Choose Chicago Media Relations
Contact: Anna Polovick Waggy, Media Relations Coordinator apwaggy@choosechicago.com

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (April 5, 2018) – Chicago welcomed 55.2 million visitors in 2017, a new record for the city and a 2.5 percent increase from 2016. The combination of record-setting growth and innovative attractions led Chicago to be Expedia’s most searched for city and Time Out’s best city in the world for having it all. Expanded airport renovations, a continued hotel boom, new dining options and more are just a few reasons to take a glimpse of what’s new and happening in Chicago this Spring and Summer. Visit www.ChooseChicago.com for more information.
 

ACCOMMODATIONS

Hotel Zachary at Gallagher Way, a 173-room boutique hotel located in iconic Wrigleyville, the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, opened March 30, 2018. Inspired by the designs of world-renowned Wrigley Field architect and Chicagoan Zachary Taylor Davis, Hotel Zachary is where history and style come together. From thoughtful amenities and artistic touches in every guestroom to locally infused dining and signature cocktails, Hotel Zachary delivers a genuine Chicago neighborhood experience. The hotel has a wide range of inspired cuisine for all, from five-star dining to street tacos and tequila.

Rooted in history, with an eye towards the future and an atmosphere of playful celebration, The Wheelhouse Hotel gives visiting tourists and locals alike a front row seat to all the action Chicago has to offer. The Wrigleyville hotel blends luxury and leisure with the comfort and convenience of home, complemented by the creativity and community of a big city. The 15,000-sq.-ft. hotel boasts 21 guest rooms, which offer a mix of city skyline views, unparalleled views of Clark Street and suites complete with outdoor terraces. The hotel also offers a rooftop overlooking the city with guest activities including rooftop yoga and a cocktail happy hour, as well as a restaurant, Union Full Board, and an underground cocktail bar, Tinker to Evers. The Wheelhouse Hotel is slated to open in April 2018, with investment in excess of $5 million.

The playful and experiential Moxy Hotels will debut its first property in Chicago in May 2018, boldly reinventing the lifestyle hotel experience in the Windy City. Moxy Chicago Downtown, located at the intersection of LaSalle and Grand, is thoughtfully designed with the “young at heart” audience in mind – engaging, smart and free-spirited. Moxy Chicago Downtown will welcome guests with its locally inspired contemporary design, industrial chic style and buzzing social scene. The bar in the lobby, Bar Moxy, will be the hub of the hotel, serving as the "front desk" where guests check in, receive their room key and sip a complimentary ‘Got Moxy’ signature cocktail. It will be an urban coffeehouse by day and an entertainment space with a fully stocked craft cocktail bar by night.

Designed as a luxury-lifestyle, four-diamond property engineered to achieve LEED Silver certification, SOPHY Hyde Park is a 98-room hotel currently under construction in Chicago's historic Hyde Park neighborhood. Developed by The Olympia Companies and SMART Hotels, SOPHY is near the site of the future Barack Obama Presidential Library, the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Medical Center and will be a member of the Preferred Hotels and Resorts Lifestyle Collection. SOPHY Hyde Park will be opening Summer 2018 and will feature a bar, full-service restaurant with al fresco dining and a state-of-the-art fitness center. SOPHY will feature artwork from contemporary Chicago artists and design elements inspired by the World's Columbian Exposition.

Opening Summer 2018, St. Jane Chicago will be the common ground for uncommon people embracing the arts and culture that defines Chicago. The 363-room property offers flexible public and private spaces, inspiring impromptu collaboration and connection. The guest rooms bring together eclectic styles with one-of-a-kind furnishings and playful framed art while providing timeless sophistication and contemporary edge with a distinctly Chicago twist. St. Jane will host multiple drinking and dining outlets in addition to the 24th floor lounge, featuring a full service restaurant, market café, cocktail bar and 11,000-sq.-ft. of meeting and event space.

The first ever tri-brand Hilton, which will combine a Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn and Home2 Suites, will join The Collection at McCormick Square complex in November 2018, conveniently connecting to McCormick Place via a sky bridge. The Collection at McCormick Square is a complex that includes the McCormick Place convention center, the new 10,387-seat Wintrust Arena, the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place and the new Marriott Marquis Chicago.

The former 1916 Atlantic Bank Building on Michigan Avenue is currently undergoing renovation, with the goal of reopening as the Hotel Julian in Fall 2018. With its iconic terracotta façade restored, the new hotel, steps from Millennium Park, will include a ground floor restaurant, About Last Knife, which will feature a folding glass wall separating its indoor and outdoor seating areas. The hotel is named for St. Julian Hospitaller, the patron saint of hospitality and innkeepers.

Construction is under way for The Hoxton hotel in the Fulton Market District, expected to be completed in 2019. The Chicago branch of the London-based Hoxton brand comes from prominent West Loop developer Shapack Partners. The Hoxton will stand at 11 stories tall with 175 rooms, two levels of office space, ground-floor retail and a rooftop terrace. In addition, Boka Restaurant Group will open a restaurant and bar in the hotel.

Hyatt Hotels is working on a new hotel in the West Loop set to open in 2020 across the street from the upcoming McDonald’s headquarters. The 53-story office tower is currently under construction and will have 220 guest rooms, two levels of parking containing roughly 40 spaces, a fourth floor sky lobby, a guest amenity level and ground floor retail space.

Scheduled to open in 2021, the 58-story Equinox will have 165 hotel rooms and 370 residential units in the West Loop. It will include an on-site fitness club and parking for 150 vehicles accessible via Court Place.

In November 2017, Cambria Chicago Magnificent Mile, a modern upscale boutique hotel adjacent to Chicago's Michigan Avenue, completed a $16 million room and public space renovation. All of Cambria Chicago’s oversized guest rooms feature modern décor with luxurious bedding, 55-inch HD TV’s, work desks with ergonomic chairs and complimentary Wi-Fi. On March 1, 2018, the hotel completed renovation on their private rooftop event space, which offers indoor and outdoor seating with spectacular views of Chicago.

