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Shouty British Chef Gordon Ramsay’s First Chicago Restaurant and Six More Openings

A running list of brand-new spots plus restaurants reopening in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

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FOX’s Gordon Ramsays 24 Hours To Hell And Back - Season Three
Gordon Ramsay now has a Chicago restaurant.
Photo by FOX via Getty Images

Chicago’s hospitality industry continues to pick up the pieces and try to resume a semblance of normal business as the COVID-19 pandemic remains. Rising case numbers, attributed in part to concentrations of unvaccinated people and two highly transmissible variants, has spurred city and state officials to reinstate a mask mandate in public indoor spaces — including bars and restaurants.

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 chicago@eater.com with details so they can be included when this post is next updated.

December 17

Humboldt Park: Aztec Dave’s Cantina, a permanent home for the popular Mexican food truck, will be opening next Tuesday, December 21, in the former Bullhead Cantina space. The menu will feature the tacos, burritos, and loaded papas from the truck, plus specials that owner Ramon Torres learned to cook from his grandmother, who immigrated from Michoacán; there will also be a bar. Aztec Dave’s Cantina, 1143 N. California Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Lakeview: Bae Coffee, the millennial-themed coffee roaster, opens its first cafe tomorrow in the former Pastoral space on Broadway. The cafe, which its owners have described as “a little pink beacon,” will serve coffee drinks and pastries to start, though they plan to expand into meals. Bae Coffee Company, 2945 N. Broadway, Open 9 a.m.

Lakeview: Another outpost of cafe and grocery Foxtrot Market — its 16th — opened in the former Walgreens at Broadway and Diversey (the one on the east side of the street). The store will offer a broad selection of grab-and-go meals and 30-minute delivery; in warmer months, there will be a patio on Diversey. Foxtrot East Lakeview, Open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

A one-story brick building with walls of windows decorated with paper cutouts.
Foxtrot Market has opened in one of the former Walgreens stores at Broadway and Diversey.
Jeff Marini

Logan Square: The former Fat Willy’s Rib Shack has a new tenant. Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse, a food truck, has taken over the space near Western and Schubert. Find brisket, ribs, wings, and more. Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse, 2416 W. Schubert Avenue, open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.

Loop: Five Iron Golf, the New York-based gaming bar brand featuring high-tech indoor golf simulators, last week opened its long-awaited location inside Block 37, according to a rep. The sprawling 11,000-square-foot space will include 11 simulators with multiple cameras to help patrons perfect their swing, plus a full bar and casual food menu. The new outpost is the brand’s second in Chicago, following its 2019 debut in River North. Five Iron Golf at Block 37, 108 N. State Street, Open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Loop: The Danish cafe and juice bar chain Joe & The Juice has opened its fifth Chicago location in the Willis Tower on December 7. The cafe is on the first floor of the Catalog dining complex. Joe & The Juice Willis Tower, 233 S. Wacker Drive, Open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

River North: British chef Gordon Ramsay feels homemade ketchup on a hot dog may salvage a River North space that has housed luminaries including Chili’s and Wahlburgers. The Tribune has the scoop on Friday’s opening of the second location of Gordon Ramsay Burger (there’s also one in Las Vegas). The Hell’s Kitchen celebrity chef is famous for confronting contestants with a demeanor that fits in a little differently with how industry workers have been demanding in recent years. Gordon Ramsay Burger, 2 E. Ontario Street, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

December 10

Avondale: You’re A Cookie, pastry chef Angela Diaz’s gluten-free wholesale cookie bakery, will finally open its storefront tomorrow after many delays. The cafe will offer fresh-baked cookies and bake-at-home cookie dough in both all-butter and vegan versions, plus ice cream sandwiches, hot cocoa, and special seasonal flavors. You’re A Cookie, 3053 N. California Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

East Garfield Park: Monday Coffee, a Black-owned coffee roaster, has just started a three-month residency in the Horticulture Hall at the Garfield Park Conservatory, Block Club reports. Founded by South Siders Amanda Christine Harth and Felton Kizer, Monday is also available at Retreat at Currency Exchange in Washington Park and Soho House in West Loop. Monday Coffee at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Avenue, Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Lakeview: Cheba Hut, an Arizona-based stoner-themed sub shop specializing in “toasted” subs — geddit? — opened its second Chicago location in Wrigleyville earlier this week. (The first is in Wicker Park.) In addition to sandwiches, it also serves salads, cocktails, and “munchies” like pretzel nuggets, Doritos with nacho toppings, and Rice Krispie treats, none of which contain cannabis. Cheba Hut Wrigleyville, 3412 N. Sheffield Avenue, Open 10 a.m. to midnight daily.

