flour tortillas stuffed with sisig, longganisa, and more. Boonie Foods, 125 S. Clark Street inside Revival Food Hall, Order online via Tock, Open 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.
Washington Park: South Side breakfast spot Ms. Biscuit has reopened for the first time in two years, according to the Tribune. The restaurant is now owned by the nephew of Bob and Juanita Johnson, who originally founded the restaurant in Woodlawn under the name Bob and Juanita’s Restaurant. When Bob Johnson died in 1984, Juanita renamed the restaurant and moved it to the larger space where it now resides. Ms. Biscuit, 5431 S. Wabash Avenue, Hours not yet listed.
West Loop: Gaijin, decorated chef Paul Virant’s downtown restaurant dedicated to Japanese okonomiyaki, reopened this week after four months in hibernation, according to an Instagram post. Virant (Vie) features Osaka- and Hirosima-style okonomiyaki, which are often described as savory, griddled Japanese pancakes, as well as five types of highballs and chewy mochi doughnuts. Reservations are highly recommended. Gaijin, 950 W. Lake Street, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
West Town: Lively German-meets-Southern beer hall and restaurant Funkenhausen reopened Wednesday for dinner service after four months of pandemic-induced hibernation, according to a rep. Patrons can expect “German-ish” options like bratwurst served with Brussels sprouts and sweet mustard and “Southern-ish” dishes like smoked spare ribs with white barbecue sauce. Funkenhausen, 1709 W. Chicago Avenue, Order online via ChowNow, Open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
West Town: Friendly local bar and grill the Beetle reopened this week according to an Instagram post. The Beetle, 2532 W. Chicago Avenue, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.
West Town: Three House, the buzzy breakfast and lunch spot that’s one of Chicago’s most anticipated openings of the year, debuted on Thursday. It’s from Tyler Nickson (son of Wishbone owner Joel Nickson), formerly of Duck Inn and Coda di Volpe. Menu items include a prosciutto baguette with shio kombu butter, a bacon-egg-and-cheese on focaccia with aged cheddar and garlic aioli, and curried chicken empanadas. Three Houses’ breads all come from Eater 38 bakery Aya Pastry. Three Houses, 1400 W. Chicago Avenue, Order online via Upserve, Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Wrigleyville: Sports bar Merkle’s, just a short walk from Wrigley Field, has reopened to indoor patrons, according to a rep. The bar went into hibernation at the end of 2020 but now returns with beer, trivia, and more. Merkle’s Bar & Grill, 3516 N. Clark Street, 2nd Floor, Open 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Logan Square: Bar and restaurant Billy Sunday, one of Chicago’s top cocktail destinations, will reopen Wednesday, March 3, according to owner Matthias Merges. In the interim, the bar has offered drinks to go along with a monthly “Community Supported Cocktails” series via Tock. Billy Sunday, 3143 W. Logan Boulevard, Opening Wednesday, March 3.
River North: Clubby restaurant Tao has reopened its Chicago location. There’s a variety of seating options on Tock. Tao, 632 N. Dearborn Street.
Streeterville: Downtown brewpub Crushed by Giants reopened this week with significant changes following a temporary closure in the fall. Originally designed to evoke a Mexico City-style taqueria, the bar and restaurant now features a new style of pizza dubbed “Double Oven Pizza.” It’s crispier than a neo-Neapolitan thin crust pie and nicely browned on top. Crushed by Giants, 600 N. Michigan Avenue, Open 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
West Loop: New American restaurant and bar Eleven Eleven has reopened for indoor dining with a new comfort food-focused menu from executive chef Charles Welch, according to a rep. Familiar options include a dry-aged Prime Ribeye (mushroom butter) and barbecue cauliflower “burnt ends” with poppy seed buttermilk vinaigrette. Eleven Eleven, 1111 W. Lake Street, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Wicker Park: Machine, the restaurant known for quirky, interactive cocktails and an in-house flower shop, has reopened for dining room service after temporarily shutting down operations in November, according to a rep. Patrons will find a new menu of American dishes along with Willy Wonka-esque cocktails like the sparkly, group-sized Breakfast at Tiffany’s (New Amsterdam gin, watermelon, blackberry, blueberry) served in a giant diamond-shaped vessel. Machine, 1846 W. Division Street, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (dinner); 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (brunch).
