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Recently in Avondale Category

Here are some recent Chicago restaurant (and bar) openings and closings.

Cumin -- Finally, Wicker Park gets an Indian restaurant!
Phoenix Inn -- The Evanston favorite has risen from the ashes to serve Chinese fare once again.
Seasons 52 -- Expect fresh grill fare and plenty of wine at the first area location of this nationwide chain.
El Llano -- The Colombian restaurant gets a second location in Irving Park/Avondale.
I Dream of Falafel -- Now you can get your falafel fix on Monroe.

Cookie Bar -- You can expect to get 18 varieties of cookies at this Lincoln Park bakery...starting tomorrow.

Tizi Melloul - We may have seen the last of the $3 martini.
Cuatro -- After faking us out a few months ago, the upscale Latin spot is now closing for good.
Baja Fresh -- Sorry, fish-taco lovers...the national chain is closing all its Illinois franchises.

Check back here every week for more openings and closings, and be sure to check out Centerstage Chicago's lists of new restaurants and bars.

Here are some recent Chicago restaurant (and bar) openings and closings.

Manee Thai -- The popular Thai spot rises from the ashes, returning to Avondale after a fire.
The Vault -- This "upperground lounge" above Vivo offers cocktails, personal pizzas and more in an old bank vault.
Blue Frog 22 -- Kick back and have some fun at this River North spinoff of the popular Blue Frog Bar & Grill that looks more like a basement rec room. Board games and karaoke rule this bar.
Sushi Para M -- The Sushi Para all-you-can-eat sushi empire moves into Bucktown with this new BYOB location on Milwaukee.
Deca Restaurant + Bar -- The Ritz-Carlton opened this new restaurant with brasserie-inspired cuisine.
Cloud 9 -- This Taiwanese "snow ice" spot in Lakeview serves what can be described as a mix between ice cream and shaved ice, with fresh fruit and fruit purees.

Tizi Melloul -- You've only got another week to get Middle Eastern fare in a modern environment, as this River North staple closes May 15.

Follia -- West Loop Italian spot had great food, but not enough crowds.
Bar Louie (Little Italy) -- Don't worry, there are plenty of other locations to visit in the area.
Paris Cafe -- The short-lived River North spot was replaced by the generically named Chicago Bar & Grill.

Check back here every week for more openings and closings, and be sure to check out Centerstage Chicago's lists of new restaurants and bars.


We have to give you credit, CTA. After all the ways you’ve screwed us over in 2009 (full buses passing us by, trains running express when we least expect it, the persistent odor of bodily fluids), you think you can make us forget all of it by offering penny rides on New Year’s Eve. And you know what? It just might work. Because instead of writing up a list of grievances, we’ve been busy brainstorming how to spend those cents between 8 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday. Here’s what we’ve come up with (not including all the New Year’s Eve events on the slate):

  • Hop on the Red Line and spend some time at the Jackson stop, where you’ll surely find a music performance in progress, whether it’s classical violin or jazz on electric guitar. Increase your enjoyment by stopping by Ceres Café for a drink with the traders first.
  • Take a ride over to the Chicago Blue Line stop to view the new installation from local artist Peter N. Gray. While you’re there, head above ground for a cocktail at the Matchbox and maybe a heart attack (the Three Little Piggies Sandwich) at the nearby Silver Palm.
  • Plan a Pink Line journey to 18th St, where the decorated station will have you in awe. Not only that, but perennial favorite Nuevo Leon is just a short walk away (and if you’re taking a ride on the tail end of the deal, Panaderia Nuevo Leon opens at 5:30 a.m.)
  • Pre-party with the Wildcat faithful at Tommy Nevin’s Pub in Evanston, off the Purple Line’s Dempster stop – the diehards have plenty to prepare for, as Northwestern plays its biggest football game in several years on New Year’s Day, against Auburn in the Outback Bowl at 11 a.m. (if you can’t bear to leave the city, try Lion Head Pub – by the Fullerton stop – or the brand-new Purple Haze, steps away from Belmont).
  • Ride the Brown Line out to Francisco, just so you can confirm it exists (seriously, it’s gotta be the least referenced stop on the North Side). The welcoming Montrose Saloon is a short jaunt south.
  • Go for a late, late dinner (or an early breakfast) at the 24-hour Huck Finn Donuts near the Pulaski stop on the Orange Line. We recommend the Donut Delight (topped with whipped cream and ice cream).
  • Brave the cold and take a walk to Promontory Point, near the Garfield Green Line stop in Hyde Park. It’s the perfect place to toast to 2010 (with non-alcoholic beverages, of course).

Got better ideas for how to take advantage of cheap public transit on New Year’s Eve? Let everyone know in the comments. And remember to check out Centerstage’s Virtual L to find the best spots near train stops year-round.

Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just opened: 33 Club
Jerry Kleiner's newest production comes to Old Town.

Off the Beaten Path: Tangerine
Contemporary breakfast fare in Naperville.

Weekly Treat: Girls Night at Aberdeen
Wicker Park place offers half-priced wine bottles and $6 salads tonight.

