Category Archives: Openings and Closings

Tony & Tina’s Wedding is BACK!

tony-and-tinas-wedding

IT’S BACK! Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding returns to Chicago! Even Funnier than the first time!

 

Presented by the original New York producers, in conjunction with Chicago Theater Works, one of Chicago’s longest running, smash hit shows, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, returned to the Windy City last week and will run through December 30 only!

Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding played an incredible 16 years in Chicago, and, during that time, entertained more than one million audience members of all ages. Presenting a hilarious, full wedding experience from the I do’s to the buffet to the bouquet toss, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding will take place, for the first time in Chicago, at a real church – another nod to the fully immersive nature of the original Off-Broadway smash hit.

Guests will begin with the ceremony at Resurrection Church, 3309 North Seminary Ave., and afterwards, walk over with the cast for a meal and reception immediately following just one block away at Vinnie Black’s Coliseum (Chicago Theater Works), 1113 W. Belmont Ave., right in the heart of the Belmont Theatre District.

gay-cousin-tony-and-tinas-wedding

Considered one of the hottest tickets in town and an excellent theatre/dinner ticket value, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is an all-inclusive night of entertainment presented with the 1980’s throwback feel of the original NYC production.

You laugh, you eat, you drink (cash bar) and you dance! While it’s certainly not required, guests are encouraged to attend in their finest 1980’s regalia as they speak now or forever hold their peace, toast to the happy couple at dinner and cut a rug to 80’s style hits.

Directed by Paul Stroili, a cast member in the original Chicago production, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is a hilariously interactive production that is guaranteed to make guests feel like they are truly friends and family of the bride and groom.

From the wedding ceremony to the high-energy reception, complete with an Italian-style meal, champagne toast and wedding cake, guests will have the opportunity to celebrate alongside this larger-than-life couple and the large cast of 23 of Tony n’ Tina’s closest family and friends.

 

“We are so thrilled to be back in Chicago. Our unique show is a two part event in two different venues that pulls out all of the wedding stops,” said original New York Producer Joe Corcoran. “Familiar and new audiences are going to absolutely love the nostalgia in the awesome full experience that is our show, interacting with more than 20 fun and very familiar characters throughout the entire wedding celebration.”

 

tony-and-tinas-wedding-chicago

 

Hailed as “Audaciously imaginative!” by The New York Times, proclaimed “It’s a Hit!” by People Magazine, and said to be “Just like a real wedding … only funnier!” by the Chicago Tribune, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding has won over the hearts of fans in more than 150 cities worldwide. Now, a new generation of theatre goers and fun lovers get to experience this national treasure.

Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding stars Mitchell Conti as “Anthony Angelo Nunzio Jr (Tony),” Hannah Aaron Brown as “Valentina Lynne Vitale (Tina),” Rob Johnson as “Barry Wheeler,” Luciana Bonifazi as “Connie Macogni,” Rory Jason Zacher as “Dominick Fabrizzi,” Robin M. Bousel as “Donna Marsala,” Nik Kmiecik as “Johnny Nunzio,” Jessica Rzucidlo as “Marina Gulino,” Ryan Milord as “Joey Vitale,” Alisha Fabbi as “Sister Albert Maria aka Terry Vitale,” Tommy Taylor as “Tony Nunzio, Sr.,” Jessica Scott as “Madeline Monroe,” Billy Minshall as “Father Mark,” Matt Bausone as “Michael Just,” Eustace Allen as “Sal Antonucci,” Brian Noonan as “Vinnie Black,” Dominic Rescigno as “Rick Demarco,” Micah Spayer as “Donny Dulce,” Mary McHale as “Josephina Vitale,” Susan Gaspar as “Aunt Rose,” Marssie Mencotti as “Grandma Nunzio,” Jan Godshaw as “Loretta Black,” Ben Schlotfet as “Mikey Black,” and Serena Pomerantz as “Nikki Black.”

Tickets for Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding are $75 for the two-part event, which includes the ceremony and reception, featuring an Italian-style buffet dinner, dancing to 80’s hits and a champagne toast. Tickets for premium seating closest to the stage and dance floor are $85. Show times vary on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Discounts are available for groups of 16 or more by visiting GroupTix.net or by calling 773.327.3778. Seating is limited so make your plans now. For more information or to purchase tickets visit http://tonylovestina.com/.

tony-and-tinas-wedding-returns-chicago

LARK in Lakeview

best-neopolitan-pizza-chicago

Located at 3441 N. Halsted, in the former Halsted’s Bar + Grill space, Lark offers an ideal environment for drinks seven nights a week, where guests can listen to music from the 80s and 90s until 2 am Sunday through Friday and 3 am Saturdays, as well as watch music videos from those eras playing on the 13 large screen TVs.

“We’re excited to bring this new addition to the bar scene in Lake View, which features the beautiful original wooden bar from the former Cullen’s Bar & Grill on Southport,” said Mark Liberson, LKH president. “Our weekend guests will enjoy having the chance to select albums from our collection of LPs, play retro board games and dine on our artisanal pizzas with their drinks.”