Lakeview: Zazas Pizzeria, a new spot that serves New York-style slices for lunch and pies for dinner, opened last week, Block Club reports. The menu, which includes nine specialty pizzas, is the result of intensive research by co-owners Chadd and Brett Nemec. Zazas Pizzeria, 3037 N. Clark Street, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Loop: Dos Urban Cantina has opened a stall inside Revival Food Hall called Dos Taqueria. It serves tacos, taco bowls, and taco salads; customers choose their own proteins and toppings. Dos Taqueria, Open 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

West Loop: St. Clair Supper Club, the Alinea Group’s version of a classic Wisconsin supper club, has reopened inside Roister. The short menu features prime rib au jus, starters and sides like shrimp cocktail, cocktail mushrooms, and Yorkshire pudding, plus frozen grasshopper pie for dessert, which should surprise no true supper club devotee. St. Clair Supper Club, 951 W. Fulton Market, Open 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Reservations available via Tock.

Aurora: Stolp Island Social, Amy Morton’s steakhouse next to the Paramount Theater, reopens today after a long pandemic shutdown. The kitchen, led by chef de cuisine John Thurmond, will also serve pasta and seasonal specials, and the bar has an extensive cocktail and wine list. Stolp Island Social, 5 E. Galena Boulevard, Aurora, Open 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

December 3

Edgewater: Sweet shop Banana Cream Ice Cream opened last week and is now serving milkshakes, banana splits, doughnut ice cream sandwiches, hot cinnamon waffle rolls, and more. Banana Cream Ice Cream, 6305 N. Clark Street, Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Edgewater: Regalia, a wine bar with an Italian menu that includes pasta and risotto, has opened in the storefront formerly occupied by the restaurant and wine bar Income Tax. Regalia, 5959 N. Broadway, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Gold Coast: Devil Dawgs has opened up its fourth location last month in the former Downtown Dogs space, the Tribune reports, with a simple menu of four all-beef and one veggie hot dog option, plus three sliders, and fries. Devil Dawgs Gold Coast, 804 N. Rush Street, Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Logan Square: Bungalow by Middlebrow, the pizza brewpub, has opened a bar on its patio called Hot Corner. The bar specializes in hygge and hot beverages. Check out the menu below. They accept walk-ins and reservations via Tock. The Hot Corner at Bungalow by Middlebrow, 2840 W. Armitage Avenue, open Friday through Sunday to the public and open Tuesday through Thursday for private events.

Old Town: Rebel’s Hot Chicken, a virtual kitchen from the Bottleneck Group (Sweetwater Tavern + Grille, Old Town Pour House), is open for takeout and delivery in the Wells Street location of the Old Town Pour House, according to a rep (there’s also a suburban location in the City Works in Wheeling). The house specialty is Nashville hot chicken sandwiches, but there are also nachos, mac and cheese, and crispy cauliflower for those who don’t eat chicken. Rebel’s Hot Chicken, 1419 N. Wells Street, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Portage Park: Moonflower, a plant-filled cocktail bar run by three hospitality industry veterans opened last night. The menu features both experimental and classic cocktails, snacks, and sandwiches, and the soundtrack features lots of classic soul. Moonflower, 4359 N. Milwaukee, Open 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

River North: The Bamboo Room, a bar within the larger tropical bar Three Dots and a Dash that opened in 2019 and then closed due to the pandemic, reopened yesterday, according to a rep. Led by beverage director Kevin Beary and lead bartender Scott Kittsmiller, the Bamboo Room is a celebration of rum, in both cocktail and straight-up forms. The Bamboo Room at Three Dots and a Dash, 435 N. Clark Street, Open 5 p.m. to midnight Thursday and Friday and 4 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Reservations available via Tock.

