David Flom and Matty Moore (Chicago Cut Steakhouse, Ocean Cut) quietly closed regional comfort food spot the Local in January. After a slight remodeling of the dining room, the restaurant has reopened as Southern Cut Barbecue (198 E. Delaware Pl., Gold Coast), with Lee Ann Whippen (Chicago Q) as pit master.

The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group has made a splash by transforming ACME Hotel’s hot tub into Bunny Slope (15 E. Ohio St., River North), a retro, après-ski themed lounge for private bashes with up to 18 people. The ski lodge-esque space features cocktails from Christian Hetter (the Berkshire Room, Bodega) and yes, bathing suits meet dress code standards.

The urban-chic Lawrence House apartment building now also houses Larry’s (1020 W. Lawrence Ave., Uptown), a cocktail bar with a drink menu curated by Wade McElroy and Jeff Donahue (Sportsman’s Club, Estereo).


James Beard Award season is nigh, as we were reminded when the food foundation dropped its list of semifinalists today. Included in this first round of potential candidates are Oriole, Roister, and Smyth for Best New Restaurant; Tony Mantuano and Carrie Nahabedian for Outstanding Chef; and David Park of Hanbun and Jenner Tomaska of Next for Rising Star Chef. See the full list here.

You’ve got a few days left to enjoy a burger and a beer at Three Aces (1320 W. Taylor St., Little Italy), as chef Matt Troost’s seven-year-old restaurant will shutter on Sunday.