River North party people have a new place to karaoke at Mom’s Place (650 N. Dearborn St.), a bi-level bar that took over the storefront recently vacated by the Joynt.

If that's not your jam, there's also a new River North place to play spy, thanks to Safehouse (60 E. Ontario St.). The interactive spy experience and restaurant, which has been a Milwaukee fixture for nearly half a century, expands operations to Chicago when it opens this evening. Once you locate the subterranean door and gain entry (either via password or by performing a potentially embarrassing “mission”), expect a highly themed bar serving up classic American food (yes, cheese curds), plus cocktails, beer, and wine.

Just when you thought you’d seen the Chipotle-style assembly line applied to every last type of cuisine, in comes the Polenta Bar (1002 W. Lake St., West Loop), where the customizable cornmeal-based creations feature eight sauces and an evolving roster of veggies.


Considering the garbage weather we’re currently experiencing, the idea of drinking wine under a temperature-controlled dome along the river sounds pretty enticing. You can do just that at the City Winery location along the Riverwalk starting March 17 through April 30. Starting at $100 per person for a group of six, you’ll get 90 minutes of private dome time, plus your own personal carafe of wine and a cheese and charcuterie board. You can reserve your slot here.