Just over a month after modern Jewish deli Jeff & Judes closed in Ukrainian Village, former members of its team are preparing to unveil a replacement: Do-Over Diner, a late-night spot that will play on greasy-spoon nostalgia with all-day breakfast, smashed burgers, and cocktails, will open Saturday, July 16 at 1024 N. Western Avenue, says owner Ursula Siker.
Siker, who also owned Jeff & Judes, and has since announced she’s moving to New York. She’s handing over the space to executive chef Hanna Coleman (Cafe Marie-Jeanne, Middlebrow Beer) and beverage director Sam Yar (Funkenhausen), The diner is designed to draw hungry patrons from nearby bars. They’ve snagged a liquor license and plan to serve until 3 a.m. on weekends. That’s a departure from Jeff & Judes’ time- and energy-consuming culinary approach.
“The only way to make it work where we’re located is to focus on nightlife at Empty Bottle and Sportsman’s Club, and offer things that are less labor intensive,” says Siker. “It’s a take-two on something that could have maybe worked in a different circumstance, but it wasn’t the world we were anticipating when we signed the lease.”
Do-Over Diner offers Coleman and Yar an opportunity to highlight their personal relationship to diners — a staple of American restaurant culture — and apply their own vision as Siker takes a significant step back: she’ll remain the owner but plans to operate in a consultant capacity after she moves in August.
Stay tuned for more coverage next week.
Tickets are on sale for Chicago’s massive whiskey tasting fest
Whiskies of the World, one of the largest annual whiskey tasting events in the country, will return to Chicago in late July with more than 200 spirits from around the world, according to a rep. Tickets are on sale for the event, scheduled for 5:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 23 at the Chicago Athletic Association, with general admission starting at $100. Tickets and more information are available online.
Annual Taco y Tamales Festival kicks off Friday in Pilsen
Pilsen’s annual Tacos y Tamales Festival will kick off its 2022 edition on Friday along West 16th Street and South Peoria Street, according to Block Club Chicago. Revelers can expect to find (surprise) tacos and tamales from local vendors such as Yvolina’s Tamales, Super Pollo, Churro Factory, and more. There will also be micheladas, a beer garden, and a wide array of traditional and contemporary Latin live music and dance performances. More details are available on the festival’s website.
Online scammers show no signs of letting up on Chicago restaurant owners
Add both Heritage Restaurant in Humboldt Park and HaiSous in Pilsen to the growing number of restaurants victimized by a scam that demands a gift card in exchange for relenting on a campaign that deluges TripAdvisor, OpenTable, and Google pages with one-star reviews. Thai Dang, the chef and co-owner of modern Vietnamese restaurant Hai Sous writes to Eater: “It’s so devastating to restaurants who like us, did everything to hold on from a pandemic and now dealing with cyber scams.” The same isn’t Chicago specific, reaching other parts of the country, including San Francisco. However, while the emails threatening restaurants with negatives are similar, it’s unclear if it’s the same scammer (they claim they’re from India and are desperate for money) or a copycat. Google, among other companies, have yet to take action, telling the Trib that they’re investigating. Meanwhile, restaurant owners wait.
Sox fans must really need the tequila
The Chicago White Sox, which ditched Goose Island Beer Co. before the start of this once-promising season for Molson Coors, have made another move. The Sox have announced 1800 Tequila as the club’s official tequila and margarita. There’s also plans for a branded bar inside Guaranteed Rate Field. Tequila will be helpful for fans suffering through this bafflingly disappointing season. The late Ray Liotta, who played Sox legend Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams, was a past spokesperson for the tequila brand.
The Big Ten gets into the restaurant world
The Big Ten conference, which recently announced the additions of West Coast icons UCLA and USC to the Midwestern-heavy college sports league, is making another move that affects a suburban restaurant. According to the Daily Herald, the Big Ten has agreed to terms with the city of Rosemont to buy the entire building that houses the conference’s headquarters (it’s conveniently near O’Hare International Airport). That means the Big Ten (which contains 16 schools after the California adds), is now the landlord for Rosemont’s Fogo de Chao, which occupies part of the building.