Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

Our Picks for Brunch in Wicker Park, Bucktown

Michael Hamrick - Sunday, March 31, 2013

Looking for a place in Wicker Park or Bucktown where you can find a festive and delicious brunch for the Easter holiday? Here are few spots offering something a little special:


Feast- 1616 N. Damen Avenue

Time: 9am-3pm  Cost: $20 Adults - $10 Kids

Choose from holiday specials like Short Rib Hash and Sugar Baked Ham to Feast favorites like Chilaquiles and Eggs Benedict. Make your reservation today by calling (773) 772-7100 or visiting


Grass Fed - 1721 N. Damen Avenue 

$25 Per Person - Ph: 773 - 342 - 6000

Grass Fed has a three-course Easter lunch of lamb, salmon, chicken. For a look at the full menu. (reservations required).



Trenchermen - 2039 W. North Avenue

$28 Prix Fixe - Ph: 773- 661-1540

Trenchermen is serving a three-course Easter Brunch which will include: a cinnamon roasted leg of lamb, bass with buttermilk-asparagus-spring herbs, banana bread french toast and lamb cake. The final menu may change slightly. But the current planned menu is outlined below (reservations required).


Bunny Hops, Easter Egg Hunts, Free Gift Cards and More- Your Wicker Park, Bucktown Weekend Guide

Michael Hamrick - Friday, March 29, 2013
March 29, 2013


Hello and welcome to this week's edition of your Insider Weekend Guide. 

Thanks as always for joining us. We know this weekend is a holiday weekend for many so we're sending out our guide a little earlier than usual. This weekend we're including a few special events for this weekend only and a little news you can use. As a friendly reminder, street cleaning starts again Monday April 1st so keep your eyes open for those signs. We're also giving away a $25 Gift Card to Via Carducci so be sure to check our Facebook & Twitter pages for details and enter by 5pm today.


Last but not least we featured another great photo last week sent to us by photographer Robert Martinez of the North-Damen-Milwaukee Avenue intersection. It's a great shot and you can find it here.

For up-to-minute updates and news throughout the week, be sure to follow us on Facebook & Twitter and you'll never miss a thing. Thanks, as always, for joining us. Have a great weekend and and we'll see you in the neighborhood.




Big Onion Bunny Hop Bar Crawl

Bunny Hop Bar Crawl
Big Onion Tavern Group is hosting their very first pub crawl which includes brunch from 12pm-2pm. Food, drink and fun kicks off at Wicker Park's Fat Pour and tickets are $20. Bunny Hop Bar Crawl





Desperate Landscapes - Have an ugly yard? Or know someone who does? Desperate Landscapes is looking for you! They're heading to Chicago this Summer to redesign someone's outdoor space. So if you need a little help and would like to be on tv you'd better hurry. The deadline is right around the corner. Landscapes

Easter Service, Food & More - This year Urban Village is hosting a service and Easter Egg Hunt plus food and it will all be held at The Chopin Theatre on Sunday at 9am and 10:30am. For additional details. Urban Village.

Easter Egg Hunt & HOP - Got kids? This weekend don't miss the Annual Easter Egg Hunt in Wicker Park proper at 1425 N. Damen Avenue. But that's not all. They are also showing the movie HOP and it's free !

Logan Square Farmers Market-  It will still be a couple of months before the Wicker Park Farmer's Market opens. But you still have a little time to stop by the Logan Square Indoor Farmers Market. It's open every Sunday from 10am -2pm and closes for the season this weekend. Farmers Market.






New Wicker Park Development Pushes Prices
A new development is in the works at the corner of North and Hermitage Avenue (1611 N. Hermitage); the current home of a CITGO gas station. According the the MRED, the development will include 17 new luxury condos that will be 1,900 sq ft and the starting list price is $650,000. 1611 N. Hermitage






Photo: Custom cakes, cookies, pastries and more with a French & Mexican influence. Look for Golden Brown Delicious Cakes and Sweets to open late Spring or early Summer on Western Avenue >> <<

Easter Brunch Sunday - Looking for a spot for Easter Brunch this weekend? We can help you. Feast, Grass Fed and Trenchermen are all serving a special brunch/dinner just for the holiday that includes everything from leg of lamb to french toast. Reservations are required. For full details and menus: Easter Brunch.


El Rincon Azteca/Clarke's Go Dark - We're sorry to report that Clarke's has officially closed on Damen Avenue after trying to sell this business at the end of last year. No news yet on who is moving in. It also appears El Rincon Azteca has also closed their doors after being open for less than one year. The restaurant has been dark for a week. El Rincon.


