Earlier this week the state of Illinois, and more specifically, the city of Chicago announced a wave of new Chicago COVID-19 restrictions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As cases continue to rise in virtually every single region of the state, city officials have looked toward bars and restaurants as a hotspot for the spread of the virus. Thus, indoor dining and service have been suspended indefinitely, and some restaurants have gone as far as closing for the entire winter season. However, a few of your favorite restaurants and bars have pivoted and will continue to operate during the winter months in order to continue serving patrons amidst the tumultuous times.
Here is a round-up of 21 bars and restaurants that are pivoting, with updated hours of operation, menus, and fun alterations to their business in order to safely serve and entertain you in the coming months.
In response to the latest Chicago COVID-19 Restrictions banning indoor dining announced by the state of Illinois, guests are invited to tailgate before they get their game on at WhirlyBall in Chicago, Naperville, and Vernon Hills beginning Friday, October 30th.
“We are committed to finding new ways to provide our guests with safe and fun memories, in our massive indoor and outdoor spaces” said Adam Elias, Vice President of WhirlyBall. “We invite guests to kick off the fall season with us, as we debut our WhirlyBall Tailgate Package. Game on!”
All locations will offer a new outdoor build-your-own tailgate package that will allow guests to pre-game and enjoy pre-ordered food and beverage in a designated tailgate area in WhirlyBall’s parking lot before they head indoors for the activity of their choice. Groups will be asked to stay in their respective areas outside, maintain social distancing, and adhere to the regulations imposed for outdoor dining. Guests are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather and welcome to BYO-blanket, and limited tables will be available.
The Build Your Own Tailgate Package includes a choice of Cheese, Pepperoni or Sausage Pizza for $15, 30 wings for $25, Domestic Beer Buckets for $15 and Import Buckets for $19. Beer buckets include five beers each. All tailgate packages must be requested at the time of booking and pre-ordered. The package is available daily (based on hours of operation) by reservation only. For reservations visit their website. Customers can also opt to skip the tailgate and order their food and beverage to take home post activities.
Additionally, patrons can take advantage of WhirlyBall’s Fall BOGO package. Guests can buy an hour of any activity and get a half-hour activity of their choice FREE. Customers can choose from activities like Bowling (Chicago & Naperville only) and HyperBowling (Naperville only), LaserTag, Ping Pong, WhirlyBall, Giant Connect Four, and Giant Jenga.
The trailblazing Mediterranean restaurant’s new rotisserie offerings include chicken and lamb dishes (plus veggie options too!) with classic Mediterranean sides like falafel-seasoned french fries, charred snap pea tabbouleh, and avec’s hummus. Available daily from 11 AM to 3 PM for delivery and takeout via TOCK. Additionally, avec classics — dates, salted cod brandade, focaccia, hummus — are offered for dinner from 4:30 PM to 10 PM daily. The avec daily market has the likes of lavender-scented almonds, house-made rigatoni pasta and ‘take and bake’ dates with piquillo sauce, daily from noon to 8 PM.
The following three restaurants under the Ballyhoo umbrella are all open for takeout and delivery 7 days a week from 4 PM to 9 PM:
- Gemini — the neighborhood bistro in Lincoln Park
- Old Pueblo Cantina — the neighborhood cantina in Lincoln Park
- Sophia Steak — the steakhouse in Wilmette
Chef Bill Kim’s Ramen Bar
Cornerstone Restaurant Group launched Chef Bill Kim’s Ramen Bar this week, available exclusively for delivery through DoorDash to the western Chicago suburbs, bringing the award-winning chef’s flavors that defy borders outside of Chicago. The three creative ramen offerings include: Al Pastor Ramen (pork shoulder bacon, pineapple, carrots, shishito peppers & soft-boiled egg in a smoky pork broth); Lemon Chicken Ramen (cilantro lime broth with tender chicken, carrots, shishito peppers & fried egg); Korean BBQ Mushroom Ramen (spicy Korean BBQ broth filled with edamame dumplings, carrots, shishito peppers & fried egg). Chef Bill Kim’s Ramen Bar hours are 11 AM to 6 PM Sunday through Thursday and 11 AM to 8 PM. Friday and Saturday. Additionally, urbanbelly is still offering its beloved fast-casual Asian fare to all of Chicago daily, via Caviar, DoorDash and Ritual.
Chef John Manion launched El Che Meat & Provisions at the beginning of the pandemic, a local meat market offering premium steak cuts, housemade sauces, and local products at the West Loop restaurant. Now during the shutdown, El Che Steakhouse & Bar will offer weekly pop-up menus for as long as indoor dining is closed, as well as to-go cocktails and wine. Available Thursday-Saturday from 4 PM to 8 PM, the initial schedule is:
- 11/7-11/9: Maximo beef rib dinner
- 11/12-11/14: Heeeeeey La Sirena! – an homage to Manion’s former restaurant, La Sirena Clandestina
- 11/19-11/21: Juanmanjuan chimichurri chicken dinner with new and improved fixin’s
FireLake Grill House and Cocktail Bar
The new restaurant within the iconic Radisson Blu Aqua tower in Streeterville offers both takeout and curbside pick-up starting daily at 2 PM. Menus feature rotisserie chicken, wings, flat-iron steak frites, and much more. The heated patio remains open for breakfast through dinner, Sunday & Monday 8 AM to 8 PM and Tuesday through Saturday 8 AM to 11 AM.
The funky Southern-Bavarian love-child offers its full menu for delivery and takeout. Additionally, if it’s raining out, ask for the “Funk the Rain Away” special: $10 off Chow Now pick up or phone orders. For next week’s Election, they are offering “Funkenhausen’s Election Week Survival Kit” to help you through it. Built for four at $150 via their website, guests can choose two appetizers. entrees, sides and two sweet treats for dessert, plus choice of a bottle of