As the restaurant scene slowly begins to bounce back from the darkest times, we still aren’t seeing a huge number of exciting restaurant openings. But that hasn’t put a dent in the creativity of the culinary community — it just means things look a little different. This month, that means pop-ups. There are a ton of exciting ones happening in Chicago right now, and here are a few of our favorite.
While our beloved Lost Lake has closed, this pop-up has come to town to fill the palm-tree-sized gap in our hearts. Sweet Liberty is based in South Beach, and they have brought their tropical vibes to Soho House, filling the ground floor bar with flowers, thatched umbrellas, trees, greenery, and everything else necessary to make you feel like summer has come. The pop-up has a drink menu guaranteed to lift your spirits (including cocktails like the Always Summer Negroni, made with gin, Lillet rosé, tiki bitters, strawberry glitter, and dried mango and a piña colada loaded with Jamaican coffee beans), and food is available from Soho House’s Paper Thin Pizza. You don’t need to be a member of Soho House to enjoy this pop-up; just come thirsty. The bar is open Tuesday to Saturday through February 12. 113–125 N. Green St., West Loop
Monday Coffee Co.
Continuing with the theme of “get some tropical vibes into your winter-blasted life,” head to Garfield Park Conservatory. Now, everyone should visit the city’s conservatories in the winter anyway, as they are a wonderful reminder that the whole world isn’t an ice-covered hellscape, but this one is particularly awesome in the month of February. Monday Coffee Company is hosting a pop-up Fridays to Sundays inside the conservatory’s Horticulture Hall. This Black-owned coffee company is serving espresso and pour overs, along with pastries, cookies, and kombucha. The pop-up runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the end of February. 300 N. Central Park Ave., East Garfield Park
There aren’t a ton of fine dining options in Old Irving Park, but until the end of March, you can check out Entre Sueños, the Baja-inspired pop-up from chef Stephen Sandoval. If you dined at Leña Brava before the pandemic, you’ve had Sandoval’s food previously, and now he’s running a 20-seat pop-up inside RLM Events & Design Studio. For $195, guests get small plates and shared entrees, beverage pairings, and a selection of seafood. Reservations are available on Tock. 4042 N. Pulaski Rd. Irving Park