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Chicago Dining News Bites features tips and items, that’s dropped in our inbox, on Chicago’s exciting dining scene. Got a tip or news? Click here and let us know.
The dining scene in Chicago, and major parts of the world, has been uppended by the global pandemic that is the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Many of our beloved restaurants which had to stop dine-in service, during the enforced lockdown period have either had to close due to extenuating circumstances or currently operating but a fraction of what they did pre-covid. There are many ways you can help some which we will also highlight here. We look forward to the days when we can all gather together for big and small meals at our fave neighborhood spots eating, mask free, drinking and giving much appreciation to the industry.
Choose Chicago along with the Illinois Restaurant Association and James Beard Foundation’s “Let’s Talk” initiative are collaborating in celebration of Women’s Equality Day. To show support for Chicago’s women chefs and restaurateurs, for a six day initiative of dining deals and special offers from some of Chicago’s top women-owned restaurants and bakeries for Women’s Restaurant Week from Aug. 26 – 31, 2020. The participating restaurants include Vermillion (Rohini Dey), Mi Tocaya (Diana Davila), Demera (Tigist Reda), Vanille Patisserie (Sophie Evanoff), HaiSous (Danielle Dang), Kumiko (Julia Momose), Frontera Group (Deann Bayless), The Dearborn (Clodagh Lawless & Amy Lawless), Brindille (Carrie Nahabedian), Floriole (Sandra Holl), Parachute/Wherewithall (Beverly Kim), Bittersweet (Mindy Gohr), Prairie Grass Café (Sarah Stegner), Saigon Sisters (Mary Aregoni) and few others. Get more info on the discounts and menus on offer here.
The Block Club Chicago is reporting on some good news from Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. The Austin Harvest food mart pop-up which launched on August 10 was formerly a liquor store transformed to a Fresh Food Market in an area considered a food desert part of the city. According to Block Club, The project which was funded by former Chicago Bears linebacker Sam Acho and other Chicago athletes, as well as By the Hand Kids Club, was brought to life by neighborhood teens who recognized the food scarcity in the area and decided to take matters into their own hands. The Austin Harvest food mart pop-up (423 N. Laramie Ave.) will run for 12 weeks. It will be open 3-6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Young West Siders, who started working on the pop-up after the protests for George Floyd in June, had their hands in every part of development, from designing the space to crafting a business plan to managing the pop-up.
Time Out Market Chicago announced plans to reopen starting August 26 with limited vendors for now. The 53,000 square-foot food hall in Chicago’s West Loop (916 W. Fulton Market Chicago 60607)
In the first phase of reopening, dubbed the Time Out Tastecation, eight concepts and chefs are returning including Arami, Chef Bill Kim, Chef Brian Fisher, Dos Urban Cantina, Duck Inn Dogs, Lost Larson, Mini Mott and Pretty Cool Ice Cream. The team announced precautions made to protect the health and safety of its employees and guests which includes newly-increased outdoor seating which spans 3,000 square feet with an extended first floor patio and rooftop bar, Plexiglass partitions at all eatery counters and bars and contactless ordering.
After a much publicized spat and a lawsuit that’s been subsequently dropped between the partners, The Delta restaurant in Wicker Park (1745 W. North Ave. Chicago 606 ) will reopen on Tuesday August 25. The revamp will will also feature an updated menu and an enclosed back patio area that can seat 30 with social distancing measure in place.
River Roast restaurant in River North off the Chicago River will host its 3rd Annual Seafood Boil. Guests can expect to see social distancing measures put in place with a limited number of tickets available to purchase and tables spaced out at least six feet apart. The $65 ticket per person will include Two (2) drinks per person, with the choice of New Orleans-style Hurricanes, beer, or wine, Oyster Shooter, Chopped Salad, Classic Seafood Boil featuring Andouille Sausage, Red Potatoes, and Sweet Corn, Hushpuppies, Seasonal Cobbler. You can get tickets here.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced on Tuesday that effective Wednesday August 26, patrons at restaurants and bars in Illinois must now wear masks when interacting with wait staff and other employees under new state health guidelines. This includes when wait staff takes orders, delivers food and beverages or serves tables in general. It applies to indoor and outdoor dining as well as any other facilities with food services areas like indoor recreational facilities, museums and entertainment venues.
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