Restaurants Branch Out With Second Locations Throughout Chicago
New restaurants and bars have been opening at a feverish pace throughout Chicago lately, but one trend to note is the sheer amount of businesses spawning spin-off locations. From pizza parlors to ramen standbys, 2016 is turning into the year of second locations. Here are 6 restaurants, bakeries and bars that have opened new locations or are working on them now.
One of the patio kings of the West Loop just branched out to Wicker Park’s bustling Division Street strip. Parlor Pizza Bar is equally renowned for its indulgent pies as it is for its thriving al fresco scene, and as it moved into the former Moonshine space, customers can rest assured that the original West Loop formula is being replicated nicely. The rustic-chic design echoes the first location, along with Neapolitan-style pizzas baked in imported Italian Pavesi wood-burning ovens. Flavors range from traditional to modern, including a kimchi-strewn version with crispy pork belly, gochujang marinara, fresh mozzarella, cilantro and scallions. Craft beers, cocktails and wine comprise the beverage program.
The hottest of all the new ramen entries of late, Furious Spoon is just ramping up as the Wicker Park-based eatery adds a second location in Logan Square. With plans already in place to open outposts in Pilsen and the Loop, the Logan Square spin-off expands on the original with a second-floor rooftop space, more seating, late-night dining and a more full-fledged bar program featuring cocktails like the Mo’ Melon, Mo’ Problems with Death’s Door gin, fresh melon juice and passion fruit. Starting at 9 PM, late-night bites exclusive to Logan Square include chicken karaage (fried chicken marinated in sake and spices) and veal and mushroom gyoza dumplings.
One of the most beloved cupcake shops in Chicago just added a new bakery in Streeterville, and they’ve added booze to the mix. The same combo of cutesy cupcakes and whimsical decor translates over from the Lincoln Park mainstay, including swings as seats and school-inspired accoutrements like lunch boxes and lockers. The big departure here is the cocktail and wine program, which will entail Champagne and specialty cocktails to capitalize on all the passersby heading to and fro nearby Navy Pier at night. Or during the day, no judgement.
Pastries and cocktails are a trend on the rise, because another cafe has added liquor to the mix as they expand with a second location. Ipsento is a beloved Bucktown favorite for its house-roasted coffee and incomparable lattes. With a new location by the 606 Trail, the cafe has not only expanded its space, but added evening food and alcohol. By day, Ipsento features coffee and doughnuts, and by night (after 4 PM), things switch over to charcuterie, cheese plates and bar snacks. To drink, there’s 10 taps for craft beer, plus wine, sake, Mint Juleps on tap and other mixed drinks like a gin and malort cocktail with beets, ginger, lime and sage.
Chicago’s smash-hit taco shop is in expansion mode, as the Wicker Park taqueria-meets-antique shop prepares to add a new outpost in Bridgeport. Husband-wife duo Rick and Ashley Ortiz have taken over a defunct gas station for the venture, which should make for an exciting patio-focused concept similar to Parson’s Chicken & Fish. While the interior will be much more sparse than their first spot, the 100-seat patio should make this a destination for new reasons. The menu will be more pared down as well, with single tacos, al pastor, margaritas, agua frescas and the like.
When it comes to pie and biscuits in Chicago, Bang Bang is among the very best. The Logan Square bakery is so revered in fact that it routinely draws lined out the door and down the sidewalk, as customers cram into the narrow space or flock to the massive garden patio. Now the bakery has added a second location in Ravenswood, with more seats and a homier design thanks to a couch, communal table and chandelier. The food is similar to the original, though any slice of pie can be made a la mode with a little help from Black Dog Gelato.
- Matt Kirouac