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Weekly Planner: Brunch News Edition

Brunch News Edition Lowcountry Adds Brunch Fasten those bibs, because brunch is served at Lowcountry. The South Loop outpost of the boil-in-a-bag seafood concept, which specializes in Cajun-style shellfish, has added weekend brunch to its popular portfolio. A slight departure from its usual eat-with-your-hands bag-centric menu, the brunch offerings span a spectrum of Southern comforts, from […]

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Jun 18, 2018 09:51 PM
Best Restaurants in Boystown

With June being Pride Month, there’s no better time of year to spend dining and drinking in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood. The vibrant Lakeview area enclave is best known perhaps for its clubs, drag brunches and rainbow pylons, but the neighborhood is becoming a serious dining destination in its own right, thanks to restaurants like these: […]

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Jun 11, 2018 10:32 PM
Weekly Planner: Taco Joint’s Specials and ROOF on theWit’s Movie Series

Happy Hour at Punch Bowl Social Happy Hour at Punch Bowl Social Happy hour is the happiest of all when you’re surrounded by bowling alleys, bocce courts, karaoke rooms and dart boards. The West Loop’s brand new Punch Bowl Social, a behemoth dining and gaming complex out of Denver, has jumped on the happy hour bandwagon, […]

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Jun 05, 2018 06:53 PM

Los Angeles Chicago Connection

Last year, we wrote about the increasing connection between Miami and Chicago via bar and restaurant openings. This year, it looks like Chicago is sharing a special synergy with Los Angeles. The two cities have been playing a lot of back-and-forth lately in terms of concepts opening new locations in respective cities, as well as mixologists and chefs uprooting to switch time zones. Let’s take a look at this new Chicago-Los Angeles connection, shall we? 


Broken Shaker
Broken Shaker Chicago; photo by Adrian Gaut


While one of last year’s Miami connections was via Broken Shaker, this year it’s something that ties us to Los Angeles as well. The Miami-based cocktail bar opened its second outpost in River North last year, introducing an exciting new wave of culinary-inspired cocktails to the city. Now the bar is in expansion mode yet again as it polishes up its third spin-off in the City of Angels later this year. 


Speaking of cocktails and L.A., one of the city’s finest and most renowned mixologists, Julian Cox, made the move to Chicago recently to head up the beverage programs for Lettuce Entertain You. We wrote about him a bit here, but he just debuted his new cocktail menu at Three Dots and a Dash, which is definitely worth checking out, and we’re excited to see what he does next. 


In other moving news, our loss is L.A.’s gain as former Next chef Dave Beran just left the acclaimed restaurant with plans to move across the country and open his own restaurant in California. And when Jessica Largey wraps her chef residency at Intro here, she announced plans to move to L.A. to open her own restaurant as well, Simone. On the contrary, C.J. Jacobson has remained in town since moving here from L.A. for his own chef residency at Intro, and now he’s planning a Mediterranean restaurant in River North. 




Over the past few years, L.A.-based restaurants that have opened outposts here include JINYA Ramen Bar and of course Sprinkles, that cupcake empire with a cult following. They originated in L.A. and their Gold Coast location still routinely draws lined out the door. Coming up, some of the biggest openings on the horizon in Chicago are coming from L.A.’s IDG restaurant group, which plans local outposts of hot spots like Katana, BOA Steakhouse, and Sushi Roku. Meanwhile, Chicago’s Bow Truss coffee has expanded to L.A. with a cafe in Beverly Hills. 

— Matt Kirouac

Independent coffee roaster offers some seating, but it's really intended for bean sales and take-out: No food, no restroom, no wifi. There is a second location in River North.

Miami's wildly popular craft cocktail bar heads to Chicago with a location in River North's former Tokyo Hotel. Now an outpost of Miami's Freehand Hotel, Broken Shaker features culinary inspired...

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Intro serves as an incubator for chef talent from across the country. Every few months, a different guest chef sets up shop at the Lincoln Park restaurant, manning the kitchen...

Los Angeles-based JINYA Ramen Bar made its Chicago debut in 2015 after beginning an ambitious national expansion plan. The restaurant is often credited as one of the progenitors of the...

The first Midwest location of the Beverly Hills-based bakery that started the cupcake craze set up shop in Chicago in July 2010. Sprinkles showcases signature treats in flavors like coconut...

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