Wicker Park: Popular local pizzeria Piece reopened its dining room this week, according to a Facebook post. It’s also brought back a pie from chef and butcher Rob Levitt (Publican Quality Meat) with longanisa sausage and shaved fennel. It’s the latest submission among a series of pizzas whose proceeds will go toward Chicago’s indie venues shuttered by the pandemic. Previous fundraising pies were from from Sammy Hagar (Van Halen) and country star Martina McBride. The restaurant is co-owned by Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen. Piece Brewery and Pizzeria, 1927 W. North Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Lakeview: Sleek European-influenced restaurant Ella Elli has reopened for the first time since Chicago shut down indoor dining in November, according to Block Club Chicago. Doug Dunlay of parent company 4-Star Restaurant Group told reporters that the menu is designed around small plates that are ill-suited to takeout and the restaurant lacks the space for outdoor dining. The reopening menu features clam pizza (guanciale, Calabrian chilis, artichoke, pecorino), Greek marinated chicken thighs (dill yogurt, cucumber salad, harissa oil) and more. Ella Elli, 1349 W. Cornelia Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
The Loop: Bianca’s Burgers, a virtual hotspot for comforting favorites like diner-style smashed burgers, wings, and hot dogs from a pair of local hospitality veterans, has landed a downtown spot at Revival Food Hall, according to an Instagram post. New menu items include a decadent pastrami burger. Bianca’s Burgers inside Revival Food Hall, 125 S. Clark Street, Order online via Tock, Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Loop: Israeli restaurant LaShuk Street Food also opened a new stall last week at Revival Food Hall, according to an Instagram post. It’s a comeback story for the owners and spouses Aviva and Yosi Alhadif, who previously ran a stall at Politan Row Chicago food hall in West Loop. Diners can expect hummus bowls, falafel platters, and a hummus-shakshuka mashup with eggs, rich tomato stew, and tahini. LaShuk Street Food inside Revival Food Hall, 125 S. Clark Street, Hours not posted yet.
West Town: Longtime Chicago mini-chain Porkchop BBQ on Thursday opened the space that formerly housed Two, the acclaimed Midwestern tavern that closed last year, according to a rep. Founded in 2011, Porkchop features hardwood smoked meats and seafood along with Southern favorites like hush puppies and fried chicken. The company also operates locations in Lincoln Park, Hyde Park, Albany Park, and West Loop. Porkchop BBQ West Town, 1132 W. Grand Avenue, Open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Wicker Park: Late-night bar Nick’s Beer Garden opened last week for the first time since government-related COVID-19 closed bars in March 2020. The space, which opened in 1977, has a new look as they’ve remodeled the space and added a deli counter in the back where the old tiki bar was located. Look for more coverage next week. Nick’s Beer Garden, 1516 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Hours not posted yet.
Lakeview: Luxury chocolate brand Vosges Haut Chocolat has opened a store on Oakley Avenue, dubbed the Chocolate Temple, just in time for last-minute Valentine’s Day treats, according to a news release. Patrons can snag a variety of truffles, chocolate bars, and gift sets before Sunday, when the shop will be closed. Vosges Haut Chocolat, 2950 N. Oakley Avenue, Open 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Lincoln Park: Michigan-based coffee chain Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea opened its first Illinois location in late January in the Newcity complex, Block Club reports. Founders Wei and Lisa Bee created a menu that draws on their Asian heritage, featuring items like a French-Vietnamese cafe au lait and ginger lemon tea. Patrons can also expect breakfast sandwiches and pastries made on-site. Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea NEWCITY, 1457 N. Halsted Suite B105, Open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Logan Square: Jeni’s Ice Cream has opened its eighth Chicago “scoop shop” this week, according to Block Club Chicago. The Ohio-based brand has recently courted lighthearted controversy with an Everything Bagel flavor with sesame, poppy seeds, onions, and garlic mixed into cream cheese ice cream. The new location is the latest addition a development on the former Megamall site on Milwaukee Avenue, joining other brands including K-Fire Korean BBQ and Big Wig Tacos. Jeni’s Logan Square, 2512 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open noon to 10 p.m. daily.
