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Spring is officially in the air which means fun April openings and events are filling up the calendar! Enjoy the sunshine and our slow progression back to normalcy with these happenings: 

April 1

  • Mesa Urbana Opens in Lincoln Park

Mesa Urbana is opening Thursday, April 1 at 4:30pm offering their signature Mexican-fusion dishes with beer, wine and seasonal cocktails to pair.

Mesa Urbana is opening in Chicago at 1935 N. Lincoln Park West. After this week, they will be open for dinner Wednesdays through Sundays starting at 4:30pm. 

As soon as the weather permits, the outdoor patio will be available with seating to welcome more than 100 people.

Mesa Urbana is owned by brothers Ash, Billy and Moe Taleb and will be bringing modern takes on Mexican cuisine and craft cocktails to the area. You can make reservations using Open Table or by calling 773-312-7040.

  • Rye Deli + Drink and Daisies New Hours of Operation

- Rye Deli + Drink introduces #RyeAfterHours and is now open until 8pm on both Thursday and Friday. Transitioning from a breakfast and lunch spot to a dinner and drinks experience at night, #RyeAfterHours features a wide selection of fun cocktails and other beverages that pair nicely with its dinner dishes.

Additionally, they will still be offering their Passover special, “Party at your Mamma’s House”. For $149, the kit includes: One Briefcase Record Player, one Rolling Stones “Let it Bleed” Record, Two Matzo Ball Soups and One WAP Mimosa Kit. The whole kit is available now on Tock and will continue after Easter.

- Daisies is extending their in-person dining hours to 5 days per week. Wednesday-Sunday hours: 

  • Daily Market: Open at 10am
  • Lunch: 11am-2pm
  • Dinner: 5pm-10pm
  • Sunday Market with Vendors: 10am-2pm
Mesa Urbana Salmon Al Carbon Photo
Mesa Urbana is opening Thursday, April 1 at 4:30pm offering their signature Mexican-fusion dishes (like this Salmon Al Carbon) with beer, wine and seasonal cocktails to pair! (Photo courtesy of Mesa Urbana)

April 4th

Be sure to check out our Easter weekend round up for special dining options around the city! 

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This Easter Cupcakes 4-pack, from Sugargoat, includes the following festive flavors: Carrot Cake, Chocolate, Citrus with House-Made Peep, Graham Cracker (Photo courtesy of Sugargoat)

April 7th

  • “FEED ME” is Back at Daisies Plus New Market and Lunch Items

This specialized tasting menu includes an assortment of dishes from the regular menu (vegetarian available), including: a bar snack, a few seasonal starters, four or five pastas, dessert and a fruit bar. With FEED ME, guests can limit their exposure to restaurant staff for a COVID-19-safe dining experience. 

Additionally, Daisies has new market and lunch items. See below for details on a few of the new spring options and then shop the market here

- Cubano Sandwich - $15

  • This new lunch item is loaded up with Catalpa Ham, Pork Confit, House Pickles and Griddled Ciabatta. 

- San Gabriel Ranch

  • Help save this Valley Center, California farm by supporting its amazing citrus now carried at Daisies Market. Including: Mandarin Oranges, Navel Oranges, Limes, Lemons, Ruby Red Grapefruit and Pomelo

- Four Star Sausage

  • Now carrying the brand’s all-natural, gluten free, nitrate-free, chef-crafted sausages from Elk Grove, Illinois: Uncured Beef Hotdogs & Jalapeño Cheddar Brats
Cubano Sandwich
The new Cubano Sandwich at Daisies is loaded up with Catalpa Ham, Pork Confit, House Pickles and Griddled Ciabatta. (Photo courtesy of Daisies)

April 8th

  • PiniPico Celebrates National Empanada Day

PiniPico Brazilian Café, located in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, will kick-off National Empanada Day on Thursday, April 8 by offering a buy two, get one free mini empanadas ($5 for three) deal. Mini versions of the café’s signature Brazilian street food (regularly $4 for a full-size pastry) will be offered through Saturday, April 10 while supplies last. Customers may customize their mini empanada sampler of three and choose from fillings including beef, chicken, spinach and feta, breakfast bacon and egg and breakfast ham and egg. 

