Chicago’s Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings, Spring 2024

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Chicago

A round, black plate holds a small pile of fried egg rolls.
Cambodian hit Khmai is moving into a large, modern space in Rogers Park.
Jack X. Li/Eater Chicago

The season will bring two exciting tasting menus, a suburban Indian restaurant, and a pair of bars with intriguing food menus

If this sounds like a broken record, it is — restaurants all around America are facing unprecedented economic challenges. Still, there are plenty of new projects to look forward to as 2024 is shaping up to be a big one in Chicago, especially as a mild winter has locals and tourists dreaming of outdoor dining during the spring and summer months. At Eater Chicago, we’ve listed 15 upcoming restaurants targeting a spring debut. Among them, seven are either relocations or sequels to existing restaurants. The latter means the new venues feature either more seating or bigger menus. It’s not the same song.

There are also two tasting menu restaurants and three bars. New bars could indicate that the city is healing from the pandemic. And speaking of pandemic trends (when comfort foods concepts, like pizzerias, started sprouting up seemingly everywhere) there’s one new pizzeria opening — and it’s replacing another pizzeria. Time marches on. But at least Chicagoans can rely on delicious new options. Explore the most anticipated openings of spring below.

Bayan Ko Diner

Bayan Ko Diner owners Lawrence Letrero (left) and Raquel Quaderny.
Aliya Ikhumen/Eater Chicago

Address: 1820 W. Montrose, Ravenswood

Key Players: Raquel Quadreny, chef Lawrence Letrero

After Glenn’s Diner, a decade’s old greasy spoon in Ravenswood closed, the owners of Bayan Ko, a Filipino and Cuban restaurant a few doors east, saw an opportunity. The husband-and-wife team is opening their second restaurant, a greasy spoon with items like a Cuban smash patty melt, lumpia, and more. The diner will also serve classic dishes from the original Bayan Ko as daily specials. That space has since morphed into a reservation-only restaurant serving a set menu. Look for an April opening.

Common Decency

Address: 3154 W. Diversey, Logan Square

Key Players: Chef Mark Steuer, Milkhorse Hospitality

The opening date for the bar replacing Lost Lake in Logan Square continues to slide. The target was December 31, but it’s been repeatedly pushed and now it’s April. Nevertheless, chef Mark Steuer, who’s long served southern cuisine at restaurants like Carriage House in Wicker Park and Funkenhausen in West Town, is bringing fun takes on comfort food, like cornbread with foie gras, and more. The space, once decorated with tropical and tiki vibes, is going in a different direction and leaning into ‘80s nostalgia. Steuer and company are touting the bar’s employee benefits rarely seen for restaurant workers — for example, PTO and health care coverage — is proof of their common decency.

Dearly Beloved

A cocktail in a blue stemmed glass.
This cocktail is called the Captured Shadow.
Marisa Klug-Morataya/Dearly Beloved

Key players: Chireal Jordan, Brian Galati

Address: 900 N. Franklin Street, Near North Side

Headquarters Beercade founders Chireal Jordan and Brian Galati have been reluctant to share details about their latest venue, Dearly Beloved, which takes over the former home of French dining stalwart Kiki’s. The duo calls it a “cocktail restaurant,” which means that drinks will be the main attraction inside the 6,000-square-foot space with rare spirits and other drinks with striking and surprising presentations. The food will focus on vegetables, tapping into the founders’ embrace of the unexpected in inventions like a zucchini dish designed to taste like filet mignon. It’s set to debut on Wednesday, May 1.

Feld

A slender man wearing all black squatting in the woods.
Feld owner Jake Potashnick at Froggy Meadow Farm.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Key player: Jacob Potashnick

Address: 2018 W. Chicago Avenue, West Town

Chicago native Jacob Potashnick is plugging away in West Town. Feld is a unique fine dining restaurant where Feld will draw upon his international work experiences with a tasting menu format. Imagine an open space where staff works in the middle of the dining room; Potashnick wants to keep everyone comfortably seated to keep the spirit of the room proper. He’s working with SPACE Architects and Variant Collaborative and they’re applying the final touches on the space. An avid social media user, Potashnick mentions the final stretch; he’s been busy taking meetings and, like many restaurant owners before the debut, is feeling a little anxious at this juncture. He’s even grown a mustache. Potashnick says they hope to debut with a few soft launch dinners before officially opening to the public in June.