On cue with the first signs of spring, the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park is blooming from a $12 million refresh of its 687 guestrooms and suites completed March 9, 2018. Anchored by 400+ acres of protected park space in the heart of downtown Chicago, the hotel enjoys pristine views of Lake Michigan, Millennium Park, Grant Park and the famous Chicago skyline. The hotel’s designers focused on bringing the park space indoors by incorporating fresh and vibrant tones in the guestrooms. Fairmont, Deluxe and Signature guest rooms offer 420-sq.-ft. of luxurious space, new HD TV’s and elegant décor.

Located in the West Loop, Chicago’s first hotel/gallery fusion Hotel Chicago is debuting a groundbreaking exhibit on April 12, 2018. Following a call-to-action for urban artists that received 70 submissions, the winning artists, headlined by JC Rivera, will put their unique spin on renovations by creating giant wall murals in guestrooms tied to their vision of Chicago. When not in use, the mural rooms will be on free public display, as are all four hotel galleries that contain 100 works.

Marriott Chicago at Medical District/UIC underwent a multi-million-dollar, full guest room renovation completed on March 16, 2018. New rooms boast the comfort of 300 thread count sheets, 55-inch LED flat screen TV’s and abstract murals of Chicago’s bustling skyline. Designed with today’s traveler in mind, rooms are entrenched in blues, greys and whites, offering modern and contemporary décor.

 

ATTRACTIONS & TOURS

On April 1, 2018, 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck launched 360 ChiSeries, offering daily bonus experiences in a one-of- a-kind entertainment venue. Home of the TILT thrill ride, 360 CHICAGO has developed a lineup of complimentary activities for those purchasing a general admission ticket (with exception of 360 Sky Yoga Saturdays). 360 ChiSeries includes a wide range of activities that include 360 Tripod Monday, 360 Sky Guide, 360 Sky Art, 360 Hoppy Hour, 360 Sky Trivia, 360 Sky Yoga and 360 Sunday Funday.

Bobby’s Bike Hike, Chicago’s top-rated tour company for biking, walking and food tours, is proud to kick off its 16th season and introduce the “Electric Bikes @ Night Tour” featuring a new fleet of E-bikes. Chicago’s first Electric Bike tour rolls out Saturdays nights in April 2018. Roll through the Windy City on two-wheels with ease, and see some of the city’s most beautiful landmarks lit up after dark. This tour will ride up and down Chicago’s lakefront, exploring a few of Chicago’s numerous parks and beaches.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF)’s new Chicago Architecture Center will be a must-see cultural destination and Chicago’s premier connection to architectural adventure and discovery. Opening Summer 2018, the Chicago Architecture Center will be home to a world-class gateway to an unparalleled range of architectural experiences including a new set of exhibits and spaces. The Chicago Architecture Center will be at 111 E. Wacker Dr. - the “Four Corners” of Chicago where Michigan Avenue crosses the Chicago River and just above the dock for the CAF River Cruise. The dramatic new space, behind a 40-foot-tall curtain of glass, looks out on some of Chicago’s most iconic buildings.

Starting in April 2018, Chicago Detours will debut its new “Fulton Market Factories, Galleries and Calories Food Tour.” Guests will get a glimpse of this booming neighborhood’s meatpacking past and enjoy a taste of its gourmand present. On a one-mile jaunt through Fulton Market, guests will see the historic buildings that housed 19th-century meat and produce vendors which are now home to an array of high-end restaurants. This tour will be offered on a weekly basis May to October 2018 and private group tours will also be available.

After serving Chicagoans and visitors for over 35 years, Hot Tix has launched a new website making it easier than ever for people to access half-price tickets to Chicago’s 250 theatres. The $50,000 project by the League of Chicago Theatres, an alliance of theatres which leverages its collective strength to support, promote and advocate for Chicago's theatre industry, vastly improves the user experience and seeks to introduce more people to Chicago’s world-renowned theatre scene. The new eye-catching features on the Hot Tix website allows visitors to geo-locate the performances near them, discover something new and buy half-price tickets straight from their mobile device.

From April 29 to September 30, 2018, Lincoln Park Zoo will offer a new Fitness at the Zoo program with more than 100 fitness classes taught by certified fitness professionals on zoo grounds. Classes include yoga, meditation, Zumba, circuit training, Pilates and running and conditioning training.

Set to open in Summer 2018, the Odyssey Chicago River Experience is a single-level, glass-enclosed boat that will ply the waters of the Chicago River, offering stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding architecture. The vessel is available for full and partial charters, accommodating a maximum of 200 guests. Operating year-round, the climate-controlled Odyssey will offer upscale brunch, lunch, dinner and cocktail menus. The cruise boards on the north side of the Chicago River, near the NBC Tower.

The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club opened on March 29, 2018 in a 20,000-sq.-ft. sun-drenched oasis. This space in Bucktown features 11 gleaming, regulation-sized, cruise ship style shuffleboard courts, tropical cocktails, flamingo- flocked bathrooms, a rotating cast of indoor food trucks, a roof deck, 45-spinning DJ’s, oversized board games and a resort-worthy staff.

Shoreline Sightseeing is going to new lengths to ready its fleet for the coming 2018 season with a $5 million revamp. Shoreline owners Chip and Matt Collopy have sent three two-deck tour boats back to their original shipyard for a re- fitting that will lengthen each vessel by 26 to28 feet. The added length will allow for additional seating to meet the demand for Shoreline’s award-winning Architecture River Tour and also provide space for new environmentally-friendly generators, wiring and electric, sound systems and updated bar and concession areas. All three boats are expected back in Chicago for the start of the company’s 79th season on Chicago’s waterways.

