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A Bayless Speakeasy Opens in River North and More Dining News

Plus: nominees for the Jean Banchet Awards and Honeygrow closures

Courtesy of Bar Sótano

Opening

There weren’t a ton of openings in the run-up to the holiday, but one worth noting that I covered last week: Bar Sótano (445 N. Clark St., River North), the new speakeasy from Rick Bayless, opens on Thursday (barring any last-minute disasters). Ride the freight elevator down from the alley behind Frontera Grill and grab some cocktails and bar snacks.

Morsels

The Jean Banchet Awards have announced this year’s nominees, and it’s a pretty impressive list. Acadia, Avec, George Trois, and Oriole are up for Best Restaurant, and the list of Best Chef nominees includes Paul Fehribach (Big Jones), Jason Hammel (Lula, Marisol), John Shields (Smyth, The Loyalist), and Josh Kulp and Christine Cikowski (Honey Butter Fried Chicken). The entire nominee list represents a pretty solid dining checklist for the year. The awards will be held on January 13.

Beef and Brandy, which has been in its downtown location for 51 years, is being forced to move because of a sale of the building that houses the restaurant. Block Club Chicago first reported the closure; no new location has been announced yet.

That didn’t last long. Less than a year after I reported that Honeygrow was opening a new concept called Minigrow, the fast-casual healthy chain announced that it will soon close this spin-off. But that’s not all — every single Honeygrow location in the Chicago area is shutting down. You have until November 16 to eat there, if you’re a big fan.

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