Empanadas—crescent-shaped, savory pastries made of dough and filled with a variety of ingredients—are a staple in PiniPico Founder Dr. Luciano Dias’ beloved Brazilian culture. 

  • Grapes and Grains Passes The Mic Over To Local Singers for Open Mic Night

Located in the West Loop, Grapes and Grains takes you back to old school Chicago with exposed brick, vintage chandeliers, chesterfield couches, and lighting. Grapes and Grains is encouraging all local singers to showcase their talents with an open mic night. While watching the performances, diners can order bites such as Beef Carpaccio, Charcuterie and Cheese Boards, Saganaki, and more. Grapes and Grains also offers  a variety of house crafted cocktails including the “PS I Love You” which includes brown butter cognac, pumpkin spice syrup, citrus, and is topped with egg white. 

On April 8th, Grapes and Grains is inviting all local singers back to the stage to showcase their talent. For those who share their music selections in advance, Grapes and Grains will provide a piano player. All inquiries will require a short audition video. After being approved, singers can book a 30-minute time-slot and have their time to shine. Additionally, Grapes and Grains is happy to offer reserved seating for up to 6 members of the performers’ friends and family.

To apply, send an introduction email and short audition video to rsvp@ggwestloop.com for the team to review. 

  • Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Teams Up With Dolly Parton For Limited-Time Flavor

Strawberry Pretzel Pie is Jeni’s ode to the Queen of Country and a throwback to the triple-decker pie from the potlucks of our youths. Layers of salty pretzel streusel, sweet and tangy cream cheese ice cream, and lipstick red strawberry sauce.  

Strawberry Pretzel Pie will be available by the scoop or pint in scoop shops (at open) and online for nationwide delivery (at noon ET) beginning 4/8. 

This flavor will benefit Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a book gifting program that gives free books to children from birth to age five. 

More details around purchasing and availability:

  • Get to your neighborhood scoop shop early (before open) or buy it online at noon the day it drops (4/8). 

  • There is a limit of two pints per purchase in-store and online and the flavor is not available for delivery or pickup via the Jeni’s app.

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PiniPico Brazilian Café, located in the Gold Coast neighborhood, will kick-off National Empanada Day by offering a buy two, get one free mini empanadas ($5 for three) deal. (Photo courtesy of PiniPico Brazilian Cafe)

April 9th

  • The Loyalist Reopens Dining Room and Now Accepting Reservations

Starting Friday, April 9, The Loyalist in West Loop is reopening their dining room to guests for the first time since the last indoor dining closure last year.

Guests can order from The Loyalist’s a la carte menu Thursdays through Sundays -- reservations for parties of 2 to 4 are available on Tock. Inspired by Paris brasseries, the menu is casual French and food that Chef Shields has looked to offer since opening. The Loyalist’s cheeseburgers are still available: including The Loyalist Original (aka. “The Dirty Burg”) and The Loyalist Classic. Additionally, The Loyalist is offering spring ingredients on their menu. Guests can choose from Asperges Blanches, featuring poached white asparagus, marjoram, and sea lettuce hollandaise. Also, guests can indulge within Moules Frites served with salt cod milk and spring onion oil. 

As the weather warms up in Chicago, The Loyalist will also be opening a seasonal sidewalk patio on Ada Street in the near future. 

Chef John Shields also opened his two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Smyth, upstairs in March, offering a tasting menu experience. The Smyth experience will also be available on the patio as soon as weather allows.

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Starting Friday, April 9, The Loyalist in West Loop is reopening their dining room to guests for the first time since the last indoor dining closure last year. (Photo courtesy of The Loyalist)

April 10th

  • Chicago's MONEYGUN is Back With a Bigger Space + More Updates

MONEYGUN has been slingin’ drinks and serving up bar snacks for the past five years and counting. This classic cocktail joint operated by 16” on Center hospitality group acknowledges itself as “just a bar”. Now in 2021, MONEYGUN is returning on Saturday, April 10th with a little extra room for more nights out in its neon-light setting. Expect the same old down-and-dirty MONEYGUN you know, but now with 1,100 square feet more space to spread out in, more cocktails by Beverage Director Donavan Mitchem, more eats, and more surprises. That’s not all, adjacent backyard party spot Saint Lou’s will soon re-open for the season with a new summer menu, and the same outdoor vibes. 