Lark will also offer authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas, as well as pasta, sandwiches, entrées, salads, appetizers and weekend brunch. Lark plans to be among a handful of officially certified Neapolitan pizza establishments in Chicago. In order to obtain certification from The Associazione Verace Pizza Napolitana (VPN), Lark must adhere to strict guidelines, including what ingredients are used, how the dough is made and how long the pizzas are cooked.

We recently dined at the Lark and tried a sampling of foods. Everything was great! They offer an assortment of “Moscow Mule cocktails” in copper cups and Thursday’s you can enjoy them for half off!

best-pizza-chicago-certified

Not many places offer Grilled Calamari. It takes more effort to prepare (and prepare correctly) than fried Calamari. Here it was great! Tossed with fresh green beans, some baby kale and served with a delicious homemade marinara.

I had never had Arancini. It’s a risotto ball that is fried. Very good option! Meatballs were a nice appetizer as well.

For pizza we tried the Chicken Alfredo and the Ducktrap River Smoked Salmon and Pesto Pizza. Usually not a fan of smoked salmon myself, but this was unique and delicious!

burgers-cuban-sandwich

Our waiter raved about the burgers and I love a good Cubano sandwich. So we tried the Mushroom and Blue Jack Cheeseburger and the Cubano. (Needless to say, we had a lot of to-go boxes, with all that food!) Both were excellent. The burger used grilled trumpet mushrooms and this amazing marbled blue jack cheese and was topped with balsamic roasted tomatoes.

The Cubano was piled high with braised pork shoulder, smoked ham, applewood smoked bacon and topped with jack cheese. Pretty much perfection!

All of the food was fresh, tasty and cooked to perfection. Lark proved itself to be a bar AND a restaurant, serving very good quality eats. With prices that won’t break the bank. Pizza’s run $11-$15, Burgers $12, Sandwiches $11-$13, and Homemade Pasta $15.

Chefs Bernardo Ibarra (Girl and the Goat) and Kaz Medhat (Magnolia Café), recently leading the culinary team at Replay and Elixir in Andersonville, leads the Lark kitchen. Creating a menu rich in flavors, the chefs incorporate inspirations from Italy and beyond while Lark’s beverage director, Vlad Novikov, curate’s drink offerings consisting of craft cocktails, extensive wine by the glass options and 16 tap beers.

the-lark-chicago-lakeview

The 2,400 square foot venue will accommodate approximately 90 people, and open onto one of Lake View’s largest existing patios, doubling the venue’s capacity with nearly 100 additional seats. In addition to bar and table seating, guests can choose to sit and watch the chefs prepare and cook the pizzas around the Mugnaini pizza oven, dine and drink at the historic handcrafted wooden bar, or lounge in comfortable seating surrounding Lark’s working fireplace.

Lark is open Monday through Friday 5 pm – 2 am, Saturday from 10 am – 3 am, Sunday 10 am – 2 am. Dinner will be served every night from 5-10 pm. Brunch will be available 10 am – 3 pm Saturday and Sunday. Late-night pizza and limited menu options will also be available nightly until close.

Please visit http://www.larkchicago.com/ to sign up for updates and special events, and “like” us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/larkchicago, Twitter: https://twitter.com/LarkChicago, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/larkchicago/.

Flamingo Rum Club Downtown Chicago

cuba-flamingo-rum-club

Chicago’s newest Cuban-inspired restaurant and cabaret, FLAMINGO RUM CLUB will be opening in the fall of 2015 at 601 N. Wells St. in River North. Two very passionate men in hospitality, Phil Stefani and Adolfo Garcia, are joining forces on the project.

The property at 601 N. Wells St. is owned by Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants.  Stefani and his team had been looking for the right concept – a boutique style restaurant and intimate experience. Having looked up to Mr. Stefani for many years, Adolfo was thrilled to be given the opportunity to bring his latest concept to life in the vacant space.

The meeting happened not long ago while the two were catching up over a drink. News surrounding the Cuban embargo being lifted sparked a conversation about its rich history and culture, the music and the cuisine. Lustful thoughts of Cuban cigars, rum cocktails and the Caribbean led to a promise that they would soon take a trip together to Cuba.While talking about how the embargo lift would affect the hospitality industry and culinary trends it was agreed that rum is already becoming the next big thing. Cuba and its people have brought so much to this world: music, art, culture and delicious flavors. The traditional Spanish recipes made distinct by African influence and local tropical flavor make Cuban cuisine unlike any other.

At Rum Club guests can expect nothing less than the largest rum selection in the country, bartenders in pink tuxedos, waitresses in floral dresses, simple and true ingredients, Cuban cuisine and the feeling of an intimate speakeasy cabaret with a small center stage to host Cuban bands and Afro-Cuban jazz.

The décor will be 1940s and 50s island chic with palm tree wall paper, gold leaf oval ceilings, a brass bar, 8-foot mounted marlin, and cement tiles imported from the Dominican Republic.

Can’t Wait!

