As the holidays arrive and Chicagoans begin to contemplate the joys of cozy sweater and belly-warming drinks, the city’s pop-up scene continues to rebuild from the summer’s pandemic resurgence. That’s good news for locals and visitors thirsty for creative pop-up collaborations and events in bars and restaurants around town. Follow along for a sampling of the best the city has to offer in Eater Chicago’s pop-up round up.
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Avondale: Pink Salt, chef Palita Sriratana’s Thai pop-up, comes to Guild Row this Saturday, December 11. Sriratana will be serving Khanom Jeen, a special-occasion meal, and Minum Selections will be providing wine pairings. There will also be traditional Thai music and dancing, and customers are invited to learn the steps and join in. Pink Salt at Guild Row; 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, December 11, 3130 N. Rockwell Street, Tickets available via Tock.
Avondale: Thattu, chef Margaret Pak’s Keralan pop-up, will be appearing at Guild Row this Wednesday, December 8. Pak will be serving pork belly peralan soup; kappayum meenum, a fish curry served over mashed yucca; roots korma; Kerala fried chicken; masala biscuits; and ghee rice. Thattu at Guild Row; 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 8, 3130 N. Rockwell Street, Preorder via Tock.
Little Village: Bueno Days, a Mexican coffee company, will be popping up in Comercio Popular, a clothing and home goods store, the weekend of December 18, according to an Instagram post. They’ll be serving hot and cold brew coffee drinks. Neighborhood florist Campo Santo will also be on hand. Bueno Days at Comercio Popular; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, December 18, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, December 19, 2901 W. Cermak Avenue.
Old Irving Park: Entre Sueños, chef Stephen Sandoval’s Baja Med pop-up, which combines Mexican, Asian, and Mediterranean traditions, plus live fire, has announced dates for its latest Chef’s Table Series in January and February, 2022. The multicourse dinners will feature fresh seafood, including a seafood cart with raw oysters and ceviche. Entre Sueños at RLM Events & Design Studio; 6:30 p.m. select Thursdays and Fridays, 4042 N. Pulaski Road, Tickets available via Tock.
Rogers Park: Kelly Ijichi, the chef behind Mom’s Japanese comfort food, and baker Joey Pham of Flavor Supreme are teaming up at Palmhouse’s Holiday Bazaar next Sunday, Pham writes on Instagram. They’ll be serving vegan dumplings; a Cup O’ Noodles with egg noodles, chicken, and chicken dashi; butter mochi with kobucha squash; and a buttermilk yuzo cake with vanilla buttercream and oro blanco curd. Mom’s + Supreme at Palmhouse; 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, December 12, 819 W. Howard Street.
Logan Square: Vegetarian pop-up Aló Arepas, a California-born business that last spring relocated to Chicago, is holding regular events from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays at Ludlow Liquors, according to an Instagram post. The latest menu, slated for tonight, includes a festive Adobo Turk’y Torta (guajillo-roasted turk’y, queso de mano, curtido, gilly sauce, chimichurri), plus cheese-stuffed quesarepas, yucca fries, and more. Aló Arepas at Ludlow Liquors; 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, November 23, 2959 N. California Avenue.
Logan Square: Playful Asian-American snack spot SuperHai is also setting up shop regularly at Ludlow Liquors, popping up each Wednesday with treats like Japanese-style hot dogs, fried chicken, and pickles, according to an Instagram post. That schedule includes this week, so diners can stop in tomorrow for pre-Thanksgiving eats. SuperHai at Ludlow Liquors; 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, November 24, 2959 N. California Avenue.
River North: Massive Italian food emporium Eataly Chicago has launched Il Tartufo & Barolo Bar, a seasonal pop-up restaurant featuring Italian truffles and Barolo wine, according to a rep. Patrons can find a menu of pastas and Neapolitan pizzas smothered in black and white truffles on the market’s second floor through Thursday, December 30. There’s also a “truffle experience” tasting menu for mega-fans. Reservations are available via OpenTable. Il Tartufo & Barolo Bar at Eataly Chicago, Open now through December 30, 43 E. Ohio Street.
The Loop: Revival Food Hall and plant-pop-up/hospitality consultant Welcome 2 the Jungle will on Small Business Saturday host a pop-up market featuring food, vintage clothing, gifts, and more, according to an Instagram post. Participating food vendors include Creme Patisserie, Saint Della, and HoodMommy. Organizers plan to donate 15 percent of total profits from the event to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Small Biz Saturday Market at Revival Food Hall; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 27, 125 S. Clark Street.
West Loop: Decorated chefs Karen and John Shields of two Michelin-star destination Smyth will host two nights of collaborative pop-up dinners in early December with their longtime friends and former colleagues, chefs Johnny Spero of Washington D.C. (Reverie) and Rubén García (ThinkFoodGroup, Unfold Hospitality), according to a rep. Menu details are scarce but the group promises a multi-course meal featuring “seasonal ingredients and global inspirations.” Tickets ($375 each) and more details are available via Tock. The Collaboration Dinners at Smyth; Wednesday, December 1 through Thursday, December 2, 177 N. Ada Street.
