Wondering what’s in the works in the Chicago area for restaurants, bars, and cafes? Look no further than Eater Chicago’s guide to spring 2023’s coming attractions for dining. Did we miss something? Send Eater Chicago a tip at email@example.com.
Avalon: Lauded baker Maya-Camille Broussard is weeks away from opening her first storefront open to the public. A star of Netflix’s Bake Squad, should open Justice of the Pies in June, according to a news release. The James Beard finalist has a 4,000-square-foot space. Look for more soon from 1500 E. 87th Street.
Bucktown: Mobile coffee business Thrd Coffee Company will open its first permanent location in late May or early June at 1816 N. Milwaukee Avenue in the former home of Hugo Tea, according to Block Club Chicago. Owner Raoul Adwan has popped up with the brand in neighborhoods such as Humboldt Park since founding Thrd Coffee in 2020 out of his own apartment.
Lakeview: Operators have applied for a liquor license under the name Comfort African Cuisine at 2835 N. Broadway. The space previously housed Hashi Sushi.
Lakeview: The owners of Chicago-based ramen chain Strings will take over a space recently vacated by Furious Spoon at 800 W. Belmont Avenue, according to Block Club. The 2,000-square-foot restaurant is located just minutes away from Strings’ pre-existing Lakeview location. The building’s leasing agent tells reporters that the Strings team plans to open an “Asian eatery,” though an opening timeframe isn’t yet available.
Lincoln Park: A forthcoming location of hot chicken hit Fry the Coop has passed inspections and is set to open Sunday, June 4 at 2404 N. Lincoln Avenue near DePaul University — an area where the chicken sandwich competition is heating up, according to owner Joe Fontana, who has also secured a liquor license. Fontana aims to lure students, faculty, and residents with a Chicago Hot Chicken Sandwich doused in giardiniera and a custom beer, Chicken Vs Unicorn, created in collaboration with Pipeworks Brewing Company. The new outpost will join seven sister spots in the city and suburbs.
Lincoln Park: A permanent sign for a new restaurant called Oishii Asian & Ramen Hub is installed at 2548 N. Clark Street. The space is the former home of New York-style slice stalwart Pizza Luigi, which closed in September 2022 after nearly 30 years. It appears to be affiliated with Toro Sushi next door.
River North: Levain Bakery, the New York City-based chain that has earned a cult following with its enormous cookies, will open its second Chicago location this fall at 408 N. Clark Street, according to a rep. The company launched its first Windy City outpost in November 2022 to much fanfare, with dedicated fans forming a line at 5 a.m. in 16-degree weather for its debut in West Loop.
West Town: Construction is nearly complete on the second outpost of French sweets favorite Alliance Bakery at 837 W. Grand Avenue. It’s slated to debut in early July, according to owner Peter Rios. The space will complement and will not replace the original in Wicker Park.
West Town: The owners of Provare, the Italian fusion restaurant, has applied for a liquor license as chef Jourdan Higgs prepares to move to a larger space down the street at 1523 W. Chicago Avenue. A sign has been up for weeks outside the former Natalino’s. The building’s landlord has struggled to fill the vacancy. Former Roister chef Andrew Brochu planned to open a restaurant there prior to the pandemic. He would move that project to Savanah, Georgia.
West Town: Chicago Empanada Mama should open soon at 1703 W. Chicago Avenue. The restaurant, not affiliated with a since-closed and similarly named shop in Lakeview, is going through inspections with a ribbon-cutting ceremony schedueld for mid-June, according to a rep.
Wrigleyville: Tin Roof, a Nashville-based bar chain known for live music, will open inside the same building as Shake Shack and Alamo Drafthouse at 3519 N. Clark Street, according to building permits posted at the site. Founded in 2002 near Nashville’s Music Row, the company operates 21 locations across numerous states.
Englewood: A community hub with three sit-down restaurants is coming to the long-empty space at 1158 W. 59th Street that once housed Leon’s Bar-B-Q due to the efforts of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.), according to Block Club Chicago. Dubbed “the Re-Up 1158 Project,” the endeavor will also include retail space and a headquarters for R.A.G.E., founder Asiaha Butler tells reporters. The project is estimated to cost $5 million and if the group gains city approval for construction, it plans to break ground in late summer or early fall. Should the process go according to plan, it’ll open in late 2024.
Lakeview: Brothers Sanjeev and Rajesh Karmacharya, the co-owners of Cumin in Wicker Park, have applied for a liquor license for a new two-story location coming to 1039 W. Belmont Avenue. More than four years have passed since the project was first announced. The brothers had originally planned to open the new outpost in 2020 to mark Cumin’s 10-year anniversary, but pandemic delays have pushed the debut inside the former home of Mi Tierra, a Mexican restaurant that closed in 2017.
