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A Bunch of New Places to Eat and Drink Are Coming This Week

The Lao 18 and Spin spaces reopen, Café Crème comes to Bucktown, a brunch place makes dinner plans, and a dinner place has brunch plans.

The pastry case at Café Creme   Photo: LM Restaurant Group

Openings

Open now: On the heels of the departure of Troquet in Ravenswood, the LM Restaurant Group opened their newest project, Café Crème (1721 N. Damen Ave., Bucktown, 773-342-6000), in the former home of Grass Fed. The menu features casual lunch-friendly fare, like panzanella salad and a brie sandwich with an apple-and-pear compote.

Open now: The South Loop now has a craft beer haven in First Draft (649 S. Clark St., 312-461-1062), with bar food and 64 brews on tap. 

Thursday, June 19: The Boystown nightclub Spin has been shuttered since Memorial Day weekend—but the space didn’t stay empty for long, as new tenants Whiskey Trust (a craft distillery with bar bites at 3206 N. Halsted St.) and Chloe’s (a nightclub next door at 3208) are ready to open this week.

Friday, June 20: The Lao 18 space is empty no more. Henry’s Swing Club (18 W. Hubbard St., River North, 312-955-8018), a bar from the DMK Restaurants crew, will have a whole slew of drink options (from frozen cocktails to Champagne) plus a massive selection of sliders. 

Morsels

The final night of service at Henri (18 S. Michigan Ave., Loop, 312-578-0763) before it transforms into 10/6 fast approaches. Sunday is your last chance to grab a meal at Billy Lawless’s French spot prior to its reinvention as a more relaxed, Italian joint.

Table, Donkey and Stick (2728 W. Armitage Ave., Logan Square, 773-486-8525) decided dinner was no longer enough, and over the weekend, the charcuterie-friendly dining room added a brunch menu that includes a dish called Bacon Steak.

And brunch spot 2 Sparrows (553 W. Diversey Ave., Lincoln Park, 773-234-2320) has decided to do the opposite—later this summer, they’ll close for some renovations and, when they reopen, they’ll add dinner service to their slate.

In celebration of the opening of Moody Tongue Brewery in Pilsen, the beermakers will be pairing up with chefs such as Jared Wentworth (Dusek’s) and Jason Hammel (Nightwood) for a food-and-drink fest at Thalia Hall (1807 S. Allport St., Pilsen). Tickets are $25. 

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