Golden Brown Delicious Cakes & Sweets - Heading to 2039 N. Western Avenue, please welcome Golden Brown Delicious Cakes & Sweets. Here you'll find custom cakes, cookies, pastries and more with a French/Mexican influence. Look for GBD to open soon. The details.


Smoke Daddy's New Addition Opens- Yes the new addition at Smoke Daddy is officially open. They still have a few things to add; like a garage door in the front but it looks great. And it's spacious ...and sunny... providing much-needed additional seating to this delicious long-time barbeque favorite.





City Soles - Chicago, IL

Wicker Park's City Soles has just received a brand new shipment of new footwear and boots for Spring and they're hosting a 20% off sale this weekend online and in their store at 2001 W. North Avenue.

That's it for this weekend. Thanks again for joining us and for sending us your events and information. If you have information to share be sure you do so through our website.


 Have a great weekend and we'll see you in the neighborhood.



 The Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

Clarke's On Damen Avenue - Bucktown - is Closed

Michael Hamrick - Saturday, March 23, 2013

Clarke's DinerBucktown - Updated March 23, 2013

Apparently, business owners had attempted to sell the restaurant at the end of 2012 and early 2013. Asking price for the "turn key restaurant" was $130,000.00. After not being able to sell Clarke's on Damen, it appears the owners opted to shut down this location.



Bucktown -March 19, 2013

Yes, it's true. Clarke's on Damen Avenue  at 1704 N. Damen Avenue has officially closed up shop.

Most of us loved the fact that it was cheap, easy and 24 hours. But apparently there weren't enough of us to keep it going. And if you ever stopped in at lunchtime during the week, it was very quiet.

The other locations in Hyde Park, Wrigleyville and Lincoln Park are still open. Stay tuned for details on who the new tenant will be.

Your Wicker Park Bucktown Weekend Guide - St. Patrick's Day Edition

Michael Hamrick - Friday, March 15, 2013
March 15th, 2013


Hello and welcome to this week's edition of your Insider Weekend Guide. 

Thanks for joining us for St. Patrick's Day Weekend. Unfortunately, it's not going to be 80+ degrees like it was last year. But there are lots of parties throughout the weekend you can enjoy; some starting as early as 8am on Saturday. And Jerry's Sandwiches will be making Shamrock Shakes. You can also grab a one-of-a-kind delicious and festive donuts at Glazed and Infused this weekend at 1576 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Do not miss those.

We're very sorry to report the news we received this morning that Lillie's Q was involved in a fire last night that has destroyed a large part of their restaurant. They will be closed indefinitely. Additional details are included below. 


We have a lot positive information to share as well. And this week we're featuring a photo circa 1923. Recognize this building on Milwaukee Avenue? It hasn't changed that much.

For up-to-minute updates and news throughout the week, be sure to follow us on Facebook & Twitter and you'll never miss a thing. Thanks, as always, for joining us. Have a great St. Patrick's Day Weekend and and we'll see you in the neighborhood.





Vintage Vino,Laura Lee Junge

Opening Exhibitions - Jackson Junge Gallery's newest exhibition "Disturbbed Not Shaken" opens tonight in Wicker Park at 1389 N. Milwaukee Avenue and will feature the newest work of the talented Laura Junge.





Happy St. Patrick's Day

Let the parties begin! it's not going to be 80 degrees and sunny like it was last year. But you can still have a great time this weekend. Many of the weekend's events start tomorrow bright and early with Kegs & Eggs in the morning and much much more. For our top 10 picks for the best places to celebrate this weekend. St. Patrick's Day Parties






Lillie's Q "Destroyed" in Fire - We are very sorry to report Lillie's Q at 1856 W. North Avenue was involved in a serious fire last night (Thursday) that has destroyed most of the restaurant according to the Chicago Tribune. Lillie's Q will be closed indefinitely.

Bucktown Farmer's Market - Riverside Cafe, located at 1656 W. Cortland Avenue, is considering hosting a farmer's market every weekend this Summer in Bucktown. They would love your feedback. Interested in participating? Please contact Riverside Cafe for additional details.

Get Featured - If You Have an Ugly Yard - Do you have an ugly yard? Or know someone who does? Desperate Landscapes is looking for you. They're heading to Chicago this Summer and have issued a casting call for homes in need. Interested? You have to submit your yard by April 15th.
Eat, Drink, Learn Spanish - She's back. The amazing Elaine Winer and her incredible conversational Spanish classes will be heading back to Club Lucky this March. So if you're thinking of taking a class. Now is the time. Elaine's classes in January sold out.





