Wondering what’s in the works in the Chicago area for restaurants, bars, and cafes? Look no further than Eater Chicago’s guide to winter 2023’s coming attractions for dining. Did we miss something? Send Eater Chicago a tip at email@example.com.
Bucktown: Local caterer Ambrosia Foods is at work on a new coffee shop at 2241 N. Western Avenue in the former home of Chay Fretello’s, per signage in the space’s windows and a promise to open “soon” on Instagram.
Goose Island: Chicago’s only Hardee’s could soon open at the southeast corner of Halsted and Division, attached to an Exxon gas station at 736 W. Division Street. The fast-food chain, with 1,800 locations in the U.S., hasn’t responded to a message for comment, but they are in the hiring stage. There are more than 90 locations in Illinois, mostly downstate.
Grand Boulevard: Yasmin Curtis, the owner of seven-year-old seafood boil spot Two Fish Crab Shack on 47th Street, is embarking on a $9 million project that includes new construction for an expanded restaurant as well as 10 two- and three-bedroom apartments, according to Block Club Chicago. The ambitious endeavor has been in the works since 2019, Curtis tells reporters, and she hopes it will be complete by 2025.
Lincoln Square: Chicago’s famed Old Town School of Folk Music, a nationally known school that’s been around for six decades with a live music venue, hopes to open a restaurant with a performance space and rooftop terrace at 4530 N. Lincoln Avenue in the former home of the Grafton Irish Pub and Grill, according to Block Club Chicago. Though the new establishment remains unnamed for now, venue owners will request a zoning change to add the rooftop space and are considering converting the building’s first floor into a music retail area. A neighborhood institution in its own right, the Grafton closed in late August 2022 after nearly two decades.
O’Hare International Airport/Northbrook: Chicago-based quick-serve chain Protein Bar will soon open two new locations in the Chicago area, according to Crain’s. The brand’s first airport location, slated for a spot just past security in Terminal 5, will initially launch in February as a grab-and-go pop-up until its permanent space is ready in the summer. A suburban outpost is scheduled to open in March in Northbrook.
South Loop: Marci Berner and Julia Paphitis, co-owners of five-year-old mini-chain Tatas Tacos, are planning for a spring 2023 debut for their new Chicago outpost that’s set to open inside the Cooper, an apartment tower at 720 S. Wells Street, according to the Tribune. The pair already operates locations in Portage Park and Lakeview.
Wicker Park: Nicaraguan brand Oro Chocolate plans to open an eponymous “chocolate cafe” at 1553 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Founder and CEO Muffadal Saylawala is a suburban Chicago native and also owns hostel company Casa Oro Group.
Naperville: Infamous celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay will bring the third location of his Ramsay’s Kitchen restaurant to suburban Chicago at 39 W. Jefferson Avenue in downtown Naperville, according to the Sun-Times. The bellowing TV personality has seized upon the Chicago market in recent years: In 2021, he opened the first U.S. outpost of Gordon Ramsay Burger in River North (the space previously housed Wahlburgers, another celebrity-backed burger chain) and he plans to open a Hell’s Kitchen restaurant this year in the same neighborhood.
For a list of coming attractions from fall 2022, click here.