River North: Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises on Thursday opened dine-in service at Lil’ Ba-Ba-Reeba!, a little sister restaurant to 35-year-old Lincoln Park tapas and wine bar Cafe-Ba-Ba-Reeba! It’s inside LEYE wine spot Bar Ramone and features familiar hits like bacon-wrapped dates and sangria, as well as new items such as a rioja-braised short rib (manchego mashed potatoes). Bar Ramone remains closed for the time being. Lil’ Ba-Ba-Reeba!, 441 N. Clark Street, Order online via DoorDash, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
West Loop: Latin-inspired global restaurant Carnivale reopened to dine-in patrons early this month, according to an Instagram post. Those who book a table at the colorful spot will find menu items including paella de mariscos (saffron bomba rice, shrimp, mussels, scallops, clams, octopus, tomato sofrito) and 10-ounce Brazilian churrasco steak (roasted mushrooms, parmesan crispy potatoes, chimichurri). Carnivale, 702 W. Fulton Street, Call (312) 850-5005 to order, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
West Loop: Michelin-starred modern Japanese restaurant Yugen reopened for dine-in service on Thursday, according to a rep. Chef Mari Katsumura is kicking things off with a five-course menu ($185 per person) for Valentine’s Day weekend with scallop motoyaki (caviar, crispy potatoes, chive) and Duck à l’Orange (gobo, chicories, pistachio miso). Starting February 17, she’ll bring back her elegant eight-course tasting menu starring items like her decadent chawanmushi (foie gras torchon, celery root, buckwheat, Mick Klug Farms grapes) and black truffle pasta (okara gnocchi, pickled chanterelle, parmigiano, togarashi, bonito). Yugen, 652 W. Randolph Street, Open 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
West Town: Ambitious Korean fine dining restaurant Jeong has also chosen Valentine’s Day weekend to bring back indoor dining, according to a rep. Chef Dave Park will feature a special tasting menu ($125) that weaves fan favorites like salmon (yuza, creme fraiche, crispy rice pearls) in amongst new items. The V-Day menu is available through Friday, Feburary 19. The restaurant currently houses only seven tables, so reservations are highly recommended. Jeong, 1460 W. Chicago Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
Wicker Park: Paulie Gee’s Pizza, the Brooklyn export with a Logan Square location, this week opened its second Chicago outpost featuring a pick-up window and display case that lets customers get a peek from the street. Chicago owner Derrick Tung’s new Wicker Park restaurant serves New York-style pies whole or by the slice, with menu items like the Big Bad Wolf (red sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, bacon jam), a white Papas Bravas pizza (mozzarella, bravas sauce, crispy potatoes), and egg sandwiches for breakfast. Its space near the Damen Avenue CTA Blue Line Stop was formerly occupied by Bonci, the world-famous Roman pizza maker. Paulie Gee’s Wicker Park, 1566 N. Damen Avenue, Order online via Toast, Open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Lincoln Park: Popular neighborhood restaurant Gemini reopened for indoor dining this week, according to a Facebook post. Patrons can expect a menu of hearty options including a milk-braised pork shoulder dinner for two (pearl onion, whole grain mustard, caesar salad, Brussels sprouts and bacon, white cheddar au gratin) and Wisconsin Trout Meunière (haricots vert, capers, lemon, brown butter). Carryout and delivery remains available. Gemini, 2075 N. Lincoln Avenue, Order online via Toast, Open 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Logan Square: Casual Midwestern pasta spot Daisies reopened indoor dining for dinner this week, according to an Instagram post. Dine-in menu items include belly-warming delights like tortellini (lentils, braised greens, Italian sausage) and sweet potato gnocci (burnt cabbage, pickled cherry, pistachio, fontina), along with plenty of hot and cold cocktails. Carryout and delivery are still available. Daisies, 2523 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Order online through the restaurant website, Open for lunch (takeout only) 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday; Open for dinner (dine-in) 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Near West Side: Iconic Chicago diner Palace Grill reopened for dine-in service in January, according to a Facebook post. First opened in 1938, the restaurant landmark has drawn numerous famous faces over the years, from Al Gore to Oprah Winfrey to Blackhawks players for breakfast foods and burgers. Palace Grill on Madison, 1408 W. Madison Street, Open 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
