Green City Market, the farmers market that’s served Chicago for nearly two decades, will return at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 1 in Lincoln Park. James Beard Award-winning chef Beverly Kim (Parachute, Wherewithall) will be there to mark the occasion and talk about her favorite produce, according to a rep. Markets are then slated to run on Wednesdays and Saturdays through the end of October.
New produce vendors will be on the scene including Star Farms Chicago, an urban vegetable farm based in Back of the Yards, and heirloom-only Frillman Farms in Lake County, Illinois. Midwestern-focused restaurant Dasies — owned and operated by Joe Frillman, whose brother runs Frillman Farms — will also join the market with ragu, pesto, and fresh pasta.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put enormous strain on every corner of the food and restaurant industry, including the farms that made a living selling goods at farmer’s markets and wholesale to local restaurants. Canceled markets and indoor dining bans starting last spring significantly disrupted revenue streams for small area farms, Green City Market — in a reflection of a national trend — raced to establish a smartphone app last March that allows customers to order from multiple vendors and aggregate selections into a single delivery.
The market’s return means that Chicagoans will get to enjoy the fruits of their labor in person once again. Customers should come prepared to wear masks and abide by social distancing rules; capacity will be limited to 500 at a time. A full calendar of Green City Market events is available online.
And in other news...
— The future of historic bar and bowling alley Southport Lanes remains in limbo more than six months after ownership announced it would permanently close. Block Club Chicago reported in January that it might reopen in the spring, but a commercial real estate listing has prompted skepticism over a return. “We are still waiting and evaluating our options,” owner Steve Soble writes to Eater. He won’t solidify plans until the city allows restaurants to operate at full capacity. Meanwhile, another of Soble’s endeavors — District Brew Yards — continues to attract crowds in West Town.
— The Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, Chicago’s oldest Afro-Latin cultural nonprofit, is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a monthly series of virtual cooking classes ($20 each, $50 for three) from chef Roberto Pérez of educational culinary program Urban Pilón. Pérez will focus on Puerto Rican culinary traditions in classes broadcast live at 7 p.m. on the last Thursday of April, May, and June. Tickets and details are available online.
— Chef Erick Williams, owner of acclaimed Southern restaurant Virtue in Hyde Park, in a ceremony on Tuesday was awarded the Mayor’s Medal of Honor for his “commitment to promoting social justice and donating meals to frontline workers.” Williams last spring temporarily closed the restaurant to focus on donating meals to health care providers at University of Chicago and Stroger hospitals. Virtue was named Eater Chicago’s 2019 Restaurant of the Year.