Beer Nuts Annual St. Patrick's Day Party - Yep. Every year the team at Double Door covers their equipment in plastic for the Annual Don't-Miss St. Patrick's Party with the Beer Nuts. We're invited and so are you. Beer Nuts.

New Venue Heading to Wicker Park?  Chicago Chop Shop is looking to open this July at 2033 W. North Avenue; the home of a former auto mechanic garage. What can you expect? This new space will pack a triple punch: a butcher shop, restaurant/deli and event/venue space. The butcher shop/restaurant/bar will exceed 9,00 sq ft.  The event space/venue will be 5,000 sq ft and will be called The 1st Ward. Stay tuned for additional details about this unique business heading into the neighborhood.




Wicker Park, Bucktown Real Estate News
In addition to publishing information about "the state of the market", great deals, interesting sales, new developments and foreclosures, we also highlight Open Houses via our Facebook page. That 4 Bedroom Single Family Home we featured last Sunday? It's under contract. Lasted on the market just 6 days.




Antique Taco's Brunch - Antique Taco has jumped into the brunch arena and they seemed to be doing very well. When we were there, they were packed. On Sunday mornings, they serve up their version of Bacon & Eggs and Steak & Potatoes. Antique Brunch.

Red Headed Step Child - For 6 weeks, Bucktown's Ripasso will take on a whole new persona. The Red Headed Step Child will feature Irish- Italian food and rugby. But only for 6 weeks.  Details.

Takito Kitchen Opens This Week - Takito Kitchen has announced they will be officially opening this week, March 20th, in the space formerly the home of Sabor Saveur at 2013 W. Division Street. More gourmet tacos are heading our way. Takito Kitchen.




We are sorry to report that Kids Rule has announced they will be closing their doors at 1534 N. Milwaukee Avenue. They're not sure when their last day will be but they are hosting a huge inventory liquidation sale right now.

On a brigher note, Pistil & Vine is celebrating 2 years on Damen. Everything in the store will be 20% off this weekend in celebration of this milestone and anniversary. Wicker Park's Second Time Around is also hosting a big sale through St. Patrick's Day.

Last but not least, we received information this week about a new - and what looks like - very cool women's boutique called Moon Voyage opening at 2010 W. Pierce around the corner from The Violet Hour. This off-the-beaten path shop is owned by Chicagoan Susie Lee and combines both LA and New York influences into one shop. Moon Voyage.



That's it for this weekend. Want to receive this via email each week? Sign up below. Thanks again for joining us and for sending us your events and information. If you have information to share be sure you do so through our website.


 Have a great weekend and we'll see you in the neighborhood.



 The Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

Pizza House 1647 Opens In Bucktown

Michael Hamrick - Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bucktown - Updated: March 12, 2013

 Photo Courtesy of Chicago Magazine/Anita Cano


At long last, Bucktown's Pizza House at 1647 W. Cortland Avenue is officially open.

According to information published yesterday via Chicago Magazine: Pizza House 1647 will serve a thin, whole-wheat, cornmeal-bottomed crust, with house-made pizza sauce and sausage, cooked in an old-school revolving oven. Pies at the fast-casual, takeout-focused spot will top out at 12 inches in diameter.


They're planning a soft opening this week in Bucktown. We are unsure at this time whether they're planning to be open for lunch but are hoping to find out shortly. And we are definitely looking forward to that cornmeal-bottomed crust.




Photo Credit: Keller Williams Realty 2011


Bucktown- January 13,2013 This 2-flat located at 1647 W. Cortland Avenue in Bucktown was sold a year ago and is listed in the Multiple Listing Service as a foreclosure. Work has been underway for some time on this newly renovated space directly next door to Cortland's Garage and the restoration is really beautiful.

Bucktown's Cortland Avenue from Damen to Ashland Avenue has been booming. With new condos under construction, a custom single family home being built at Hermitage and Cortland, and the new luxury condos for sale at the Sisters of Resurrection Convent recently being developed by Ranquist Development, this quiet Bucktown street seems to be on the precipice of bigger things.

Building Post Purchase - 2013

So who's behind the beautiful transformation of this foreclosure at 1647 W. Cortland Avenue?  Word on the street is it's Bobby Paladino; one of the owners behind the very successful and long-time Bucktown favorite Club Lucky and he'll be opening a new pizzeria soon.  Stay tuned for additional details.


For up-to-the-minute news be sure you're following us on Facebook & Twitter.


New Music Venue Heading to Wicker Park

Michael Hamrick - Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Image Courtesy of DNA Info

Wicker Park - March 12, 2013


Is Wicker Park going to be adding a new music venue to North/Damen/Milwaukee Avenue? DNA Info is reporting that a new music venue, bar and deli-style restaurant may just be in the works for what was an old auto mechanic garage at 2033-2035 W. North Avenue.