North Center: Torino Ramen, based in suburban Wilmette, has opened a virtual Chicago outpost inside the Cloud Kitchen facility on Rockwell, according to a rep. Customers can expect takoyaki (fried octopus puffs), donburi (rice bowls), bao, and ramen including the chicken-based Torino bowl (chicken broth, egg noodle, pork chashu, soft-boiled egg, kikurage mushroom). Torino Ramen, 4131 N. Rockwell Street, Order online via Postmates, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Pilsen: Thai and Daniele Dang (HaiSous) this week has launched Dang Good Wings, a fast-casual chicken wing operation, out of his Vietnamese all-day cafe Cà Phê Dá, according to an Instagram post. Wing options include caramelized fish sauce and Thai chili Buffalo, and are sold alongside five kinds of fries like Old Bay-and-garlic and Whiz Whit with cheese sauce and onions. On the sweet side, he’s featuring gluten-free waffles (pandan, sesame, toasted peanut), Vietnamese coffee drinks, and cocktails. Dang Good Wings, 1800 1⁄2 S. Carpenter Street, Order online via Tock, Open 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Ravenswood: Inside the long vacant Ampersand space, Q Sushi Bar & Omakase has taken over. They server nigiri and sashimi platters, and sushi bowls. Q Sushi Bar & Omakase, 4845 N. Damen Avenue, (773) 681-0206, open 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
River North: Tiny Taqueria, a new virtual taco spot inside Chicago’s historic Green Door Tavern, one of the city’s oldest restaurants. The tavern’s longtime chef, who has spent 30 years its kitchen, has launched the taqueria featuring birria — spiced, slow-braised beef with onions, cilantro, and bone marrow consomé — in taco and chilaquiles form, along with cheesy quesabirria tacos, fried chicken chicharrones, and more for takeout and delivery. Tiny Taqueria, 678 N. Orleans Street, Order online via ChowNow, Open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; noon to 10 p.m. Saturday; noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
River North: Celebrity chef Rick Bayless this week reopened Michelin-starred Topolobampo for dine-in service under the banner of Topolo 2.0, according to a rep. Staff are serving the restaurant’s six-course tasting menu to a dozen diners inside a private dining room that also houses Bayless’ cookbook library and test kitchen. The team is no longer offering Topolo at Home carryout meals. Topolo 2.0, 445 N. Clark Street, One seating at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; two seatings at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
West Loop: Near the United Center, sports bar WestEnd has reopened and is accepting reservations. The spot features 33 plasma televisions and a menu of pub favorites like burgers, tacos, and pizzas. Carryout and delivery remain available. WestEnd, 1326 W. Madison Street, Order online via ChowNow, Open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
West Town: Creole-influenced soul food spot Soulé reopened this week for indoor dining, according to a Facebook post. Known for drawing local and national celebrities with dishes including shrimp and grits, blackened catfish, and fried chicken, the restaurant is also BYOB. Patrons can still make to-go orders as well. Soulé, 1931 W. Chicago Avenue, Open 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Orland Park: The jerk experts at Phlavz Bar and Grille in University Village have expanded into a second location in the south suburbs, according to a rep. Phil Simpson and Andrew “Dilla” Bonsu, who transformed their “urban jerk” food truck into a buzzy Maxwell Street restaurant in late 2019, are open and serving hits like salmon egg rolls, chicken wings, jerk burgers, and more for dine-in and takeout. Phlavz shares the spacious new location with another independent operator: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat, a vegan and vegetarian restaurant based in Hyde Park. Stay tuned for more news on this opening. Phlavz Bar and Grille, 24 Orland Square Drive in Orland Park, Order online via Toast, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Bucktown: French destination Le Bouchon reopens for indoor dining on Monday, according to a rep. The neighborhood favorite from chef Oliver Poilevey (Taqueria Chingón) will proffer a bistro menu featuring classics like seared foie gras (brioche pan perdu, apple butter, maple crunch) and escargot a la bourguignon (snails, garlic, parsley butter), along with plates such as lapin en croute (rabbit pot pie, sunchoke veloute). The restaurant will continue to offer carryout and delivery when dine-in service resumes. Le Bouchon, 1958 N. Damen Avenue, Reopens Monday.
