Photo: Courtesy Doc B's Fresh Kitchen
• Wednesday, 9/18: Craig Bernstein’s spin on fast-casual dining opened this morning serving Bow Truss Coffee and farm fresh egg sandwiches. Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen (100 E. Walton St., 312-880-1475) offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch menus. Service options at this make-everyone-happy venture range from grab-and-go sandwiches to sit-down multicourse steak dinners, all with prices between $10 and $30.
• Thursday, 9/19: The second floor of J. Rocco Italian Table & Bar opens as J. Rocco, The Bar (749 N. Clark St., 312-475-0271). The concept is intended to offer a more laid-back vibe while still serving Italian-style food from chef Steve Chiappetti such as pizzas, paninis, and signature meatballs. Italian wines and microbrews round out the drink menu.
• Thursday, 9/19: With 100 taps including local craft brews as well as domestic and international favorites, Blackfinn Ameripub (65 W. Kinzie St., 312-836-0290) might just be the next favorite haunt of Chicago’s beer nerds. Food options include burgers and pasta, and a variety of gluten-free items. The restaurant’s staff also recommends its specialty cocktails, Tito’s Chi-Town Mule or Blackfinn Iced Tea, both available on tap. This is the first location for Blackfinn Ameripub in Chicago and it’s third in the U.S.
Fischman Liquors & Tavern (4780 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-545-0123) announced last spring that it would be expanding into a brewpub concept. Those plans have since changed, and the craft beer emporium is now focused on a food truck planned to launch in October. Owner Shanna Karamaniolas explains the decision:
“Rather than a kitchen, we have decided to try something a little different and put our kitchen on some big old (well new in this case) wheels, yep a food truck! We have decided to franchise with Aaron Crumbaugh from Wagyu Wagon, the truck will be called Fischmans Wagyu Wagon. We will be rotating two of Aaron's signature burgers on the menu.”
A wine and cocktail bar will take over the old Gaslight Bar and Grille space. Four Corners Tavern Group announced its plans for Trellis (2426 N. Racine Ave.), which combines upscale wine service with cocktails, craft beer, and food items such as flatbreads, charcuteries, fresh seafood, and steaks. Trellis is set to open in November, and Gaslight’s new location in Lincoln Park is scheduled for early 2014.
On Tuesday, Zocalo Restaurant and Tequila Bar (358 W. Ontario St., 312-302-9977) announced via Facebook that it is closing after seven years of service. The post assured fans that the restaurant’s management is still concentrating on their urban taquerias, Taco Joint, which have locations in River North and Lincoln Park.
It’s National Cheeseburger Day today. We ranked Chicago’s best burgers in August, if you needed a suggestion of where to celebrate.