Chicago’s Revival Food Hall

revival-food-hall-chicago

Operated by Chicago hospitality collective 16” On Center, Revival Food Hall is an all-local dining concept spotlighting the best of Chicago’s acclaimed culinary scene under one roof. The massive, 24,000 square foot venue is located in the heart of The Loop on the ground floor of The National—a 20-story restoration of an historic 1907 Daniel Burnham-designed building. This collaborative project will open next week, and will boast 15 fast-casual stalls featuring many of Chicago’s favorite neighborhood restaurants in a grab-and-go setting, plus a handful of all-new, quick-serve concepts debuting from several acclaimed Chicago chefs.

Follow them on Facebook!

THE LARK in East Lakeview

the lark pizza restaurant chicago

LKH Management (LKH), the group behind Andersonville’s recently opened Replay and Elixir, announced that its eighth property, Lark, will officially open to the public Thursday, June 16.

The first 50 people through the bar and restaurant’s doors that day, beginning at 5 pm, will receive a voucher for one free pizza, available for redemption by July 31, 2016. Between 5 pm and 2 am, everyone who visits the new venue will be eligible to enter to win free pizza for a year*.

Located at 3441 N. Halsted, in the former Halsted’s Bar + Grill space, Lark will offer an ideal environment for drinks seven nights a week, where guests can listen to music from the 80s and 90s until 2 am Sunday through Friday and 3 am Saturdays, as well as watch music videos from those eras playing on the 13 large screen TVs.

“We’re excited to bring this new addition to the bar scene in Lake View, which features the beautiful original wooden bar from the former Cullen’s Bar & Grill on Southport,” said Mark Liberson, LKH president. “Our weekend guests will enjoy having the chance to select albums from our collection of LPs, play retro board games and dine on our artisanal pizzas with their drinks.”

gay restaurant chicago pizza

Lark will also offer authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas, as well as pasta, sandwiches, entrées, salads, appetizers and weekend brunch.

NOT YOUR AVERAGE  PIZZA  PLACE!  Lark plans to be among a handful of officially certified Neapolitan pizza establishments in Chicago. In order to obtain certification from The Associazione Verace Pizza Napolitana (VPN), Lark must adhere to strict guidelines, including what ingredients are used, how the dough is made and how long the pizzas are cooked.  WOW!   HOW COOL IS THAT?!

Chefs Bernardo Ibarra (Girl and the Goat) and Kaz Medhat (Magnolia Café), recently leading the culinary team at Replay and Elixir in Andersonville, will helm the Lark kitchen. Creating a menu rich in flavors, the chefs will incorporate inspirations from Italy and beyond while Lark’s beverage director, Vlad Novikov, will curate drink offerings consisting of craft cocktails, extensive wine by the glass options and 16 tap beers.

The 2,400 square foot venue will accommodate approximately 90 people, and open onto one of Lake View’s largest existing patios, doubling the venue’s capacity with nearly 100 additional seats. In addition to bar and table seating, guests can choose to sit and watch the chefs prepare and cook the pizzas around the Mugnaini pizza oven, dine and drink at the historic handcrafted wooden bar, or lounge in comfortable seating surrounding Lark’s working fireplace.

gay restaurant boystown chicago LARK

“We can’t wait for everyone to join us and enjoy a taste of something they won’t find elsewhere in the neighborhood,” said Chef Bernardo. “We’re thrilled to share all the special features of the new oven, and to create delicious dishes beyond pizza, incorporating wood-fired items throughout the menu.”

Exposed brick and handcrafted wooden details will line the walls of the new venue. DJs will play 80s and 90s records Thursday through Sunday nights from 10 pm to close.

Lark will be open Monday through Friday 5 pm – 2 am, Saturday from 10 am – 3 am, Sunday 10 am – 2 am. Dinner will be served every night from 5-10 pm. Brunch will be available 10 am – 3 pm Saturday and Sunday. Late-night pizza and limited menu options will also be available nightly until close.

Please visit http://www.larkchicago.com/ to sign up for updates and special events, and “like” us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/larkchicago, Twitter: https://twitter.com/LarkChicago, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/larkchicago/.

*One winner will receive one free pizza per week for one year (52 total pizzas) starting Monday, June 20, 2016. Limitations will apply.

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Duck Duck Goat Opens in Chicago

duck duck goat izzardTHURSDAY  is the big day!

Opening day for Stephanie Izard’s Southeast Asian-inspired restaurant, Duck Duck Goat.

The announcement is big news for Izard’s fans, as the chef announced the restaurant back in February 2015. The opening, once again in collaboration with the Boka Restaurant Group, was originally planned for last year. Reservations are now available on OpenTable.

Izard’s restaurant at 857 W. Fulton Market will initially only serve dinner, offering “reasonably authentic Chinese cuisine,” according to a news release, kicking off at 4:30 p.m. daily. This is Izard’s third restaurant following Randolph Row siblings The Girl & The Goat and Little Goat.

Their  FB  page is HERE

Cheesie’s Chicago Expands

Cheesies chicago grilled cheese

HOME OF AMERICA’S  BEST  GRILLED  CHEESE! 

