Open now: Johnny Anderes (Telegraph) is back in the kitchen at the Kitchen (316 N. Clark St., River North, 312-836-1300), the first Chicago outpost of a Colorado-based restaurant group/non-profit.

Open now: This is not a hoax: Charlatan (1329 W. Chicago Ave., West Town, 312-818-2073), from the Three Aces crew, is ready to go as of tonight. Chef Matt Troost’s menu here is being described as “Italian countryside meets Midwest farm house,” which translates to ‘nduja arancini alongside a pig’s head for two.

Open now: Another spot in the “opening tonight” category is Shay (222 W. Ontario St., River North), a cocktail bar/post-dinner drinks spot/small bites restaurant/whatever else you need it to be from the team behind the nearby Cuvée.


In case you missed the (massive, whiskey-bottle-shattering) news last week, bigtime bartender and Chicago craft cocktail guru Charles Joly will be leaving the Aviary (955 N. Morgan St., West Loop) at the end of this month. Taking over for him at the Achatz empire’s bar will be Micah Melton, who started as the Aviary’s founding ice chef (yes, that’s a job) and has worked his way up ever since.

It’s been an anemic year for bar openings to begin with—do we really have to lose a longtime fave watering hole, too? Apparently we do, as SmallBar Division (2049 W. Division St., Wicker Park, 773-772-2727) announced on their website earlier this week that they’ll shut down and be sold off on November 13. (There’s a great conversation with owner Phil McFarland on why he decided to shut down the craft-beer haven over at Good Beer Hunting.)

If you're not yet totally pumpkin-ed out, Chez Moi (2100 N. Halsted St., Lincoln Park, 773-871-2100) can hook you up with a squash-intensive four-course dinner now through October 31. The $35 meal includes a pumpkin soup (served in an actual hollowed-out gourd), pumpkin ravioli, salmon with pumpkin purée, and, of course, a pumpkin crème brulée for dessert. Call the restaurant to make reservations.