Now that indoor dining has returned to Chicago and hibernating establishments have begun to reopen their doors, bar and restaurant pop-ups have also begun to reemerge across the city. 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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Logan Square: The hospitality workers behind CHAAD (Chicago Hospitality Accountable Actions Database) will host a virtual pop-up dinner Friday featuring a dishes from chefs Jennifer Kim (AltEconomy) and Mai Giffard (Bang Bang Pie Shop), according to an Instagram post. Meal boxes ($65) will include a big eye tuna crudo, a charcuterie box (duck breast “pastrami,” liver pate, confit duck leg rillett, and more), and two eclairs (sorrel pastry cream, rhubarb, preserved pine). Ticket holders can pick up boxes at Bang Bang in Logan Square. The dinner will also include a talk from Unite Here Local 1 about the Hotel Workers Right to Return to Work Ordinance. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 30, Present Future Earthseed Virtual Dinner.
Logan Square: Longman & Eagle will host a pop-up reboot of its charity series Sundae Mondays starting May 17, according to an Instagram post. Every Monday from then on the team plans to sell $5 single-scoop sundaes created in partnership with members of Chicago’s hospitality community such as Autum Tso (Pretty Cool Ice Cream), Joey Pham (Flavor Supreme), and Alisha Norris Jones (Immortal Milk). 100 percent of proceeds will go to a charity of the collaborator’s choice. Pretty Cool is helping to fund the project and donating ice cream for the events. Every Monday starting May 17, Longman & Eagle, 2657 N. Kedzie Avenue.
West Loop/Northbrook: Chef Sarah Stegner (Prairie Grass Cafe) and restaurateur Mary Aregoni (Saigon Sisters) will join forces for a special four-course pop-up dinner next month to mark Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. Menu items will include Stegner’s parmesan-crusted crispy chicken bahn mi and Saigon Sisters’ bo luc luc with hoisin-glazed pork belly bao. The package for two goes for $100, with 30 percent of proceeds to the Chicago chapter of Asian Americans Advancing Justice via chef Beverly Kim’s Dough Something fundraising campaign. Place orders for pickup by Wednesday, May 12 in West Loop or suburban Northbrook. May 14, Prarie Grass Cafe & Saigon Sisters Collaboration Dinner, 567 W. Lake Street; 601 Skokie Boulevard.
Around Town: High Eaters, a Chicago-based event series that marries cannabis, art, and food, has put together a box of treats for at-home 4/20 celebrants: Hot Box ($32), a kit that includes munchie-inspired snacks from the creative pastry chefs at Brite. The box includes Flamin Hot Cheeto croissant, pizza pretzel, and a Puff Puff Pass the Peachie O’ Doughnut (cream puff, peach pate de fruit), plus colorful rolling papers and Play Doh (not for eating). Boxes are available online for pickup or delivery. April 19-20, High Eaters.
Lincoln Park: Lebanese-Mexican hotspot Evette’s is making the best out of a tough break with a new dinner series, Evette’s After Dark. Chefs and co-owners Mitchell AbouJamra and Rafa Esparza had plans for a pop-up last week but were forced to cancel when a key piece of kitchen equipment broke, they write on Instagram. Now they’re back in business and, thanks to an outpouring of interest and support from Chicago diners, plan to pay for the new equipment with more Evette’s After Dark occasions. A dinner slated for April 23 is already sold out, but stay tuned for updates. Evette’s After Dark, 350 W. Armitage Avenue.
Lincoln Park: Like so many Hollywood producers, pop-culture pop-up factory Replay Lincoln Park has dusted off a nostalgic fan favorite to attract customers: “Back to the Office” features recreated sets from the hit NBC sitcom, referential food and drink like Michael Scott’s Scotch and Splenda and soft pretzels that are available every day, according to Block Club Chicago. April 9-May 16, Replay Lincoln Park, 2833 N. Sheffield Avenue.