 

FOOD & DRINK

The James Beard Foundation Awards, dubbed "the Oscars of the food world" by Time magazine, celebrates the best and brightest culinary professionals in America. Chicago is incredibly proud to host the nation's preeminent honors Monday May 7, 2018. Chicago has 14 James Beard Award finalists, including four for Boka Restaurant Group: Meg Galus for Outstanding Pastry Chef, Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz for outstanding restaurateur, the flagship Boka for Outstanding Service and Lee Wolen for Best Chef: Great Lakes. Andrew Brochu of Roister, David and Anna Posey of Elske, Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark of Parachute, and Abe Conlon of Fat Rice were also nominated for Best Chef: Great Lakes. Greg Wade of Publican Quality Breads is up for Outstanding Baker and Sarah Rinkavage of Marisol is in the running for Rising Star Chef of the Year. Sun Wah has been nominated in the America’s Classics category.

More than 130 restaurants will celebrate James Beard's culinary legacy and Chicago's vibrant food scene from April 27 to May 7, 2018, during James Beard Eats Week. Each participating restaurant creates a customized dish or menu inspired by the James Beard Foundation's namesake chef, a pioneer of American dining.

Bravo Media’s Emmy and James Beard Award-winning show “Top Chef” crowned Chicago native Joe Flamm the winner of Season 15 in an epic showdown at The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado. Flamm was awarded the coveted title of “Top Chef” and will receive $125,000 furnished by S. Pellegrino, a feature in FOOD & WINE magazine and a showcase at the annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen. Chef Flamm celebrated the season finale at Spiaggia with his friends, family and fellow Top Chef teammates. Flamm serves as the Executive Chef at Chicago's Michelin-starred Spiaggia and Café Spiaggia in Chicago. Working with and for the inimitable Tony Mantuano, Chef Flamm has learned fine dining with precision and confidence.

Bar Biscay, a "Spanish brasserie," opened February 23, 2018 in Chicago's West Town neighborhood by mfk owners, Sari Zernich Worsham and Scott Worsham and their friend Joe Campagna, with Johnny Anderes as executive chef. The menu features happy hour pintxos, vermouth on tap and a variety of Spanish and French flavors in the bright, fun space that is designed to be reminiscent of American minimalist artists, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin.

Beatrix Market DePaul opened its second stand-alone location in the Loop (23 E. Jackson Blvd) and the fourth of its kind in Chicago on April 3, 2018. The concept was created by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ Founder Rich Melman, Executive Partner and Divisional President Marc Jacobs and Chef Partners John Chiakulas and Janet Kirker. Beatrix Market DePaul includes a Beatrix coffee bar and bakery showcasing house-made pastries and coffee from Chicago roasters, Intelligentsia and Metric Coffee. New to this location is a full-service bar and lounge featuring local craft beers, spirits and wines, a pizza counter serving pizza by the slice and individual deep dish pizzas and a private dining room accommodating up to 16 guests.

Big Star, Chicago’s beloved bourbon and beer-focused, taco-slinging, honky-tonk hangout is headed north to open its second full-service location, directly across from Wrigley Field. Helmed by One Off Hospitality Group, Big Star Wrigleyville opened on April 2, 2018 and features two stories and 9,000-sq.-ft. of whole-hearted-taco-goodness, cheap drinks, live music and more. Located within the Hotel Zachary at Gallagher Way, Big Star Wrigleyville carries on the tradition of al fresco dining, boasting an expansive 87-seat patio that overlooks the city’s iconic ballpark.

Located along Division Street in Wicker Park, The Bourbon Upstairs opened in February 2018 and is the new premier destination for live shows, concerts and private special events. It is an event space with the capacity to hold up to 150 guests, outfitted for high quality live entertainment with a bar that boasts the same popular beer and drink specials along with Southern-inspired eats as the Bourbon on Division, located directly below. The Bourbon on Division and The Bourbon Upstairs are part of an overall $2 million renovation project.

Chicago’s only Irish steakhouse since 1986, Chicago Chop House, launched new dinner and dessert menus in March 2018 as part of a complete restaurant refresh. Irish owned, the restaurant was purchased in December 2017 by industry veteran, Matthew McCahill, who is dedicated to preserving its Irish roots with a $1 million complete restaurant renovation, from design to menus. Designed by Collins Designs & Co., the exterior and interior updates will bring back the familiar charm of the classic Irish steakhouse, while introducing a modern representation, including a new color palette, wood paneling updated with a sleek lacquer finish and new supple weathered leather furnishings. The renovation will introduce a new speakeasy dining room and lush Victorian dining garden, slated to open early Summer 2018.

Dog Haus, the celebrated craft casual concept known for its gourmet hot dogs, sausages, burgers and one-of-a-kind creations, opened at 2464 N. Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Park on March 17, 2018. Dog Haus has garnered critical acclaim and national attention for its signature all-beef dogs and hand-crafted sausages with no added nitrates and 100 percent Black Angus beef burgers, all of which are made with hormone- and antibiotic-free meat. All Haus dogs, sausages,burgers and fried chicken sandwiches are served on grilled King’s Hawaiian rolls, with an array of unique toppings. The restaurant also serves smaller-sized portions, a variety of sides, wine, beer and hand-crafted cocktails.

The wildly popular London-based entertainment concept, Flight Club, is thrilled to announce plans for a flagship U.S. location opening in Chicago in Spring 2018. Flight Club will be located in the buzzing downtown loop neighborhood at 111 W. Wacker Dr., above partner concept AceBounce. Flight Club will feature an exciting social experience for groups of all sizes, that combines the high energy of social darts with custom-made cocktails and delicious food options.

Indigenous flavors and spices converge at Fort Willow, a journey for the senses, which opened January 20, 2018. Located in a cozy nook of burgeoning Noble Square, the 2,500-sq.-ft. restaurant serves chef-driven and aromatic-rich cocktails, small plates and bowls that are inspired by the roots and traditions of iconic international culinary destinations from around the world. Fort Willow is owned by Chicago natives David Morton and Michael Kornick, who launched DMK Restaurants in 2009 with a mission to redefine casual dining through their shared passion for quality, method, design and hospitality.