Lincoln Park: Chef Zachary Engel and Andrés Clavero, co-owners of Michelin-starred restaurant Galit, have purchased a two-story building at 2431 N. Lincoln Avenue (located between Galit and the Victory Gardens Theater) and plan to open a new restaurant there in early 2024, according to Crain’s. Engel was previously of James Beard Award-winning restaurant Zahav in Philadelphia. Clavero tells Eater that they haven’t yet settled on a culinary approach and have decided against a tasting menu in favor of a more flexible dining style.
Lincoln Park: All-you-can-eat sushi mini-chain Sushi Taku is slated to open a new ground floor location inside a forthcoming redevelopment at 935 W. Webster Avenue according to the Chicago YIMBY blog. The city has issued a construction permit to add four apartment units above the former State restaurant, which will house Sushi Taku among other tenants.
Lincoln Square: Months after the Old Town School of Folk Music announced plans to buy and reopen the shuttered Grafton Irish Pub and Grill at 4530 N. Lincoln Avenue, another unnamed buyer has swooped in and purchased the property, according to Block Club. Old Town School of Folk had intended to transform the pub into a restaurant and performance venue. CEO Jim Newcomb tells reporters that he’s disappointed with the turn of events.
Magnificent Mile: The Evie, a new restaurant from an owner of two Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe locations and Nick Nitti (Forno Rosso), will in June open on the second floor of 535 N. Michigan Avenue in the former Bandera space, according to Crain’s. George Archos, CEO of Chicago-based cannabis company Verano Holdings, tells reporters that he’ll offer familiar fare including salads, prime rib sandwiches, burgers, and pasta. He’s named the restaurant after his 14-year-old daughter.
River North: Virtual Jewish American deli Schneider Deli (formerly known as Schneider Provisions) is on a path to a summer debut in the old Ohio Street Motel at 600 N. LaSalle Drive, owner Jake Schneider announced Sunday on Instagram. Schneider also has numerous pop-ups under his belt, including several stints at the Reader’s Monday Night Foodball. The motel has seen quite a bit of turnover throughout the years, housing spots including Leghorn Chicken and Cafe Tola.
West Town: Booze-free bar pop-up and event series In Good Spirits is raising funds to open a permanent location near Ashland and Chicago avenues in West Town, according to Block Club. Co-owners and fiancées Adriana Gaspar and Hector Diaz have thus far raised more than $2,8000 via Kickstarter and aim to open their non-alcoholic bottle shop and bar in June.
Elmhurst: Phase Three Brewing, a Lake Zurich brewery with a significant fanbase that snaps up special releases in seconds off retail shelves, is working on a second location with a tap room and kitchen at 494 S. Spring Road in suburban Elmhurst. The team is currently hiring for a head chef position and an opening date isn’t yet available.
Albany Park: Contemporary Persian tasting menu restaurant Maman Zari is aiming for an early summer debut at 4639 N. Kedzie Avenue, co-owners Mariam and chef Matteo Lo Bianco (who have also applied for a liquor license) announce on Facebook. “The tasting menu at Maman Zari is inspired by Persian cuisine and adapted to today’s palate,” they write. “We want to expand your idea of what the food from various regions of Iran can be and give you a chance to experience the flavors in new ways.”
Avondale: An extensive remodel is well underway at Deep Red Wine Merchant, a forthcoming wine bar and bottle shop that owner Dave Thompson (Lula Cafe, Cherry Circle Room) plans to open this spring in a historic building at 2901 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Thompson is sharing renderings of the space alongside photos of construction on Instagram. “We’ll be repurposing 130-year-old wood joists to create merchandise shelving,” he writes. “This reuse not only shares a weathered character you can’t copy, we’re thrilled that the beams won’t end up in a landfill.”
Bridgeport: Work on the Ramova Theater’s massive $23 million remodel is scheduled to wrap up this year, at last completing the 1920s movie palace’s transformation into a concert venue, restaurant, and brewery at 3518 S. Halsted Street, a developer tells Block Club Chicago. Chef Kevin Hickey (The Duck Inn) will lead operations at the Ramova Grill and longtime collaborator Brandon Phillips has developed the bar menu. Block Club has photos of construction inside the long-vacant building.
Fulton Market: The owners of Yokocho, a Japanese-style bar with small plates that closed in 2019 in Wicker Park, have applied for a liquor license under the same business name at 167 N. Green Street. Co-owner Susan Thompson was also behind shuttered vegetarian staple Mana Food Bar and Anaba Handroll Bar.
Logan Square: The team behind StopAlong at Boiler Room, a spinoff of family-friendly restaurant the StopAlong, has applied for a liquor license in the former Boiler Room space at 2210 N. California Avenue. It’s scheduled to open in May with thin-crust pizzas and vintage arcade games.