Fulton Market: Reve Burger, the newish burger operation from fine dining chef Curtis Duffy and business partner Michael Muser, has become more than a pandemic pivot with new digs across the street from its ultra-ambitious cousin Ever, according to a rep. Duffy has also added a spicy chicken sandwich to the menu, along with vanilla and chocolate shakes (boozy or non). It’s open for carryout and delivery for now, but ownership plans to introduce indoor dining soon. Reve Burger, 1363 W. Fulton Street, Order online via Toast, DoorDash or Caviar, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Hyde Park: Virtue, chef Erick Williams’ acclaimed Southern restaurant, has reopened for indoor dining, according to a Facebook post. He’s offering dishes that fans will recognize including his popular cauliflower (cashew dukkah spice, root cellar vegetables, rice) and blackened catfish (carolina gold rice, barbeque carrots). The restaurant is still offering carryout and delivery. Virtue, 1462 E. 53rd Street, Order online via Toast, Open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Lincoln Park: Speakeasy-style omakase restaurant Sushi Suite 202 reopens Friday, according to a rep. The unusual spot that features a 17-course, 60-minute sushi “extravaganza” will seat a pair of parties of two (separated by a partition) at the sushi bar and accept reservations for groups of four to six. Reopening offerings include dry-aged bluefin tuna and amadai (tilefish). The restaurant first opened last February inside a 500-square-foot hotel room at Hotel Lincoln. Sushi Suite 202, inside the Hotel Lincoln, 1816 N. Clark Street, Open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Logan Square: Chin Up, Buttercup, a new comfort food spot from the team behind top-notch cocktail bar Scofflaw, is open for carryout and delivery. Heartwarming, belly-filling menu options from chef Matty Lehto (Publican, Publican Anker) include cheesy baked rigatoni, open-faced turkey sandwiches, “Better Than Ikea” Swedish meatballs, and more. Fans of the bar can also get their paws on beer, wine, bottled Scofflaw cocktails, and its famous cookies. Chin Up, Buttercup, 3201 W. Armitage Avenue, Order via Upserve or DoorDash, Open 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Logan Square: Prolific neighborhood restaurateur Esam Hani has opened a new Italian deli counter inside longtime fixture Red Star Liquors, according to Block Club Chicago. Dubbed Red Star Deli, the spot features a handful of sandwiches including roast beef (provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, house vinaigrette) and prosciutto di parma (fresh mozzarella, truffle honey vinaigrette, arugula). Hani, who owns numerous local businesses including the Old Plank Cafe and Saba, told reporters that he was inspired by Hero’s Submarine Sandwich Shop in North Center, a neighborhood hit for more than 50 years until it closed in 2017. Red Star Deli, 2725 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Order online through the restaurant’s website, Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
West Loop: Avec Rotisserie, a “limited dining experience” from One Off Hospitality (the Publican) debuts Monday with a new rotisserie-style menu available exclusively on the second floor of Avec along Randolph Restaurant Row, according to a rep. New menu items will include grilled prawns (Moroccan squid stew, Tunisian couscous, black lime, cilantro) and sumac-glazed lamb shoulder over saffron rice. A very few items off Avec’s regular menu — like its wildly popular chorizo-stuffed, bacon-wrapped medjool dates — will also be available to dine-in patrons. Avec Rotisserie, 615 W. Randolph Street, Opens Monday.
Wicker Park: Virtual Detroit-style spot Chef Bill Kim’s Pizza and Parm Shop, which has seen success in suburban Oak Brook, will open in the city on Wednesday inside Urbanbelly, according to a news release. Menu items include pizzas like double-smoked pork and pineapple and Korean BBQ ground beef and kimchi, plus a chicken parm sandwich and more. Chef Bill Kim’s Pizza and Parm Shop, 1542 N. Damen Avenue, Opens Wednesday.
