Chicago’s first all-vegan non-alcoholic beverage store and four restaurant and bar openings
Chicago’s renowned food scene is closer than ever to its pre-pandemic state. As of May 14, restaurants and bars in the city can operate at 75% of their capacity with at least six feet of space between tables, according to city guidelines. This is good news for many in the hospitality industry who are hoping for a profitable summer after more than a year of pandemic struggles.
There are other changes, too: The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says masks are no longer needed for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Gov. JB Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot have followed the CDC’s lead and lifted mask warrants, but stress that restaurant and bar owners have the right to require customers to wear face coverings. inside their business. Diners should remember that not everyone is vaccinated, including young children.
Here are some of the restaurants that have reopened their dining rooms, patios and take-out display cases. It will be updated periodically.
Do you know of a reopened restaurant? Send an email to [email protected] with the details so they can be included in the next update of this article.
Bucktown: Northern Thailand’s restaurant, Sweet Rice Asian Kitchen, is open for take-out, inside and out, in its new space near the Western Avenue Blue Line station, according to an Instagram post. Founded in 2016 by the owners of Sticky Rice in Lincoln Square, Sweet Rice relocated several times before having its own location in the old Langhe Market. It is also BYOB. Bucktown Sweet Rice, 1904 N. Western Avenue, open 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Chicago River Walk: Popular Nepalese snack bar Chiya Chai is expected to reopen its outpost along the Chicago Riverwalk on Monday, according to a representative. The original Logan Square cafe has developed a following with delicious chaat, savory pies and curry bowls, and arguably the best selection of South Asian chai in town. Chiya Chai is also set to open a new fast service point in the Loop. Chiya chai, 66 E. Wacker Drive, scheduled to open Monday, June 7.
Pulaski Park: Vaca’s Creamery, Chicago’s first all-vegan ice cream shop, debuted in late May with soft oatmeal ice cream. Partners Mariana Marinho and Dylan Sutcliff, formerly of famed vegan ice cream store Sweet Ritual Austin, Texas, present vanilla, chocolate and swirl mugs and cones; sundaes like Inner Child (strawberry sauce, confetti cookie dough, rainbow sprinkles); and handshakes (think blizzards) with mixes, including toasted mini marshmallows. Vaca’s dairy, 1436 W. Blackhawk Street, open 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Western city: Beauty Bar, the iconic nightclub closed by the pandemic for nearly 15 months, has finally reopened, according to Block Club Chicago. Guests shouldn’t expect the sweaty and crowded dance floor that once characterized the place: Managing partner Rene Romero tells reporters they should instead expect to be seated at tables, where they should remain while drinking. Beauty bar, 1444 W. Chicago Avenue, open 7 pm to 2 pm Sunday through Friday; 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday.
Evanston: Found Kitchen, the stylish suburban spot featuring food from James Beard Award-winning chef Debbie Gold (Tied House), has reopened for catering, according to a representative. Owner Amy Morton (daughter of Morton’s Steakhouse founder Arnie Morton) is also the founder of premier suburban steakhouse The Barn. Found Kitchen & Social House, 1631 Chicago Avenue in the suburb of Evanston, open 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
For a list of winter / spring 2021 openings, Click here.