River North: Rotisserie Ema, a self-service offshoot of C.J. Jacobson’s Mediterranean-Californian restaurant, is open for lunch, according to a rep. It offers salad, hot food, and soup bars, with prices calculated by weight, as well as bread and Greek yogurt. Rotisserie Ema, 74 W. Illinois Street, Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

West Loop: Secret Sound, the tropical-themed speakeasy-style bar from Paul McGee and Shelby Allison, the team behind Lost Lake in Logan Square (the operation is separate from Lost Lake’s parent company, Land & Sea Dept.), reopens today in Time Out Market in its holiday incarnation: Secret Sand-ta. It will serve rummy and fruity takes on winter classics like hot buttered rum, eggnog, and peppermint hot chocolate. Secret Sound inside Time Out Market, 916 W. Fulton Market, Open 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

Berwyn: Babygold Barbecue, the barbecue joint attached to FitzGerald’s concert venue and bar, has opened its indoor dining room. Chef John Manion will be serving up pork, turkey, and brisket, and the bar will be offering beer, wine, and cocktails. Babygold Barbecue, 6615 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn, Open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday, and noon to 11 p.m. Sunday.

November 19

Andersonville: Salad chain Sweetgreen will open its latest location, its ninth in Chicago, in the former Hamburger Mary’s space today with official opening festivities on Tuesday, November 23, Block Club Chicago reports. Sweetgreen Andersonville, 5400 N. Clark Street, Open 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Avondale: The Wolfhound Bar and Kitchen, an Irish restaurant, has opened after a two-year pandemic delay, Block Club Chicago reports. It serves all-day Irish breakfast and bar fare like smashburgers and chicken sandwiches, plus a full cocktail menu. The Wolfhound Bar and Kitchen, 3188 N. Elston Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Bucktown: Gallery Cabaret, the dive bar known for its open-mic nights and art on the walls, will reopen next Friday, November 26, 20 months after it closed for the pandemic in March 2020, Block Club Chicago reports. In the interim, longtime owner Ken Strandberg died in September 2020; his son Mike took over and renovated the space. Gallery Cabaret, 2020 N. Oakley, Open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Friday and 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday.

Humboldt Park: Segnatore, a new restaurant from the team behind Good Measure that, according to its website, is “inspired by the hidden history of folk healers in Italy,” is open in the space formerly occupied by Cafe Marie Jeanne. Chef Matt Troost will serve dishes like freestyle lasagna, fried chicken, and Bolognese fries. Segnatore, 1001 N. California Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, Reservations via Resy.

Lincoln Park: Ayo Pizza and Cafe opened in the former Amato’s space this week, Block Club Chicago reports, and serves Sicilian slices, tavern-style pies, and coffee and breakfast pastries; the menu also includes a few vegan options. It’s one of the few BIPOC-owned pizzerias on the North Side. Ayo Pizza and Cafe, 953 W. Willow Street, Open 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Two men stand side-by-side in front of a storefront restaurant window that reads “Ayo Pizza.”
Ayo co-owners Eldridge Williams and Chris Scardina.
Eater Chicago/Daija Guy

Lincoln Park: Local fast-casual chain Burrito Beach opened its seventh location on November 3, its first outside of downtown. The Lincoln Park outpost will serve several site-specific items, including a kids’ menu, and management is planning to introduce cocktails in the near future. Burrito Beach Lincoln Park, 1000 W. North Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Lincoln Park: Fat Shack, the Colorado-based chain known for ultra-indulgent sandwiches, burgers, and deep fried desserts, this month opened a new franchise location near DePaul University, according to a rep. The brand, which counts entrepreneur Mark Cuban as a partial owner after he backed the restaurant on a 2019 episode of ABC TV’s Shark Tank, operates 28 other locations around the country. Fat Shack Lincoln Park, 2140 N. Clybourn Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Lincoln Park: Meat alternative manufacturer Upton’s Naturals has teamed up with virtual kitchen A La Couch to serve vegan hot dogs at the Updog Stand. A pickup and delivery-only operation, Updog will feature Upton’s version of the Vienna hot dog with a variety of toppings, plus hand-cut fries and vegan cookies. The Updog Stand, 1751 N. Sheffield Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

Loop: Depot 226, an all-day restaurant and coffee shop with grab-and-go options, opened this week in the new Canopy by Hilton hotel. Depot 226 inside Canopy by Hilton, 226 W. Jackson Boulevard, Open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Naperville: Cafe Cebu, an offshoot of the popular Wicker Park Filipino restaurant Cebu, opened last weekend in Naperville, management announced on Instagram. It will offer more of a focus on sweets than its city sibling, featuring Asian and French pastries, ice cream, and boba drinks from pastry chef Cybill Tan. Cafe Cebu, 790 Royal St. George Drive, Naperville, Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

November 12

Hyde Park: Seven Ten Social, a bowling alley with a cocktail bar and a restaurant led by chef Charlie McKenna of Lillie Q’s, opened on October 27, the Tribune reports. The menu features burgers, wings, fried chicken sandwiches, and milkshakes. Seven Ten Social, 1055 E. 55th Street, Open 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.

