As autumn sets in 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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As of August 20, the city has mandated that everyone wear facial coverings while indoors. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.
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.