Man We're Crazy About: Square Bar & Grill
Avondale bar and grill proves it's hip to be square.

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just opened: 90 Miles Cuban
If you liked the original, you’ll love this Logan Square outpost.

Off the Beaten Path: Groucho's Bar & Grill
South Side neighborhood sports bar.

Weekly Treat: Get can-happy at Silver Cloud
Cans of beer are just $2 on Tuesdays at this Wicker Park hangout.

Man We're Crazy About: Square Bar & Grill
Avondale bar and grill proves it's hip to be square.

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.


The folks at LTH Forum are going ga-ga over the Swine Flu.

Calm down, germaphobes. The Swine Flu is actually the name of this month's featured burger at the uber-popular Kuma's Corner in Avondale. The special patty (pictured above, courtesy LTH) comes topped with fried tortilla strips, chorizo hash, roasted green chile, pico de gallo, fresh cilantro and a cream-based sauce.

If you thought the whole "epidemic" thing was scary, try navigating the crowds at Kuma's for a taste of this baby on a Friday night.


Ever walked by a mural on the side of a building and thought, "hey, that's cool"? (before the Mayor's Graffiti Blasters crew came and ruined it, of course). Chicago artist Revise CMW wants to bring out the graffiti artist inside every one of the people who signs up for his Street Art Class, which starts this Sunday (3-5 p.m.) at The Galaxie. For four weeks (April 26, May 3, May 10 and May 17), students will learn design, lettering, spray-can art, stenciling and more. The class is open to all ages, and costs $125, which includes all supplies except for a sketch pad and marker.

Enrollment is limited to 12 students, so sign up now. If you don't make it in, the next session begins May 31.

...And that day is today, says MenuPages. Not only does encased-meat emporium Hot Doug's re-open this afternoon following a short hiatus (better get in line now), but chef Philip Foss debuts his newly created, Chicago-inspired Lobster Dog (prompted by an MP blog post) during Lockwood's dinner service tonight. The creation includes diced lobster, scallop mousse, a saffron-ginger beurre blanc and...oh, just look at the picture.


3 Things We Love About ... Avondale

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1.  Living like Dean Martin with stiff pours and 50s kitsch at the Orbit Room.

2.  Cruising the Milwaukee Avenue strip of sausage shops in Jackowo, a k a the Polish Village.

3.  Getting cozy at Karaoke Tuesdays and Saturdays at Alice's Lounge. A dearth of seating requires you strike up a conversation with the guy next to you ("Buy me a drink?") or else get up and perform ("Make that a double.")

What are your favorite three things about Avondale?

Open and closed

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Here are some recent restaurant/bar openings and closings.


The Firkin & Pheasant – A sleek looking English bar on Diversey, right next to the also fairly new Counter. Set to open this week, it looks like a sports bar with a touch of class (and crappy British food).

Bull & Bear – The long-awaited “trader bar” on Wells and Hubbard opened last week and features personal tappers at select booths and a huge real-time ticker with market reports. Color us intrigued.

Klay Oven (Oak Park) – We’re assuming it will be the same quality Indian fare as the River North spot, only, you know, you have to drive to Oak Park to get it.

Bodhi Thai Bistro – They claim to be the only Thai restaurant in Berwyn. So they got that goin’ for them, which is nice.

Your Kitchen – A quaint little Avondale spot offers fully cooked takeout options or frozen meals you can take home and prepare yourself.

klayoven500.JPGWe can only hope Klay Oven in Oak Park is as good as the River North location.


Sports Corner – What was once a staple Cubs bar just steps from the Wrigley bleachers is now a big hole after the place was demolished right around the new year. Here’s hoping they can fill the void with an Irish bar and rooftop that charges hundreds of dollars to watch the game, because God knows the neighborhood could use more of those.

Huey’s Hotdogs – Speaking of things the city has too much of, you could probably put “hot dog” stands on that list.

Skewers – Meat on a stick for cheap. The concept just seems so simple … too simple, apparently, because the Lincoln Square spot is no more.

Moon Palace – The windows of this Chinatown spot are boarded up and signs say they are closed for renovations and will re-open soon. We’ll see …

Check back here every Tuesday with more openings and closings (and snarky comments, of course).

Daily Deal$: Friday

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Every day, we'll be alerting you to five great food and drink deals around town, courtesy of Centerstage Chicago's comprehensive database. In this economy, you need all the help you can get, right?

Orbit Room, 2959 N. California
$8 fish and chips, $4 Beamish

Drum & Monkey, 1435 W. Taylor
$4 drafts of Blue Moon, $3 SoCo Lime shots

Crew, 4804 N. Broadway
$3.50 pints of Goose Island Honkers, $2 cans of PBR, $9.50 fish tacos (with choice of side)

Lottie's Pub, 1925 W. Cortland
$4.50 sampler platter, $3.50 Corona

Black Duck Tavern, 1800 N. Halsted
$3 drafts of Goose Island beer

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Avondale category.

Avalon Park is the previous category.

Belmont Cragin is the next category.

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