Chicago pizza staple, Gino’s East, has launched their new #DeepAF pizza which features 33% more dough, 75% more cheese and double the toppings. “Deep AF” is not only the famous Chicago pizzeria’s new mantra, it’s also an actual menu item that can now be ordered at all Gino’s East locations across the globe for a price of $4 more than a regular medium pie. In addition, Gino’s East has begun a new recycling program at all their corporate stores and is selling a reusable bag in the Chicago market to help raise funds for Alliance for the Great Lakes. It has also pledged to donate a minimum of $25,000 to the non-profit annually.

A beacon for spirit aficionados, Mordecai Whiskey & Grill offers a new destination for both discerning drinkers and casual cocktail fans opening April 7, 2018 in the new Hotel Zachary at Gallagher Way. Developed by Folkart Restaurant Management, Mordecai’s extensive back bar features one of the country’s largest selections of rare, collectible vintage spirits. A full menu serves refined, American-inspired bar fare and grilled entrees. Designed by fcSTUDIO, the well-heeled bar and restaurant pays homage to the legendary Cubs pitcher Mordecai Brown, including a wall with his distinctive signature as an art piece. The top floor opens onto a generously sized patio, perfect for the energy and excitement of game days and for a cocktail in the neighborhood any time of the year.

From the owners of Lady Gregory's and Wilde, Munster Restaurant Group brings a modern Mexican restaurant to Andersonville. Octavio Cantina & Kitchen, named for literary icon and Nobel Prize winner, opened March 13, 2018 at 5310 N. Clark St. The restaurant features regional cuisine from around Mexico, mezcal cocktails and brunch seven days a week.

Oyster Bah is an everyday neighborhood restaurant in Lincoln Park serving up high quality seafood with the largest variety of east and west coast oysters flown in daily. In March 2018, Oyster Bah updated the interior space of the restaurant adding cozy booths to the dining room. Additionally, tons of new menu items were added with favorites including: classic New England style clam chowder; ginger sesame mussels with red fresno, chile and lime; prime burger with Slagel Farms beef; Roquefort, crispy onions and dijonnaise; Mediterranean swordfish skewers and more.

Chef Jennifer Kim, the acclaimed chef who most recently was the co-owner of Lakeview’s Snaggletooth, is bringing her forthcoming restaurant, Passerotto, to Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. Passerotto will be a traditional Korean restaurant serving Chef Kim’s takes on the dishes she grew up eating. Diners will be treated to dishes inspired by her Korean heritage and the progressive menu will feature a selection of authentic Korean shared dishes, with some Italian influence. The bar program will highlight a limited but well-rounded beer selection including some large format Korean- style beers and craft cocktails with influences from both Korea and Italy. The restaurant is slated to open May 2018.

Hailing from LA’s Sunset Strip, Pink Taco, the iconic, playful Mexican restaurant brand, opened on April 2, 2018, bringing its signature blend of energy, passion and simple, always made-from-scratch fare to Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Located at 431 N. Wells St., Pink Taco takes over the former Bull & Bear location with a $1.5 million renovation. The 9,600-sq.-ft. space features signature designs from the Sunset location in Los Angeles and art inspired by local artists boasting two floors and communal seating. Retractable garage doors allow Pink Taco’s energy to spill out to the seasonal outdoor patio creating a “top down” dining experience for 80 guests.

Punch Bowl Social opened its 30,000-sq.-ft., award winning “eat, drink, play” concept in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood on March 10, 2018. Located within the area’s nascent Fulton Market District, Punch Bowl Social pairs made-from-scratch dishes and craft beverages with social activities like shuffleboard, Ping-Pong, marbles, 80’s video games, bowling, virtual reality and skee-ball. Punch Bowl Social brings to Chicago its high-integrity culinary program and craveable diner-inspired menu created by the company’s culinary partner, James Beard Award-winning chef and Top Chef judge, Hugh Acheson.

RPM On The Water, a dramatic four-level restaurant and events venue, is set to open on the north side of Chicago’s downtown riverfront at 321 N. Clark St. in Summer 2019. This marks the fourth collaboration for the RPM Restaurants team of partners, celebrity couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic, acclaimed Chef Doug Psaltis and siblings R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. The building that RPM On The Water will occupy is part of a $50 million building upgrade with global real estate developers Hines, Levy Family Partners, Diversified and American Realty Advisors who are working with architecture firm Goettsch Partners. Award-winning architecture and design firm Rockwell Group will be handling the restaurant’s interiors.

Ten years ago, partners Rob Brenner and Billy Helmkamp opened The Whistler. In January 2018, along with original bartender Eric Henry, the three partners opened doors to Sleeping Village in Avondale. Located at 3734 W. Belmont Ave. in a low-slung building with a bright and airy interior, Sleeping Village is an all-day neighborhood gathering spot where guests are invited to stay for coffee, beer, cider and live music seven days a week. The 8,000-sq.-ft indoor/outdoor space features a bar focusing on an eclectic selection of beers and ciders, a 300-person music venue that hosts live music and entertainment events and a spacious 150-person outdoor patio which is open year-round.

Creating a modern meeting place between the city and the suburbs, Stefani Prime, which opened in Lincolnwood (ten miles outside Chicago) on March 29, 2018, is a comfortable restaurant offering prime cuts, the freshest seafood, signature Italian dishes and more. More than just a steakhouse, the name Stefani Prime is a nod to offering the best of everything from premium fare to top notch service. The menu from Chef Nolan Narut features high quality prime steaks and seafood. Guests will see a range from filets, lamb chops, seafood towers, dover sole, osso buco, seafood cioppino, pasta served from a cheese wheel and some tableside dishes.

