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10 Chicago-Area Restaurant and Bar Openings to Know

Eater logo Eater 7/6/2019 Naomi Waxman
a bowl of food on a plate: Chef Xiong – Taste of Szechuan is now open in Chinatown. © Chef Xiong – Taste of Szechuan [Official Photos] Chef Xiong – Taste of Szechuan is now open in Chinatown.

A regularly updated list of new restaurants and bars

July 5

CHINATOWN — Chinese spot Chef Xiong – Taste of Szechuan opened last month, according to Hoodline. Szechuan offerings (spicy and non) include hot pot and street snacks. The titular chef Xiong enjoys international acclaim and was interviewed by Anthony Bourdain on CNN’s Parts Unknown, owners wrote on the restaurant’s website. The space formerly housed Mandarin Kitchen, which closed last year. Status: Certified Open, 2143 S. Archer Avenue.

LINCOLN PARK — Hong Kong-style dim sum and Cantonese restaurant D Cuisine opened in late June, according to an official Facebook post. The restaurant’s long menu offers dim sum classics like siu mai and barbecue pork buns, as well as noodle and rice dishes, beef, chicken, pork, and live seafood. The space was previously occupied by American restaurant the Peasantry, which shuttered in 2016. Status: Certified Open, 2723 N. Clark Street.

LOGAN SQUARE — Staff at luxurious restaurant and bar the Whale started serving yesterday, according to a Facebook post. Owner Ryan Marks is throwing a grand opening celebration today. The luxe operation offers 100-ounce towers of sangrias, mimosas, or bellinis for groups, as well as hearty fare like Colorado lamb chops and Creole-roasted pulled pork. Status: Certified Open, 2427 N. Milwaukee Avenue.

MCKINLEY PARK — First opened in Bridgeport in 1976, Laura’s Pizza and Pasta has expanded and opened in a new location, owners wrote on the restaurant’s website. The restaurant’s menu features familiar, comforting Italian classics like arancini, chicken Vesuvio, meatballs, subs, and pasta. Status: Certified Open, 1546 W. 35th Street.

NORTH CENTER — Pan-Asian spot Silver Plate Restaurant opened this week, according to a Facebook post. The extensive menu includes Chinese, Thai, and Korean dishes, as well as sushi and ramen. The space formerly housed a Radio Shack. Status: Certified Open, 3336A N. Western Avenue.

NORTH KENWOODRadio Ribs is now open, according to the Chicago Tribune. A menu is not yet available online, but offerings reportedly include rib and turkey tips, hot links, and fries. Customers can wash it all down with a glass of peach tea lemonade. The restaurant was formerly occupied by a Dunkin’ Donuts and Fung’s Chop Suey, which shuttered this year. Status: Certified Open, 1400 E. 47th Street.

PORTAGE PARK — Neighborhood beer bar Foundation Tavern & Grille opened this week, according to an official Facebook post, and owners plan to hold a grand opening celebration Friday, July 12. Customers can expect live music and entertainment, as well as 16 beer taps. The family-owned business first opened in 1984 under the name Frank and Ann’s, and was later known as Night Cap. Status: Certified Open, 5007 W. Irving Park Road.

ROSCOE VILLAGE New doughnut shop Dip and Sip Donuts opened this week, according to a Facebook post, serving classic and creative flavors like “the Matchas and the Papas” and “John Lemon Pistachio.” The shop also offers custom donut cakes and coffee. The building was previously occupied by drugstore Heritage Pharmacy. Status: Certified Open, 2256 W. Roscoe Street.

WEST RIDGEHalal Fried Chicken and Seafood is open, a call to the restaurant confirmed. Customers can expect crispy chicken sandwiches, jerk chicken dinners, and even shrimp tempura. Dessert options include vanilla cheesecake and apple pie a la mode. Status: Certified Open, 6426 N. Western Avenue.

WICKER PARKItalian pastificio Tortello opened on Monday, according to a news release. A collaboration among industry veteran Duncan Biddulph (Lula Café, the Publican, Marisol, La Sardine) and husband and wife co-owners Dario Monni and Jill Gray, the restaurant is designed to celebrate and maintain Italian pasta-making traditions. Diners can expect wines, beers, Italian cocktails, and espresso drinks, and a retail section stocked with Italian specialty goods. Seasonal pasta offerings include salvia e nocciole tostate (butter, sage, and toasted hazelnuts) and Sicilian spaghetti alla chitarra con astice e pomodorini freschi (lobster, fresh cherry tomatoes). Status: Certified Open, 1746 W. Division Street.

June 28

GOLD COAST — Bar, restaurant, and nightlife spot Play Kitchen & Cocktails opens tonight and management is planning a grand opening celebration in July, according to a news release. The 3,600 square-foot space includes a whopping 17 4k UHD TVs, a DJ booth, and custom LED backlit walls. Menu offerings include smoked “jumbo wings” tossed in 24K gold bourbon BBQ sauce with 24K gold flakes and a shot called “the Scorpion” with chili and apricot infused Banhez mezcal and an edible, pickled scorpion. Status: Opens tonight, 7 W. Division Street.

NORTH CENTER — Neighborhood spot the Rambler Kitchen and Tap opened in mid-June, according to an official Facebook post, from the owners of Wrigleyville’s Graystone Tavern. Diners can expect classic fare like a French dip sandwich and a cheesesteak with Cheez Wiz and griddled onions, imported and domestic beers, ciders, and a selection of seltzers. The space formerly housed Tavern on Little Fort, which shuttered in early January. Status: Certified Open, 4128 N. Lincoln Avenue.

