Openings

Openings: SideDoor, Big 'N' Little's, Logan Hardware

By Sarah Freeman  |  February 19, 2014

SideDoor 

The hip, new gastro lounge, adjacent to the less hip and slightly dated Lawry’s steakhouse in River North, celebrated its grand opening last night. The space stems off of a bar, tucked under a grand staircase, and moves into a tiered room with a cozy lounge on the first level, filled with tufted leather booths and small tables. Beyond, an intimate dining room has copper light fixtures and other vintage accents including tilled ceilings and art reclaimed from the historic building.

Food is prepared in an open kitchen that juts out into the dining room and provides additional seating via a chef’s counter. The menu offers modernized versions of classic Lawry’s fare, including a prime rib sandwich, prime rib chili cheese fries and a customizable roasted meat board - think charcuterie with more hearty slices of meat. The bar serves a selection of house cocktails along with wine and beer by the glass and bottle. 

100 E. Ontario St.; 312-787-6768

Logan Hardware

Arcade bar alert! The retro trend continues to gain momentum with the latest beer and 8-bit destination opening in Logan Square. When the converted hardware store turned record store and arcade museum outgrew its former location, it moved down the street to stretch its legs. Now, the original building, which still dons the red and white "Logan Hardware" sign circa 1960, boasts a bar with 40 games, 25 pinball machines, 20 draft beers and 100 spirits.

2410 W. Fullerton Ave.

Ranalli’s

A 40-year-old pizza joint is also getting a new life. According to Eater, Four Corners Tavern Group has renovated the Lincoln Park location of the long-standing pizza place. The modernized space still has a few classic touches, like the red and white host counter, but the rest is filled with sleek leather booths, Italian tiled floors and a “King's Table” with a built in draft system. The menu also has some new additions, such as bison meatballs with habanero barbecue sauce, burgers, sandwiches and specialty pizzas, plus a new craft cocktail menu and beer list.

1925 N.  Lincoln Ave.; 312-642-4700

Big 'N' Little’s

The popular downtown hole-in-the-wall was hoping to quietly open its north side location this weekend. DNA Info reported that was not the case, when hundreds swarmed the new location to get a bite of the po’ boys, fish tacos, burgers and fish ‘n’ chips. The new location takes over a spot that is rumored to be cursed, because of its quick turnover of restaurants, the last of which was Indie Burger. However, if opening weekend is any indication, the team behind the beloved restaurant - made up of owners Omar Cadena and chef Brandon Nequist - might have the dedicated following needed to break the curse.

1034 W. Belmont Ave.