Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

Wicker Park's Mahalo Opens Wednesday in Former Bom Bolla Space

Michael Hamrick - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Photo courtesy of Mahalo via Facebook.

Wicker Wire: Originally scheduled to open Summer 2016, Mahalo is opening earlier than expected. The new casual Hawaiian eatery is opening today in the former location of Wicker Park's Spanish Cava Bar, Bom Bolla, at 1501 N. Milwaukee Avenue.

Designed with a modern Hawaiian surf shack feel, Mahalo is hoping to transport you into a vacation-like atmosphere. Even the rooftop deck will include picnic tables and string lighting to help set the mood. The two-story building includes a 2,500 square foot bar and dining area on the first floor, another full service beach bar on the second floor and the 1,000 square foot rooftop patio. 

The lunch & dinner menu will offer an entertaining array of Polynesian-Asian fusion cuisine served with a modern flair including Pupu, Poke, Yakitori, Salad and Large Plate options. They will also be including Spam Meatballs. Seriously, there are multiple dishes with Spam in them. The drink menu will include Mai Tai cocktails made with rum and tropical fruit juices, as well as beer and wine selections. On the weekends, Mahalo will feature a brunch menu.

The official opening date is Wednesday June 1st, 2016 at 3:00pm. See you there.

Chef of Bucktown's Le Bouchon Killed in 15 Car Pileup

Michael Hamrick - Sunday, April 10, 2016

Photo credit: Le Bouchon.

We are very sorry to report the heartbreaking news that talented chef and restaurateur Jean-Claude Poilevey died early Saturday morning in an icy car crash on the Eisenhower expressway. The crash involved 15 cars and occurred at 12:40am. Poilevey was the sole fatality at the accident and, according to the Chicago Tribune, had stepped out of his car at the scene.

A highly respected icon for decades in the French dining community, Poilevey opened his first restaurant in 1973 and Bucktown's Le Bouchon in 1993 where it has served as a staple in the community for over 20 years. He later opened Le Sardine in the West Loop in 1998.

Le Bouchon is a true treasure in Bucktown. Located at 1958 N. Damen Avenue, walking into this tiny restaurant is like walking into a Parisian bistro. The eatery is warm and cozy. The food: authentic French fare and delicious.  The staff friendly and accommodating. The 71-year-old chef cooked service every night. Posted on Le Bouchon's Facebook page: Our hearts our broken. We have lost an incredible man, chef and friend.

Le Sardine and Le Bouchon were closed Saturday night. Memorial services are pending.

Celebrate National Donut Day in Wicker Park

Michael Hamrick - Thursday, June 04, 2015

Wicker Wire: Friday June 5th is National Doughnut Day and here's how you can celebrate the blessed event in Wicker Park.

Glazed & Infused - For one - and one day only - the blessed Crème Brûlée Doughnut makes a return visit. Plus they'll be giving away sprinkle shots. 1576 N. Milwaukee Avenue.

Stan's Donuts - Score a FREE glazed donut with any beverage purchase. First come, first served. 1560 N. Damen Avenue. 

Miko's Italian Ice Opens Today in Bucktown

Michael Hamrick - Friday, April 17, 2015

photo courtesy of Miko's Italian Ice via Facebook

When Miko's Italian Ice announces they're opening, can Summer be far behind? The seasonal shop focuses on, you guessed it, Italian ice, opening every Spring and closing each Fall for the Winter. Flavors include everything from: watermelon, mango and kiwi to coconut, chocolate and green tea.

Originally scheduled to open tomorrow, Saturday April 18 2015, they've opted to take advantage of the picture-perfect 70 degree weather today opening at 2pm. They'll be open today until 7pm and will reopen again on Saturday at 12pm.

Miko's Italian Ice is located at 1846 N. Damen Avenue in Bucktown and 2234 N. Sacramento in Logan Square. Happy Spring. 