Khmai Fine Dining

A dark plate holds four crispy spring rolls sitting on a green leaf.
Egg rolls are a classic Khmai dish.
Eater/Melissa Blackmon

Address: 6580 N. Sheridan, Rogers Park

Key Players: Mona Sang, Sarom Sieng, Loyola University

A rare Chicago restaurant where traditional Cambodian food is the star, Khmai Fine Dining made a major splash in 2022 when chef and owner Mona Sang’s project was named one of Eater’s 15 Best New Restaurants in America. Khmai drew hoards of diners to Rogers Park for the rich, deep, and concentrated flavors that characterize Khmer cuisine. In late November, Sang closed the original location and she’s now signed a lease with Loyola University to bring her restaurant near the Rogers Park campus. An ode to Sang’s mother, Sarom Sieng, the new restaurant will expand service and offer breakfast and lunch, plus new dishes. Sang says she’s eager to accelerate the timeline as her mother — now age 80 and a survivor of the Cambodian genocide and a fixture in Khmai’s kitchen — is champing at the bit to get back to business in April.

Konbini & Kanpai Wrigleyville

Key players: Jun-Jun Vichaikul, Naomi Hattori, chef Eric Hattori

Address: 3443 N. Sheffield Avenue, Wrigleyville

The Hotel Zachary and the owners of the Chicago Cubs, the Ricketts family, have reshaped Wrigleyville, squeezing out many independent businesses. But just south of the baseball field, spouses Jun-Jun Vichaikul and Naomi Hattori are taking their best swings at bringing something unique to the neighborhood under local ownership. The couple plans on opening their second location of Konbini & Kanpai, a Japanese American bottle shop, to Wrigley inside the former Dark Horse Tap. The new shop is larger than the Lakeview original and includes a full kitchen. They’ve brought on Naomi Hattori’s brother, chef Eric Hattori (previously of pan Asian food truck Piko Street Kitchen) to create a menu of casual nisei-influenced dishes like egg salad sands on milk bread and bowls of udon. Vichaikul promises an entirely new lineup of Asian spirits, beers, and cocktails like a sake-based Old Fashioned with ginger syrup and barley shochu. Stay tuned for an April or May debut.

Indus

Bhoomi co-owners Ajit and Such Kalra pose for a picture in their new location at Urban Space, located at 15 W. Washington St. in the Loop, Saturday afternoon, Sept. 18, 2021.
Indus co-owners Ajit (left) and Sukhu Kalra pose at Urban Space in 2021.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Address: 617 Central Avenue, Highland Park

Key Players: Sukhu and Ajit Kalra

The team behind Bhoomi, the food stall at the former Urban Space Food Hall — now known as Washington Hall — is opening a full-service restaurant in suburban Highland Park. Sukhu and Ajit Kalra are promising a menu with traditional dishes and modern twists, from curries to wagyu steaks, smoked meats, and a curated selection of wine paired with fun cocktails. The name pays homage to the Indus Valley. They feel it was one of the first to incorporate spices in their cooking, to make food about pleasure more than just sustenance. The new tagline for the restaurant is “Progressive Indian.” They’re looking at a May opening.

Kor

Pita with a bunch of spreads and pickles.
Kor is opening inside the Godfrey Hotel.
Kor/Austin Handler

Address: 127 W. Huron Street, River North

Key Players: Soiree Hospitality, chef Onur Okan, Godfrey Hotel

The owners of Rooh Chicago are opening their fourth restaurant brand with chef Onur Okan, a Turkish native who’s cooked at Michelin-starred restaurants like Aliena and Claudia. A wood-burning grill is essential to the menu, with grilled meats and veggies with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences. The owners are waiting for licenses and working with the Godfrey in hopes of a late March opening.

Minyoli

A rendering of a new restaurant coming to Chicago. Minyoli

Key player: Chef Rich Wang

Address: 5420 N. Clark Street, Andersonville

Taiwanese beef noodle soup, a staple embraced by many as the country’s national dish, will be the star at Minyoli, the first solo project from Boka alum Rich Wang. He’s taking over the former home of Land & Lake Kitchen and Passerotto in Andersonville. Wang’s a native of Taipei, and the menu includes a traditional beef noodle soup, characterized by a deep herbal broth infused with cardamom and cinnamon, filled with springy hand-cut noodles, and tender cuts of beef shank. He’ll also serve lu wei, or snacks braised in the same soup stock, and Taiwanese liquors, beer, and cocktails. The story’s personal for Wang, born in a juàn cun, a “military dependents’ village,” where much of the food originates. These Taiwanese hodge-podge enclaves were first established in the late 1940s toward the end of the Chinese Civil War to house Chinese military personnel and their families. Minyoli should debut in April.

Professor Pizza

A square pie with pepperoni and ricotta.
Profesor Pizza is a master of many pizza styles.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Address: 1610 N. Wells Street, Old Town

Key Players: Anthony Scardino, Fifty/50 Restaurant Group

Anthony Scardino has a competitive pizza background and has worked at some of Chicago’s best pizza restaurants. He’s got a passion for Italian food and thoughtfully produces some of the city’s best pizzas. After working at a few ghost kitchens, he’s ready to commit to Old Town where he’ll take over the former Roots Pizza near Wells and North, partnering with the restaurant’s owners, Fifty/50 Restaurant Group. The two parties promise a new restaurant that distills Scardino’s personality. As the restaurant neighbors Second City, there’s potential for collaborations with the legendary comedy troop. The target opening date is, and this is no misprint, April 20. Think about it. Then forget about it.

