Fall Tracking: Chicago's 15 Most Anticipated Fall Openings

Brett Hickman
August 19, 2014
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falll_traking_collage.jpg

It's hard to believe, but summer's coming to an end soon and fall is right around the corner. There are some high profile restaurants set to debut in the coming months and below are the most buzzed about. Look over the list to get the status of each and make sure to come back to receive updates on your favorites from Eater's Fall Most Anticipated Opening Report.

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Dove's Luncheonette
Address: 1545 N. Damen Ave.
Paul Kahan's new all-day diner is fast approaching, and although a specific opening date is still unknown, expect it sometime in September. The 40-seat joint next door to Big Star will be serving up head chef Dennis Bernard's take on "Tex-Mex soul food" as well as mezcal and tequila when it opens. Get in line now.

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Momotaro
Address: 820 W. Lake St.
The Boka Group is inching closer to opening their 8,500 square-foot, three-story (the third floor will house a private dining room and the Boka offices) Japanese restaurant in the West Loop. With a menu comprised of six sections and featuring fish sourced from all over the globe, executive chef Mark Hellyar and sushi chef Jeff Ramsey have a lot of room to dazzle Chicagoans.

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RPM Steak
Address: 66 W. Kinzie St.
Also opening soon and going big at 8,500 square-feet is RPM Steak, the dramatic brother to RPM Italian. Chef/partner Doug Psaltis is sourcing meat from all over the county (and Japan), but vegetables, seafood, lamb and poultry will also have a place here. Another thing to be excited about are the throwback cocktails from Paul McGee.

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Roxie's By The Slice / Unnamed French-Japanese Restaurant
Address: 1732 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Brendan Sodikoff's newly named Roxie's By the Slice should be churning out Brooklyn-style stone-baked slices this fall, but when is hard to nail down: Sodikoff says that Roxie's "may open in two weeks or two months." Meanwhile, his still-unnamed French-Japanese restaurant on the same block as his Bavette's Bar & Bouef is on track for a November opening.

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Vistro
Address: 112 S. Washington St., Hinsdale, IL
Vistro, Paul Virant's upcoming family-friendly Hinsdale restaurant, is looking to open in less than two weeks. The "global bistro" will feature a fish of the day, a wood oven for pizzas, and focus on comfort food classics.

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Baker Miller
Address: 4610 N. Western Ave.
Dave and Megan Miller left Bang Bang Pie Shop to start up their new venture, Baker Miller, which plans on opening mid-to-late September. They have a Kickstarter campaign to generate the capital they need to meet demand for their milled grains and have named this aspect of the business Baker Miller Flour.

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Formento's
Address: 925 West Randolph
The Bristol Group's ode to red-sauce Italian restaurants has grabbed a solid list of cooking power with executive chef Tony Quartaro, sous chef Sieger Bayer (formerly of Leghorn), and Sean Pharr (formerly chef de cuisine at NoMI). Expect 96-layer lasagna, chicken Vesuvio, as well as housemade limoncello when the massive (9,600 square-feet) space opens in November.

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The Duck Inn
Address: 2701 S. Eleanor St.
When Kevin Hickey left Allium it was with the idea that he'd revamp what is now Bottlefork and then move on to his own project. Since then, Hickey became the director of food and beverage for Rockit Ranch and The Duck Inn is now under their umbrella with an opening finally due later in the year. Not much more is known about what Hickey has in store but expect big things.

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Shake Shack
Address: 66 E. Ohio St.
Chicago is oh-so-close to getting its first taste of restaurateur Danny Meyer's Shake Shack. The enormously popular burger spot will be across the street from Eataly in the former Harley Davidson store. A second location has already been announced.

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The Northman
Address: 4337 N. Lincoln Ave.
Details are still scarce on The Northman, described as "Chicago's first cider pub," by the folks who brought you Fountainhead. Cleetus Friedman is handling the food at both and preview events have focused on housemade charcuterie, which Friedman is known for, so there's that to look forward to.

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Bascule Wine Bar
Address: 1421 W. Taylor St.
With little renovating to do, Bascule Wine Bar is about a month out from opening in the former Urban Union space. From 2013 Jean Banchet best sommelier Jason Prah (Acadia) and 2012 nominee Scott Harney (Eno Wine Room), the restaurant will put the wood-burning oven to good use and the wine will include affordable international varieties.

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The Kitchen
Address: 316 N. Clark St.
The Kitchen, the environmentally-friendly, farm-to-table restaurant mini-chain based in Colorado is opening with Johnny Anderes (Telegraph) as head chef. Anderes expected to lay low this summer after leaving Telegraph, but was drawn in by the group's philosophy and dedication to food education. Housed in the Reid Murdoch building, expect a wine room, raw bar and an open kitchen when it opens in mid-to-late September.

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Umami Burger
Address: 1480 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Anticipation is high for the opening of Chicago's first Umami Burger, due imminently. Hiring began in mid-July and the location's décor will be music-themed, including a stage that will occasionally feature live music. Though the company's core menu will be in place, items tailored to Chicago will be included.

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Benjamin Schiller Bar
Address: 2200 W. Lawrence Ave.
Details remain scarce on Benjamin Schiller's upcoming bar (on the same block as a new Roots, The Fifty/50 Group's Quad Cities-inspired pizza joint), but expect high-end cocktails, no TVs and only one, unnamed food item that Schiller has been researching for years.

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Geek Bar
Address: 1960 N. Clybourn Ave.
Geek Bar is being designed as a temple of geekdom, a place that will serve food and drinks as well as host gaming parties, TV screenings, movie nights and other special events for the geek community. Originally set to open this past June, now expect it before winter comes.