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MONEYGUN is returning on Saturday, April 10th with a little extra room for more nights out in its neon-light setting. (Photo courtesy of Sandy Noto)

April 14th

  • South Korean Black Day at Perilla: Korean American Fare

“Black Day” is an unofficial holiday observed by singles in South Korea, who on April 14 commiserate together dressed in all-black and drown their sorrows in jjajangmyeon, or JJ Noodles, a dish of thick wheat noodles covered in a black bean paste sauce with pork and vegetables, and plentiful beer and soju.

Wednesday, April 14, at Perilla: Korean American Fare (401 N. Milwaukee, Chicago), guests can celebrate the holiday together (or alone) with a special offering of the restaurant’s JJ Noodles paired with a Hite beer and shot of Jinro Soju for just $14. 

In South Korea, Black Day is preceded by Valentine’s Day on February 14, where it’s traditional for women give presents to men, usually chocolate, and “White Day” on March 14, in which men give presents to women.

  • Coco Pazzo Cafe Reopening

Coco Pazzo Cafe has announced the restaurant’s reopening on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. The outdoor street level cafe also will be open for al fresco dining, weather permitting. (Note: The outdoor patio at Coco Pazzo, 300 West Hubbard, is open as well, in addition to inside seating.)

Coco Pazzo Cafe will offer a new menu featuring an expanded selection of “small plates” for sampling as well as classic antipasti. Seasonal starters on the new menu include such selections as Buffalo Mozzarella with caponata and pesto, Taleggio filled arancini with lemon-garlic aioli, tender grilled octopus with potatoes, olives, tomato and arugula and PEI mussels steeped in saffron broth with andouille sausage. Diners can sip and savor a variety of new cocktails including a sgropino al limone with prosecco, vodka and lemon sorbet.

Diners can order the daily baked focaccia as well as other items at Coco Pazzo Cafe including Spaghetti ‘AOP’, Rigatoni ‘Buttera’ with sausage, peas, tomato and Parmesan and a selection of fresh pizzas including the classic Margherita and the Diavola with spicy salami, tomato and mozzarella.

  • Uvae Kitchen and Wine Bar April Wine Tastings Begin

Uvae Kitchen and Wine Bar in Andersonville has unveiled their April wine tasting schedule with tastings every Wednesday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m. now through April 30. The tastings will only be available to attend virtually at this time.

The tasting is $30 per person and features 4 four-ounce pours, interactive Zoom tasting led by Uvae Sommeliers and guest wine makers along with a PowerPoint presentation and tasting sheet. Small bite add-ons include a Cheese Plate ($15), Cheese & Charcuterie Plate ($20) and Duck Pâté ($12). For more information and to register, visit http://uvaechicago.com/home/virtual-wine-tastings/. Upcoming schedule is as follow: 

Wednesday at 5 p.m.

4/14: Vertical Tempranillo

4/21: Explore Sake with Dila

4/28: Rosé All Day Part 1

Saturday at 3 p.m.

4/17: Floral Wines

Black Day Noodlesat Perilla2
JJ Noodles, a dish of thick wheat noodles covered in a black bean paste sauce with pork and vegetables, and plentiful beer and soju. (Photo courtesy of Perilla: Korean American Fare)

April 16th

  • Cubbington's Cabinet Welcomes Spring with CBD-Infused Popsicles for Adults and Pup-Cups for Dogs

Cubbington’s Cabinet is celebrating spring with its new line of CBD-infused popsicles for adults and “Pup Cups” for dogs. The frozen treats will be available beginning Friday, April 16 with a special “Popsicles on the Patio for PAWS” fundraising event for PAWS Chicago. The event runs Friday through Sunday, April 16-18, on the outdoor patio of Cubbington’s Cabinet at 2015 W. Roscoe St.  

Crafted in small batches using fresh ingredients, frozen treats with CBD are made using D.I.Y. Mixologist by Cubbington’s Cabinet, a high-absorption form of CBD specially made to maximize bioavailability. April’s popsicle menu includes: 

  • Coconut Cream, a concoction of organic cream, coconut, and CBD ($7 each) 
  • Strawberry Cream, a dreamy treat of organic cream, fresh organic strawberries, and CBD ($7 each) 
  • Simply Strawberry, a non-CBD offering made with fresh organic strawberries ($4.50 each) 

Furry friends can also join in on the fun with P’nut Butter & Banana “Pup Cups”. These frozen treats are made with organic Greek yogurt and garnished with house-made dog treats. “Pup Cups” are available with CBD ($5 each) and without CBD ($4 each). 