Cheesie’s  will soon be adding  Wicker Park to their group of pubs!

Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwiches using AWESOME ingredients, Homemade Soups, Cheesie Appetizers,  and Handcrafted Beers – have made Cheesie’s a hit  in Evanston and in Chicago on Belmont. As well as the traveling Cheesie’s  Food Truck seen out and about all over the city!

The owners have been busy at work  on the Wicker Park location which should be open  very soon!

American cheese, Mozzarella  cheese,  Bleu Cheese – it’s all here! Combined with chicken, bacon, Texas toast  or  Sourdough bread,  there  is something  for every palate.

Chicago’s first Grilled Cheese Restaurant! Offering  a wide array of delicious interpretations of the classic grilled cheese sandwich, homemade soups, & drinks.  REASONABLY priced  bar drinks too!

Check out their website  or  find them  on Facebook  or Twitter!

 

REVIVAL Social Club in EdgeWater

revival edge water chicago

After several months of word-of-mouth buzz, Chicago residents will finally be able to dine at Edgewater’s much-anticipated Revival Social Club, which has announced a November 12 opening date.

The restaurant has moved into the space formerly occupied by M. Henrietta at 1133 W. Granville Ave., just off of Broadway. Open 7 days per week serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant features a full bar and will host Saturday and Sunday brunch as well.

“Given our unique concept and vision we wanted to create a space with a strong sense of discovery and renewal offering dishes and drinks with surprisingly refreshing flavors,” said co-owner Alan Stoll referring to the heavy influence of coffee throughout the menu and their partnership with Chicago beanery Dark Matter Coffee. “We felt that the Edgewater neighborhood and specifically Granville Ave were the right location for our endeavor. We’re so proud to open our doors in this revitalizing neighborhood.”

Stoll added, The project has evolved so much from our early concepts – it’s taken on an amazing life of its own. Chicago is such a food city and we’re so proud to find a place among the amazing restaurants already serving visitors and residents on a daily basis.”

Stoll announced in October that Chef Matthew Brems would helm the restaurant’s kitchen. Chef Brem’s American-inspired menu showcases modern recipes as well as a contemporary spin on classics. Just a few dishes diners will find on the menu include Coffee-Crusted Beef Tacos, Curried Chicken Pot-Pie, and Ancho Coffee-Crusted Pork Tenderloin. The weekend brunch menu features the Short Rib Sandwich, Jelly Donut Pancakes, and the Standee’s Breakfast – a throwback nod to the beloved diner which occupied the address for more than 60 years. Revival also features a full cocktail bar with whimsical sips including the Chai tea and Koval Vodka mixed Chai Town, a Bacon Old Fashioned and the Kentucky Mule using Very Old Barton as it’s base.

Revival Social Club can be found online at www.RevivalSocialClub.com.

 

Revival Social Club features both classic and new-American cuisine designed to lift the spirits and revive the soul. The menu offers both small and large plates for an individual or to share and the full-bar features a unique craft cocktail menu. Revival seats 74 inside with a back patio area that will seat another 20 during warmer months. The restaurant is at 1133 W. Granville Ave in North Edgewater and will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week with a special brunch menu Saturday and Sunday. A coffee bar in the mornings will feature Dark Matter Coffee roasts and a full-menu of coffee drinks.

1133 W. Granville Ave • Chicago, IL 60660 • 773-293-6435www.RevivalSocialClub.com
HOURS: M-Thur 8am-11pm, Fri & Sat 8am-12am, Sun 9am-10pm

Facebook: www.facebook.com/revivalsocialclub
Twitter: www.twitter.com/revivalsc
Instagram: www.instagram.com/revivalsocialclub

UMAMI Burger Arrives in Wicker Park

umami-burger los angeles

From Southern California to CHICAGO!   Umami Burger comes to Wicker Park!

The Chicago Tribune reports, “Umami Burger, the popular California-based hamburger chain, will open its first Chicago location later this year. The first of many coming to Chicagoland!

The restaurant will be a 90-seater at 1480 N. Milwaukee Ave., next to the now-shuttered Covo Gyro Market in Wicker Park.”

Their burgers are amazing!  I was able to taste several last year in Anaheim.

The ART of creating that perfect mouthful. It starts with the house-ground, hand-
formed patty infused with the Umami Master Sauce. It builds with the carefully
crafted combination of toppings resting on the lightly toasted and slightly sweet
bun. It is amplified by the vibe of the room, the energy of the community and the
fine-dining service with a California casual feel. Finally, it explodes with
house-made sauces, paired with unique sides, accompaniments and the perfectly paired
beverage. What is Umami Burger? Experience it yourself.. After one bite, you’ll accept
No Substitutions.

