As Chicagoans collectively blinked, the city missed spring as sticky temperatures have already made its presence felt. The feeling is actually heartwarming as it is yet another sign of anything going normal with the restaurant industry and the rest of the world trying to recover from COVID-19. Spring has seen a full list of promising new restaurant debuts for 2021. Now the summer aims to keep the momentum going with the city and state lifting all pandemic restrictions starting Friday, June 11.
Below are some of Eater Chicago’s most anticipated restaurant openings for the summer. There’s a fun mix of postponed projects, new announcements, and even a revamp of a beloved fine-dining restaurant. Read on to see what Chicago can look forward to this summer.
The restaurants are listed in alphabetical order.
Address: 912 N. State Street, Gold Coast
Key actors: Matt Deichl, Phil Siudak, Miles Muslin, Jonathan Gillespie, Soo Ahn
Reservations are open with a start date of June 19 for Adalina, a decadent new Italian restaurant from a group of aspiring owners with ties to restaurants such as Gibsons and clubs like LiqrBox. The food is from Chef Soo Ahn, last seen with rave reviews at Band of Bohemia, the Michelin-starred brasserie that closed in 2020. Adalina has plenty of moving parts, hoping to combine a fun vibe with modern amenities. and an ambitious kitchen from Ahn and his team of collaborators.
Address: 1163 W. 18th Street, Pilsen
Key players: the Abu-Taleb family
The staff have been the Alderman’s Achilles heel, a chic cocktail bar inside Pilsen Yards, the neighborhood bar along 18th Street that opened last year and generated a lot of buzz for its decor and tacos. The Alderman is meant to be a more upscale place, offering Pilsen a bar with classic cocktails with modern touches. The alderman should open in early July.
Address: 1934 W. Chicago Avenue, Ukrainian Village
Key player: Zubair Mohajir
Aman’s goal is to redefine what Chicagoans think about Indian cuisine through the lens of chef Zubair Mohajir, a native of the Chicago area with South Indian roots. This is a BYO place serving mixed dishes such as a variation of the tandoori Mohajir fried chicken offered at these underground dinners, the Wazwan Supper Club. During the day, Wazwan’s casual offerings (halal burgers, fried chicken sandwiches) will continue to be available. Mohajir is stretching his legs at Rick Bayless’s Sotano Bar, where he’ll cook up an Indo-Mexican meal with bar chef Rishi Manoj Kumar. Look for a summer opening as construction delays have pushed back schedules.
Address: 1000 W. Armitage Avenue, Lincoln Park
Key actors: Brendan Sodikoff, Hogsalt Hospitality
In Lincoln Park, just south of DePaul University’s main campus, the owners of Au Cheval have taken over a corner in Armitage and Sheffield to open a gourmet pub. Hogsalt founder Brendan Sodikoff isn’t ready to share a menu for his new project, but he’s aiming for an August opening for a band that could use up some life.
Address: 4420, avenue S. Cottage Grove, Bronzeville
Key actors: Erik Williams, Cecilia Cuff, Anika Ellison
The south side of Chicago, especially black communities, doesn’t have a lot of options for sipping a nice glass of wine at a bar or restaurant. But the owner of the Silver Room, Hyde Park’s iconic store and which is de facto a community center supporting the black community, wants to change that. Erik Williams, along with town planner Cecila Cuff, and Anika Ellison formed a dream team to bring Bronzeville an ambitious wine bar and restaurant with a chef’s counter. The trio hope to spark a neighborhood revolution, build on their experiences and demonstrate that the black community is capable of supporting hospitality projects because the developers have a racist history of thinking otherwise. Ellison is a rare black woman with a sommelier’s pedigree. Cuff has worked in hotels and is keen to establish a strong, holistic culture in the way she nurtures workers. Williams brings his connections and love to his community. Expect an opening in July.
Address: 809 N. 2199 Road, Tonica
Key Actors: Chef Cleetus Friedman (Theater on the Lake, City Provisions)
This summer could be the perfect time to glamp as the public recovers from the pandemic. Venture to this 96-acre site in central Illinois for luxury camping with a seasoned chef in charge of the food. The ingredients are fresh from the farm with a touch of the chef de ville. Reservations are open for stays from August to October.