“Popsicles on the Patio for PAWS” is Friday, April 16 from 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, April 17 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; and Sunday, April 18 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. During the event, donations will be accepted, and 50 percent of frozen treat sales will go to PAWS Chicago, a Chicago-based shelter dedicated to building No-Kill communities, ending the overpopulation of homeless animals, and transforming animal welfare by setting higher standards for how animals are treated.   

Well-behaved, leashed dogs and children accompanied by an adult are welcome at the event. CBD-infused products may be consumed by adults aged 18 or older. Cubbington’s Cabinet requests all attendees respect social distancing standards and wear a mask when not eating their popsicle.   

Popsicles and “Pup Cups” will be available throughout the spring and summer with a rotating menu based on seasonal ingredients. Frozen treats can be purchased using a credit card on the back patio at Cubbington’s Cabinet, which is also available for special events.  

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Cubbington’s Cabinet is celebrating spring with its new line of CBD-infused popsicles for adults and “Pup Cups” for dogs. (Photo courtesy of Cubbington's Cabinet)

April 18th

  • Bold Dog Pup Party on the District Brew Yards Patio Celebrating National Bulldog Day + Beer Release

As businesses cautiously reopen after a full year of closures and pivots, one thing District Brew Yards (417 N. Ashland Ave., 773-295-1270) has had top of mind is how to safely reintroduce "pup parties" with resident brewery Bold Dog Beer Co.

And it’s time to get those tails a-waggin’ because the first one back is on the docket. District Brew Yards and Bold Dog invite responsible beer fans and their best four-legged friends to the first pup party on the patio of the West Town brewery collective on Sunday, April 18, 1-5 p.m.. The south-facing patio has space to properly spread out and drink socially distanced beers outdoors.

Join the Bold Dog crew for this patio hang and official release of Bubba Berry Light Lager, brewed in honor of the brewery's 2020 National Bulldog Day contest winner. (For the record, National Bulldog Day is later this month on April 21.) Bubba Berry Light Lager is a crisp and refreshing brew with some berry sweetness and will be available in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans for $10.99 and for pouring in the beer hall for 53 cents/ounce. All canines welcome. Note, dogs are not allowed inside the beer hall, which is also home to Lillie’s Q barbecue and chicken. Guests still need to enter the front door on Ashland first to check in for a beer card before heading to the patio.

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District Brew Yards and Bold Dog invite responsible beer fans and their best four-legged friends to the first pup party on the patio of the West Town brewery collective on April 18. (Flyer courtesy of District Brew Yards)

April 20th

  • 420 Beer Dinner At The Perch

Chef Dan Harris is concocting a 4-course beer dinner featuring CBD, hemp and a few other festive surprises on April 20 from 6-8pm for $50 per person at The Perch Kitchen + Tap in Wicker Park (1932 W Division).

The dinner kicks off with a Spent Grain Salad sprinkled with hemp-seed paired with a Koolaid Sour brewed in collaboration with Cheba Hut Wicker Park. Course Two features Bloody Mary Mussels with CBD Chili Oil, washed down with a Finch Songbird Pilsner. The star of the night is a slow-roasted, Rotisserie Porchetta paired with Dankafire, a Citra + Mosaic IPA brewed in collaboration with Mike Deguzman and the band Passafire. And for dessert? A Beerfogato, made with CBD-spiked maple bacon ice cream drowned in Stout.

Space is limited and seating will be outdoors, on the covered/heated beer garden. Not feeling CBD? Just let them know and they can give you a CBD-free experience!!

Tickets are available via TOCK for parties of 2, 4 or 6. View the full menu HERE.

