Chicago’s media sums up the city’s restaurant and bar scene in 2021 with a single word — or at least most of the panel tried to — as part of Eater’s ongoing tradition of polling the city’s experts for their year-end takes.
Michael Nagrant, michaelnagrant.com: Popup
Titus Ruscitti, ChiBBQKing: Struggling
Lillian Stone, The Takeout: Optimistic
Brenda Storch, Eater Chicago contributor: Indoors-outdoors
Jay Westbrook, local craft beer professional: Resilient
Amy Cavanaugh, Chicago magazine: Resilient
Janice Scurio, Sports Illustrated and South Side Sox: Just like the NL East in 2021: Volatile. So much volatility.
Sarah Spain, ESPN: Healing. The industry itself healed (though not fully), and also provided healing for Chicago’s residents. Getting back to dining with friends indoors, celebrating over meals and drinks was a necessary mood-lifter after 2020’s patio-only situation. I hope Omicron doesn’t set back the progress made by so many spots after a rough year.
Nick Kindelsperger, Chicago Tribune: Virtual