Yee-haw. The latest occupant of the Thalia Hall space (in addition to Dusek’s and Punch House), Tack Room (1227 W. 18th St., Pilsen), is now open. The piano bar with a Western twist is housed in what was once the building’s carriage house.
Empanadas for all (office workers in the Loop)! 5411 Empanadas (175 N. Franklin St., 312-877-5522) has added a fourth location to its lineup. Good news—they deliver, too.
Happy hour starts now in Illinois, as today Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law that allows establishments to offer time-restricted drink specials again (they'd been banned from doing so since 1989). There are a few parameters: no volume-based bargains (i.e., you won't be able to buy one beer and get one free), no more than four hours a day and fifteen hours a week, and no less than a week's notice of the deals. Read more from the Tribune.
A few tidbits on the menu at the Windsor (160 E. Huron St., Streeterville), as envisioned by 4 Star Restaurant Group corporate chef Todd Stein: The food’s going to be similar to the kind of stuff you can get at sister spot Crosby’s Kitchen in Lake View, but slightly more upscale. Look for rotisseried meats, smoked trout dip, and, for dessert, a bourbon-infused milkshake.
And now, an end-of-a-restaurant-era briefing: Longtime River North spot Cyrano’s Farm Kitchen (546 N. Wells St., 312-467-0546) will shut down at the end of August so owner Didier Durand can focus on other projects, per a Tribune report; the owners of Riverside Cafe (1656 W. Cortland St., Bucktown) have closed up their space after more than 30 years and sold it to the team behind Southport & Irving; and dessert-maker Sensational Bites (3751 N. Southport Ave., Lake View) will shutter for good on August 1 after 10 years in the sweets business.
Harold’s Chicken Shack (multiple area locations) has earned a national honor, albeit a bit of a dubious one. Food blog Serious Eats deemed the Chicago mini-empire the country’s best “bad fried chicken” in a post Tuesday. Author Max Falkowitz praised its over-the-top greasy independence thusly: “Bad fried chicken is the no-holds-barred, most direct route on the pursuit of pure pleasure, and in this regard, Harold's has no equal.”