A sandwich on a metal tray with a burger bun, shredded beef, and mostaccioli noodles
The Meateor Burger at Space Cow.
The Duplex

Logan Square: The Duplex, a dining space that changes chefs every six months, has two new tenants. 2 Korean Girls, run by sisters Jennifer and Michele Kaminski, serves bibimbap, fried chicken, tteokbokki, and banchan, among other things. Space Cow, from the Duplex’s owner LeQoinne Rice and chef David Rodriguez, is a burger joint inspired by the Pizza Planet restaurant in the Toy Story movies. The Duplex, 3137 W. Logan Boulevard, Open Tuesday through Friday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations available via Tock.

Near North Side: The Cumin Bowl, a virtual restaurant that serves customizable Indian bowls for $10 each, opened last month in the Kitchen United Mix ghost kitchen. An offshoot of the meal kit service the Cumin Club, the Cumin Bowl offers customers a choice of proteins, sauces, and riced veggies or rice; there are also a few non-customizable dishes and dessert. The Cumin Bowl, 831 N. Sedgwick Street, Open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.

North Center: Robert Et Fils, a fine-dining French restaurant that chef Rob Shaner opened in August 2020 as a takeout operation and which later began serving a la carte meals on the patio, has now reached its final form: indoor service with a seven-to-ten course tasting menu, which will change regularly, based on the season. Meals are $205 per person, and wine pairings are extra. Robert Et Fils, 4229 N. Lincoln Avenue, Open Friday and Saturday 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations available via Tock.

Ukrainian Village: Lao Peng You, a Chinese spot that features handmade noodles and dumplings, has reopened for dine-in service after closing for the pandemic in March 2020. Although it will still be doing takeout, the owners write in an Instagram post that they’ll be phasing out phone and Internet orders. Lao Peng You, 2020 W. Chicago Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Posen: The first Chicago-area location of Captain D’s, a fast-food seafood chain with a rabid following throughout the South, opened on November 1. This is the first of several promised restaurants in and around Chicago. Captain D’s, 3021 W. 147th Street, Posen, Open 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

November 5

Back of the Yards: Tom’s Place Pancake House opened this week after two years of planning, according to a Facebook post. It serves American-style breakfasts like pancakes, eggs, and oatmeal, plus sandwiches for lunch, and will be staffed by students in the culinary programs at neighborhood high schools and Kennedy-King College. The owners also plan to keep the space open after service hours for community gatherings. Tom’s Place Pancake House, 1509 W. 47th Street, Open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Bronzeville: Iyanzé, a West African spot in Uptown known for its fufu, soups, and yam dishes, opened a second location in Bronzeville on October 22 called Iyanzé Bronze, the blog Uptown Update reports. Iyanzé Bronze is part of a community initiative called Bronzeville Cookin’ that highlights food made by people of African descent. Iyanzé Bronze, 308 E. 51st Street, Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Lakeview: Ghost kitchen Epic Kitchens has opened a second location in Lakeview, Block Club reports. The five stalls are BurgerFi, Pokéworks, 800 Degree Pizza, Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, and Lawrence Fish & Shrimp. The space is both eat-in and carry-out. Epic Kitchens Lakeview, 3332 Broadway, Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Lincoln Park: Blue Sushi Sake Grill, a national chain based in Omaha with an outpost in Naperville, opened its second Chicago area location this week in the Lincoln Commons complex. The restaurant serves sustainably sourced seafood recommended by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and also offers gluten-free and vegan options. The restaurant donated all the proceeds from Monday night’s opening to the Lurie Children’s Hospital. Blue Sushi Sake Grill, 2351 N. Lincoln Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Lincoln Square: After a very long renovation, Monti’s has returned to its home on Talman Avenue, ownership announced on Facebook last week. The bar and Philly cheesesteak specialist is now open for dine-in service, though delivery has been suspended for a few weeks until it’s fully staffed again. Monti’s, 4757 N. Talman Avenue, Open noon to 10 p.m. daily.

