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 restaurants in Chicago 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.
This Mediterranean restaurant is offering new rotisserie options in response to the indoor dining ban instituted by state officials. The 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 such as dates, salted cod brandade, focaccia, and 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 Chicago 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. To accommodate customers impacted by the indoor dining restrictions in Chicago, El Che Steakhouse & Bar will offer weekly pop-up menus, 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 will be offering both takeout and curbside pick-up daily to customers at 2 PM due to the new COVID-19 indoor dining restrictions. 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 wine or a 64oz growler of beer. Available from Friday, October 30th through Saturday, November 7th.
Brand new experiential whiskey and wine bar, Grapes and Grains, will be offering to-go cocktails as well as signature dishes such as the Beef Carpaccio, Italian Smoked Burrata, and Charcuterie and Cheeseboard. Available for pick-up at the West Loop bar, guests will also have the chance to experience live music and outdoor seating when picking up their orders — GG’s will have a pianist that accepts song requests for guests to enjoy if they choose to sit on the first come first serve patio beginning at 5 PM.
For the first time, Nobu Hotel Chicago will be offering in-room dining and takeout from the beloved Nobu Restaurant, available for delivery or takeout via Postmates. In addition, the hotel is launching a new Family Gathering package for the holiday season, complete with a special Bento-Box culinary experience to be enjoyed from the comfort of the luxurious Sake Suites or Nobu Villa. The 11th-floor Rooftop at Nobu Hotel Chicago will remain open since it is not considered indoor dining by the state. The menu will be offered Monday to Thursday 4 PM to 10 PM and Friday to Sunday 12 PM to 10 PM. Breakfast will be offered for both hotel guests and for takeout.
One of River North’s favorite Italian destinations offers an expanded covered patio with radiant floor heating, as well as sidewalk seating with propane heaters. The full menu is available via Caviar and Door Dash. Additionally, Nonnina opened a separate room located right off the main restaurant entry, which houses Nonnina To Go: a fast-casual take on Nonnina’s Italian fare — including amazing Italian sandwiches, pizza, salads, market items, and wines by the bottle. Nonnina To Go is available starting at 10:30 AM weekdays, and the full restaurant menu is available for carryout Monday through Saturday.
West Loop hotspot, PB&J, is offering delivery and carryout services for all menu items including wine and beer. For those who do pick-up orders, they have access to live music from GG’s next door on the first come first serve patio. PB&J is available for delivery on their website and will soon be available on third-party delivery platforms including DoorDash and GrubHub.
Smyth + The Loyalist
Inspired by the great Chef Charlie Trotter, Smyth is introducing a new monthly takeout offering featuring heart-warming dishes that embrace the flavors of the season. Beginning Saturday, October 31, the first meal will include the following: beef short rib braised in red wine with butternut squash spaetzle; a simple salad with mustard-miso vinaigrette; and a chocolate-ginger tart with caramel for dessert. Each menu will rotate monthly for $37.25 per person. Available via TOCK for pick-up and delivery through Caviar, starting at 5 PM Tuesdays through Sundays. Additionally, The Loyalist’s a la carte menu is also available for pick-up and delivery featuring Chef John’s casual French fare including a French Bistro Salad, Deviled Eggs with Boudin Noir, Beet Tartare, the original Dirty Burg, and the new Dirty Diane Burger.
Sepia & Proxi
The longtime Michelin star and globetrotting restaurants in the West Loop will both reopen for takeout only on Thursday, 11/5. Takeout will then be available weekly Wednesday through Sunday, 5 PM to 8:30 PM, available for curbside pickup. Chef Andrew Zimmerman offers a variety of delicious mains at Sepia — from seared salmon to honey-glazed duck breast to a smash burger with onion rings — while Proxi a la carte offerings offer a variety of global flavors from Corvina in a Thai yellow curry, grilled Prime Short Rib Kalbi and Bhel Puri with crispies, tamarind, cilantro, chaat masala.
Robert Et Fils
One of Chicago’s newest restaurants in North Center is Robert Et Fils, a French fine-dining destination which opened for takeout only in August due to a small interior space and indoor dining regulations. Weekend five-course takeout for two is available Thursday through Saturday — including house-made bread and dessert by pastry chef Cati Molnar and rotating main and accompanying salad and side by Chef Rob Shaner. The takeout comes with a personalized note signed by the whole team, available to order via TOCK, in addition to wines, charity pastry items, and cocktail kits.
The largest patio in the city still offers ample outdoor seating with new firepits throughout to cozy up around as the winter sets in. Enjoy hot cocktails including warm cider and sangria, plus new entrees from the new chef formerly of Rockit Bar & Grill, Amanda Downing Salas.
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In addition to donuts and coffee, Stan’s is now a go-to for breakfast for savory lovers since launching their first-ever egg sandwich: the Stanwich. Stanwiches are available beginning November 9 at Stan’s Wicker Park, Oakbrook Terrace, and Streeterville locations, made from Rich Labriola’s house-made Parker House rolls with a choice of egg and cheese ($3.99); egg, bacon, and cheese ($4.99); and egg, plant-based sausage, and cheese ($4.99). Available for takeout and delivery, or donuts ship nationwide through Goldbelly.
The Press Room
Launching Wednesday, 11/4, the neighborly West Loop wine bar and restaurant is offering takeout and delivery via TOCK for a variety of curated experiences, Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 AM to 8 PM. Offerings include: ‘Date Night’ with a grand board of cheese and charcuterie and wine selections; ‘Italian Dinner’ with burrata, Tagliatelle Ragu, Cacio e Pepe, dessert and Italian red wine; plus Wine Tastings for 6-8 people, including 4 bottles of Red, Grandboards of cheese and charcuterie, plus wine tasting notes for each. The restaurant will offer a la carte to-go options to customers until the indoor dining rules are lifted such as housemade pastas, burgers, steaks, vegetables, and more.
The popular River North restaurant offers daily takeout and delivery available via Caviar, DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats to serve all of your weekend brunch, lunch, and dinner needs at home, as well as cocktail kits!
The popular Loop tavern operated by two Irish sisters, Amy & Clodagh Lawless, is open for heated patio dining, takeout, and delivery (GrubHub, Ritual, Tock) from Friday to Wednesday, 12 PM to 8 PM. In honor of Election Night, Nov. 3rd, The Dearborn is offering a special dinner package full of comfort food you can look forward to — available for carry-out or delivery for while you’re at home anxiously watching the coverage. For $75, guests will be able to pick their favorite two Dearborn tavern-style pizzas, plus one old fashioned mac n cheese, 12 secret recipe Dearborn Chicken Wings served with celery and blue cheese dressing, and six patriotic USA themed frosted cookies. Orders can be placed via Tock.
The award-winning Boystown (now Northalsted) neighborhood restaurant is still rolling with its expansive heated patio and sidewalk seating with a full menu. In addition, they are offering two and three-course packages (choose two for $22 and three for $33), for customizable prix-fixe meals available for contactless carry out at their front window.
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Featured Image Credit: The Loyalist Facebook