According to today's report, the building was built in 1913 and is 9,300 square feet excluding the 5,000 square feet of event space in the back. The business may be called "Chicago Chop Shop" according to Matt Bailey spokesman for Alderman Moreno's Office. Plans for the space have been in the works for a year and a half and a meeting is scheduled with the Alderman to discuss the next steps with this venture.

If another music venue is added to this location, it will be in good company with Subterranean, Double Door and Debonair Social Club just a few steps away. Additional details will be available later say owners Nick Moretti and Joe Seigle. We will keep you posted.


Be sure you're following us on Facebook & Twitter and you'll never miss a thing.


New Wicker Park Music Venue to Move into Vacant Auto Body Garage

[DNA Info]

Vote for Your Wicker Park, Bucktown Favs - 2013 Eat Out Awards

Michael Hamrick - Monday, March 11, 2013

Time Out ChicagoImage via Time Out Chicago

There are only a couple of days left to vote for your favorite Wicker Park and Bucktown spots in this year's 2013 Time Out Chicago Eat Awards.

Wicker Park, Bucktown establishments who have been nominated include: Antique Taco, Carriage House, Pipeworks Brewery and Trenchermen. Be sure to vote while you can. Voting ends Wednesday March 13th.


2013 Time Out Chicago - Eat Out Awards


College Internships - Digital Media/Marketing/Journalism - Earn College Credit

Michael Hamrick - Wednesday, March 06, 2013

graduation capMarketing/Journalism/Adv/PR Students!

Work with the Insider's Guide. If you're interested in participating in an internship program to gain experience in digitial media while you're in school, this is the program for you. We are currently working with both Columbia College & DePaul College as part of their formal educational internship program so you earn school credit for your participation and the internships are available year-round.

This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who has an interest in Marketing or Media; particularly digital media. If you live in the neighborhood - or have an interest in Wicker Park & Bucktown, that's a huge plus but not necessary.

You will be working with people with many years of marketing experience and you will not be expected to work more than 10 hours a week. Your schedule will also be flexible to accommodate your school schedule and you'll work primarily from home.

What will you be doing? Your primary role will be helping us to review pertinent information as it comes through our doors and add it to our website.

The Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide is growing like crazy and we're creating a great team. Join us. This is a terrific opportunity for anyone looking for a career in digital media.

Interested? Send your resume to 

The info at the end is key.


Thanks so much and we look forward to meeting you !

All the best,


Thyra DeCicco


Alleged Serial Robber Shot in Wicker Park Tuesday Night

Michael Hamrick - Wednesday, February 20, 2013

At midnight on Tuesday February 19th 2013 people began asking us what was going on at North-Damen-Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park. Being located several blocks away (and it being midnight) we weren't sure.

But then the information came over the Chicago Scanner that said 1 or 2 had been shot by the Chicago Police Department in the 1600 block of N. Milwaukee Avenue. Approximately 40 Chicago Police Department vehicles were on the scene.

An individual suspected of 12 robberies in the area had just robbed a Subway in the 800 block of N. State Street and was in a high speed chase with Chicago Police. That chase ended with the suspect hitting a car parked outside of Walgreens at the North-Damen-Milwaukee intersection in Wicker Park.

According to ABC News Local:

The suspect had been wanted for at least a dozen other armed robberies at restaurants and convenience stores. All of the holdups happened between 11:30 p.m. and 2:15 a.m., all matching the description of the same man.

The man was shot but not seriously injured and was apprehended by Police.

North-Damen- Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park. Photo Credit Jaik Willis.




For up-to-the-minute information about Wicker Park and Bucktown, make sure you're following us on Facebook & Twitter.




 For additional details.

Chase, shooting in Wicker Park nets alleged serial store robber

Write for the Wicker Park, Bucktown Insider's Guide

Michael Hamrick - Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Photo via:

The Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide is a sophisticated website that covers local news, the arts, entertainment, food, drink, fantastic neighborhood events and retail in the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods. We drive incredible levels of traffic and have already exceeded 10,000 followers via social media (Facebook, Twitter).


The Insider's Guide was developed by a Wicker Park resident so viewers could be 'in the know' about cool information, deals and events from an 'insider' perspective. Because we are 100% indie, our information is authentic and genuine with no bias whatsoever. Our goal is also to inform people about where you can find the very best of the best in the neighborhood.


Interested in Submitting A Story? We love guest contributors and you're more than welcome to submit a story any time. Here's how you do it.


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