West Town/Avondale/Wicker Park: Restaurants have tried to think out of the box during the pandemic, and the owner of one of Chicago’s premiere sushi restaurants debuted a series of pop-up to “reignite connection,” the type of bond brought on by quarantine.
Arami owner Ty Fujimura calls his series Trinity Social Club, and he’s brought in hip-hop artists such as Jarobi White (A Tribe Called Quest), Diamond D (D.I.T.C.), and D.J. Dez (Slum Village Detroit). They’ve held underground dinners with Brian Fisher (Entente) and Won Kim (Kimski). Music and food have a deep connection, and Fujimura says those bonds mean more than ever as the pandemic has forced many into isolation.
Trinity’s next event is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today, November 9 at Bucket of Blood Records in Avondale. It’s a comic book signing featuring th1rt3en, a trio consisting of Pharoahe Monch, drummer Daru Jones (Jack White), and guitarist Marcus Machado. Th1rt3en will also appear on Wednesday, November 10 for a show at Chop Shop in Wicker Park. They’ll have a performance and also screen an animated short called Kill, Kill, Kill.
Fujimura also would like to expand into the world of cannabis dinners. Collaborations, like the one with th1rt3en, are another step toward that.
South Loop: Chef Stephen Gillanders (S.K.Y., Somerset) and his team will on Wednesday host a meaty pop-up featuring wagyu beef from their favorite purveyors at newish European-Mediterranean restaurant Apolonia. Gillanders will also for the first time introduce offerings from local wagyu purveyor Patronage Meats, along with a selection of limited-series Scotches chosen by Apolonia sommelier Jelena Prodan. Patrons are encouraged to lean into a theme of indulgence with formal dress (though no code will be enforced). Tickets ($195) and more details are available via Tock. Wagyu and Scotch @ Apolonia, 7 p.m., Wednesday, November 10, 2201 S. Michigan Avenue.
Lakeview: Chicago baker Jaye Fong of Maa Maa Dei will pop up on Wednesday and Thursday with sweet and savory Asian treats at “Japanese-American slashie” Konbini & Kanpai, according to an Instagram post. Fong will offer hits like her Oak Street Beach Pie (Skyflakes crust, lemon-lime custard, whipped cream, sea salt), bags of crunchy Sichuan peanut snacks (shallot strings, garlic chips, Sichuan peppercorns, red chili pepper) and jarred Maa Maa Dei chili crisp. Maa Maa Dei at Konbini & Kanpai, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, November 10 and Thursday, November 11, 1433 W. Belmont Avenue.
Lincoln Park: Replay Lincoln Park is again tapping into a pop culture juggernaut with its extensive Squid Game pop-up that gives customers a chance to win $500, according to Block Club Chicago. The dystopian, ultra-violent South Korean TV show has rapidly become a global phenomenon, and now Chicagoans can play along at Replay’s Squid Arcade with competitions like marbles, red light/green light, Dalgona cookie cutting, and karaoke. There are also thematic cocktails, such as the VIP, the Dalgona, plus Red Light and Green Light shots. Squid Arcade at Replay Lincoln Park, Open now through November 28, 2833 N. Sheffield Avenue.
Wicker Park: Chicagoans this week will have a chance to taste the goods from Red Light Ramen, Milwaukee’s Japanese-inspired noodle shop from decorated chef Justin Carlisle (Ardent). Carlisle will pop up with steaming bowls Thursday through Sunday at cocktail bar and music venue Dorian’s. No reservations are needed, according to an Instagram post. Red Light Ramen at Dorian’s, Thursday, November 11 through Sunday, November 14, 1939 W. North Avenue.
Avondale: Ludlow Liquors, the modern dive bar, is hosting Salvadorian specialist Pupusa Time and opening up its kitchen for a pop-up that will include Taco Sublime. There’s also combining forces on a special “putaco” while hosting a market selling wares from a variety of local vendors. Pupusa Time & Taco Sublime from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Monday, November 1 at Ludlow Liquors, 2959 N. California Avenue.
Sticking at Ludlow, SuperHai will serve Japanese snacks — including a yakisoba sandwich — every Wednesday through November. Ramen-season fries, curry pan (milk break doughnut with panko and golden curry), and shoyu egg don are also on the menu. SuperHai at Ludlow Liquors, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. every Wednesday through November starting on November 3.
Edgewater: Rewired Pizza Cafe & Bar has found a new costume: they’re dressing up as “Dominoes” and decorating the insides like owner Daniel Barat’s favorite pizza chain. Check out a special menu including the “Hawai’i Honolulu” (bacon, pineapple, ham, red pepper, red sauce). Rewired Pizza & Cafe’s Dominoes costume, from 11 am. to close from October 21 to October 31, 1102 W. Thorndale Avenue.
McKinley Park: As Mom’s ends its tenure at Marz Community Brewing on Saturday, October 30, none other than Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream will pop-up on Halloween Sunday, October 30. The crew will serve its classic tavern-style pizza, the same it bakes at its Bridgeport restaurant. It might be the precursor to something spookier on the way. Pizza Fried Chicken’s Alien Pizza Party from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, October 31, Marz Community Brewing, 3630 S. Iron Street.
