Where to Find Solar Eclipse Specials in Chicago and Other April Pop-Ups

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Millions of Americans, including Chicagoans, will have a chance on Wednesday, April 8, to see a total solar eclipse — a rare opportunity that won’t return for 21 years. The celestial phenomenons have a way of evoking strong feelings (and generating beaucoup bucks), so it’s not surprising that Chicago chefs are getting in on festivities around the so-called life-changing event.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other pop-ups to keep diners and chefs from descending into Third Winter doldrums. Follow along for a sampling of the best the city has to offer in Eater Chicago’s pop-up round-up.

Have a pop-up that should be listed? Email information to chicago@eater.com.


River North: Tokyo Last Call, a month-long pop-up series inspired by Japanese listening bars, will kick off on Thursday, April 4 in partnership with Three Dots and a Dash and a lineup of guest bartenders from several acclaimed Japanese cocktail spots. These include Brooklyn’s Bar Goto (Thursday, April 4 through Sunday, April 7), Manhattan’s Katana Kitten (Thursday, April 11 through Sunday, April 14), as well as Tokyo’s Bar Trench (Thursday, April 18 through Sunday, April 21) and SG Club (Thursday, April 25 through Sunday, April 28). The Three Dots team will play vinyl 45s and play music from a “retro jukebox” on the bottom floor at 51 W. Hubbard Street. Tokyo Last Call, Thursday April 4 through Sunday, April 28 at Hub 51. Reservations via OpenTable.

The Loop: It seems the whole city is talking about 2024’s Very Big Deal solar eclipse, so Downtown’s Raddison Blu Aqua Hotel is serving two specialty cocktails for the occasion. The team will offer the Sunbeam (mango-pineapple vodka, pomegranate, pineapple) and the Solar Flare (tequila, prosecco, grenadine, Cholula) Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 14. The Sunbeam and the Solar Flare at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 14, 221 N. Columbus Drive.

A dark cocktail with a tajin rim.
Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bacardi Ocho Rye Cask Rum, Rhum Clément Creole Shrubb, orgeat, lime, fire bitters, tajín).
The Gwen

The Loop: Astoria Cafe & Bakery, a suburban spot that specializes in Balkan food, is popping up off the Mag Mile at Venteux, the French restaurant inside the . The bakery had a location on Irving Park road that debuted in 2017, but it’s since closed and they’ve moved to Lisle. Owner by the mother-and-daughter duo of Suzi and Tanja Jeftenic, a news release states customers can expect items like krempita (a vanilla custard slice made with puff pastry & Chantilly cream), burek stuffed with cheese, spinach, or beef, and knedle, a potato dumpling made traditionally with plums, but also made with Nutella and fruit. Astoria Cafe at Venteux, 9 a.m. Sunday April 14 at Venteux.

West Loop: San Francisco-based chef David Yoshimura of Michelin-starred Nisei will pop up for one night with acclaimed chef Noah Sandoval for a collaborative tasting menu on Saturday, April 6 at Sandoval’s fine dining restaurant Oriole. Tickets ($325) are already sold out, but optimistic diners can add their names to the waitlist. Oriole x Nisei, Saturday, April 6 at Oriole. Waitlist via Tock.

Magnificent Mile: Downtown hotel terrace bar Upstairs at the Gwen is marking the solar eclipse with a punny Total Eclipse of The Heart cocktail (Bacardi Ocho Rye Cast Rum, Orgeat, Fire Bitters) available Saturday, April 6 through Monday, April 8. Total Eclipse of The Heart at Upstairs at the Gwen, Saturday, April 6 through Monday, April 8, 521 N. Rush Street, 5th Floor.

