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As if Hopleaf weren’t stellar enough, now there’s more—a third more—to love about the 20-year-old Belgian beauty, courtesy of a new expansion into an adjacent storefront. The sun-drenched space boasts 113 seats, a handsome bar, and an open kitchen—five times the size of the former one—where an energetic bandanna-clad team churns out skin-on frites and decadent Montreal brisket as diners look on. Oh, you’re there for the beer? Well, it’s even more plentiful now, thanks to 20 new draft lines; the offerings rotate daily and flow forth in a staggering array of options, from Belgians such as the aromatic d’Achouffe Houblon Chouffe to the aggressively hopped Founders Devil Dancer. If all that doesn’t inspire you to sing the praises of the gigantic Hopleaf 2.0, maybe this will: On a recent Friday, there were still seats available at 7 p.m. 5148 N. Clark St., 773-334-9851.
Photography: Anna Knott