North Center: Minhasa, the Filipino restaurant inside Revival Food Hall in the Loop, is one of the participants in the Filipinx Market at Fernwood Barbers. There will be food and adult beverages. Filipinx Market, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, October 30 at Fernwood Barbers, 4025 N. Damen Avenue.
Pilsen: Punch House, the basement bar inside Thalia Hall in Pilsen, is hosting a Halloween party with “spooky” punch, yacht rock music, and a costume contest. Halloween at Punch House, from 5 p.m. to close, 1127 W. 18th Street.
River North: Bar Sótano, the basement restaurant underneath Rick Bayless’ famed Frontera, is hosting a dinner with Abasolo Corn Whisky. It’s a Day of the Dead event with whisky-infused tamales, huitlacoche flan and more from chef Rishi Kumar. Lanie Bayless is pairing the meal with cocktails. Abasolo Diner, 5:30 p.m., Monday, November 1, at Bar Sótano, 443 N. Clark Street, tickets $100 via Resy.
West Town: Jeff & Judes, the modern Jew-ish deli, is bringing back a ghost for Halloween. Rising from the ashes is the Loxdown Barr & Grill, a tribute to the past tenant, the prison-themed burger bar Lockdown. There’s a variety of burgers, including one topped with pastrami. Loxdown Barr & Grill from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 30 and Sunday, October 31 at Jeff & Judes, 1024 N. Western Avenue.
Wicker Park: Dorian’s is back open and they’re hosting a three-night pop-up with Alt Economy, Rye Humor Baking, and Vargo Brothers Ferments. Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but they’ll offer a four-course menu that customers can pay with a sliding scale. There will also be a la carte affordable plates. Check out the aforementioned Instagram accounts for more details. Bistrot Futura pop-up, November 19, 20, and 21 at Dorian’s, 1939 W. North Avenue.
Avondale: Community club Guild Row will hold a celebration for Dia de Los Muertas on Saturday, October 23 with activities like sugar skull decorating for kids and adults, the unveiling of a handmade community Ofrenda and candlelit commemorative procession, and an on-site pig roast, according to a rep. The event will culminate in a communal feast with the aforementioned pig, as well as sausage, chicken, salsas, “sweet treats” from Churro Parlor, and cocktails from Julieta Campos (The Whistler) and Luke DeYoung (Scofflaw). Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required for attendees ages 12 and older. More details and tickets ($10) are available via Tock. 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, October 23, Guild Row, 3130 N. Rockwell Street.
River North: Autumn’s Bar, a seasonally themed pop-up bar from Chicago restaurant group DineAmic Hospitality (Bandit, Radio Room), is underway inside the group’s event space Blank Bar on Clark and Kinzie streets, according to a rep. Patrons can embrace their inner #influencer with cocktails like the Basic B*#ch (Tito’s, Kahlúa, pumpkin spice, vanilla oat milk) amidst Instagram-friendly fall decor like a decorative leaf wall, colored string lights, and plenty of pumpkins. The pop-up runs through Thanksgiving weekend. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays; noon to 9 p.m. Saturdays; Autumn’s Bar at Blank Bar; 355 N Clark Street.
Ukrainian Village: Local beermaker Is/Was Brewing will on Thursday pop up at modern Jewish deli Jeff & Judes for a collaborative three-course meal, according to a Facebook post. The dinner is also a release for the brewery’s new Window Fishing kvass-inspired rye saison, made using owner Ursula Siker’s naturally leavened marble rye bread. Tickets ($60) and more details are available via Tock. 7 p.m. Thursday, October 14, Is/Was Brewing x Jeff & Judes, 1024 N. Western Avenue.
West Loop: Chef John Manion’s Argentinian restaurant El Che Steakhouse & Bar will on Sunday host a pop-up with Dope Art Show and moveable Mexican operation Birria Ta-Ta-Tacos to showcase 15 local artists, according to a rep. Attendees can munch on beef and veggie quesatacos and sip cocktails from El Che’s bar staff while perusing (and possibly buying) pieces from artists including Vivian Le, Chris Orta, Nic Fonté, and more. All proceeds from artwork sales will go directly to the artists. More details are available via Eventbrite. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, October 17, El Che Steakhouse and Bar, 845 W Washington Boulevard.
Wicker Park: Here Here Market, an online retailer featuring treats and pantry goods made by chefs, will pop up with a Chicago Culinary Creators Celebration on Sunday at chef Edward Kim’s restaurant Mott St. Offerings will include chef John Manion’s (El Che) Firewatcher Seasoning, Kim’s miso caramel, and more from lauded local chefs including Sarah Grueneberg (Monteverde), Zubair Mohajir (Wazwan), and Won Kim (Kimski). More details are available online. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 17, Chicago Culinary Creators Celebration presented by Here Here Market & Mott St., 1401 N. Ashland Avenue.