The ART of creating that perfect mouthful. It starts with the house-ground, hand-
formed patty infused with the Umami Master Sauce. It builds with the carefully
crafted combination of toppings resting on the lightly toasted and slightly sweet
bun. It is amplified by the vibe of the room, the energy of the community and the
fine-dining service with a California casual feel. Finally, it explodes with
house-made sauces, paired with unique sides, accompaniments and the perfectly paired
beverage. What is Umami Burger? Experience it yourself.. After one bite, you’ll accept
No Substitutions. – See more at: http://www.umami.com/umami-burger/huh/#sthash.uOqtQ9VI.dpuf

READ MORE  at the Tribune

Socially Responsible Chicken at Leghorn

leghorn-chicken-socially-responsible-chicago-2

 

CHEF JARED VAN CAMP, CHEF SIEGER BAYER & ELEMENT COLLECTIVE OPEN LEGHORN, A SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS CHICKEN SHOP IN CHICAGO

BYOB, Small, fast casual neighborhood concept. Local farm raised chicken, butchered daily.

We are open all day Sunday.
We solely support local and sustainable farmers and artisans. Duh.
We abhor corporate bullshit.
We offer Leghorn branded birth control free at the counter. (condoms)
We are emphatically uninterested in your organized religion, secular religion, agnosticism, atheism or nontheism….whatever tickles your pickle.

That’s the message behind Leghorn Chicken,the socially-conscious BYOB chicken shack by Chef Jared Van Camp, Chef Sieger Bayer & Element Collective (Kinmont, Old Town Social, Nellcote, RM Champagne Salon, Owen + Alchemy, Quality Social, Ampersand) which opened doors to the public and sold out 600 sandwiches in just 90 minutes on Thursday, March 6th.

Leghorn, which is located at 959 N. Western in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village is open every day of the week starting at 11am and wraps up shop when the chicken runs out. Leghorn supports local and sustainable farmers & artisans and proudly and enthusiastically champions gay rights, with a percentage of their gross profits donated to organizations to support the cause.

Menu Details: A BYOB, Fast-Casual Chicken Sandwich Shop

*Fried Chicken Sandwiches by Chef Jared Van Camp & Chef Sieger Bayer

-Pickle Brined or Nashville Hot
-bun or biscuit
-breast or thigh
-served with house made dill pickles

*Rotating Daily Specials: Fried Chicken Skins, Chicken Fried Fries (yes, we said Chicken Fried Fries), Fried Chicken Nuggets

*Grilled Chicken Bowls, Fresh Sides, Fried Chicken Tenders until we run out. (each breast of chicken only has one tender on it–so every chicken we butcher yields two actual tenders)

*Fresh Lemon Shake-ups

…….COME AND GET IT! And Screw Chick Fil A!

Leghorn Location: 959 N. Western in Ukrainian Village

Rick Bayless has Something Special Up His Sleeve

He  says it’s “sort of in the Frontera world but it’s super rustic, and there’s virtually nothing like it in the United States.”  – He says the project will done in a year – he will make a more formal announcement with details in about 4 months from now.
And  XOCO  comes to Wicker Park. While the cuisine will be similar to the original XOCO in River North, the new location will be much larger, feature table service and a bar component with local beer on tap.

 

Chicago EATER has the scoop!

Charlie Trotter Dead Today at 54

Perhaps the most famed chef in the history of this city is gone. Charlie Trotter was found dead at his Lincoln Park home this morning. He was 54.

The Tribune reports
that Trotter’s son Dylan found Charlie unconscious and called an
ambulance. He was soon pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial
Hospital.

Trotter closed his groundbreaking eponymous restaurant last year and has been in and out of the news since. Trotter was sued this past summer.  Claims that he sold bogus wine?
That was  the accusation in a lawsuit filed in federal court by a buyer of
one of Trotter’s esteemed bottles. The suit sought  $75,000 in damages.
Trotter denied the allegations, calling it “buyer’s remorse.”

In 1995 he was seen with Julia Child in this charming clip!

The Bentley Tavern Brings European Brasserie and Charm to Lakeview

Set in a quaint location along the tree-lined side streets of Lakeview,
The Bentley draws inspiration from the charming brasseries found
throughout Europe. Housed in an antiquated building rich with history,
the intimate 1,000 square foot space brings a sense of warmth and
familiarity to the neighborhoods of Chicago. Presenting gracious service
and satisfying fare at a sensible price point, The Bentley seats 50
indoors and 50 outdoors, with walk-up sidewalk seating wrapped around
the building. Owner Brian Dohmen, a Chicago native who splits his time
between his hometown and New York City, named the unassuming restaurant
after Bentley, his 65lb Shepard/Boxer mix adopted from PAWS.

The corner location originated as a family-owned business in the late
1800s in the Lakeview neighborhood, which was predominately German at
that time. Over the course of the century, it’s also been a music school
for accordion instruction, Brieske’s Pale of Ale—where you could get
groceries and a bucket of beer, an art gallery showcasing some of
Chicago’s emerging artists, and even a brothel.

More recently, the space
thrived as Italian restaurant for nearly 30 years. The restaurant still
maintains some of that colorful character by refurbishing the original
bar and dark woodwork to capture the unique authenticity. With sleek
subway tiles positioned alongside weathered surfaces that are
purposefully preserved—the space accentuates its airy and open
ambiance, ample natural lighting provided by the tall bay windows and
elegant floor-to-ceiling French doors that open to the neighborhood.

