Here are some recent restaurant/bar openings and closings.
Lunch Rolls – At this Loop spot that replaced Spa Café, they’re not called “sandwiches,” they’re called “rolls.” And you eat them for lunch. From what we gather, it’s pretty much an upscale Subway. Which means it’s got at least two things going for it: It’s a lunch spot in the Loop, and It’s not Subway.
Via Ventuno – The former Room 21 in the South Loop is now Via Ventuno, which means “street 21” in Italian (or something like that). There wasn’t too much wrong with the original, so here’s hoping they don’t change much.
Brasserie’s Market – Adjacent to Old Town Brasserie, this offshoot café is more for takeout, but still carries many of the same favorites as the popular French brasserie. This also falls under the category of “you’ve got a good thing; don’t F it up.”
Taxim – Are there really no Greek restaurants in all of Wicker Park? That appears to be the case, until this place (pronounced Tax-SHEEM) comes along (soft launch tomorrow with prixe fixe menu options to start, along with a full menu and rooftop deck coming this summer). The authentic Greek/Mediterranean menu items like lamb eggplant and zucchini stuffed with goat get us excited, until we recall that the last time we were in Greece, we ate gyros and Greek salads 90 percent of the time and really couldn’t have been happier.
Big Bite Gyros at 2901 N. Kedzie – Coming soon is Capirucha, a Mexican place. Let’s see, a gyros place closes to make way for a cheap Mexican place, and amazingly the Chicago culinary world keeps on turning.
Madame Tartine – This poor French bistro barely got off Centerstage’s list of new restaurants before closing. We blame Sarkozy.
La Brochette – Apparently the market for Moroccan food in Wicker Park isn’t what it once was. Who knew?
Harry’s Hot Dogs – If you haven’t been to this iconic Loop corner hot dog stand, make sure you stop by before the place closes for good (any day now). Harry has been around for more than a century, and it feels like his place has too. Harry’s closing is a sad day for Chicago, indeed.