Loop: Chiya Chai Cafe, featuring an extensive chai menu and Indian and Nepali food, opened its second location this week in the Loop. The new cafe will serve “desi chai,” prepared traditionally over a stove. Chiya Chai Loop, 79 E. Madison Street, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

River North: Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea will open a new location in Verso, a three-building office development in River North, on Wednesday, November 10. This will be its seventh outpost in the Chicago area, and, like the others, it will serve coffee and tea from different craft coffee roasters and tea companies around the country, plus breakfast, salads, and sandwiches. Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea River North, 306 W. Erie Street, Open 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Wicker Park: The second location of Chengdu Impression has opened in Wicker Park. The menu features the same Sichuan dishes as the original in Lincoln Park, but owner Ryan Hu says that he will continue to update based on emerging food trends in the city of Chengdu in China. Chengdu Impression Wicker Park, 1300 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.

Wicker Park: Two local chains, Asian sandwich shop Zenwich and bubble tea seller Elitea, have teamed up to open up a joint location on Milwaukee Avenue in a spot formerly occupied, in quick succession, by FireFin Poke, Halal Guys, and Yuzuya, Block Club Chicago reports. The fast-casual restaurant will be cashierless: customers will place orders on a tablet, “like the Asian-style McDonald’s,” said Elitea owner Jerry Liu. Zenwich X Elitea, 1415 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Oak Brook: Puttshack, which bills itself as “the world’s first and only upscale tech-infused mini golf experience,” opened this week in Oakbrook Center; there is also a location in Atlanta. The 25,000-square-foot space contains four mini golf courses, and the menu features cocktails (including one made with Malört), bar snacks, flatbreads, and salads. Puttshack, 1828 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, Open 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Four neon-lit interior miniature golf putting greens with a beer pong sign in the background
Puttshack is open in Oak Brook.
Puttshack

October 29

Avondale: Central Park Bar, a new tavern from Four Entertainment Group, owners of the Owl, Estelle’s, and Easy Bar, announced on its Instagram that it’s opening on Saturday, replacing the old Polish dive Mr. ZJ. The menu will feature cocktails and beer, and there will be outdoor seating in the backyard around a fire pit. Central Park Bar, 2429 N. Central Park Avenue, Open 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday and Friday and 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday.

Logan Square: Evette’s, the Lincoln Park shawarma and Lebanese pita specialist, will be opening a second location as a pop-up inside the Spilt Milk Tavern starting tonight. The Logan Square location of Evette’s will feature a truncated menu, but it will include the popular garlic feta fries and chicken arayes pita. It’s a 12-month deal at the bar, which could be extended. Evette’s Logan Square, inside Spilt Milk, 2758 W. Fullerton Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

West Chatham: Hot Chi Chicken & Cones has taken over the former Harold’s No. 55 on 87th Street, according to the Tribune. It’s a halal restaurant featuring a sandwich called “Popeye’s ain’t Shit,” a harisa-glazed fried thigh. There’s also Nashville hot chicken. Hot Chi Chicken, 100 W. 87th Street, open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

West Lawn: Tony Hu has opened another restaurant, according to the Trib. The “Mayor of Chinatown” and founder of Lao Sze Chuan has brought a location of Asian-Cajun seafood chain Million’s Crab to Chicago. Million’s Crab, 7519 S. Cicero Avenue, (708) 685-5188, open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

West Loop: Ranalli’s, the pizza bar from the Four Corners hospitality group, opens its second location in the West Loop today in the space WestEnd occupied for 14 years. The new bar will have a similar menu to the existing Lincoln Park space, featuring pizza, beer, and craft cocktails, but, given its proximity to United Center, the TVs in the new bar will be tuned to Blackhawks and Bulls games as well as the Michigan Wolverines. Ranalli’s West Loop, 1326 W. Madison Street, Open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday.

Wicker Park: A cursed space along Milwaukee Avenue that housed FireFin Poke, Halal Guys, and most recently a quick-serve concept from the owners of Yuzu, has a new tenant. Zenwich X Elitea, an expansion of suburban chain, is coming, offering Asian sandwiches and bowls in a quick-serve manner. Block Club Chicago has more. Zenwich X Elitea, 1415 N. Milwaukee Avenue, opening on November 1, hours will be daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