Bucktown: Raw, vegan grab-and-go spot Uncooked opened its second location this month on Damen, according to Block Club Chicago. Co-founder Jeremy Jones, who runs the business with his wife Kaitlyn Jones, and mother Carole Jones (a co-founder of Chicago Raw) launched Uncooked last summer in West Loop. His team offers a menu that’s entirely animal- and gluten-free, with options like the Goddess salad (kale, macadamia nuts, watermelon radish, cucumbers, broccoli, raspberries) and a best-selling cacio e pepe (kelp noodles, mushrooms, broccoli, black truffle alfredo sauce, vegan parmesan). Uncooked Bucktown, 1616 N. Damen Avenue, Order online via SpeedETab, Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Chinatown: New Chinese and Korean barbecue spot Jiang Niu BBQ opened this month in Crown Plaza, according to a Facebook post. Offerings include kimchi fried rice, bibimbap, seafood pancakes. Jiang Niu BBQ, 2300 S. Archer Street, Order online via Slick Menus, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Logan Square: Kedai Tapao, a Malaysian food and dessert pop-up, has launched a residency out of contemporary Indian spot Superkhana International, ownership announced this week on Instagram. Operators lovingly describe their food as a “beautiful melange of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Bornean, Peranakan, and Eurasian cuisines,” serving a rotating menu of options like kam heong chicken (curry leaves, birds eye chilies, curry powder, dried shrimp, oyster sauce) and bubur cha cha, a sweet Malay and Nyonya treat (sweet potatoes, yam, sago pearls, tapioca jelly, black eye peas, pandan-infused coconut milk). Kedai Tapao, 3059 W. Diversey Avenue, Order online via Tock, Place pre-orders from 12 p.m. on Tuesdays to 11 a.m. on Fridays, with pickup and delivery exclusively on Mondays.
North Center: Modern Indian restaurant Basant opened just before the New Year in the space that previously housed vegan pizzeria Chicago House Of ‘Za, ownership writes on Facebook. Executive chef Manmohan Singh signature dishes such as Kashmiri lamb gustaba (meat balls, yogurt-based sauce) and seafood khichdi (riced cauliflower, lentils, salmon, scallop), plus dishes out of a tandoor and gulab jamun cheesecake. Basant, 1939 W. Byron Street, Order online via Toast or UberEats, Open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
West Loop: Trivoli Tavern, a new spot for steaks and continental American food from Hogsalt Hospitality (Au Cheval), opened in late 2020 in the same building cluster that houses Green St. Smoked Meats, High Five Ramen, and Sawada Coffee. It features a robust assortment of cocktails, including three variations of classic drinks including Manhattans (rye, rum, and Harvard), gimlets (vodka, French, and gin) and martinis (Sweet Crimson, Dirty, and Golden). Patrons can expect patio seating and takeout. Trivoli Tavern, 114 N. Green Street (look for the red storefront), Order online via Toast, Tock, or DoorDash, Open 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Bucktown: South Carolina-based fried chicken sandwich company Boxcar Betty’s opens a new location — its second in Chicago — on Friday inside the former Lillie’s Q space, according to a rep. The company made a splash when it opened in 2018 inside West Loop’s Ogilvie Transportation Center — its first restaurant outside its home state. Menu items include a signature sandwich of fried chicken (brined overnight) with pimiento cheese, peach coleslaw, pickles, and spicy mayo. Boxcar Betty’s Bucktown, 1856 W. North Avenue, Order online through the restaurant’s website or third-party deliverers DoorDash, Grubhub, UberEats, and Postmates; Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Bucktown/Joliet: Georgia-based fast food giant Chick-fil-A has opened two of the four new locations it has slated for the Chicago area in January, according to a rep. The controversial chain opened fresh outposts Thursday in Bucktown (a neighborhood now brimming with fried chicken sandwich choices) and suburban Joliet. Locations in South Loop and suburban Elgin are slated to open on January 21. Chick-fil-A Bucktown, 1910 W. Fullerton Avenue; Chick-fil-A Joliet, 2705 Plainfield Road; Both locations open 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Gold Coast: Luxurious rooftop bar Devereaux in the Viceroy hotel is open and accepting reservations for the first time since S.K.Y. chef Stephen Gillanders took over the bar and glitzy hotel restaurant Somerset in October. Parties of two to six can book two-hour slots inside heated greenhouses with finger foods and beverage packages. Former operator Boka Restaurant Group exited the project in July. Devereaux, 1112 N. State Street inside the Viceroy Chicago, Reserve a greenhouse via Tock, Open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Irving Park: Chicago Cubs-themed burger spot Big League Burgers is open after a year of renovations, according to Block Club Chicago. Avid Cubs fan and owner Peter Mihopoulos hopes to make it a destination for sports fans once indoor dining resumes with menu options like the Natural (American cheese, pickles, grilled onions, mayo), available as a single, double, or triple. Would-be competitive eaters can test their mettle with the Big League Challenge (four 8-ounce patties, eight strips of bacon, two fried eggs, cheese, four buns, a pound of fries, a drink and a shake). The whole thing is free for those who can finish it all in 25 minutes. Big League Burgers, 3732 W. Irving Park Road, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.