The cuisine is the masterwork of chef Ian Flowers, an under-the-radar
up-and-comer who honed his chops as a restaurant consultant and as head
chef at Wicker Parkʼs LOKaL. Flowers focuses on progressive American
bistro fare.

Diners will find creative classics artfully presented, such
as raw bar offerings and composed salads packed with fresh sustainable
produce—as well as robust soups ($7-$8), light snacks, appetizers ($9-$13), entrees ($12-$26), and
desserts, all with attention to seasonal ingredients and sourcing.

Dishes include straight-forward options with an elevated twist such as
the Peekytoe crab cakes with red pepper-caper remoulade, and the Bentley
Burger stacked with pork belly, egg, mushrooms, pickles and ham—but
will also feature more sophisticated options such as the forest mushroom
& toasts with fired quail egg, hard cheese, and pea vines; seared
diver scallop with pork and pea fricassee; roasted duck breast with
aubergine caponata, cheddar polenta and saba reduction; and date &
walnut bread pudding with rum caramel. Flowersʼ nouveau bistro cuisine
is casual and elevated, offering the best of both worlds. The menu will change seasonally, supplemented by weekly specials showcasing the freshest ingredients.

BRUNCH is available Saturdays and Sundays – lots of choices  $10-$15.

Cocktails harken to the Golden Age of premium American libations. Expect
a catalog of classic cocktails made with high-end spirits, such as
Manhattans, Gimlets, and Martinis. 

Mixologist  Andrew (Drew) Willis creates seasonal libations to wet your palate. 
Like the food, drinks
are rooted in Americana, but elevated to please todayʼs most discerning
palates. There are seasonally revolving specialty cocktails, a
Chicago-centric beer program, an extensive wine selection, and a coffee
program, complete with a full barista station.

Bentley Tavern 2834 N. Southport Ave     Chicago IL, 60657     773.477.2283

Monday – Thursday: 5:00pm – midnight
Friday: 5:00pm – 2:00am

Saturday: 9:30am – 2:00am
       Brunch: 9:30am – 3:30pm
       
Dinner: 5:00pm – midnight

Sunday: 9:30am – 11:00pm
Brunch: 9:30am – 3:30pm
Dinner: 5:00pm – 11:00pm

Bombay Spice Grill opens 2nd Location in Streeterville Area of Chicago

 BOMBAY SPICE GRILL 

OFFICIALLY OPENS SECOND CHICAGO LOCATION

IN STREETERVILLE

WITH NEW EXPRESS “CREATE YOUR OWN” CONCEPT

ON MONDAY, JULY 22 

WITH

FREE CHICKEN TIKKA FROM 

11 A.M. TO 2 P.M. 


Executive Chef Sunil Kumar is proud to bring his unique twist on healthy, delicious Indian cuisine when Bombay Spice Grill   officially opens its second Chicago location in the  thriving Streeterville area at 213 East Ohio St. on Monday, July 22,  following its triumphant debut at the Taste of Chicago.

 

On July 22, ONLY, guests at the new location will be treated to FREE CHICKEN TIKKA, a house specialty, available from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. (one per guest).

 

The
new express, “create your own” concept is designed for the fast pace of
area business workers and a respite for Michigan Avenue shoppers. 
Whether selecting a bountiful bowl, wrap, salad or sandwich, guests will
have fun customizing their own with a choice of Steak at $8.95; Chicken at $8.35; Veggie at $7.75 or Tofu at $7.75. Select a Base of White Rice, Brown Rice or Quinoa, then; choose a sauce of Curry, Masala, Spinach or Vindaloo (hot).

 

Bombay Spice Streeterville brings favorites from its River North sister location, including Lentil Soup, Hummus, Chickpea Ceviche, Behi  Puri, Samosa and Chicken Tikka.  The signature beverage is Mango Lassi.  Desserts are Carrot Halawa and Rice Pudding.

 

Additionally,
most dishes are 500 calories or less and prepared with olive oil rather
than ghee or butter, providing low-fat, heart-healthy meals without
compromising authentic Indian flavors. The nutritional content of each
dish can be viewed at the restaurant or at www.bombayspice.com. Perfect for a health-conscious date night out!

 

Bombay Spice Streeterville is open SundayThursday  from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Caribou Coffee Shops Close in Chicago

OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Say it isn’t so?!  Yes, it is. 
Caribou Coffee is pulling out of Illinois. 
The Minneapolis-based cafe chain will close the majority of its 66
Illinois locations, converting more than a dozen to Peet’s Coffee &
Tea shops over the next 12 to 18 months. Closures will take effect
Sunday at noon. 
Caribou was taken private in a $340 million deal with Joh. A. Benckiser,
a German investment company, this year. All told, the new owner will
close 80 stores, and convert another 88 into Peet’s Coffee & Tea. 
After the closures and remodels, Caribou will have 486 locations in
Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Western Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas,
North Carolina, Denver, and 10 international markets, the company said
Monday.
A local store employee who asked not to be identified estimated that
about 1,000 people will lose their jobs as a result of the closings on
Sunday.

