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Three Big Chicago Restaurant Openings This Week

Including a high-profile steak house, more fried chicken, and kid-friendly eats in the ‘burbs from a well-known chef.

Chicken sandwich at LQ Chicken Shack   Photo: Neil Burger


Open now: The same crew who brought you RPM Italian—both Melman the elder and his kids RJ, Jerrod, and Molly; Bill and Giuliana Rancic; and chef Doug Psaltis—claim their new River North steak house, RPM Steak (66 W. Kinzie St., 312-284-4990), is going to be unlike any other steak house in the neighborhood. There will still be giant slabs of meat, though.

Wednesday, August 27: At 5 p.m., the latest entrant in the city’s burgeoning fried chicken field will be all crisped up and ready to go. LQ Chicken Shack (1856 W. North Ave., Bucktown, 773-772-5500), a takeout chicken window adjacent to the entrance of Lillie’s Q, will serve Charlie McKenna’s fried birds and Kool-Aid pickles.

Saturday, August 30: Paul Virant, he of Vie and Perennial Virant fame, is setting both the kids’ and grown-ups’ tables alike with his newest suburban spot, Vistro (112 S. Washington St., Hinsdale). The menu is made up of family-friendly dishes, from wood-fired pizzas to meat loaf.


It’s a long weekend. What better way to celebrate an extra day off work than by stuffing yourself silly at a hot-dog eating contest? Bangers & Lace’s (1670 W. Division St., Wicker Park, 773-252-6499) third annual feeding frenzy takes place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, and $25 gets you a t-shirt, beer, and unlimited hot dogs. (Apparently the record to beat is 27 franks in five minutes. No thanks.)

Bar Toma (110 E. Pearson St., Gold Coast, 312-266-3110) is going all in on beer—the restaurant has not only added 12 taps to their brew line-up but is now doing a beer mussels dish, with PEI mussels, pancetta, shallots, and a rotating craft beer base (this week’s is Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace, and next week will spotlight the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing.)

Just a couple of months after opening, the Boystown bars Whiskey Trust (3206 N. Halsted St., Lake View, 773-857-0493) and Chloe’s (3208 N. Halsted St.) are already undergoing a revamp. The spots that replaced Spin Nightclub are now being managed by the same team behind hot spots such as Hydrate and Elixir—look for changes to start up in September.


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