October 22

Boystown: Rotary sushi mini-chain Sushi Plus this week reopened its Broadway Street outpost with a limited menu of fan favorites and chef’s specials, according to a Facebook post. The reopening signals a full return for Sushi Plus, which has also reopened restaurants in Wicker Park, Chinatown, and suburban Aurora. Sushi Plus Boystown, 3219 N. Broadway Street, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday; 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; noon to 3 p.m. and 5 pm. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Hyde Park: ⁠The Love and Light Cafe, a new storefront spot from the owner of nearby daycare Kemit Academy, debuted in late September, according to the Hyde Park Herald. Owner Kiley Russell has opened with a menu of coffee, espresso, and tea drinks, plus pressed juices, sandwiches, salads, and desserts. She plans to expand the food menu as her staff develops a rhythm in the kitchen. The Love and Light Cafe, 1429 E. Hyde Park Boulevard, Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Logan Square: Wisconsin-style retro cocktail lounge the Pink Squirrel reopened this week for the first time since March 2020, according to a rep. Inspired in part by Milwaukee’s iconic Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge, the bar resembles a 1960’s supper club-meets-bowling alley serving classic cocktails and boozy milkshakes. Operators have reopened with a few new over-the-top milkshake options like the Cereal Killer, a Fruity Pebble shake with a rainbow sprinkle frosting rim and tons of sugary toppings. Patrons can reserve bowling lanes via Tock. The Pink Squirrel, 2414 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to midnight Wednesday through Sunday.

River North: New Mexican street food spot Tacos Don Berto is open and operating out of walk-up window at longtime neighborhood watering hole Boss Bar, according to a rep. Named for industry veteran Roberto Velazco, who has worked with the Boss Bar team for more than 25 years, the casual spot is featuring a short menu that includes tacos (carne asada and al pastor), tortas, and tamales. Boss Bar first launched the window in 2013 with New York-style pizza slices. Tacos Don Berto, 418 N. Clark Street, Open 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

A table on an outdoor patio is laid with many plates filled with tacos, tortas, tamales.
Tacos Don Berto brings Mexican street food to Boss Bar.
Tacos Don Berto

Rogers Park: Another Bite, a new breakfast and brunch spot from a local Cold Stone Creamery franchisee, debuted in August in a space that previously housed Tapia’s Pizzeria and Grill, according to Block Club Chicago. Owner John Thomas told reporters that he’s applying Cold Stone’s approach — allowing patrons to customize their order with a wide variety of mix-ins — at the new BYOB restaurant. That means diners can add sweet and savory extras to base menu of American breakfast staples (think waffles, pancakes, and French toast). Another Bite, 6632 N. Clark Street, Open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

October 15

Avondale: Sunday Dinner Club’s latest project, SDC Pizza and Cake, is now serving weekly meals to go, featuring... pizza and cake. The project, Sunday Dinner Club co-owner Christine Cikowski explained in the Instagram announcement, is the product of years of near-obsessive pizza- and cake-testing from chef-owner Josh Kulp and sous chef Alex Skrzypczyk. The menu varies week to week, but pickup is always at Honey Butter Fried Chicken. SBC Pizza and Cake, 3361 N. Elston Avenue, Open Friday and Saturday, order via Tock.

Bucktown: Izakaya Mita, the popular Japanese pub that closed for 19 months after the pandemic began, is back open with a revamped menu and interior, chef Brian Mita announced on Instagram. The seven-year-old restaurant is known for offering one of the city’s largest sake collections alongside traditional izakaya bites like takoyaki and Mita’s innovations, such as a Japanese Italian beef sandwich. Patrons must provide proof of vaccination to dine in. Izakaya Mita, 1960 N. Damen Avenue, Open 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday; noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Lincoln Park: Paper Plane Pizza is now a permanent pop-up inside the former Dawali Mediterranean space on N. Halsted Street. In addition to pizza, Dustin Drankiewicz, Sam Nelson-Mann and Milos Stevanovic will serve salads and hoagies for pick-up or dine-in. The Paper Plane food truck will also continue to make the rounds. Paper Plane Pizza, 1625 N. Halsted Street, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Old Town: Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat, the growing restaurant mini-chain known for meatless cheesesteaks and vegan Chicago-style hot dogs, will open its third Chicago area location on Sunday, according to chef and owner Laricia Chandler. The Wells Street space previously housed Surf’s Up Old Town, a seafood spot that closed in June after less than a year. Originally founded three years ago in Hyde Park, Chandler’s meat-free comfort food spot in February expanded into suburban Orland Park in a shared outpost with Phlavz Bar and Grille. Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat, 1143 N. Wells Street, Opens at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 17.