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Chef Dan Harris is concocting a 4-course beer dinner featuring CBD, hemp and a few other festive surprises on April 20 from 6-8pm for $50 per person at The Perch Kitchen + Tap in Wicker Park. (Photo courtesy of The Perch Kitchen + Tap)

April 23rd

  • Avli Debuts Picnic Baskets To-Go on National Picnic Day

Avli, Chicago’s contemporary Greek dining group, will launch their seasonal picnic basket meals to-go. Online ordering goes live on National Picnic Day, Friday, April 23 and baskets are available for pre-paid pick up via Tock on Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day. Picnic basket options available include:

Avli Basket ($50)

  • Chicken skewers (4)
  • Pork skewers (4)
  • Crispy Greek fries 
  • Watermelon salad 
  • Diane salad 
  • Tzatziki with pita and cucumbers 
  • Bottle of chilled Kycklos Moschofilero Greek wine 

Boat’s in the Water Basket ($60)

  • Grilled seafood platter (shrimp, kalamari and octopus with olive oil and wine vinegar)
  • Kataifi prawns (4)
  •  Chicken skewers (4)
  • Greek salad 
  • Watermelon salad 
  • Spicy feta spread with pita and cucumbers
  • Rice side 
  • Bottle of chilled Kyclos rose wine      

Pick-up available through Tock at the following locations:

Avli Taverna, (Lincoln Park), 1335 W Wrightwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60614
Avli River North, 702 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60654
Avli Winnetka, 566 Chestnut St., Winnetka, IL 60093

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Avli, Chicago’s contemporary Greek dining group, will launch their seasonal picnic basket meals to-go on National Picnic Day, April 23rd. (Photo courtesy of Avli)

April 30th

  • Pop Up Grocer Opens in Wicker Park

Pop Up Grocer, the world’s first traveling pop-up grocery store, is making its Chicago debut on Friday, April 30. Located at 1555 N Milwaukee in Wicker Park, the month-long pop-up showcases the creative and innovative products, including Chicago-owned, women-owned and BIPOC-owned brands.

With the belief that food is an expression of who we are, Pop Up Grocer’s mission is to provide a space for discovery, highlighting today’s most creative, new products and their makers under one roof. After the success of its New York City, Los Angeles and Austin locations, the design-forward grocery store will be bringing its colorful shopping baskets, curated shelves, friendly team and in-store cafe to the Midwest for 30 days of fun. Pop Up Grocer creates an environment that still feels like a grocery store – product, shelves and fridges – but intends to stimulate your senses and take you out of your normal, unenthusiastic shopping mentality.

Pop Up Grocer is a brand discovery concept built on curiosity. It showcases hundreds of products from 100+ of the most innovative and exciting food, beverage, home, pet, and body care brands. Inspired by the banana bread craze and sober curious trend, Pop Up Grocer is bringing two newly launched categories to the Chicago location: baking mixes and non-alcoholic beverages. Michelin-Starred Elske is Pop Up Grocer’s exclusive cafe partner, offering a daily selection of cookies and exclusive baked goods like sweet + savory Kringles and Danish rugbrød.

Pop Up Grocer creates a backdrop for exploration with a space that is friendly, inclusive and inviting. The Chicago store will showcase a diverse offering of 400+ products, featuring local brands AYO, Lil Bucks, Sacred Serve, Simple Mills and Tomato Bliss; brands that are exclusively available online, such as Magic Spoon, Snow Days and The Caker; and newly launched brands BelliWelli, Loca and Moonshot. Pop Up Grocer gives 5% of in-store sales from each of its locations to one emerging, consumer packaged goods brand, for whom the donation has immediate and significant impact.

Emily Schildt, Pop Up Grocer Founder, shares why she chose Chicago as her traveling store’s next destination, “We select our pop-up locations at the point where demand from our community and demand from our participating brands meet. Chicago has come as a consistent request from both ever since we launched two years ago, and we are thrilled to bring our best product assortment yet to a city known for its love and appreciation of food, creativity and art.”

Pop Up Grocer will be open from 9am to 7pm daily from Friday, April 30 through Sunday, May 30. Visit the Wicker Park pop-up at 1555 N Milwaukee for the latest in snacks and pantry staples — like pasta made from cauliflower, cheese made from sunflower, and crackers made from upcycled carrots — and beyond. For more information, please visit popupgrocer.co.

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Pop Up Grocer will be open from 9am to 7pm daily from Friday, April 30 through Sunday, May 30. Visit the Wicker Park pop-up at 1555 N Milwaukee for the latest in snacks, pantry staples and beyond. (Photo courtesy of Pop Up Grocer)

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