From the Lettuce Entertain You team behind Ramen-san, Sushi-san opened in River North on December 22, 2017 with crispy hand rolls, bincho-tan roasted meats and ice-cold beer. Sushi-san uses the best ingredients it can get its hands on and keeps the techniques simple. Raw fish is transformed into craveable hand rolls, explosive nigiri bombs and pristine sashimi sets. Charcoal-roasted meats and vegetables, crispy tempura and late-night yakisoba pair with the coldest Japanese beer in Chicago. The restaurant features an open kitchen, a hand roll bar, a sushi bar and a fully stocked liquor bar with sake, Japanese whisky, wine and inventive cocktails.

Taylor Gourmet, Washington D.C.’s handcrafted hoagie shop, opened its first Chicago location on January 22, 2018. Taylor Gourmet serves Philadelphia-style hoagies, cheesesteaks and salads for everyone from the adventurous foodie to the sandwich purist by offering a menu that provides classics done right alongside inventive seasonal items. The menu serves a variety of meat-based options as well as vegetarian and vegan hoagies.

Inspired by the Art Institute of Chicago’s upcoming exhibition Mirroring China’s Past: Emperors and Their Bronzes, Terzo Piano’s Chef di Cucina Carolina Diaz has created a variety of special menu items in addition to the regular menu. From savory to sweet, dishes include chiu chow fun gor (shrimp dumplings and peanuts), smoked duck with steamed buns, gai lan (Chinese broccoli and oyster sauce) and pomegranate lychee tart. To complement the dishes, Terzo Piano has partnered with Easthill Tea Co. to offer premium loose-leaf teas in their natural form, highlighting the rich heritage and culture of the Chinese tea experience through three top teas presented in a simplified traditional service.

Tied House, a bold new restaurant connected to Schubas Tavern, opened on February 26, 2018 and brings a unique flavor to Lakeview and beyond. Tied House gives guests reasonably priced dishes, quality ingredients and elevated service with the ease of transitioning from a glass of red wine on a white marble bar to a rock concert in an iconic Chicago venue. As Executive Chef of Schubas Tavern/Lincoln Hall’s newest endeavor, Chef Debbie Gold brings refreshed determination and a wealth of experience to the historic corner of the city.

Truluck’s Seafood, Steak and Crab House now offers a notably refined dining experience in a reimagined two-story space at 41 E. Chestnut Ave. that opened December 2017. Delivering signature fresh-caught seafood and crab, prime steaks and an impeccable wine selection with attentive service, Truluck’s amplifies guests’ experience by also showcasing live entertainment nightly in the Stone Crab Lounge. The Chicago venue accommodates up to 325 guests and is available for meetings, luncheons and private parties. Truluck’s Chicago offers multiple private dining room options.

Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago has announced the evolution of its Michelin two-star restaurant into a reimagined dining concept. Scheduled to debut later this year, the restaurant will feature a new name, an exciting, transformed design, a vivacious atmosphere and a high-quality approach to approachable dining. The restaurant, with a name yet to be revealed, will feature an a la carte menu of contemporary American cuisine with influences drawn from European and Asian cuisine.

Award-winning Chef Bill Kim of Chicago's urbanbelly and bellyQ is coming out with a new cookbook on April 17, 2018. Born in Seoul, South Korea, before moving to Chicago at the age of seven, Chef Kim's breakout cookbook is titled Korean BBQ: Master Your Grill in Seven Sauces.

Chef Ken Carter and Restaurateur David Breo of Gather opened The Warbler in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood on January 23, 2018. Chef Carter brought the food philosophy he’s perfected at Gather - high quality ingredients and simple flavors, prepared with advanced techniques - and expanded on it. Menu highlights include lighter fare such as the freekeh salad with cracked grains, pomelo, sherry gastrique and rosemary crumble; Korean style chicken wings with tamarind glaze; and a bacon and egg flatbread with tomato and pesto; as well as heartier dishes such as risotto with butternut squash in cardoon cream, cedar roasted salmon or a juicy cheeseburger.

West Town Bakery + Tap opened on April 3, 2018 inside Hotel Zachary at Gallagher Way, bringing the celebrated bakery’s signature style to the city’s north side. The new location for the group expands upon the West Town Bakery brand, featuring plenty of new elevated baked goods, debuting exciting new design elements and products through the space and a fully stocked bar with plenty of beer, cold-brew coffee and cocktails on tap.

Located at 3433 W. Fullerton Ave. in the former Acapulco Night Club space, X will serve as an incubator for lifestyle and hospitality projects focusing on visual art, design and robust live music programming. Guests can expect laid-back island vibes to fill the space with a beverage program that expands on traditional Caribbean drinks. Opening Spring 2018, the 1700-sq.-ft. space with 85-person capacity space hopes to illuminate a direct connection to the community, bringing in artistic elements and sustainable practices to serve as a template for the burgeoning new West Side.

The Park at Wrigley development will become home to a new dining and bar experience envisioned by Chicago Cubs Manager, Joe Maddon and Award-Winning Chef Tony Mantuano. Centered at the pulse of all the action near Wrigley Field, Maddon and Mantuano are currently exploring how today’s society likes to gather around the table to eat and drink. The unnamed concept will be operated by Chicago-based Levy Restaurants with more information and a menu to be released in late spring.

 

MUSEUMS, EXHIBITS & FESTIVALS

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced the dates for Millennium Park’s 2018 summer season which runs from May through September. Millennium Park will offer traditional favorites like the Chicago House Music Festival, Chicago Gospel Music Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, Summer Music Series, Summer Film Series and SummerDance Celebration, in addition to dozens of free concerts, events, family activities, nature programs, work outs, public art and more. New this year, the Creative Youth Festival will take place on September 22, showcasing teen artists in dance, theatre, music, spoken word, the visual arts and more as part of the 2018 Year of Creative Youth initiative.