Lakeview: New French-Canadian restaurant Dear Margaret, a collaboration among veteran chef Ryan Brosseau (Perennial Virant, Table, Donkey & Stick) and owner Lacey Irby, opens Friday. It’s an ode to Brosseau’s grandmother — the restaurant’s namesake — and the meals she cooked for him as a child in Ontario. The menu aims to use high-level French techniques to execute hearty, unpretentious food such as putsinsm, or French-Canadian chicken and dumplings, and tourtière, a savory Canadian meat pie, Brosseau says. This is the first restaurant from Irby, a longtime hospitality publicist in the city. The pair plan to open a 40-seat dining room when indoor service is allowed to resume. Stay tuned for more details about Dear Margaret next week. Dear Margaret, 2965 N. Lincoln Avenue, Order online via Tock, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Noble Square: Canteen, a nostalgia-driven virtual street food spot from team behind Indian and Nepali restaurant Vajra, debuted this week, according to an Instagram post. It features small, playful snacks and plates such as Bombay Bhel (puffed rice, potato, green chilli, tamarind), the Canteen Goat Burger, and curry-and-rice dishes like Amritsari Paneer Bhurji (paneer shreds, gravy, cilantro). It also features a menu inspired by India’s soda and cocktail cultures, with options including booze-free Thums Up and alcohol-laden Penicillin Twenty21 (blended whiskey, ginger-honey syrup, lime). Canteen, 1329 W. Chicago Avenue, Order online via DoorDash or Caviar, Open 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Pilsen: Pilsen Yards, the new Latin American street food spot in the former Monnie Burke’s space, opens Friday with a large patio featuring radiant heated floors and ceilings. Owner Paul Abu-Taleb, whose family operates several Chicago-area restaurants and previously owned the site’s former tenant, is banking on a demand for comfortable outdoor spaces. He aims to open speakeasy-style cocktail bar the Alderman inside the restaurant when officials eventually allow indoor bar service. For now, menu items include tacos (fish, shrimp, taco arabe, sweet potato), vegan pozole, and ceviche. There’s also cocktails, draft beer by the pint, packaged goods, and “pretty good wines for $7.” Pilsen Yards, 1163 W. 18th Street, Reserve a table online, Open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
River North: Tandoor Char House, a longtime South Asian favorite in Chicago, has opened its second outpost, a ghost kitchen that shares an address with the Hubbard Inn, according to a Facebook post. The restaurant’s many fans laud its fusion options like burgers and tamarind chicken wings, but familiar options like naan and sizzling grill platters are also available. Tandoor Char House River North, 110 W. Hubbard Street, Order online through the restaurant’s website, Open 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Roscoe Village: New bakery Brick and Cake is open on Roscoe Street with coffee, cakes, cupcakes, and Dominican pastelitos, according to a Facebook post. Owner and baker Ernesto Luthje aims to feature sweet and savory items using skills he learned from his grandmother. Brick and Cake, 2009 W. Roscoe Street, Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
The Loop: Minahasa, a buzzy virtual restaurant serving regional Indonesian food from an ex-Gibsons Italia chef and his mother, began operating out of Revival Food Hall early this month, according to an Instagram post. Chef and owner John Avila and Mama Betty are featuring a menu influenced by their hometown of North Sulawesi, Indonesia, with options including fragrant soto ayam (which they term “Indonesian chicken noodle soup”), sour and spicy ayam tuturuga (chicken, yellow curry, lemongrass, lime leaves), and much more. Stay tuned for more on this noteworthy addition to Chicago’s small Indonesian food scene. Minahasa, 125 S. Clark Street inside Revival Food Hall, Order online via Tock or Grubhub, Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Avondale: New restaurant Eathi, the first restaurant from local chef Nuttawut “Frankie” Waijorhor (Strings Ramen, Enso Sushi, Ryuu Asian BBQ), opened in mid-December the corner of Kedzie Avenue and George Street, according to Block Club Chicago. It’s the realization of a long-time goal for Waijorhor, who features traditional Thai dishes he learned from his mother growing up in northeast Thailand. Menu options include khao man gai, panang curry, rice, noodles, and more. Eathai, 2901 N. Kedzie Avenue, order pickup or delivery via SmileDining, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