River North: Pigtail, the basement bar in José Andrés’s tapas restaurant Jaleo, opened earlier this week. The speakeasy-style spot gets its name from the fact that it specializes in pork — almost every item on the food menu contains Iberico ham — and cocktails, created by bartender Miguel Lancha. Highlights include braised pig’s ears, croquettes, and foie gras torchons. Pigtail, Open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

River West: Bubble Maki is now offering sushi and bubble tea for takeout or delivery. Patrons can order off the menu or choosing from a variety of fillings and sauces to create their own custom sushi rolls; bubble tea is also customizable with fruit and milk options. Bubble Maki, 850 W. Superior Street, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Ukrainian Village: Empty Bottle-adjacent hit Pizza Friendly Pizza this week opened its dining room for the first time since its debut in July 2020, according to an Instagram post. Until now, patrons could only snag its Sicilian-style pan pies via walk-up window or delivery. The pizzeria is located in the former Bite Cafe space, founded as a collaboration between decorated chef Noah Sandoval (Oriole) and Bruce Finkelman of 16” on Center (Thalia Hall, Revival Food Hall). Pizza Friendly Pizza, 1039 N. Western Avenue, Open 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Riverside: Nada, possibly the only Kuwaiti restaurant in the entire Chicago area, is open in the western suburbs, and food blogger and Eater Chicago contributor Titus Ruscitti paid a visit. The menu focuses on machboos, a rice and meat dish that’s popular throughout the Arabian peninsula — Nada offers a choice of lamb, chicken, fish, and shrimp — as well as soups and stews. Nada, 3216 S. Harlem Avenue, Riverside, Open noon to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday and Sunday.

October 8

Bronzeville: Cafe Trinidad, the Avalon Park Trinidadian restaurant that attracted a devoted following from around the city after its 2005 appearance on Check Please and then broke their hearts when it closed in 2016, has returned. It is now Cafe Trinidad ToGo and operates out of the South Loop Food Company ghost kitchen, but it still serves its signature roti, jerk chicken, and doubles for pickup or delivery. Cafe Trinidad ToGo, 2537 S. Wabash Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.

Humboldt Park: “Jew-ish” deli Jeff & Jude’s has opened for indoor dining for the first time, owner Ursula Siker announced in a Facebook post. The restaurant opened in August 2020 with walk-up window service. Customers can now enjoy matzo ball soup, pastrami, bagels, and other deli classics inside, though they must be fully vaccinated or have proof of a negative COVID test. Jeff & Jude’s, 1024 N. Western Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Lakeview: Chicago Sugar Daddy Patisserie is now open in its own permanent location today after several months as a pop-up, Block Club reports. Sugar Daddy is co-owner James Cox’s nickname, bestowed upon him by friends of his life and business partner Ryann Ibasco for his habit of always bringing baked goods to gatherings. The bakery serves cookies, cupcakes, petit fours, trifles, macarons, custom cakes, and more. Chicago Sugar Daddy, 3243 N. Broadway, Open 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday; noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Loop: GORDAS Tortas, a Mexican sandwich shop that serves tortas, molletes, and pambazos with a variety of fillings and salsas, as well as smoothies and aguas frescas, opened September 23 in the Kitchen United MIX location in the Loop. Service is takeout and delivery only. GORDAS Tortas, 205 W. Wacker Drive, Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Loop: Sopraffina, the Loop breakfast and lunch spot, will reopen its Franklin and Adams location on Wednesday, October 13, for dine-in and carryout; its three other locations will reopen at an unspecified date. Sopraffina serves soups, salads, sandwiches, pizza, pasta, and other food good for a quick meal out or at one’s desk. Sopraffina, 222 W. Adams Street, Open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Loop: Theo’s at the Exchange, the latest component of the new DMK complex in Daniel Burnham’s Railway Exchange Building, opened September 30, joining the Listening Room and the Bakery. The focus of Theo’s is on classic cocktails, but it shares a dinner menu with the Listening Room, and on weekdays there will be tavern-style pizza for happy hour. Theo’s at The Exchange, 224 S. Michigan Avenue, Open 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Pilsen: After the Maxwell Street Market shut down for most of 2020, many longtime vendors had to make alternate plans. Among them was the much-beloved Rubi’s Tacos, which completed its migration to a storefront in Pilsen last weekend. Rubi’s will still be takeout only, serving pozole on Thursdays (customers should preorder online) and tacos on Sundays (except for this weekend when they’ll be open on Saturday, due to the marathon). Rubi’s on 18th Street, 1316 W. 18th Street, Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Rogers Park: Mission Control Arcade Bar was finally cleared for liftoff last week after several delays due to bureaucratic red tape. Co-owner Aaron Allen previously operated the Uptown Arcade, which closed during the pandemic, and brought more than 50 vintage arcade games into the new space beside the Morse “El” stop, plus a dozen pinball machines. Bare-Naked Pole, a pop-up, will be serving pierogis. Check out photos of the pinball paradise here. Mission Control Arcade Bar, 1408 W. Morse Avenue, Open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