Art on theMart, a permanent large-scale lighting installation, will debut on the Chicago Riverwalk in Fall 2018. The art will project across nearly three acres of the southern facing façade of theMART, the building formerly known as The Merchandise Mart. In 2017, theMART engaged creative studio Obscura Digital and the Chicago based architectural firm Valerio Dewalt Train, to develop a feasibility study for projecting art on the south, river-facing facade of theMART. Obscura Digital is the foremost design engineer of large projection installations with the technical and design skills capable of developing architectural images at this scale.

12 years after the reclassification to dwarf planet, Pluto is still plagued by its lack of true planet status. If Pluto isn’t a planet, then what is? The Adler Planetarium’s award winning temporary exhibition What is a Planet? returns to continue the conversation. The exhibition addresses the most compelling questions in astronomy in a fun, dynamic way and demonstrates how new approaches and perspectives in science can help change our view of the universe. This temporary exhibition, which is included with general admission, opened in February 2018 and runs until October 21, 2018.

Mirroring China’s Past: Emperors And Their Bronzes runs February 25 to May 13, 2018 at the Art Institute of Chicago and will be the first project devoted to an in-depth study of the tradition of collecting ancient bronzes in China. The focus of this exhibition is not only how such works were unearthed in their original context, but also the different ways in which they were collected, classified and conceptualized throughout Chinese history. It aims to investigate how people approached bronzes; how a specialized culture developed around them that centered on the idea of antiquity; and how that culture made a significant impact on key individuals and on society at large.

As the largest repository of Ivan Albright works in the world, the Art Institute of Chicago is proud to organize an exhibition showcasing one of Chicago's most uncompromising artists. In exploring the "way of all flesh," Albright challenged conventional notions of art and beauty, earning fame as well as notoriety. His exhibition, Flesh, offers a focused retrospective of the artist’s most enduring masterpieces, which even today retain the power to shock, move and fascinate. Flesh: Ivan Albright will run from May 4 to August 5, 2018.

Drawn largely from the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection, Never a Lovely So Real: Photography and Film in Chicago, 1950-1980 highlights the work of artists, who, through their images and films, captured the life of their own communities or those to which they were granted intimate access as outsiders. Featured among them is a network of photographers who focused on Chicago’s South Side during a period coinciding with the emergence of the city’s Black Arts Movement. These projects are complemented by works created in other neighborhoods that were undergoing significant transformation. In a similar manner, Luis Medina gained the trust of members of Hispanic street gangs while photographing their graffiti in areas surrounding Wrigley Field in the late 1970s. Together, these works reveal Chicago’s character, lovely and ever so real. Never a Lovely So Real will be on exhibition from May 12 to October 28, 2018.

The Field Museum’s newest offerings that debuted in March 2018 invite visitors to investigate some of the biggest mysteries of natural and human history. Mummies uses CT scanners and 3D imaging to piece clues together about what the lives of people from Ancient Egypt and Peru may have been like. In addition to the mummies themselves, guests will be able to see rare artifacts, interact with touch tables of 3D scans and immerse themselves in ancient burial traditions with full-sized dioramas. By June 2018, the museum’s main hall will be home to a touchable cast of a Titanosaur known as Patagotitan mayorum, the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found, surrounded by some of its real fossils. Antarctic Dinosaurs opens June 15, 2018 and takes visitors on a journey through geological time to learn about dinosaurs that roamed Antarctica when it was a lush, wooded landscape.

Chicago conceptual photographer Kenneth Josephson has spent his career scrutinizing photography’s inherent reproducibility and circulation, making use of a mass-cultural archive of images and mastering self-reflexive, often humorous devices. Examining Josephson’s production from roughly 1960–1980, Picture Fiction: Kenneth Josephson and Contemporary Photography focuses on his four main, ongoing series: Images within Images, Marks and Evidence, History of Photography Series and Archaeological Series. Kenneth’s collection will run from April 28 to December 30, 2018 at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Largely drawn from the MCA Chicago’s permanent collection, the exhibition reveals concerns shared by Josephson and conceptual artists emerging in the 1960s.

An exhibition organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Senior Curator Omar Kholeif, I Was Raised on the Internet explores how digital technology and networked communication have changed how we see and experience the world. Focusing on art from 1998 to the present, the exhibition centers around the figure of the millennial—the digital native mythologized by marketing firms and large corporations— and the generation of artists and audiences who have come to speak a vocabulary unique to the digital age. It is organized around a number of themes which examine how new forms of identity and selfhood have been enabled by digital networks, how citizenship and surveillance are perceived in the age of Wikileaks and how politics manifests online and in real life through events such as the Arab uprisings of 2011. This exhibition will run from June 23 to October 14, 2018.

Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago is excited to present a new exhibition In Their Own Form, which runs April 12 to July 8, 2018. Using Afrofuturist themes including time-travel and escapism, In Their Own Form seeks to illuminate the ways blackness might hope to exist without the imposition of oppression, racism and stereotypes ever-present in Western cultures. Afrofuturism refers to a cross-disciplinary genre that combines science fiction, Afrocentrism, fantasy, technology and non-Western mythologies as an intellectual and artistic strategy to reimagine and repurpose the fraught past, present and future of the transnational black experience.

Don Jackson, founder of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards, former chairman of the DuSable Museum of African American History and gospel music producer, plans to open a National Museum of Gospel Music on the grounds where the Pilgrim Baptist Church once stood in Bronzeville. The museum will celebrate Chicago as the birthplace of gospel music and pay further tribute to the homegrown genre that’s given life to legends like Thomas Dorsey, Mahalia Jackson, Albertina Walker, Jessy Dixon, Shirley Caesar and more. It will have exhibits, an auditorium, a research library and space for community use. With a $37 million budget, planners hope to open by Fall 2020.

On exhibit now through August 19, 2018 in the Main Gallery at the National Museum of Mexican Art, Arte Diseño Xicágo: Mexican Inspiration from the World's Columbian Exposition to the Civil Rights Era surveys the early artistic involvement of Mexican travelers and immigrants to Chicago. Mexican crafts-people and artists visited or migrated to the city at the turn of the 20th century; some came to exhibit, some to work and others to witness the labor organizing by the rising unions. This exhibition features photographs, artifacts and works of art from the years between the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893) and the Civil Rights Era (ending around 1970).

