10 Most Anticipated Fall Openings in Chicago
The Gist: The couple behind Bang Bang Pie Company are hoping to change the baked-goods game with their house-milled flour. It will be available for retail, and will also star in a line of baked goods that includes cookies, crackers, muffins and, of course, pies alongside Sparrow coffee and Rare Tea Cellar teas that will be served at this Lincoln Square cafe.
ETA: Mid September
The Gist: This two-story tribute to all things Japanese will soon be open in the West Loop. A first for the Boka Group, the concept will feature an izakaya bar serving cocktails, Japanese whiskey and sake in the basement and a dining room on the first floor with a menu divided between sunnaku (snacks), summer (appetizers), rice and noodles, salads and soup and grilled meat and fish skewers.
ETA: Late September
The Gist: Sommeliers Jason Prah (Acadia) and Scott Harney (Eno Wine Room) have teamed up to open a casual wine bar specializing in small plates in Little Italy. The duo will move into the former Urban Union Space to utilize the wood-burning oven, wine tap system and sommelier table.
ETA: Early October
The Gist: The Boulder-based family of restaurants opens its first spot outside Colorado. In anticipation of the opening, with chef Johnny Anderes at the helm, The Kitchen Community has been building Learning Gardens in over 100 Chicago Public Schools with the help of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. When the restaurant opens, it will offer simple and seasonal dishes that are created with fresh ingredients sourced from its community of local farmers.
ETA: Early October
The Gist: The neighborhood bar gets a fancy new look at this upscale take on a tavern. The team behind Bangers & Lace and The Anthem’s latest venture aims to recreate a cool living room complete with cocktails, wines by the glass, craft beers and small plates crafted by chef Rachel Dow.
The Gist: The marriage between Rockit Ranch and chef Kevin Hickey appears to be a happy one. After the success of their first concept, Bottlefork, the team is getting ready to open a pre-Prohibition era gastro-tavern on the border of Bridgeport and Pilsen. Divided between a lounge and dining room, the cozy space will showcase Hickey’s locally sourced and globally inspired cuisine.
Pomp & Circumstance
The Gist: 1960s glam meets beatnik chic at a farm-to-table restaurant from the team behind Hubbard Inn and Barn & Company. The 5,000-sq.-ft. space hopes to breathe new life into the Old Town neighborhood with a concept that combines retro charm with modern hospitality.
The Gist: Chicago’s first outpost for ShackBurgers and crinkle-cut fries comes to River North in just a few weeks. The first of two locations will serve all the favorites from the New York institution, from 100% all-natural Angus beef burgers to hot dogs made with Vienna Beef, plus fresh-made frozen custard, craft beer and wine.
The Gist: B. Hospitality Co.'s (The Bristol and Balena) tribute to red-sauce Italian joints opens in the heart of the West Loop. Chef Tony Quartaro has been testing the menu at a series of pop-up dinners featuring dishes like chicken vesuvio, Nonna’s meatballs, chicken Parmesan and nine-layer chocolate cake chased with housemade Limoncello.
Three Aces 2.0
The Gist: Details are scant on the second project from the team behind Three Aces. Here’s what we know — the restaurant and bar will be located in the former West Town Tavern space. Chef Matt Troost will oversee culinary operations.