Address: 2220 N. Clark Street, Lincoln Park
Key actors: Jenner Tomaska, Katrina Bravo
Former Next Restaurant chef Jenner Tomaska has not revealed any clues about the cuisine or menu he will be serving at his restaurant, a joint effort with his wife – restaurant veteran and marketing expert Katrina Bravo. They are looking for employees and hopes to open in July. Here’s what we know: The main dining room seats 40 and will offer a tasting menu with drink pairings. There is a chef’s counter and a seating area. Esme wants to boost the arts and enlisted local artist Paul Octavious to help him. Expect a July opening with reservations opening soon.
Address: 4020, avenue N. Milwaukee, parc du Portage
Key actors: Bobby and Brooklyn Morelli
A creative sausage, the Hot Dog Box debuted last summer in a 400 square foot shipping container in Bronzeville’s Boxville Market, and quickly built up a passionate fan base with tenderloin dogs, from salmon and turkey topped with a sweet and savory garnish. and sauces. Today, founder Bobby Morelli, assisted by his 9-year-old daughter Brooklyn, works at an independent site in Portage Park. It plans to offer a menu that’s larger than the original box, as well as rotating seasonal options. Morelli is “optimistic” that it will be able to open by August 1, but says it won’t be later than September.
Address: 2200 N. California Avenue, Logan Square
Key Actors: Chef Christopher Thompson, Steve Lewis (Meadowlark Hospitality)
The long-awaited all-day restaurant and Lardon deli hot spot is finally about to debut in the former Township space on California and Palmer. Chef Christopher Thompson (Coda di Volpe) and co-owner Steve Lewis (Centennial Crafted Brewing) aim to highlight the joys of cold cuts – made on site – as well as coffee, craft beer, wine and cocktails. Future diners can also look forward to a selection of sandwiches and a dinner menu. Exposed brick and honeycomb floor tiles imbue the space with retro charm, and a 40-seat sidewalk patio is also in the works. Lardon is now aiming for an opening in July.
Address: 500 N. Clark Street, River North
Key players: José Andrés, ThinkFoodGroup
Announced in September 2019, Chicago’s first restaurant for DC-based celebrity chef José Andrés will soon open in the space where Naha has lived for years. Jaleo is the tapas restaurant with locations across America. Andrés is the famous Spanish chef and humanitarian. It’s a solid entry for Andrés as he has bigger plans for Chicago. A spokesperson said he expects an opening date in July with more openings to follow.
Address: 661 W. Walnut Street, West Loop
Key players: Cara and Noah Sandoval
Oriole was one of Chicago’s finest gourmet restaurants, a warm and welcoming space, something a little unusual for a genre that sometimes struggles to truly enjoy themselves. Oriole briefly offered a take-out barbecue during the pandemic, but chef Noah Sandoval mostly kept the kitchen closed (he took care of baking pies at Pizza Friendly Pizza in the Ukrainian village). The Sandovals took the time to empty their dining room and give the menu a makeover. When the restaurant reopens in July, diners will see a new ceiling covered with posters of rock bands in honor of Cara and Noah’s love for music.
Address: 400 N. State Street, River North
Key players: DineAmic Hospitality Group
It’s finally to the point where workers in downtown Chicago can try to figure out where to spend happy hour, and DineAmic will soon be renovating Public House, one of the city’s most trusted haunts. The conversion to the Radio Room is underway, and one of the design quirks is the installation of over 100,000 twinkling lights to transform the space. DineAmic wants to source ingredients for their pub menu in a more thoughtful way. One of the highlights are the Freestyle fries, crispy potato wedges with chopped chicken fingers, three cheeses, and a hot Nashville sauce. For cocktails, they burst Donnie Darko commit to Sparkle Motion, a drink made from edible glitter.
Address: Roosevelt Collection, 150 W. Roosevelt Road, South Loop
Key players: David Zhao, robotic servers
The robotic invasion will always happen, as X Pot, the Chicago location of a popular Chinese Vegas restaurant has released its most precise opening schedule since the project was announced in September 2019. Now the property looks at the end of August for when the restaurant, known for its experiential meals using art projected on the walls and ceiling (and robotic servers), finally arrives in Chicago inside the Roosevelt Collection development at South Loop.