Soul & Smoke

A plate of slice ribs and a cup of red bbq sauce.
Soul & Smoke is expanding in Evanston.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Address: 1601 Payne Street, Evanston

Key Players: Heather Bublick and D’Andre Carter

Soul & Smoke, a member of the Eater Chicago 38, is one of the city’s best barbecue restaurants thanks to the husband-and-wife team of D’Andre Carter and Heather Bublick. The two have fine dining experience, and it’s the little touches that lead to world-class brisket and ribs. Their first restaurant was in Evanston, and they are going big in the suburbs. Unlike their counter-service restaurant along the river in Avondale, the restaurant inside a 100-year barn will be full service. They’ll also have a “speakeasy-style dining room” with upscale offerings, a throwback to the couple’s day working at Moto in West Loop. Look for a late spring opening.

Steingold’s Wrigleyville

Steingold’s is opening a location in Wrigleyville.
Steingold’s of Chicago

Address: 3630 N. Clark Street, Wrigleyville

Key Players: Aaron Steingold, Cara Peterson

American Jewish communities have long enjoyed a love affair with baseball, which makes it seem like beshert (Yiddish for “inevitable” or “pre-ordained”) that Steingold’s of Chicago is at work on a new location across from Wrigley Field. Chef and owner Aaron Steingold, a self-professed baseball historian who originally founded his modern Jewish deli in 2017, will bring his popular bagels, deli sandwiches, and a few new items (think latke-tot poutine and everything bagel-dogs on sticks) to the former home of West Town Bakery inside the Hotel Zachary. Culinary director Cara Peterson also promises special soft-serve ice cream in flavors like baklava with honey and salted caramel. While the debut’s been pushed; it won’t happen on baseball’s Opening Day as planned, Steingold tells Eater they hope to open in May.

3LP

An assortment of Chinese food from 3 Little Pigs.
3LP is expanding to Bridgeport.
Aliya Ikhumen/Eater Chicago

Address: 964 W. 31st Street, Bridgeport

Key Players: Henry Cai, Maria’s Community Bar

Henry Cai, the South Side native, continues to spread his culture with unique fast-casual offerings of Chinese-American and Cantonese cuisine. His signature dish is fried rice with three different types of pork, or “three little pigs.” After launching as a takeout-only spot he opened inside Molly’s Cupcakes in South Loop. He’s expanding once more in Bridgeport, where he’ll take over the space formerly occupied by Pleasant House Bakery, Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream, and Herbivore. Look for a mid-April or early-May opening with his signature chicken sandwiches and more.

Tre Dita

Chef Evan Funke looking at a tray of pasta.
Evan Funke is an LA chef whose vision comes to Chicago in the form of Tre Dita.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

Address: St. Regis Chicago, 401 E. Wacker Drive, Lakeshore East

Key Players: ​​Chef Evan Funke, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises

Chicago’s largest restaurant group, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, will complete its two-restaurant project inside the flashy St. Regis skyscraper this spring with the debut of Tre Dita, a Tuscan steakhouse from noteworthy LA chef Evan Funke (Felix), The bar opened in late February, but Funke promises much more when the restaurant debuts. Tre Dita will also house a pasta lab where the team can highlight the traditional pasta shapes of Tuscany. It’s scheduled to open in mid-March.

Valhalla

Address: 2020 W. Division Street, Wicker Park

Key Players: Stephen Gillanders

Valhalla, a fine dining restaurant that started on the second floor at Time Out Market in Fulton Market, is relocating to Wicker Park inside the former Mirai Sushi space. Gillanders, a chef behind S.K.Y. Restaurant in Pilsen and Apolonia in South Loop, in early March, confirmed the move on Instagram, a month after applying for a liquor license. He writes: “Trends are avoided at all costs and every idea is met with the question: ‘Why?’ If an idea doesn’t truly have a positive impact on guest experience, it’s tossed out.” He’s declined to reveal exactly when the restaurant will open but writes “soon.”

Pleasant House Bakery

964 W 31st Street, Chicago, IL 60608 773 523 7437 Visit Website

Mirai Sushi

990 Miles van der Rohe Way, Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 280-9100 Visit Website

Lost Lake

3154 West Diversey Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 293-6048 Visit Website

Bayan Ko

1810 West Montrose Avenue, , IL 60613 (773) 698-6373 Visit Website

Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream

964 West 31st Street, , IL 60608 (773) 565-4192 Visit Website

HERBIVORE

964 West 31st Street, , IL 60608 (773) 801-0486 Visit Website

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