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The Best Gelato in Poland Comes to West Town and 7 More Openings in Chicago

A running list of brand-new spots plus restaurants reopening as the COVID-19 pandemic continues

Three cups of gelato lined up on a countertop.
Paulo Gelato opened earlier this month in West Town.
Paulo Gelato and Chocolate

It seems safe to say that summer has finally arrived and that it’s finally okay to put away the winter gear and make reservations for the patio. And all over the city, bar and restaurant owners who were waiting for better weather to open are finally seizing the moment. The following are just some of the restaurants that have opened — or reopened — their dining rooms, patios, and takeout windows. It will be updated periodically.

Know of a restaurant back open? Email with details so they can be included when this post is next updated.

June 24

Lincoln Park: The Gin Commission, a new cocktail bar centered around — you guessed it — gin will be opening Saturday, June 25, in the basement of Quality Crab & Oyster Bah, Lettuce Entertain You’s interpretation of a seafood shack, reports a rep. Beverage director Kevin Bratt (also of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab) has stocked up on 50 different varieties of the so-called opium of the people. The Gin Commission, 1962 N. Halsted Street, Open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Logan Square: The Black Lion, a nightclub with a bar that specializes in Latin American cocktails, reopens Friday, June 24, after a two-year hiatus, the owners announced on social media. The Black Lion Bar, 2434 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

Portage Park: Fry the Coop, a local mini-chain that specializes in fried chicken, has opened its fifth location in a former hot dog stand on Milwaukee Avenue, owner Joe Fontana writes in an email. The menu features chicken sandwiches with six different levels of hotness, plus chicken and waffles and beer. Fry the Coop, 4300 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

A hot chicken sandwich and a heap of fries on a metal tray.
Fry the Coop’s chicken comes in six different degrees of hotness.
Fry the Coop

Portage Park: Little Lulu’s Italian Ice, which opened and closed several times since last fall due to various shortages and financial constraints, has now definitively reopened under the name Little Lulu’s Ice and Nutrition Bar, Block Club reports. The menu now includes acai bowls, protein shakes, and “guilt free” snacks. Little Lulu’s Ice and Nutrition Bar, 5035 W. Montrose Avenue, Open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

South Loop: The Taiwan-based dessert chain Tiger Sugar famous for its tiger-striped “black sugar” boba drink has opened its first location in Chicago, says a rep. The cafe also serves coffee, pudding, and many forms of tea. Tiger Sugar, 2116 S. Archer Avenue, Open 12:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily.

West Loop: The Allis Bar in the lobby of Soho House has reopened with a new menu that’s available to all comers, not just Soho House members. Offerings include sandwiches, salads, and pizzettes, as well as a variety of spritzes. The Allis Bar in Soho House Chicago, Open noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, reservations available via OpenTable.

Four different colored cocktails on a wooden table.
The Allis Bar in Soho House is now open to the hoi polloi.
Soho House

West Town: Fans of the Monday Coffee Co. should know that the South Side-based coffee roaster is setting up a third cafe (after locations in the Garfield Park Conservatory and Soho House) in the Center of Order and Experimentation, a retail space that sells a curated selection of unusual goods and which opens Saturday, June 25. Monday Coffee Co. inside the Center of Order and Experimentation, 1727 W. Grand Avenue, Open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

West Town: Paulo Gelato and Chocolate, a new shop from Pawel Petrykowski, who in 2015 won a prize for producing the best gelato in Poland, has opened, Block Club reports. Petrykowski, who moved to Chicago in 2019, makes all the gelato and sorbets himself. Flavors include the expected, like fior de latte and strawberry, and the experimental, like milk chocolate gelato with porcini mushrooms, and spinach and tangerine sorbet. Paulo Gelato and Chocolate, 1058 W. Chicago Avenue, Open noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

June 17

Lincoln Square: Wajo Sushi, a family-owned spot that originated in Wheeling, has opened its first city location, Block Club reports. It’s known for original creations like the cheese crunch special roll, which is dusted with shards of Cheeto Puffs, and the snow salmon deluxe roll, a combination of salmon, avocado, cucumber, onion, lemon and mayo. Wajo Sushi, 5437 N. Lincoln Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.

The Loop: Millennium Hall, an Eataly-esque food hall from the parent company behind a host of suburban restaurants in Millennium Park, has opened two of three outposts from its preexisting venues, according to Crain’s. As of Thursday, patrons can now dine at an 180-seat satellite of Napolita Pizzeria (based in Wilmette) and drink at a 300-seat spot with two bars from Evanston’s Double Clutch Brewing. The third, Libertyville-based Casa Bonita, is expected to open with 120 seas in late June. Millennium Hall, 11 N. Michigan Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Noble Square: Engine Coffee, a new cafe from journalist and former Chicago magazine food editor Carly Boers and her husband, Matt Brown, a property manager, opened last month near the Division Blue Line stop, Block Club reports. Boers and Brown have sourced all their food and coffee from local purveyors: Brite Donuts, Pretty Good Bagels, Cafe Tola (for breakfast tacos), and Big Shoulders Coffee. They’ve also planned a calendar of community events, including art exhibits and children’s story time. Engine Coffee, 1109 N. Ashland Avenue, Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Old Town: Avli, a modern Greek mini-chain, and the Original Rainbow Cone, a Chicago classic, are both open now at Castaways, the boathouse at North Avenue Beach, says a rep. Avli will serve an abbreviated menu of snacks, salads, and sandwiches, while Rainbow Cone will offer its signature five-scoop cone. Avli and Original Rainbow Cone at Castaways, 1603 N. DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Rogers Park: The Rhapsody Theater, a new performance venue in the space formerly known as the Mayne Stage, opened on Thursday, June 16, Block Club reports. The theater contains three bars, and the owners are planning to open a full-service restaurant in the fall. Rhapsody Theater, 1328 W. Morse Avenue, See website for performance schedule.