THE LOOP — New York-based salad chain Just Salad opened this week at Illinois Center complex, according to a news release. Customers can expect a menu packed with — you guessed it — salads, as well as wraps, soups, toasts, and smoothies. The chain opened its first Chicago location in 2015 and now operates four shops in the Loop, West Loop, and River North. Status: Certified Open, 111 E. Wacker Drive, Lower Level.

THE LOOP — Fast-casual sous vide-centric spot Kaliflower opened this week, serving healthy, made-to-order dishes like “the Spice Road” with shredded sous-vide chicken, marinated kale, creamy green hot sauce, roasted carrots, pickled red onion, toasted almond slivers and red hot sauce. Owner Ben Arnstein makes the under 1,100 square-foot location work by using sous vide machines and induction burners instead of bulky kitchen equipment. Status: Certified Open, 333 N. Michigan Avenue.

THE LOOP — Staff at acclaimed stand U.B. Dogs are back to slinging hot dogs (Chicago-style, doused in chili and cheese, and more) and burgers in the same location. The owner closed the spot in late 2018 then planned to reopen by summer. Status: Certified Open, 185 N. Franklin Street.

LOMBARD — Franchisees Amit and Kalpesh Patel have opened the second Chicagoland location of Wisconsin-based sandwich shop Cousins Subs, according to a news release. The Patels opened the first Illinois outpost in January and plan to launch a total of 40 shops in the city and surrounding suburbs. Status: Certified Open, 793 E. Butterfield Road in Lombard.

SCHILLER PARKShoeless Joe’s Ale House & Grille has reopened in its new home after shuttering its original Rosemont location in March, according to a Facebook post. The sports bar operated in Rosemont for 30 years, and also runs an Addison location. Status: Certified Open, 4926 N. River Road in Schiller Park.

June 21

FULTON MARKETMassive restaurant, bar, and event space City Hall opens today with group drinks served in water cooler and “kickback” shots with named with pithy references to Chicago’s infamous political machine. The 18,000-square-foot space includes a sizable patio and offers American bar fare. Status: Opens today, 838 W. Kinzie Street.

FULTON MARKET — New food hall Fulton Galley that houses five restaurants and a bar is open, offering customers flavors from Latin America, Northeastern Thailand, a Jewish deli, and more. The 20-tap bar highlights local beers and offers buckets of single-serve wine bottles, as well as a cocktail menu laden with pop culture references. Wine, beer, and cocktails are half-off during Happy Hour, Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Status: Certified Open, 1115 W. Fulton Market.

HUMBOLDT PARKCurramba Colombian Restaurant is open, according to an official Facebook post. Customers can expect empanadas, ceviche, arepas, and more. The space was formerly occupied by Puerto Rican and Caribbean restaurant El Faro, which closed earlier this year. Status: Certified Open, 2701 W. Division Street.

LAKEVIEW — Mini-chain Devil Dawgs is open next to CTA’s Belmont Red/Brown/Purple train station in Lakeview, an opening first indicated in January when signs went up in the location. The Lakeview menu is packed with all beef hot dogs with a bevy of toppings like the “Seoul Dog” (a Korean-style dog with shoyu-soy hot mustard, kimchi) and the “Voodoo Dog” (andouille chicken sausage, creole mustard, olive giardinera, “hush hush” slaw). Status: Certified Open, 937 W. Belmont Avenue.

SOUTH LOOPMei’s Asian Small Plates & Dumplings inside the Hilton Garden Inn at Wabash Avenue and 11th Street has a now open sign, according to a Sloopin poster. A savvy resident posted photos of the menu to Facebook, showing offerings like crispy pan-fried noodles, spicy tofu with pork, and kurobuta pork meatballs with vermicelli. Status: Certified Open, 1101 S. Wabash Avenue.

Update: June 25, 2019, 11:20 a.m. Mei’s is currently only open to hotel guests, not the general public, according to a representative.

WICKER PARK — West Coast cult coffee spot Philz Coffee officially opens its first Chicago location tomorrow. Baristas will guide customers through the menu, grind beans while they wait, and add customized condiments like fresh mint. Diners can also expect light, Mediterranean bites like labneh za’atar toast and bakery items from Aya Pastry and Hyde Park’s Fabiana’s Bakery. Status: Opens Saturday, 1640 W. Division Street.

EVANSTON — Health-oriented spot Mid Kitchen is now open and serving customers, a call to the restaurant confirmed. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a range of gluten free options. The space formerly housed French restaurant Jilly’s Bistro, which closed in March. Status: Certified Open, 1512 Sherman Avenue in Evanston.

UTICAEssential Cajun spot the Cajun Connection has moved and is now open at its new location, according to a Facebook post. An opening celebration runs through Sunday. Diners can indulge in the flavors of the Big Easy with alligator po’boys, frog legs, and Jamba-2-Fay (etouffee over jambalaya), and wash it down with a hurricane or chicory coffee. Status: Certified Open, 2958 N. State Route 178 in Utica.

VERNON HILLS — The newest Shake Shack location opened today in the suburbs, serving its popular burgers, flat-top dogs, and frozen custard, according to a news release. This location offers customers special frozen custard “concretes,” including “A Sprinkle in Time” (vanilla custard, lemon curd, marshmallow, shortbread cookie, rainbow sprinkles), along with beers from Half Acre Beer Company and Revolution Brewing. The Daily Herald has more. Status: Certified Open, 864 E. Townline Road in Vernon Hills.

For a list of the 2019 spring openings, click here.

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