Visitors can learn about the filmmaking process through hands-on activities inspired by some of Pixar’s most treasured films, from Toy Story to Inside Out during The Science Behind Pixar, opening at the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) on May 24, 2018. This exhibition offers an unparalleled view of the production pipeline and concepts used at Pixar every day. Participate in fun hands-on activities, listen to firsthand accounts from members of the studios’ production teams and even come face-to-face with re-creations of favorite Pixar film characters. The Science Behind Pixar is sponsored locally by BMO Harris Bank and will be at MSI through January 6, 2019.

The Obama Presidential Center is expected to open in 2021 in historic Jackson Park on the South Side of Chicago. It will include three buildings—a museum, forum and library—that will form a campus surrounding a public plaza. The Center is estimated to support nearly 5,000 new, local jobs during its construction and more than 2,500 permanent jobs once the Center opens. The Center will attract up to 760,000 annual visitors — and in its first 10 years, is expected to have a total economic impact of $3.1 billion.

This May, Shedd Aquarium will celebrate the diverse and vibrant beauty of marine life through the opening of its latest special exhibit – Underwater Beauty. Featuring thousands of animals representing 100 species, Underwater Beauty promises to be the aquarium’s most diverse special exhibit in its 88-year history. Developed and designed exclusively by Shedd Aquarium, the exhibit features five distinct rooms that display a variety of adaptations and characteristics of aquatic beauty, including Shimmer, Color, Patterns, Rhythm and a final room featuring ample seating and beautiful freshwater fish/plant life. Underwater Beauty will open May 25, 2018 and will run for a limited time.

 

PERFORMING ARTS

Adventure Stage Chicago (ASC), a program of the Northwestern Settlement, presents the world premiere of Roots in the Alley from April 6 to May 5, 2018 at the Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St. Adapted by ASC Playwright-in-Residence Carlos Murillo and based on a play by Lucas Baisch, the new work reinvents Mayan creation myths through the story of two heroic Chicago sisters who navigate through an online game, learning about their heritage and family along the way. Roots in the Alley is ASC’s first play to benefit from a new play development process formalized by Murillo, who along with Baisch worked side-by-side with school, youth and community groups at Northwestern Settlement over 12 months, using their input and participation to integrate community stories into the world of the play.

The historic Auditorium Theatre hosts Ballet Nacional de Cuba, returning to the city for the first time in 15 years, for three performances of Don Quixote from May 18 to 20, 2018. The company puts a distinct Cuban spin on the classic ballet. On June 9, 2018, local favorites Giordano Dance Chicago, return to the Auditorium Theatre to close out their 55th season with a high-energy, fast-paced Made in Chicago performance.

The Cher Show, the new musical based on the life and six-decade career of the iconic singer and actress, will have its pre-Broadway world premiere in Chicago at Broadway In Chicago’s Oriental Theatre, beginning June 12, 2018 for a limited five-week engagement through July 15, 2018. Recognized for her influential contributions to music, film, television, fashion and popular culture, the Grammy, Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy award winning entertainer’s life story will be brought to the stage in this new musical featuring her beloved chart-topping hits.

Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, Waitress will play at Broadway In Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre July 3 to July 22, 2018. This irresistible new hit features original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and direction by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus (Hair, Pippin, Finding Neverland). Inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s beloved film, Waitress tells the story of Jenna – a waitress and expert pie maker, Jenna dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage.

As the birthplace of modern blues, The Chicago Blues Experience, opening in 2019, will celebrate pioneering artists and generations of musicians who have been influenced by blues and continue to carry on its traditions. Situated near Millennium Park, it will be filled with history-driven interactive displays, tributes to local legends and Chicago blues memorabilia as well as a performance lounge and restaurant.

Chicago Magic Lounge, Chicago’s home for close-up magic, opened its new home at 5050 N. Clark St. on February 22, 2018. The renovated theater, designed by Morris Architects Planners, ushers in a new wave of entertainment, bringing back “Chicago Style Magic” under the leadership of Donald Clark, Jr. and Joseph (Joey) Cranford. From magicians to mind readers, Chicago Magic Lounge provides guests the unique, one-of-a-kind experience of seeing wonders up-close and personal. The newly renovated, 7,200-sq.-ft. building is an art deco-style magic lounge featuring secret entrances, a performance bar and a 119-seat cabaret theater with a mezzanine overlooking both the stage as well as the bar underneath it. In addition, the space features a separate, exclusive close-up performance room, the “654 Club,” where guests will have the option to get an even closer look into the world of magic.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s (CST) newly unveiled third theater The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare is site of the theatrical event of the season: Macbeth, adapted and directed by Teller (of Penn & Teller, the longest-running headline act in Las Vegas history) and Aaron Posner, April 25 to June 24, 2018. The celebrated directing duo returns to CST after their production of The Tempest in 2015, which won the Jeff Award for Best Production. Starring Ian Merrill Peakes as Macbeth and Chaon Cross as Lady Macbeth, Shakespeare’s psychological thriller immerses audiences in a world of dark magic and ambition, delving into the twisted psyches of the ultimate power-hungry couple.

Based on J.M. Barrie's beloved tale about the boy who wouldn’t grow up, Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s family summer musical Peter Pan, A Musical Adventure takes audiences on a high-flying musical journey with Peter, Wendy, the Lost Boys and Captain Hook to the enchanting world of Neverland. In a new version by Elliot Davis based on the book by Willis Hall, the 75-minute production features a captivating score by George Stiles and lyrics by Anthony Drewe, the award-winning songwriting duo behind Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, which was a smash hit on Broadway and the West End. Directed and choreographed by Amber Mak, Peter Pan, A Musical Adventure is presented June 27 to August 19, 2018.