Bucktown: Snakes & Lattes Chicago, the new identity of the former Chicago Board Game Cafe, opened in October about a month after Canadian board game cafe mini-chain Snakes & Lattes bought the business from founding company Cards Against Humanity. The new owner and its parent company Amfil Technologies brought former Board Game Cafe chef Aaron McKay (Schwa) on as vice president of food and beverage and hired Damian Sandoval (North Pond, Mi Tocaya Antojeria) as the new chef du cuisine. It’s currently open for retail game sales, takeout, and delivery, with a menu of options including nopales in guajillo (green rice, beans, Cotija cheese) and bun (rice vermicelli, Madras curry, Thai basil). Snakes & Lattes Chicago, 1965 N. Milwaukee Avenue, order pickup or delivery via Tock, Open 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Humboldt Park: Wife-and-husband team Arianna and Antoine Scott in December opened Atmos Coffee Shop, according to Block Club. The Scotts, former finance workers who have long dreamed of opening a coffee shop, feature cold brew and espresso from Happy Monday Coffee Roasters in Edgewater. The shop also offering pastries from West Town Bakery and vegan empanadas from Fons. The space formerly housed two other coffee shops, Harrison’s and Cup & Spoon. The new business is among a growing contingent of Black-owned coffee shops in Chicago. Atmos Coffee Shop, 2415 W. North Avenue, Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Humboldt Park: New meats spot Offset BBQ opened Thursday with a wide-ranging menu that ranges from wings and chicken-fried ribs to sandwiches and smoked lamb shank platters, Block Club reports. Carlo Carani, a former manager at barbecue destination Smoke Daddy in Wicker Park, is listed as the liquor license holder for the restaurant. The space formerly housed Puerto Rican restaurant El Nuevo Borinquen. Offset BBQ, 1720 N. California Avenue, order pickup or delivery via the restaurant’s website, Open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Humboldt Park: Virtual Indian restaurant Saffron Street is open with a tight menu of sandwiches with breads and buns from popular bakery Aya Pastry, according to a rep. Menu items include Saffron Street chaat (potato cakes, chickpeas, tamarind drizzle, lotus root crisps), pulled makhani chicken sandwiches, and street French toast (ghee toast, rose water, cardamom pudding, pistachio). Saffron Street, 3220 W. Grand Avenue, order carryout or delivery via Tock, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Lincoln Park: Kapitan, Chicago’s only restaurant that specializes in Peranakan food (also known as Nyonya), opened in late December from Serai owner Victor Low. Peranakan, like Malaysian and Indonesian, embodies much of the Asian diaspora including China and India. Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia all have Peranakan populations. Menu items include nasi lemak (the national dish of Malaysia), pie tee (crispy pastry shells, savory vegetable filling), oh-chien (oyster omelet, seafood sauce), and much more. Kapitan, 2142 N. Clybourn Avenue, open for takeout and delivery, hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.
South Loop: North Indian and Nepali mini-chain Himalayan Restaurant has reopened its Wabash Avenue location, according to a rep. It temporarily closed in early December due to the pandemic. The company also operates a flagship in suburban Niles. Himalayan Restaurant, 606 S. Wabash Avenue, order delivery and carryout via ChowNow, Open noon to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; noon to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Wicker Park: Scandinavian-inspired bakery and cafe Lost Larson opened its much-anticipated new outpost just before the new year, selling out entirely on opening day. Fans can expect a similar menu of breads and pastries to that of the original cafe in Andersonville, though there’s no smørrebrød (Danish open-face sandwiches) for the time being. There’s also coffee and espresso from Half Wit, along with other hot drinks like peppermint matcha lattes. Both locations took a short winter break this week and will resume regular hours Saturday. Lost Larson Wicker Park, 2140 W. Division Street, Reopens Saturday, January 9, Open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
For a list of the 2020 spring/summer/fall openings, click here.