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A Wicker Park Bar Space Finds New Life and Four More Openings

A running list of brand-new restaurant openings plus a few comebacks

The exterior of a bar with lots of pop culture in the window.
Revolver has replace Neon Wilderness.
LeQoinne Rice

2023 has begun and winter is here, and as the cold days drag on, Chicago’s hospitality industry must wrangle with the challenge of luring patrons out of their cozy homes. Fortunately for the city, its chefs and restaurateurs are rising to the occasion and unveiling compelling new establishments all over town. 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 chicago@eater.com with details so they can be included when this post is next updated.


January 27

Bridgeport: Han Mi Jeong, a new Korean restaurant is open at 3335 S. Halsted Street with serving hot pot, kimbap, noodles, and much more. The space previously housed Tasty Chuanchuanxiang Hot Pot, a Sichuan-style spot for hot pot skewers that ranked among the top of its class in Chicago. Han Mi Jeong, 3335 S. Halsted Street, Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Bucktown: Breakfast and lunch spot Boulevard Bistro is open at 2753 N. Western in the former home of 17-year-old neighborhood staple Cornerstone Cafe. It features an egg-heavy menu of morning and midday favorites such as Benedicts and huevos rancheros as well as French toast, crepes, sandwiches, and gluten-free dishes. Boulevard Bistro, 2753 N. Western Avenue, Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Lincoln Park: New Japanese restaurant 2AM Izakaya opened in mid-January in the former home of Xi’an Dynasty at 2218 N. Lincoln Avenue, according to an Instagram post. True to its name, it serves a varied selection of meat, seafood, and vegetarian yakitori (Japanese pub-style skewers) as well as sushi, sashimi, noodles, and fried rice until the wee hours of the morning. 2AM Izakaya, 2218 N. Lincoln Avenue, Open 4:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

Rogers Park: Longtime local leather and LGBTQ bar Jackhammer reopened Thursday for the first time in three years, ownership announced on Instagram. 2Bears Tavern Group, the Chicago hospitality company that operates SoFo Tap and Meeting House Tavern, purchased the bar in 2018 and has now unveiled major aesthetic upgrades to the 24-year-old business. “This project could not have been done without the collaboration of so (so) many people,” co-owners Mark Robertson and Mike Sullivan write. “Biggest bear hugs to everyone involved and to all our customers who anxiously and patiently waited for us to give you the Jackhammer we wanted to give you.” Jackhammer, 6406 N. Clark Street, Open 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. Monday through Friday; 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. to 4 a.m. Sunday.

Wicker Park: Moody upscale cocktail bar Revolver, a new drinking spot from the freshly formed For the People Hospitality group, made its debut in early January at 1270 N. Milwaukee Avenue, the former home of Neon Wilderness. Co-owners LeQoinne Rice and Chris Scardina (also behind the Duplex in Logan Square) have invoked speakeasy-style aesthetics — a sure-fire hit with many Chicagoans — but hope to defy expectations with an unusual exterior facade that doubles as a rotating (one might even say revolving) mural installation from British-born Chicago artist Daniel Wilson. Billy Sunday bartender Jef Tate created Revolver’s drink menu laden with pre-Prohibition classics like Amaretto sours and dirty martinis alongside contemporary cocktails such as the Infante (reposado tequila, orgeat, rosewater). Revolver, 1270 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to midnight Tuesday and Wednesday; 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday and Friday; 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday.

January 20

Andersonville: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, the Ohio-based mega-chain with a cult following across the country, opened its ninth Chicago location in early January, according to the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce. The company has taken over the former home of 14-year-old neighborhood destination George’s Ice Cream & Sweets. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Andersonville, 5306 N. Clark Street, Open noon to 11 p.m. daily.

Edgewater: Long-awaited French spot Brasserie by C&C is open after years of planning and preparation at 5938-5940 N. Broadway Street, according to owner Brad Newman. Also behind Green City Market staple Cookies & Carnitas, Newman is leveraging his connections with local farms for the brasserie’s menu, which includes a roasted half chicken with cassoulet, foie gras croquettes, and pan-seared coho salmon. Chef Jesse Lee recently introduced a seasonal three-course prix fixe dinner. Brasserie by C&C, 5938-5940 N. Broadway Street, Open 4 p.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday.

Brasserie by C&C

Logan Square: Alpine-inspired neighborhood favorite Table, Donkey and Stick reopened Thursday for the first time since late December when Department of Water Management crews accidentally cut a nearby water line that serviced the restaurant, according to an Instagram post. In the interim, supporters raised more than $15,000 on GoFundMe to help support the 16 staff members left without work. “To everyone who has supported our team over the past month, thank you,” owner Matt Sussman writes. “We love you!” Table, Donkey and Stick, 2728 W. Armitage Avenue, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Uptown: New Venezuelan restaurant El Rincon de Fabio opened this week in the former home of short-lived European spot Rhapsody at 1002 W. Argyle Street, ownership announced on Instagram. Menu offerings include plump arepas, crispy empanadas, enormous patacones, and much more. El Rincon de Fabio, 1002 W. Argyle Street, Open 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 pm. Friday and Saturday.

January 6

Bucktown: Joba Foods & Bakery, a new bakery that specializes in Agege bread (a soft, sweet Nigerian bread), pastries, and cookies, launched in mid-December on Western Avenue next door to poultry specialist the Art of Chicken, according to an Instagram post. Other offerings include creamy chicken puffs, meat pies, scones, and cinnamon rolls. Joba Foods & Bakery, 2039 N. Western Avenue, Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Irving Park: A new board games cafe serving Puerto Rican cuisine, coffee, cocktails, and beer is open at 3932 W. Irving Park Road with more than 500 games to choose from, according to Block Club Chicago. Stay and Play Game Cafe is co-owned by spouses Jose and Yesenia Maldonado, game aficionados who purchased and renovated the building that previously housed Independence Tap. Menu items include jibaritos, maduros, tostones con ropa vieja, and more. Patrons can also pair their gameplay with drinks like rum punch, Cuba Libres, and Hot Papis (hot toddies with spiced rum). Stay tuned for more on this opening. Stay and Play Game Cafe, 3932 W. Irving Park Road, Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 4 p.m. to midnight Friday; 3 p.m. to midnight Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Ravenswood: Vegan and gluten-free pastry brand Mindful Baking opened a cafe in late 2022 after eight years of wholesale operations out of a commercial kitchen, according to Block Club Chicago. Owner Diane Mejia crowdfunded more than $16,000 for the project on Kickstarter and is now offering a weekly rotating menu of delights including doughnuts, cupcakes, and pies. Mindful Baking Cafe, 1942 W. Montrose Avenue, Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

The Loop: Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, the Louisiana-based fast food chain known for a loyal fanbase of “Caniacs,” will open a new flagship location on Tuesday across from Millennium Park at 2 N. Michigan Avenue, according to a rep. The 5,000-square-foot restaurant will be the second of its kind in the country (the first opened in 2022 on the Las Vegas Strip) with special Chicago-themed decor such as a table shaped like the Bean, the sculpture formally known as Cloud Gate. Raising Cane’s first entered the Chicago market in 2017 and opened its first city outpost a year later near Loyola University in Rogers Park. Raising Cane’s Michigan & Madison, 2 N. Michigan Avenue, Scheduled to open Tuesday, January 10.

Jackhammer

6406 North Clark Street, , IL 60626 (773) 743-5772

Table, Donkey and Stick

2728 West Armitage Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 486-8525 Visit Website

Stay and Play Game Cafe

3932 West Irving Park Road, , IL 60618 (312) 685-2255 Visit Website

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