Another New Addition to Uptown! Reservoir

Buena Park/ Uptown has a new local bar and restaurant, located right on Montrose. The Reservoir. 844 W Montrose (west of Clarendon Ave & East of Sheridan, right off Hazel).

There is lots of  warm dark wood inside with clean lines, a long bar with comfy chairs. Lots of seating and room for groups or just a table for one or two.
Barely 6 months old and they are doing great. Yelpers are giving them 4 and 5 stars, which is always a great sign! Tuesday nights are drawing a crowd for their Trivia Contest where players compete for shots and prizes!

They offer great QUALITY food, an extensive craft beer selection. About 15 beers on tap and over 30 bottles/cans. They also have a nice selection of  a few choice wines by the glass starting at $7 and great specialty cocktails in a laid-back, casual atmosphere.

 Don’t be fooled, just because it’s a late night bar, it’s NOT bar food. A really nice menu featuring lots of  shared plates, some signature sandwiches, and a menu to please everyone’s palette. And all at great neighborhood prices. Hommus or Hot Wings for $8. Tuna Caponata or Calamari $9, an AMAZING braised pork belly for $11 made with parsnip puree scented with Madagascar vanilla, port wine poached apple, and sumac. Delicious!

There is also a selection of generously sized salads $7-$8. Flatbreads like Caprese or Asparagus and Mushrooms $8-$9. Some great sandwiches including a lamb burger, plus a few entree’s!   But overall, I would suggest sharing. OMG – there is an awesome Mac and Cheese for $9, that is a must-share!! There are lots of ways to mix and match and not cost you a fortune. It’s really good food, priced right. Robert the manager told us they will be changing up the menu in coming weeks. Adding some new things and taking some things off.

The couple next to us said, “The white truffle mac and cheese IS AMAZING. I would eat white truffle mac and cheese every day of my life if I could. This is our second time here, and we really like it! My husband likes the beer selection. Everyone is very friendly and they seem to always have a nice crowd, a nice  mix of people.This neighborhood needs this place.

I’m looking forward to seeing that garage door opened up come summertime.”

 Brunch is served on Sundays from 11AM – 3PM. Lots of delicious dishes $8-$12.

This is a great addition to Chicago’s Uptown Neighborhood!


The RESERVOIR   844 W. Montrose (773) 275-4000

 M-F 5pm to 2am

Sat 11am to 3am

Sun 11am to 2am
*Kitchen is open until 10PM SUN through WED
and until 11PM THUR through SAT.

Fox and Hound Chicagoland Re-Grand Openings to host Benefit for PAWS

The NEW Fox & Hound
sports tavern will celebrate its million dollar renovation of a brand
new look, feel and flavor with Grand Re-Opening events to benefit PAWS
CHICAGO
(Pets Worth Saving) at each of its four Chicagoland locations:

  • Arlington Heights (Tuesday, March 12);
  • Schaumburg (Tuesday, March 19); and
  • Bloomingdale and Aurora (exact dates TBD).

 

The
party begins at 6 p.m., when guests are invited to enjoy a buffet of
new and signature menu items, two drink tickets and tons of fun
(including free pool) until 10 p.m. for a $10 ticket price.  All of the proceeds from the tickets will be donated to PAWS CHICAGO,
the Midwest’s largest non-profit, No Kill humane organization.

Guests at the PAWS CHICAGO Grand Opening events will munch on Fox & Hound’s signature dishes, including Drunken Chicken Tenders , our Baked Pretzel Stix and Beer Cheese Dip plus many new items, such as Extreme Mac & Cheese; Dog Bites and Fish & Chips, to name a few.

New CEO of the Fox & Hound Restaurant Group Marc Buehler says, “Come celebrate the new Fox & Hound, with its redesigned spaces and menu to better meet guests’ desires for the best neighborhood gathering spot.”

This
home away from home offers 30 High Definition TVs; games for everyone
to play; 100 kinds of beers; and a new deliciously crafted menu for
sharing, snacking as well as dining. 


Fox & Hound is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. The new pilot launch locations are: Fox & Hound in Arlington Heights at 910-918 W Dundee Rd. (847.590.9019); in Schaumburg at 1416 N Roselle Rd. (847.884.6821); in Bloomingdale at 370 W Army Trail Rd #410A (630.295.9626); and in Aurora at Yorkshire Shopping Center, 4320 E. New York Ave. (630.236.9183).

Pie Hole Pizza Joint Expands to Uptown

Great news for Uptown/Andersonville!

5001 N. Clark, the storefront that was once home to CLARKS ON CLARK and lately was home to Winston’s Internet Cafe for a while, is being taken over by PIE HOLE JOINT. 
 When
Winston’s closed, it was remodeled and rehabbed.  Rumors had it that Chipotle would be going in, but that didn’t happen, and Uptown Update posted back in November that Pie Hole was a possible new tenant.

