Here are some recent restaurant/bar openings and closings.
Pizza Fusion – The “green” pizza chain opens up shop in Naperville. Everything in the place is environmentally friendly, from the LEED lighting to the hybrid delivery cars. Yeah, but is the pizza any good? We’ll get back to you on that.
44th Ward Dinner Party – The former Lakeview Broadcasting Company gets a makeover and a new grilled cheese-centric menu. You had us at “grilled cheese.”
The CrossRoads Bar & Grill – Southern food and country music rule at this West Loop resto/bar, which gets its name from a story about a young musician in Mississippi who sells his soul to the devil in order to become a famous guitarist. Normally we would use this space to make a culturally insensitive comment about how people from Mississippi are stupid and country music sucks, but we fear getting shunned by the blog community, so we’ll just move on.
Fuel Kitchen and Cocktail Lounge – We just don’t even know where to start with this place. Here’s what we know: The bar has a gas station theme, complete with pumps that pour your drinks. There’s a $10-grand espresso machine. They make smoothies. And they will even put booze in them. Sold! (Weird, but sold nonetheless.)
Hop Haus – A new incarnate of the River North sports bar/game meat burger café takes up residence in Rogers Park. Fans of kangaroo, ostrich and boar meat, take note: as at the original location, these will be served in mini-burger form only.
CLOSED (FOR GOOD):
Black Ram – The popular Des Plaines steakhouse closes its doors after 40 years in business. We blame Obama.
Old Country Buffet in the Forest Park Mall – Hey, we’re not judging you if you actually ate there. We’re just saying you can’t any more.
CLOSED (FOR NOW):
Club Lago – You know that chimney that exploded in River North last week and scattered debris all over the street? Yeah, it also crashed through the roof of this half-century-old Italian restaurant, leaving a big hole in the building. The estimate is 2-4 months for repairs. If you want to get updates on the place’s progress, you can follow them on Facebook by searching “disciples of Club Lago.” Thankfully, nobody was seriously hurt in the accident, and here’s hoping for a quick return to business for the Chicago staple.