Avondale: Minahasa, veteran chef John Avila’s (Duck Inn, Gibsons Italia) rambunctious regional Indonesian spot, will make its triumphant return on Monday, April 8 for Reader pop-up series Monday Night Foodball. More than a year has passed since Avila shuttered Minahasa’s stall at Revival Food Hall in the Loop, but he’s made good on his promise to return and continue honoring the vast diversity of Indonesian cuisine — particularly that of mountainous Tomohon, his mother Betty’s hometown. Avila’s Foodball menu will lean into “Indonesian American twists,” per Mike Sula, such as an Indo fried chicken sandwich (green papaya slaw, acar pickles) and beef rendang animal fries (sambal aioli, crispy shallots), along with Mama Betty’s beloved egg rolls. Minahasa x Monday Night Foodball at Ludlow Liquors, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, April 8, 2959 N. California Avenue.

Avondale: Lauded South Indian restaurant Thattu is planning two “once-in-a-blue-moon” specials for the eclipse: an egg appam with chili crisp, and a moon pie from chef de cuisine Danny Tervort. They’ll be available for one night only, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, April 8. Solar eclipse specials at Thattu, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, April 8. Reservations via OpenTable.

Logan Square: Chicago chefs Palita Sriratana (Pink Salt) and Chanita Schwartz will host a festive pop-up celebration for Songkran, or Thai New Year, on Tuesday, April 14 inside indie flower shop Exfolia Botanical, the duo announced on Instagram. Self-avowed prawn fans, Sriratana and Schwartz worked them into the seven-course menu with dishes like tod mun goong (prawns, coriander) and khanom jeen nam prik (prawn-infused curry, rice noodles, seasonal vegetables). Other courses include yum som o (grapefruit, lemongrass, coconut, cashews) and gai haw bai toey (pandan leaf-wrapped chicken, sweet sesame sauce). Tickets ($120) and more details are available via Eventbrite. Songkran Thai New Year, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 14 at Exfolia Botanical. Tickets via Eventbrite.

East Garfield Park: Virtual Lao mega-hit Laos to Your House will host its second annual Lao Pi Mai, or Lao New Year, a family-friendly celebration with an abundant buffet-style spread from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 at hospitality business incubator the Hatchery, according to co-founder Byron Gully. The team promises a vast array of dishes including spicy khao poon moo, chicken and vegetarian laap (or larb), crispy kanom dok bua (lotus flower cookies), Lao barbecue, and much more, as well as cocktails and beer. Attendees can also shop for retail items like Lao textiles, beauty products, and packaged goods. Tickets ($50) and more details are available online until Tuesday, April 9. Laos to Your House Lao Pi Mai celebration at the Hatchery, 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 13, 135 N. Kedzie Avenue. Reservations via Laos to Your House.

Rolling Meadows: Chicago chefs including Yuka Funakoshi (Tengokyu Aburiya), Takashi Iida (Lawrence Fish Market), Paul Virant (Gaijin, Petite Vie), and Shinji Sugiura (Ramen House Shinchan), will host a Japanese and French kaiseki-style dinner on Monday, April 22 in suburban Rolling Meadows. A fundraiser to support survivors of a New Year’s Day earthquake on Japan’s Noto Peninsula, the event will feature Chicago Koto Group and local J-pop music group Orihana, as well as a six-course meal that includes tare-marinated salmon with French lentils and seafood terrine with yuzu kosho jelly. Reservations ($125) are available online until Monday, April 15. Together for Noto Japan: Disaster Relief Fundraising Dinner at LaMirage Banquet Hall, Monday, April 22, 3223 Algonquin Road in Rolling Meadows. Reservations via Google Form.


Bridgeport: Chef and owner Won Kim of raucous Korean restaurant Kimski isn’t wasting any time in preparing for its eight-year anniversary party on Saturday, May 11, announcing a “stacked” lineup of food vendors and DJs around two months ahead of time. Attendees can expect food from Seoul Taco, Pizza Friendly Pizza, Pretty Cool Ice Cream, Omarcitos, and more (plus a few surprise entries), as well as drinks from Bronzeville Winery, Maria’s, and Standard Meadery. “Come eat, drink, celebrate and help kick summer off the proper Bridgeport way!” Kim writes on Instagram. Kimski Eight Year Anniversary Party, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 11 at Kimski.


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