Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category

New restaurants, including Bull & Bear, to open around River North.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on February 19, 2010

Bull & Bear owners, diner to open River North locations

By: Todd J. Behme Feb. 05, 2010

(Crain’s) — The owners of the popular Bull & Bear pub and a local diner plan to open new locations this year in River North.

The firm that owns the Bull & Bear and Stone Lotus, Twilight Traffic Control LLC, leased 12,000 square feet on the ground level and basement at 400 N. State St. for an upscale, “beer-centric” pub that’s to open in September, says Luke Stoioff, a partner with Twilight Traffic.

The new pub will have a different concept than Bull & Bear, a sports bar, and Stone Lotus, a nightclub.

The 10-year lease has several five-year extension options, Mr. Stoioff says. The location will be twice as large as the firm’s two other River North spots and have a little more expansive menu than Bull & Bear, 431 N. Wells St., serving contemporary American comfort food, he says. It also will have beer taps at the tables.

The 400 N. State building is now 80% leased, says Marc Bushala, the majority owner and managing partner of the group that bought it in 2008.

News of Twilight Traffic’s plans was reported last week by newsletter Marina City Online, which says Redfish closed in July 2008.

Separately, Clarke’s Restaurant signed a 15-year lease this week for 6,650 square feet at 343 W. Erie St., says Arthur Holmer, a managing principal of the building owner, Chicago-based real estate investment firm Wells Street Cos.

Clarke’s, whose “Oh my. You should eat” sign at the 930 W. Belmont Ave. location is well-known to CTA riders, is to occupy space vacated about a year and half ago by residential real estate brokerage Keller Williams Realty, Mr. Holmer says.

The new location will be the biggest for Clarke’s, whose three others are about 4,000 square feet, says Dan Moon of Moon LLC, who represented both sides in the lease. The River North site is targeted to open in mid-April, he says.

Both Clarke’s and Twilight Traffic’s have proven concepts, which should help them succeed even in today’s economy, says Jeremy Kudan, principal at Chicago-based brokerage Kudan Group Inc., which specializes in restaurants and was not involved in either deal.

High traffic and River North’s affluent demographics also give both “a huge chance at long-term success,” Mr. Kudan says in an e-mail.

In an e-mail statement, Clarke’s owner Tom Tsatas says River North “is a perfect location for our clientele and we are looking forward to becoming the local neighborhood restaurant for quality, inexpensive American fare.”

Read the full Crain’s Chicago Business article by clicking HERE!

Photo courtesy of Time Out Chicago

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Awesome barbecue at Smoque BBQ. Ribs, Brisket, Mac-n-Cheese, Cornbread, Ahhh!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 14, 2010

Soooo, the other day my friend and I had quite the Chicago food adventure.  First we paid our second visit to Smoque BBQ and then it was on to Mac-n-Cheese Pizza over at Ian’s Pizza.  But of course I’ve already posted about Ian’s so now it’s all about Smoque BBQ in Chicago’s Irving Park neighborhood.  Located at 3800 N. Pulaski Road, Smoque has been featured on tons of Chicago media outlets and even Diners Drive-in’s and Dives on Food Network.

When you’re walking up to Smoque, you can already smell the smokey goodness and when you get inside, it’s even better.  It’s totally no frills, you look up at a huge menu written in chalk, order up at the register, and then take a seat at one of the packed tables.

I ordered the Sliced Brisket Platter which comes with cole slaw and two sides (mac-n-cheese and fries) for $10.45.  My friend ordered the Sliced Brisket Platter and cole slaw with peach cobbler and cornbread for $10.45.  He also ordered an extra ‘taste’ of pulled pork for an additional $3.00.

I definitely recommend that everyone check out Smoque as soon as possible because you wont be disappointed.  The brisket was so tender and flavorful and their BBQ sauce isn’t your typical mass produced sauce.  Smoque is open every day of the week except for Mondays but definitely check out Smoque’s website for a menu and more! 

Smoque BBQ

Photos courtesy of the uncrate website.

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Epic Burger expanding to North Avenue! I LOVE Epic Burger!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 10, 2010

Ever been to Epic Burger’s original location in the South Loop/Printers Row neighborhood?  Well, Epic Burger, located at 517 S. State Street in the mega-dorm has become so successful that they’re planning on expanding to the North Avenue retail area at 1000 W. North Avenue

Epic Burger goes with the whole sustainable and going green route and their food is, for the most part, all natural.  Plus, Epic was pretty smart to open up their restaurant on the ground floor because I would think almost any good restaurant would do well when there’s a couple thousand hungry college kids around.

Chicago Gourmet Burger Brand Expands

[2009-12-18]   Epic Burger is set to open its second location in Spring 2010 at 1000 West North Avenue in the former Transitions Bookplace in Lincoln Park. The first location launched in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood in May 2008 and introduced Chicago to “a more mindful burger”.

In a time when authenticity and value is top of mind, Epic Burger offers its customers a better burger experience. The new location will introduce Lincoln Park customers to a mindful menu that features 100 percent all natural, never frozen, hand-packed beef and turkey burgers, all-natural chicken breasts and portabella mushroom sandwiches, all cooked fresh to order. Customers can also choose from unique flavor additions like: cage-free organic fried egg, nitrate free bacon, and all natural cheeses. Epic Burger buns are baked fresh daily and have no preservatives or artificial ingredients. Fries are made with fresh, hand cut potatoes cooked with zero trans fats and seasoned with pure sea salt. The menu also features shakes and smoothies made with all natural ice cream and fat free frozen yogurt….

Check out the full QSR Magazine article HERE!

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Photo courtesy of Epic Burger.

Posted in Food, News Articles, Printers Row, Restaurants, South Loop | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mac & Cheese Cheese Pizza at Ian’s Pizza by the Slice in the heart of Wrigleyville!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 8, 2010

Yes, you read right…mac & cheese pizza.  As weird as this sounds, thanks to a couple friends, I recently had the pleasure of eating a piece a month or so ago.  The pizza was forever engrained in my mind so the other day I was driving through Wrigleyville and I had to go back in to Ian’s Pizza by the Slice and get a slice of their mac & cheese pizza.

Ian’s Pizza by the Slice, located at 3463 N. Clark Street, offers a ton of different pizza’s and a lot of them aren’t the normal cheese and pepperoni.  This month’s special is a sloppy joe pizza which has the meat, pickles, french fries and more on top of it.  And as odd as that sounds, I bet it tastes awesome.  Check out Ian’s website for their pizza of the week special.  Each large specialty pizza slice is $3.75.

Mac & Cheese Pizza. Photo courtesy of Time Out Chicago

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