Logan Square: Newish pizzeria Pizza Lobo from former Bad Hunter chef Dan Snowden gives a wink and a nod to 4/20 with the Party Melt, a 16-inch pie with tomato jam, American cheese, ground beef, caramelized onions, shredded lettuce, and special sauce. It’s $28 and available only to dine-in customers. April 20, Pizza Lobo, 3000 W. Fullerton Avenue,
West Loop: Chef Devon Quinn (Eden) will mark Chicago’s second unofficial weed holiday under legalization with the Four Twenty Experience, a four-course pop-up dinner with cannabis-focused hospitality company High-Minded Events. Patrons can expect courses like ahi tuna crudo with smoked egg yolk that’s infused and smoked with THC (pea leaves, calamansi, puffed sorghum, basil) and chimichurri skirt steak with OG Kush butter (fava beans, marble potatoes, brewer’s yeast, spicy greens). Tickets ($225 per person, $420 per couple) are available online. April 20, the Four Twenty Experience, 1748 W. Lake Street.
West Town: Anglo-Indian spot Pub Royale opts for an overt approach with 4/20-only special “When the Munchies Hit.” Dine-in customers will get an order of nachos with chicken tikka, Chihuahua cheese, cheddar beer sauce, ginger, red onion, and cilantro with paratha chips and bottomless glasses of the restaurant’s version of Mountain Dew. April 20, Pub Royale, 2049 W. Division Street.
Wicker Park: Pop Up Grocer, a movable feast of packaged snacks, drinks, and retail items, will open a short-term location in partnership with Michelin-starred Elske on April 30, according to a rep. Customers can expect plenty of nut-free, gluten-free, and vegan items including frozen foods, booze-free aperitifs, chocolate, and more. Elske will also offer cookies and baked goods. April 30-May30, Pop Up Grocer, 1555 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
Around Town: Limón y Sal, a pop-up that specializes in pozole de Jalisco from wife-and-husband team Mary Eder-McClure (Topolobampo, Galit) and Javier Garcia, on Wednesday launched a new March menu via Instagram. It features several pozole options, including a Catalpa Grove Farms pork pozole rojo and a vegetarian jackfruit and chayote pozole rojo, plus sides and a Paloma cocktail kit for two. March 17-21, Limón y Sal, Available online.
Lincoln Park: Athleisure brand Lululemon has launched a spring pop-up series at Fuel, the restaurant inside its massive Chicago flagship store. It’ll feature a different local chef every two weeks throughout the spring, including irreverent ‘90s-style sandwich spot Big Kids — a surprising bedfellow for a company known for wellness trends and yoga pants. On March 27, they’ll feature a Cuban sandwich, macaroni and cheese (pickled jalapeno, potato chip crust) and Tang-A-Rita cocktails (mezcal, tequila, TANG!). Tickets ($25-$35) and more details are available via Eventbrite. March 27, Fuel at Lululemon, 944 W. North Avenue.
Ukrainian Village/Logan Square: Super-popular bakery and Filipino restaurant Kasama will team up with the busy folks at Big Kids on March 25 (at Kasama) and April 1 (at Big Kids) for mysterious pop-up. Operators promise on Instagram that “things are gonna get weird...” but haven’t yet announced a theme or menu details. March 25, Kasama, 1001 N. Winchester Avenue; April 1, Big Kids, 2545 N. Kedzie Boulevard.
West Loop: Giống Giống (pronounced yum yum), a unique pop-up featuring Vietnamese cuisine with Guatemalan influences from a pair of pedigreed chefs is coming to the Ruin Daily, an all-day cafe and coffeehouse on Jefferson Street. Chefs Jeanette Tran (Smyth, Oriole) and David Holinger (Aya Pastry, Bakery at Fat Rice) with a menu that includes durian egg tarts, banh mi, Hanoi-style pho, and more. All profits from the pop-up will go to Brave Space Alliance. March 26-27; April 2-3; April 9-10, the Ruin Daily, 328 S. Jefferson Street.
West Loop: Laotian-American pop-up dinner series Sao Song will return this weekend, this time at El Che Steakhouse & Bar, according to an Instagram post. Chef Andy Sisomboune (Nico Osteria, Pacific Standard Time) founded Sao Song in 2008 and in the years since has popped up with the series all over the city. From noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, he’ll feature a $24 prix fixe meal with crispy chicken wings, kabocha squash laab, bamboo stew, and more, plus a few a la carte items and cocktails for two. March 20, El Che, 845 W. Washington Boulevard.