Open now: Evanstonians can now get a taste of Wicker Park in their own backyard, as the second location of that neighborhood’s Bangers & Lace (810 Grove St., 847-905-0854) set up shop in the ’burbs earlier this week. The big attractions here: plenty of beer and sausage, a larger dining room, and an all-vinyl soundtrack.


New Year’s Eve might be a good time for one last drink at the neighborhood pub Cullen’s Bar and Grill (3741 N. Southport Ave., Lake View, 773-975-0600) or sprawling, clubby Castle (632 N. Dearborn St., River North, 312-266-1944), both of which will shutter after the start of 2015. Castle’s party is ticketed, and said tickets are selling fast (get them here), but Cullen’s is cover-free.

Cooking show aficionados, you’ve got a new local hero: Per DNAInfo, nine-year-old Canaryville resident Phillip Vazzana will be competing on the upcoming season of Fox’s ‘MasterChef Junior,’ where his cooking will be critiqued by judges including Gordon Ramsay and Graham Elliot. The show starts at 7 p.m. on January 6.