South Loop: Evanston’s Shang Noodle continues its invasion of the city with a second location, this one in the Homewood Suites at 11th Street and Wabash Avenue, where it serves a mix of American, Chinese, and Japanese dishes, including all-day breakfast, dim sum, and sushi. Shang Noodle South Loop, 1101 S. Wabash Avenue, Open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

West Town: Noble Thai opened late last month in the former Opart Thai House at Chicago Avenue and Noble Street (Opart itself has moved down the street to Chicago and Ashland). Owner Jay Lin completely gutted and renovated the space, secured a liquor license, and expanded the menu to include specialties like the rice dish khao man gai, though the chef, Roongnapha Prakobkit (known as P’Mam), remains the same. Noble Thai, 1371 W. Chicago Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Monday.

September 24

Albany Park: A Guatemalan restaurant has found a new home in Albany Park. Las Palmas, not to be confused with the former Wicker Park Mexican restaurant, is back in business, according to Block Club Chicago. Ownership has been planning a reopening for years. Las Palmas, 4959 N. Kedzie Avenue, open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays.

Logan Square: One of Chicago’s most influential cocktail bar is back open for the first time since March 2020. The Whistler, which is celebrating its 13th birthday, is set to reopen next week. They’ve hired a new bar lead, bring Alex Barbatsis to Logan Square from LA where he worked at RIvera L.A., Good Housekeeping, and L.A. Machine. Look for new drinks, and more live music. Vaccines are required. The Whistler, 2421 N. Milwaukee Avenue, opening on Wednesday, September 29; hours are 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The Loop: Urbanspace Washington is open near State and Lake, and the food hall includes 12 restaurants, a beer stall and a bar. Urbanspace is a New York company with food halls in the Big Apple, and the roster includes Stan’s Donuts, the Budlong, and more. Urbanspace, 15. W. Washington, hours not posted.

Rogers Park: Closed since late March 2020, Common Cup, a Rogers Park coffeeshop and cafe reopens this weekend, according to an Instagram post. The cafe is had been around for 14 years. Common Cup’s sibling is Overflow Coffee in South Loop. Common Cup, 1501 N. Morse Avenue, hours not posted.

South Loop: After 17 months, Buddy Guy’s Legends is back open. The legendary music venue that has a bar and restaurant, opened in August with a surprise appearance from Buddy Guy himself, according to the Columbia Chronicle. The owner told the newspaper that opening during the height of the pandemic would have spelled financial disaster. The paper also quoted an associate professor of instruction in the English and Creative Writing Department by the name of Jim DeRogatis. Buddy Guy’s opened in 1989. Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash Avenue.


For a list of the 2021 summer openings, click here.

Sushi Plus Rotary Sushi Bar

3219 N. Broadway St. , Chicago, IL Visit Website

The Bamboo Room at Three Dots and a Dash

435 North Clark Street, , IL 60654 (312) 610-4220 Visit Website

Robert et Fils

4229 North Lincoln Avenue, , IL 60618 (773) 687-9179 Visit Website

The Duplex

3137 West Logan Boulevard, , IL 60647 (773) 697-4153 Visit Website

You're a Cookie!

3053 North California Avenue, , IL 60618 (773) 961-7091 Visit Website

The Budlong

1008 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 (773) 270-9005

The Pink Squirrel

2414 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 904-8185 Visit Website

St. Clair Supper Club

951 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 (312) 789-4896 Visit Website

Boss Bar

420 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 527-1203 Visit Website

Buddy Guy's Legends

700 South Wabash Avenue, , IL 60605 (312) 427-1190 Visit Website

Babygold BBQ

6613 Roosevelt Road, , IL 60402 (708) 637-4364 Visit Website

Urbanspace Washington

15 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

The Whistler

2421 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 227-3530 Visit Website

Time Out Market Chicago

916 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 (312) 637-3888 Visit Website

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