They played coy for a while, but now owner Doug Brandt  made it official:

Pie Hole Pizza will be opening its  SECOND  delicious location and have chosen Uptown, at 5001 N Clark Street, at Argyle.  Projected opening date is sometime in April. Possibly April 1, April Fools Day. “We’re shooting for April 1,” Brandt said in another post. “If we miss, we can always claim ‘April Fools!'” says Brandt. 

Last month  Brandt admitted the new second location  was more than a possibility and started a crowdsourcing campaign to bring Pie Hole to the new location.  Must have been a success, because it’s official.

The Uptown expansion is a dream come true for the local small
business owner, who said when he saw the vacant storefront last year he
envisioned “bright neon signs” in his mind that told him it would be a
great spot for his second location.

Brandt said Pie Hole, which offers an an eclectic variety of custom
pizzas with crazy combinations such as marshmallow and sausage, has
always had an “underground, anti-establishment and irreverent vibe.”

“The fact that it is not in the most commercial location is actually a plus for us,” he said.

The new address is in a residential area, but it sits on bustling
North Clark Street at West Argyle Avenue, at “the end of the
Andersonville retail strip that is progressively growing a little
farther and farther south,” Brandt said.

“So, it has a lot of potential in the future.”

We are very excited about Pie Hole coming to Uptown/Andersonville and can’t wait to
dig into our first custom slice. 

La Grand Vie Lounge and Restaurant

 Just steps from Michigan Avenue, nestled inside The Chatelaine building at 215 E. Chestnut, is downtown’s newest hidden gem, La Grand Vie. A sleek new lounge/restaurant with signature craft cocktails and a menu to suit 

everyone’s taste and budget.

Manager James Kupka (formerly of Mini Bar)says LGV emphasizes classic cocktails and small appetizers. But entrees are available as well. 
Popular items like Calamari and Oysters as well as more unique appetizers like Lobster Quesadilla and Roasted Beet Terrine. There are soups and salads and lots of  sandwiches like Croque Madame on Sourdough, with  black forest ham, gruyere and Swiss, hollandaise-mornaise,  and a fried egg; Signature Burgers and a Seared Ahi Tuna Steak sandwich.  Entree’s include Chicken, Pork Chops, Steaks and a vegetarian option. Save room for dessert! Beignets with a chocolate dipping sauce! Everything we tried was delicious and the portions were all a nice size. 
 Open for lunch, dinner, and late night as well as  champagne brunch on Sundays 11am-3pm.
Brioche French Toast, Pork Belly Mac and Cheese, Eggs  Benedict, Ham & Egg Pannini. Brunch options run $10-$13. Add on Bottomless Bloody Marys or Mimosas for $15
 La Grande Vie aims to draw in neighbors and power lunches during the day, and a hipper crowd at night. But Ricardo Sebastian, head of Luxury Management, a consulting group that works with La Grande Vie, insists the vibe is free of the usual Gold Coast pretension. “People feel intimidated when a restaurant is chic and you can’t pronounce what’s on the menu,” he said. “We wanted to veer away from that. It’s a place to chill and hang out.”
215 E. Chestnut St.
(between Seneca St & Dewitt Pl)

(312) 643-1111

Rockit Takes over Martini Ranch with Ay Chiwowa

.When partners Billy Dec, Brad Young and Arturo Gomez
heard that Martini Ranch, a legendary neighborhood gathering spot for
Chicagoans over the last 20 years, would close and be sold, fond
memories of their own at the former hotspot over the years made them
jump at the chance to give it new life! So without knowing what to do
with it, they brought it into the Rockit Ranch
family, and began to think about how it could become appreciated again,
an opposite approach as most operators normally have a concept
developed before they find a home for it. 

Because the venue held so much nostalgia for so many different people, the Rockit Ranch
team wanted to share the process of the venue’s evolution with the
entire city, so the partners made the unprecedented move of inviting the
public to help them choose the next concept. The majority of voters wanted to see a play on “dive bar” comfort and
accessibility with a Mexican cocktail and food component. And with
President Arturo Gomez’s family from Mexico, the team enthusiastically
took on the challenge.
 Making minimal yet impactful upgrades to the space to maintain its
integrity while incorporating Rockit Ranch’s signature design
personality, the team has created a balance of “old AND new.” Meanwhile,
they flew Arturo’s father (Arturo Gomez Sr.) in several times, to work
alongside Rockit Ranch’s partners, chefs and mixologists, taking
inspiration from his favorite drinks and bites from local bars and
street stalls in Mexico, including dry fruit aged tequila, a house-made
double reposado, and extraordinary tequila flights, liquors and
specialty drinks, as well as his street fare favorites, such as tacos,
tortas and tostadas.
!AY CHIWOWA! is born!

Rockit Ranch Productions looks forward to sparking renewed excitement on Chicago Avenue later this winter with ¡AY CHIWOWA!.
Hours will be: Thursday through Sunday, 5 p.m. to 4 a.m, extended to 5
a.m. on Saturday. By summer, the venue hopes to be open seven days a
week. Ay Chiwowa is located at 311 W. Chicago Ave.

More information at AyChiwowa.com