Recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois on January 1, 2020, but by the time April 20, the unofficial stoners’ holiday, rolled around, COVID-19 had already arrived, and Chicagoans had to observe in socially-distanced isolation. 2021 was only slightly better: although the vaccines had started to roll out, lockdowns were still largely in place. But this year, with regulations loosening and masks mandates lifted (though individual businesses can still require them), Chicago’s bars and restaurants are ready to celebrate, and, as Crain’s reports, dispensaries are also expecting to have a good day.
This is, of course, the day that Cheba Hut, the “toasted sub joint” with locations in Wicker Park and Lakeview, exists for. Although it sells no cannabis products, both locations will be giving out prizes to the day’s first 100 customers, including free food and a trip to Colorado. There will also be $4.20 sandwich specials and gifts of frisbees and rolling papers from Willie Nelson’s Willie’s Reserve.
Meanwhile, to ease the munchies, Marvin’s Food and Fuel in Fulton Market is serving up giant mozzarella sticks, while DMen Tap in Avondale is offering several stoner-themed specials, including a Definitely Not a McRib sandwich, fried mac and cheese “Resin Balls,” and house-made flaming hot power to “lace” with food. The Publican is teaming up with Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream, Kimski, Maria’s, and Marz Community Brewing for a 4/20 Freak Out featuring menu mashups, beer, and CBD items; tickets are $30 via Tock, and portion of the proceeds go to the Public Media Institute.
The owners of Dispensary 33 in Andersonville won’t be holding their celebration until the weekend. They told Crain’s that they expect 5,000 people to show up on Saturday alone.
A great pitmaster comes to Chicago
Rodney Scott, the James Beard award-winning pitmaster who leads Rodney Scott’s Barbecue in South Carolina and has starred in Chef’s Table on Netflix, will be coming to Chicago on Sunday, May 22, for a barbecue/book signing at Big Star in Wicker Park. Scott and the Big Star crew will be smoking his signature whole hog, plus ribs, chicken, and sides, and Scott will sign copies of his new cookbook Rodney Scott’s World of Barbecue: Every Day is a Good Day. The event starts at 11 a.m., and the food is first-come, first-served.
Revolution Brewing raises money for skate punks
Revolution Brewing will be hosting a fundraiser to rehab a skate park in Avondale this Sunday, April 24, at its Logan Square taproom at 3340 N. Kedzie Avenue, Block Club reports. There will be beer, food, music, and a raffle. Tickets are $20, and an additional $30 donation is requested.
Plum Market to lay off 121 workers
Due to the closing of its Old Town store, which will be replaced by a second location of Dom’s Kitchen and Market, Plum Market will be laying off 121 workers, Crain’s reports. A store spokeswoman told Crain’s that although Plum’s owners have been searching for a new location in Chicago, nothing has turned up, though a few workers may transfer to a store in Miami. Layoffs will begin June 16 in advance of the June 26 closing.
Wilco turns a convenience store into Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Market
In honor of the 20th anniversary of its great breakthrough album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (the one with the photo of the Marina Towers on the cover), Chicago-based band Wilco will, appropriately, occupy Foxtrot Market in Old Town — 1562 N. Wells Street — until May 1. The store will be selling Wilco merch, food items such as Wilc-O’s cereal and an “I Am Trying to Eat Your Heart” gummy mix, plus Jesus Don’t Cry Pilsner; frontman Jeff Tweedy is employee of the month.