10 Most Anticipated Fall Openings

By Sarah Freeman  |  August 27, 2013

As summer comes to an end, what's left to look forward to? While bikini season only lasts for a short time in this city, restaurant season is year-round, and the fall is full of buzzy restaurant openings, including The Dawson offering a menu of upscale comfort classics, Mario Batali’s Eataly and a bar with three stories of star mixologists. Read on to find out where you'll be dining and drinking during the next few months. 

  • Look Out, Logan

    The Radler and D.A.S.
    This dual-concept restaurant is in its final stages of construction after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Chef Nathan Sears will serve modern Bavarian food in the more upscale D.A.S, while The Radler is a more casual and communal concept with rustic Bavarian cuisine using locally sourced meat and produce. Both restaurants will feature an aged beer program (2375 N. Milwaukee Ave.)

    Take a little bit of '70s disco and mix it with some '80s punk rock with a dash of dirty dive-bar vibe. This unusual combination is what's brewing at this forthcoming bar. Partners Henry Prendergast and Robbie Haynes of The Violet Hour are putting together a “three-pronged” cocktail menu that will feature classic cocktails, similar to the drinks at The Violet Hour, while the other two will be reflective of the atmosphere - less polished but still potent (2523 N. Milwaukee Ave.)

  • Culinary Emporiums

    Bust out your bright orange Crocs: the day will soon arrive for the opening of Mario Batali’s Italian superstore. Come mid-November, the combined grocery store, restaurant and specialty retailer will debut in 63,000 sq. ft. of prime River North real estate, offering Chicagoans unparalleled access to imported cheeses, cured meats and a plethora of pasta (43 E. Ohio St.).

    Chop Shop
    A butcher, bar, salumeria and 6,000-sq.-ft. private event space come together under one roof steps from Wicker Park's/Bucktown’s busiest intersections. The versatile restaurant will serve meats, cheeses and wines from around the world in its more casual side and a seasonal menu of small plates in its sit-down restaurant. The event space will host concerts, art exhibits and special events for up to 500 people (2033 W. North Ave.).

  • Wicker Wonders

    Hidden behind the former La Pasadita facade was an amazing find - the remains of a 1930s hamburger shop called Snappy Service System. The iconic structure is being restored and will soon be home to this Mexican restaurant serving authentic cuisine, including housemade tortillas, spit-roasted al pastor, corn elote and agua fresca (1141 N. Ashland Ave.).

    Stan’s Donuts
    The founder of famed LA donut institution Stan's Donuts has partnered with Labriola baking company to acquire the long-vacant Skewerz location underneath the Damen Blue Line station. It's scheduled to open mid-October, offering fresh donuts, specialty roasted coffee and gelato (1560 N. Damen Ave.).

  • Star Powered

    The Dawson
    The latest project from restaurateur Billy Lawless (The Gage, Henri) taps Next and Alinea alum Rene De Leon to run the kitchen. Reclaimed and natural materials are featured in the dual-level restaurant, which will have an industrial-chic vibe and U-shaped bars on each floor. The menu will highlight elevated comfort food such as chicken-fried rib-eye (730 W. Grand Ave.).

    The Brunswick
    The duo of Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner seem to have a magic touch when it comes to opening restaurants and bars. Among their successes are Lula Café, Trenchermen and the recently opened Revel Room. Their latest project, this casual neighborhood eatery in the heart of the trendy West Loop, finds them teaming with the Barrelhouse Flat crew (806 W. Randolph St.).

  • Say Cheers

    Mystery #1
    This unnamed River North megabar already has a trifecta of star bartenders including Josh Pearson (formerly of Sepia), Freddie Sarkis (a Sable veteran) and 30 Under 30 honoree Sterling Field. Busy restaurant group Heisler Hospitality is designing the three-story space, while the cocktail-driven menu will offer a limited food selection (111 W. Hubbard).

    Mystery #2
    What are the Scofflaw guys up to? Their Mad Lib-style press release is still mostly blank except for an address in Logan Square. It will be located in the same block as The Radler and D.A.S., which is also the location of a forthcoming distillery by the name of Chicago Distilling Company. Aside from that, all details remain a mystery, but according to the release, “[It] is slated to open before Chicago sees snow again” (2357 N. Milwaukee Ave.).