Evanston: Carryout and delivery-only restaurant Picnic opened in May in suburban downtown Evanston across the street from sister spot Pono Ono Poke, according to a rep. Picnic’s menu features salads and grain bowls with Mediterranean flavors, such as a Pesto Extravaganza salad (chicken, fresh mozzarella, slow-roasted tomatoes, pesto), along with sides such as hummus and lentil salad. Picnic, 1619 Chicago Avenue in Evanston, Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

June 10

Beverly: Afro Joe’s, the South Side coffee shop that had to leave its original Auburn Gresham location earlier this year has reopened in Beverly, Block Club reports, with a slightly revamped menu and sets of house music every Sunday. Afro Joe’s Coffee & Tea, 1818 W. 99th Street, Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

Lincoln Park: The Shore Club, the upscale restaurant at North Avenue Beach is open for the season, the Tribune reports. Shore Club Chicago, 1603 N. DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Portage Park: New and experimental subterranean drinking den Nightshade opens Friday below sister spot Moonflower, ownership announced on Instagram. A menu is not yet available, but co-owner Zach Rivera told Eater in 2021 that the team planned to offer unusual cocktails like a corn-chip-and-poblano martini and a gin cocktail with coconut, purple rice, and lime. Nightshade, 4359 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 4:30 p.m. to midnight Wednesday; 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday; 4:30 p.m. to midnight Sunday.

Rogers Park: Howard Street Brewing, the city’s newest and northernmost brewery and tap room is also its smallest, tucked inside a former movie theater. But the tininess of the operation allows a flexibility with styles, the Tribune reports; the brewers will even create a custom beer for weddings. Howard Street Brewing Company, 1617 W. Howard Street, Open 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, 3 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

South Loop: Dollop Cafe, the local coffee shop chain, opened its 19th location last month inside the NEMA apartment complex, Block Club reports. It’s the first Dollop with a nighttime menu and craft cocktails from mixologist Roger Landes, formerly of Smyth and the Loyalist. Dollop Cafe, Bar and Kitchen, 1210 S. Indiana Avenue, Open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

West Loop: From Here On, the new food hall from local hospitality group 16” on Center (Revival Food Hall, Thalia Hall) opened this week on the first floor of the Old Post Office, according to a rep. The enormous space, which offers views of the Chicago River, houses stalls for seven Chicago-based food and beverage spots including hit salumeria Tempesta Market and birria specialist Flo’s Tacos, plus Snorkelbox, a new cocktail bar from 16” on Center. Chicago-meets-Nashville poultry spot Hot Chi Chicken will open Monday, June 13. From Here On, 433 W. Van Buren Street, Open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Schaumburg: Japanese-style ice cream mini-chain Kurimu opened the doors to its third Chicago-area shop this week at the Streets of Woodfield in suburban Schaumburg, owner Ming Ng writes in an email. The new location will feature the same Care Bears pop-up collaboration seen at its stores in Little Italy and Wicker Park with special flavors and decor. Kurimu Schaumburg, 601 N Martingale Road #165, Open 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Mayne Stage

1328 W Morse Ave, Chicago, IL 60626 (773) 381-4554 Visit Website

Oyster Bah

1962 North Halsted Street, , IL 60614 (773) 248-3000 Visit Website

Soho House Chicago

113-125 North Green Street, , IL 60607 (312) 521-8000 Visit Website


2021 W. Fulton Street, Chicago, IL 60612 (312)-772-6536 Visit Website

Fry the Coop

1529 West Chicago Avenue, , IL 60642 (312) 600-6198 Visit Website

Original Rainbow Cone

9233 South Western Avenue, , IL 60643 (773) 238-9833 Visit Website

Tempesta Market

1372 West Grand Avenue, , IL 60642 (312) 929-2551 Visit Website

Cafe Tola

3612 North Southport Avenue, , IL 60613 (773) 687-8428 Visit Website

Rainbow Cone

9233 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60643 (773) 238-7075 Visit Website

Big Shoulders Coffee

1105 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642 (312) 888-3042 Visit Website


1159 West Taylor Street, , IL 60607 (312) 877-5227 Visit Website

Shore Club

1603 North Lake Shore Drive, , IL 60610 (312) 635-8058 Visit Website

Avli Taverna

1335 West Wrightwood Avenue, , IL 60614 (773) 857-5577 Visit Website

Lettuce Entertain You

5419 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60640