In the first rock ‘n’ roll performances of its production history, Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, the North American debut of Timothy Sheader’s explosive, high-energy, Olivier Award-winning production from London’s Regent’s Park Open-Air Theatre, April 27 to May 20, 2018 at the Lyric Opera House. To guarantee a front row rock concert experience, the Lyric Opera will offer orchestra pit seating—the closest possible position to the stage—for the first time in the company's Broadway musical history.

The historic Theater on the Lake building has undergone renovations from a summer-only programming site to allow for expanded programming beyond the traditional summer season. This will make the lakefront a welcoming place for residents and visitors to enjoy recreational and cultural activities on Chicago’s lakefront. The newly renovated theater includes a 330-seat mainstage and productions will begin in Summer 2018. Acclaimed Chicago Chef Cleetus Friedman helms The Lakefront Restaurant, part of the newly revamped Theater on the Lake, which reopened in October 2017. The Lakefront Restaurant is an upscale tavern with seating for 125 at intimate tables, communal seating and a lounge area as well as the Skyline Patio, open seasonally.

 

SPORTS & RECREATION

The 312 RiverRun will connect the surrounding Irving Park, North Center, Avondale and Albany Park neighborhoods to three parks with one path for nearly two consecutive miles. Once completed, 312 RiverRun will transform the riverfront neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side into one of the city’s largest recreational hubs that provides residents with an unobstructed network of parks and recreational amenities. It will extend across 95 acres with facilities and programming for every athletic activity supported by the Chicago Park District. The project kicked off with the groundbreaking Riverview Bridge, which will provide a new connection for runners, bicyclists and pedestrians between the paths in Clark Park to the south and California Park to the north. The Riverview Bridge is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2018. A second project, the Irving Park Road Bridge and Multi-Use Path, due to be completed in late 2019, will extend a pedestrian and bike path under Irving Park Road and link California Park to Horner Park north. Completion of the Riverview Bridge and the Irving Park Road Bridge project will establish the full 312 RiverRun, providing a continuous path from Belmont to Montrose.

Sure to become a must-visit summer attraction, the Chicago Dogs, an independent professional baseball team based in Rosemont, Illinois (14.5 miles outside Chicago), are scheduled to begin their inaugural season in May 2018 with 50 home games. The team's home opener is scheduled for May 25 at Impact Field - a new, $60 million, 6,300-seat baseball stadium in Rosemont at the intersection of Balmoral Avenue and Pearl Street, west of I-294. A variety of experiences and ticket packages will be available for fans including a field-level party suite, private club level and multiple party decks.

From September 21 to 23, 2018, Chicago will continue to build on its role as a sports destination by hosting the second ever Laver Cup – a tennis competition in which six leading European players go up against competitors from the rest of the world. Held in Prague last year, Chicago will be the first U.S. city to hold the Laver Cup.

MB Ice Arena, the Chicago Blackhawks new community rink that opened in November 2017, is not only the new practice home for the team, but also a critical community space that serves as a hub for youth hockey development programs, recreational leagues and high school teams. The majority of the privately-funded, $65 million facility’s use will be dedicated to the community – from ice time, use of equipment, instruction and nutritional support to after-school programming with local organizations and nonprofits – providing more than $3 million of community benefits over the next five years. The new 125,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art facility houses two regulation-sized NHL rinks, 22 team and public locker rooms, medical and rehab facilities, a public fitness training center and a media center.

 

TRANSPORTATION

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced the city’s eight-year plan to expand O’Hare International Airport – the largest and most expensive revamp in the airport’s history. This announcement marks the first major capital improvements to O’Hare’s terminals in more than 25 years. A new Terminal Area Plan for O’Hare will completely redevelop the terminals and concourses, with Terminal 5 to undergo an upgrade and expansion, Terminal 2 to be largely demolished and rebuilt to include a new international arrivals facility and renovations made to Terminals 1 and 3. These changes will expand gate capacity and set in motion a wide range of other improvements to significantly enhance airline performance and the overall passenger experience. Through a new capital program valued at more than $8.5 billion, O’Hare’s facilities will receive a major upgrade. With construction to begin in 2019, the transformation is expected to be completed in 2026.

O’Hare International Airport has also announced a number of new domestic and international air services. American Airlines announced a new launch shuttle between O’Hare International Airport and New York LaGuardia (LGA) on April 4, 2018 that will offer business travelers hourly flights between the two cities with unique travel benefits. O’Hare has also announced new air services beginning February 2018: Cancun via VivaAerobus, Decatur via Cape Air, Guadalajara via Interjet; March 2018: Amsterdam via KLM, London-Gatwick via Norwegian, Munich via Lufthansa, Warsaw via LOT; April 2018: Dublin via United, El Paso via United, Helsinki via Finnair, Seattle via Spirit Airlines, Wilmington via United; May 2018: Budapest via LOT, Edinburgh via United, London-Heathrow via British Airways, Seoul via Asiana, Vancouver via American Airlines, Venice via American Airlines; and June 2018: twice-daily nonstop service to Bismarck via United, Calgary via American Airlines, Fresno via United, Krakow via LOT, Panama City via Copa. Nonstop service to Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa Bole International Airport via Ethiopian Airlines begins June 2, 2018. The addition of this new service represents the first-ever direct scheduled passenger service between Chicago and Africa. Air New Zealand will begin new nonstop service between Auckland and Chicago, beginning Nov. 30, 2018. This marks the ninth new international service to Chicago that is planned to launch in 2018.

The Chicago Department of Aviation is overseeing major modernization not only at O’Hare International Airport but at Midway International Airport as well. At Midway International Airport, a nearly $400 million modernization program is underway to improve travel to and from the airport including a larger security checkpoint for faster screening; more dining and shopping options; and an expanded garage for convenient parking next to the terminal. These modernizations are set to be completed by Summer 2020 and will improve the customer experience and meet growing demand for air travel through Chicago. Midway International Airport has announced airline service to San Juan, Puerto Rico via Southwest beginning Summer 2018.

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