Wondering what’s in the works in the Chicago area for restaurants, bars, and cafes? Look no further than Eater Chicago’s guide to spring 2023’s coming attractions for dining. Did we miss something? Send Eater Chicago a tip at [email protected].
Around Town: Au Levain, the pandemic-era bakery run out of Bistro Campagne, has plans for a permanent location. Owner and baker Angel Chavez hasn’t revealed details but has signed a letter of intent at an undisclosed address.
Bridgeport: The team behind the renovated Ramova Theater, a hotly anticipated music venue that will house the revived Ramova Grill restaurant and a brewery taproom, is aiming for a November debut at 3520 S. Halsted Street after years of planning and build-out, according to the Tribune. Chef Kevin Hickey and Brandon Phillips of the Duck Inn will oversee the 20-seat grill and neighboring Ramova Brewery, the latter of which will offer beer from New York’s Other Half Brewing.
Lakeview: There’s a new pizzeria coming to 545 W. Diversey Parkway. It’s called Strapoli and they’ll center on Neopolitan pies. It’s called Strapoli Pizzeria and All Day Cafe. Venezuela native chef Marcial Bereciartu wants to unleash a new concept, giving locals a comfortable space. They’re opening the week of October 20.
The Loop: Details are still scarce, but the team behind one of the city’s best Korean-American restaurants, Perilla, is opening a second restaurant — a steakhouse inside an upcoming 13-story L7 Hotel — a division of Lotte Hotels — at 225 N. Wabash Avenue. Look for more details on Perilla Steak over the next few months. It’s the former Kimpton Monaco.
Midway International Airport: Chicago’s long-maligned air travel hub Midway is adding its first airport lounge, slated to open in 2024 in its Center Market area, according to Crain’s. A 3,300-square-foot space situated at the intersection of Midway’s main concourses, the lounge will offer $50 daily passes and partner with airport lounge management brand Priority Pass.
North Center: The B-A-R, a membership-only watering hole (for humans) and indoor dog park, is in the works at 2457 W. Montrose Avenue, according to Block Club Chicago. Co-owners and couple Morgan LaPorte and Scott Deady signed a lease on the former Plants Inc. space in January and raised more than $30,000 for the business via Kickstarter. They’ve applied for a liquor license and will host a community meeting for neighbors in the coming months.
The Loop: Signs for Terra e Mare, a new upscale Italian restaurant from the owners of The Press Room wine bar, are up at 404 S. Wells Street. The project has been in the works for some time, with license applications dating back to 2021, but an opening seems close at hand as operators seek to fill line cook and sous chef positions.
West Town: One of the fall’s most anticipated openings, Jook Sing — an Asian night market-inspired bar and restaurant from the team behind the Press Room, is opening on Halloween. Look for fun food and drinks, plus a small retail section at 1328 W. Chicago Avenue.
Wicker Park: Oro Chocolate Cafe, the first cafe from Nicuargan brand Oro Chocolate, is in the “final stretch” of construction at 1553 N. Milwaukee Avenue, CEO, and suburban Chicago native Muffadal Saylawala announced on Instagram. “From supply chain hiccups to design challenges, to delays on delays on delays, we’ve navigated an almost incomprehensible maze of complexities,” he writes. “While we won’t be 100% ready when we open, we are 100% committed to constant evolution.”
Andersonville: Construction on a new Taco Bell outpost is underway at 5245 N. Clark Street, closing the sidewalk as workers take apart its storefront and build an outdoor backyard patio. It’s the latest in a series of chain openings in a neighborhood that has long favored local businesses along its main drag on Clark Street, including the 2018 debut of Wisconsin-based Colectivo Coffee and the 2021 arrival of salad giant Sweetgreen, which replaced shuttered drag bar and restaurant Hamburger Mary’s. It remains unclear whether or not the Taco Bell will offer alcohol, according to Block Club Chicago.
Lakeshore East: Upscale Italian restaurant Tre Dita, the second of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ two-restaurant project inside the St. Regis Chicago skyscraper, is now slated for a winter opening at 401 E. Wacker Drive. One of the most highly anticipated restaurants of the year, Tre Dita is a partnership with LA chef Evan Funke (Felix), who plans to highlight regional Tuscan cooking with a menu of steaks and traditional pastas created in an on-site “pasta lab.” It was originally scheduled to debut in the fall.
Lincoln Park: Signage has gone up for Butcher & Bear, a new Italian steakhouse at 2721 N. Hasted Street, the former Mayan Palace Mexican restaurant.
Logan Square: Steady progress continues at Akahoshi Ramen, the eagerly awaited ramen shop coming this fall, as chef and owner Mike Satinover (also known as Ramen_Lord) applied for the restaurant's liquor license at to 2340 N. California Avenue. Satinover is remarkably transparent about the process and details of the opening with his followers on Instagram, posting his thoughts on the experience as well as renderings and photos.
Near West Side: The Barn Hockey Bar, a drinking spot for Blackhawks fans and other sports aficionados, is coming “soon” to 1659 W. Ogden Avenue, the former home of The Ogden Chicago, operators write on Facebook. The Barn promises a menu that transcends baseline bar fare, including fresh pizzas (dubbed “za’mboni pies”) and cocktails. It’ll house a whopping 50 televisions, and Blackhawks games will always be sound-on.
Old Town: The owners of Nepal House are inching closer to opening a 45-seat new location as they’ve applied for a liquor license. They’ve done massive renovations at 158 W. Division Street, formerly the home of Sarpino’s Pizzeria. Nepal House has locations across the city and runs Chicago Curry House in South Loop.
Old Town: Locally owned fast-casual restaurant Kfire Korean BBQ is expanding to a second location at 1241 N. Clybourn Avenue, with workers visible to passers-by through a large storefront window. Founded by a pair of friends in July 2020 in Logan Square, Kfire offers plates that include a choice of grilled protein (options include soy-ginger beef and kalbi) with rice, green onion salad, and two sides such as kimchi and spicy daikon.