Not quite a new spot, but a rebranding: Dutch & Docs (3600 N. Clark St., Wrigleyville) — the huge, lavish Boka Group spot across from Wrigley Field — is going to be replaced with a version of Swift & Sons, the steakhouse from the same restaurant group. The new version is called Swift & Sons Tavern and Oyster Bar, and it will be less formal and (presumably) less expensive. Dutch & Docs was pretty but seemed to have an identity problem — having eaten there more than once, I couldn’t easily describe it to you, aside from saying it served decent food near a stadium.
A sad loss for Chicago food culture: Gonnella Baking, whose iconic, now-demolished bakery on West Chicago Avenue once supplied all of Wrigley Field’s buns, is halting all fresh bread production and shifting entirely to making frozen dough. This follows their move out to the burbs a few years ago. I can imagine that delivery costs and logistics became difficult after that move, and inventory management is easier with frozen dough, but not seeing those trucks around town is disappointing. If you’re interested in what’s gone by, check out a profile I did on their old factory back in the day.
Arbor is now down for the count. This restaurant never got quite as much attention as it deserved, but among those in the know, it was a go-to for great breakfasts and, when they had the right chef, for evening tasting menus. Former Chicago dining overlord Carrie Schedler remarked on Twitter that Arbor “was too pure for this world and I will miss it dearly,” which is about as good an epitaph as I could come up with.
Enough bad news — how about some great boozy news? You can go out to drink even earlier on Sunday mornings! The Chicago City Council has passed an ordinance allowing alcohol service at 9 a.m., two hours earlier than the current law.
Want to be a glutton? Head to Furious Spoon (multiple locations, furiousramen.com), which is running an all-you-can-eat ramen promotion for the month of March. For $18, you can get bottomless bowls of five of their signature ramen bowls. I’m not sure I could eat more than one bowl of ramen, but if you’re more of a marathon eater than I am, this is a bargain.
Chef Andrew Brochu, who earned great acclaim at Roister, is getting ready to open his new place, Brochu’s. In the meantime, he’s doing a pop-up at the Loyalist (177 N. Ada St., West Town) on March 9, when he will take over the entire menu to serve dishes from his new restaurant, including fried chicken (of course), pimento cheese with Calabrian pepper giardiniera, and crab and tofu dip served with potato chips. Reservations are going fast.