Wicker Park's Scone City Opens Tomorrow

Michael Hamrick - Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Photo courtesy of Scone City via Facebook 

Owners Jess and Tim Canning, have announced they are opening Wicker Park's newest coffee shop early next month. But it won't be a regular old coffee shop. This new eatery will focus on traditional British treats, scones. And you'll find many different types at Scone City. According to a report published earlier by Chicago Magazine, you'll find sweet and savory versions of these light & buttery treats including 8 to 10 different flavors daily. Think triple chocolate or blueberry with lemon glaze. Savory flavors will include: hot dog and brie & honey. You will also be able to add: clotted cream, lemon curd and salted caramel drizzle.

The scones will be made at Lemon Tree Grocer in Downers Grove (where Tim is a co-owner) and transported to Wicker Park when the shop first opens with plans to potentially add space for a restaurant and pastry chef in-house at a later time.

The coffee will be provided by Halfwit Coffee Roasters. 

Look for Scone City to open April 1st at 1632 W. Division Street in Wicker Park. Ph: 773-904-8722.

Wicker Park's Mondo Meatball Celebrates Opening With Free Sliders

Michael Hamrick - Saturday, March 21, 2015

Photo courtesy of Mondo Meatball via Facebook

Wicker Wire: Mondo Meatball opened this week in the former location of Azzurra Chicago, 1467 N. Milwaukee Avenue. And nothing says Grand Opening quite like free food. To celebrate their opening, they've given away free samples. This weekend, they're giving away free sliders.

On Sunday, March 22nd from 12pm-2pm Mondo Meatball will be giving away 200 free meatball sliders. First come first served. 

Taste Test Wicker Park's Newest Meatball Shop Sunday

Michael Hamrick - Friday, March 06, 2015

Photo provided courtesy of Mondo Meatball via Facebook

Wicker Wire: Mondo Meatball has taken over the space formerly Azzura Chicago, at 1467 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park. Azzurra Chicago closed on New Year's Day of this year. 

Before Mondo Meatball officially opens their doors, you can get an early preview with a free taste test of their menu this Sunday, March 8th from 1pm-5pm.

Mondo Meatball is targeting an official opening as early as next week.

Wicker Park's Newest Pizza Spot Hosts Grand Opening Today With FREE Food

Michael Hamrick - Saturday, February 21, 2015

image courtesy of Toppers Pizza

National pizza chain, Toppers, is opening a brand new restaurant in an already crowded pizza landscape in Wicker Park. Located at 1658 N. Milwaukee Avenue, just steps away from Dimo's, Piece Pizzeria, Lou Malnati's and Santullo's...and just south of Roxie's Pizza by the Slice, Toppers is hosting a Grand Opening today February 21st from 10:30am-4:00pm.

As an enticement to potential new customers they're offering free food all day long to people who follow them on social media. "Fans" who follow Toppers Pizza on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram will be awarded any MyZA or Single Order of Topperstix fo' FREE. 

Taus Authentic Officially Opens Today in Wicker Park

Michael Hamrick - Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wicker Wire: After an abrupt closing of Prasino last year, Chef Michael Taus quickly secured the space (and that huge patio) after touring it in August of last year and immediately began work on his new restaurant Taus Authentic.

Transforming the space into a cozy and elegant bar and restaurant, Chef Taus returns to his roots offering approachable modern French dishes across all different price points in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. 

Taus Authentic officially opens at 1846 W. Division Street today, Wednesday February 11 at 5:00pm.

La Pasadita - And Then There Was One

Michael Hamrick - Friday, January 30, 2015

Wicker Wire: La Pasadita has been in the neighborhood for decades. And it's always been a little fun and interesting to ponder why there were 3 different locations on one city block. The original La Pasadita at 1141 N. Ashland Avenue opened in 1976 and closed 2 years ago. Picante owners quickly snatched up the space and today, the original La Pasadita located at 1141 N. Ashland Avenue, has become Authentaco.

That reduced the number of La Pasadita locations on that one city block from 3 to 2. And today DNAInfo is reporting that the location for La Pasadita at 1132 N. Ashland Avenue has also closed effective this month; leaving just one location on Ashland Avenue now in East Village.

The largest of the La Pasadita locations opened in 1984 and this location (1140 N. Ashland Avenue) will stay open. According to the owner, David Espinoza, business just isn't what it used to be and the lunch crowd is non-existent.

But, for now, their holding their own.

La Pasadita's Taco Empire on Ashland Avenue Shrinks to One [DNAInfo]

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