Chicago’s hospitality industry wearily forges ahead as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to introduce new twists. 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 and require patrons to show proof of vaccination 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 email@example.com with details so they can be included when this post is next updated.
Lakeview: La Biznaga #2 opened on November 12 on Broadway, the descendent of the first La Biznaga taqueria in Irving Park, which has since closed, the restaurant announced on Facebook. The menu features tacos, tortas, and burritos with a variety of fillings, including shrimp, lengua, nopales, and birria. La Biznaga #2, 3555 N. Broadway, Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Lakeview: Stan’s Donuts and Coffee will open its first location in a grocery store — and its 16th overall — in the Mariano’s on Broadway this Saturday, January 29, according to a rep. The celebration will include doughnut and coffee samples, plus a drawing for two customers to win free doughnuts for a year. Stan’s Donuts and Coffee in Mariano’s Lakeview, 3030 N. Broadway, Open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Logan Square: Lolita’s, a new restaurant run by Venezuelan immigrant Lolimar Gutierrez, opened last weekend in a former ice cream shop, Block Club reports. The menu features Venezuelan arepas, Italian sandwiches, and the house special, grilled pear salad. Lolita’s, 2937 W. Armitage Avenue, Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
North Center: Joy Yee Noodle, the local pan-Asian mini-chain, opened a sixth outpost in the Roscoe Square shopping center in mid-November. The new location has the same extensive menu of Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese favorites. Joy Yee Noodle Roscoe, 3336 N. Western Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
West Loop: Joker’s Cajun Kitchen will be reopening in the Chicago French Market on Tuesday, February 1, according to a Facebook post. The smaller outpost of Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse in Avondale will serve lunch: po’boys, muffuletas, gumbo, and jambalaya. Joker’s Cajun Kitchen, Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton, Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
Norwood Park: Blazzin’ B’s Chicken, a Tennessee hot chicken spot from chef Jamal Williams, opened on November 19 inside suburban bar Trinity Pub, the Tribune reports. The menu features all chicken all the time, with the two exceptions of shrimp and catfish po’boys and sides. Blazzin’ B’s Chicken, 5943 N. Northwest Highway, Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Villa Park: Cultura Subs, a mash-up of Ecuadorean, Argentinian, and Palestinian flavors in sandwich, taco, and protein bowl form, opened on December 11, the Tribune reports. Highlights include a steak jibarito, gyro tacos, and an avocado bacon burger topped with beef bacon. Cultura Subs, 9432 Waukegan Road, Morton Grove, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Avondale: Owen & Engine, chef Bo Fowler’s tribute to the English pub, reopened this week, the Tribune reports, after a 22-month pandemic hiatus, extended by real estate difficulties and Fowler’s need to concentrate on her health and her other restaurant, Bixi Beer in Logan Square. The restaurant is reservation-only for now, but it still serves the same beloved dishes from before the pandemic, including the pub burger and Scotch egg. Owen & Engine, Open Sunday through Tuesday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to midnight, reservations available via Resy.
Fulton Market: Lil Amaru, a spin-off of Amaru, the Wicker Park restaurant that serves Latin street food and tacos, will Monday, January 24, in Time Out Market. The menu includes Cuban and criollo chicken sandwiches, fish tacos, fries, and guacamole. Lil Amaru in Time Out Market, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Lincoln Park: Sushi by Bou, the New York-based mini-chain that serves $50 omakase meals in 30 minutes, opens today in the Hotel Lincoln, already home to sister restaurants Sushi Suite 202 and Sushi Boutique. The “Bou” is controversial chef David Bouhadana, and the restaurant is dine-in only. Sushi by Bou Lincoln Park, 1816 N. Lincoln Avenue, Open 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday; and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Reservations via OpenTable.
Ravenswood: Anna’s Thai Kitchen, a new restaurant from Anna Ong, the chef behind Thai Planet, opens this Sunday, January 23, in the former home of Nami Sushi Bar, according to a Facebook post. The menu includes a full range of Thai soups, salads, curries, and noodle and rice dishes, and the restaurant offers a 15 percent discount to first responders. Anna’s Thai Kitchen, 1828-1830 W. Montrose Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Monday.
Melrose Park: Dave’s Hot Chicken, the LA-based chain whose celebrity investors include Drake and Samuel L. Jackson, opens its third Chicago-area location today in suburban Melrose Park. It serves halal-certified chicken tenders at seven levels of hotness (the hottest requires a signed waiver), plus fries, coleslaw, and mac and cheese. The other local Dave’s outposts, in Naperville and North Center, opened last year. Dave’s Hot Chicken Melrose Park, 2615 W. North Avenue, Open 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Lakeview: Cody’s Public House, which closed in 2019, has reopened under new ownership, according to a rep. Red Door Tavern Group took over from Gene Frankowski, who had owned the bar since 1986, and made extensive renovations, including a game room and a beer garden with a fire pit. Cody’s Public House, 1658 W. Barry Avenue, Open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday.
Portage Park: Province Pizza, a new pizza spot and sports bar, has opened at Six Corners, Block Club reports, in the space previously occupied by Mesa Urbana. It’s the first restaurant from Moe Taleb, who also owns La Vida Catering and the app Let Us Cater, and it serves wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas and deep dish. Province Pizza, 4024 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
Ravenswood: Salsa’s Family Market opened in the former Chui’s Food Store on Monday, Block Club Chicago reports. Proprietors Laura and Jorge Rosales previously owned Salsa’s Grill in Albany Park but decided to close last year due to the difficulties of running a restaurant in a pandemic. The grocery will eventually expand to include salad and juice bars and a butcher counter. Salsa’s Family Market, 4852 N. Damen Avenue, Open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
River North: Barstool River North, a sports bar affiliated the website Barstool Sports, has opened in the former Henry’s Swing Club space on Hubbard Street under the management of Stanton & Bowery Hospitality of West Palm Beach, Florida. It’s the first of several upcoming Barstool bar locations; another is currently underway in Philly. Barstool River North, 14 W. Hubbard Street, Open 3 p.m. to midnight Monday through Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday.
West Loop: MAD Social returned from its pandemic hiatus last month with an updated menu of bar food and brunch and is now accepting reservations. MAD Social, 1140 W. Madison Street, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Wicker Park: Pan-Asian spot Little Wok opened a third location in Wicker Park on New Year’s Eve. Like its predecessors in Lakeview and Evanston, the restaurant has a Japanese menu of sushi and noodles and an “Asian” menu that offers a choice of Chinese and Korean dishes. Little Wok Wicker Park, 1950 W. Division Street, Open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.
West Lafayette, Indiana: Cornerstone Restaurant Group has teamed up with Aramark to open up kiosks on Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus, according to a rep. SolToro, Chef Bill Kim’s Ramen Bar, Chef Bill Kim’s Pizza & Parm, Fresh Fare, and J Manion Latin. Inspired all opened in Memorial Union on January 10.
For a list of the 2021 fall openings, click here.