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Chicago To Ban Indoor Bar Service + More Chicago Dining News Bites

Chicago To Ban Indoor Bar Service + More Chicago Dining News Bites

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 even if you are not comfortable dining in the restaurants. 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.


Gibson’s launches dedicated website

Photo credit: Gibson Group

Gibsons Restaurant Group in moving with the changing times, announced its new dedicated online retail store, where you can now order their high-quality 100% Australian Grassfed Beef and can have it shipped straight to your front door if you live in any of the lower 48 US states. sourced from the top 5% of all grassfed cattle produced in southeast Australia. Since its founding in 1989 by Steve Lombardo and Hugo Ralli, and with over 30 years experience Chicago’s iconic Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse on Rush Street has established itself as an expert in steak, earning multiple accolades along the way.  You can choose from a variety of high-quality steak options that have been wet-aged for a minimum of 75 day Gibsons including: 14 oz GGA NY Strip, 14 oz GGA Ribeye, 12 oz Bone-In Filet, ½lb Steakhouse Burgers, 1lb Ground Steak, and Gibsons Signature seasoning salt; the products offered include a la carte options or prepackaged into convenient variety boxes.  

Dine Together, Apart In Outdoor Dining Pods

Photo credit:

As the restaurant and bar community adapts to our new normal, Anheuser-Busch’s Stella Artois brand announced a new partnership with the West Central Association, the Illinois Restaurant Association and the City of Chicago in an effort to extend outdoor dining at some Chicago restaurants and provide an innovative outdoor dining solution. The campaign of enclosed dining pods themed, Dine Together, Apart, will run until late in November and will include Fulton Market District’s popular restaurants such as The Publican, Duck, Duck Goat, Beatrix, Kuma’s Corner, and Gus’s Fried Chicken. Starting October 16, Dine Together, Apart invites Chicagoans to dine alfresco together comfortably and safely well into colder months with domes and greenhouse-like pods spanning the popular dining neighborhood. The pods will surround a chalk street mural designed by famed artist Shepard Fairey’s Studio Number One to bring an artful approach to social distancing and collective-yet-safe dining. Originally commissioned by Stella Artois to encourage social distancing in East London, the 3,840 sq ft mural will be reimagined with Chicago-based artists. To further help restaurants nationwide, a portion of proceeds from all Stella Artois purchased on premise will go to the James Beard Foundation to support industry relief efforts across the U.S. during these challenging times. Through this partnership with the Illinois Restaurant Association, Stella Artois is also making a contribution to the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (IRAEF) Restaurant Employee Relief Fund which provides one-time grants to restaurant industry workers, providing direct, critical relief to industry workers facing financial crisis as a result of COVID-19.”

Fat Miilk Chicago Opens & Launches Pop-Up.

Fat Miilk Coffee, a direct trade Vietnamese coffee company that sources its beans directly from family-owned farms in Buôn Ma Thuột, Đắk Lắk, Vietnam has now launched with plans for several pop-ups in the Chicago area to come. Fat Miilk strives to be a brand that pays respect to the rich culture and bold flavors of Vietnamese coffee. Its poised to be one of the new cool coffee brands in town with ownership including co-owners Lan Ho and Tuan Huynh, Seoul Taco Chef/Owner David Choi and Corey Gilkey, CEO of Leaders 1354. Fat Miilk’s coffee – available ground or as whole beans – can be purchased online at

Madame Zuzu’s Teashop Re-Opens in Highland Park

Photo courtesy: Madame Zuzu’s

Grammy winning The Smashing Pumpkins founder Billy Corgan and his partner faux fur fashion brand Maison Atia’s founder Chloe Mendel are back to relaunch Madame ZuZu’s, a local plant-based teashop now open in Highland Park (1876 First Street, Highland Park, 60035). If you’ll remember, Madame Zuzu’s actually opened back in 2012 but went on a short hiatus in 2018. Now its back in a new, larger, Art Deco space reminiscent of a 1930’s tea salon. Madame ZuZu’s will serve affordable yet epicurean plant-based comfort foods, will also serve as a cultural hub, allowing for the expression of new creative opportunities including live broadcasting and musical performances. The Rare Tea Cellar has partnered with Madame ZuZu’s to offer a variety of carefully sourced and locally blended teas from farms all around the world, resulting in some of the finest and rarest teas available on the planet. With Halloween coming up, they are also offering some seasonal selections of plant-based foods and homemade vegan sweets like an Apple Cider Sangria, Double Chocolate Brownie Cups, Green Goblin Matcha Rice Crispies and Classic Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf.

Upton’s Naturals Launches Liberation Donuts

Vegan food company Upton’s Naturals (2054 W. Grand Ave.) is launching in West Town Liberation Donuts, a radically vegan donut shop bringing the freshest, highest quality, and ridiculously delicious fried cake donuts to town. Located inside Upton’s Breakroom restaurant, customers will have choice of twelve daily flavors such as strawberry tahini “Resistance,” chocolate nib “Bolt Cutter,” to cherry rosemary “Compassion” and Pineapple Brûlée “Sanctuary,”flavors all made on-site and named after the team’s favorite animals and/or animal liberation philosophies, to choose from and they will be available from 11am to 7:30pm or until sold out.

Jake Melnick’s Cocktails to Go

Photo: courtesy

Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap is now offering Cocktails to Go for carryout or delivery. Jake Melnick’s Cocktails to Go are sold by the bottle ($22/bottle) and contain 2 cocktails in each. Cocktails available to go include: Boulevardier (Old Forester 100 Proof Rye, Luxardo Bitter Liqueur, & Cocchi di Torino Sweet Vermouth); Manhattan (Old Forester Signature, Cocchi di Torino Sweet Vermouth, & Bittercube Bitters); Margarita (Corazon Tequila, Lime Juice, Triple Sec, & Agave Nectar); Negroni (CH Gin, Lizardo Bitter Liquor, & Cocchi di Torino Sweet Vermouth) Old Fashioned (Jack Daniel’s Rye, Simply Syrup, & Bittercube Bitters).

Chicago’s Indoor Bar Ban and 10PM Curfew

As a second wave of the coronavirus picks up in Chicago with rapid rise in cases and hospitalizations, the city’s top officials announced a slew of restrictions on restaurants and bars set to take effect starting Friday October 23. Bars that do not have retail food licenses meaning they do not serve food to customers, will no longer be able to serve customers inside and restaurants as well as non-essential businesses must close their dining rooms at 10 p.m. Non-essential businesses excluding, pharmacies, hospitals, grocery stores, must remain closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Mayor Lori Lightfoot made the announcement Thursday as Chicago’s Covid19 rates climb at a somewhat alarming rate and days after Illinois Governor J.B Pritzker instituted indoor dining restrictions on several western and southern suburb restaurants. All Chicagoans are being asked to avoid social gatherings of more than six people and end all social gatherings by 10:00 p.m. These Chicago targeted restrictions will be in effect for at least two weeks beginning Friday, October 23rd at 6:00 am to manage second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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