Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

Tamale Spaceship Officially Opens Today in Wicker Park

Michael Hamrick - Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Wicker Wire: It's official. At long last Tamale Spaceship has opened their bricks + mortar location at 1341 N. Damen Avenue effective today July 8, 2014. . They opened at 11am and are currently serving tamales, tacos, guacamole and more.

See you there.


Updated July 2, 2014

The highly anticipated Tamale Spaceship is just finishing up the final touches of their new space at 1341 N. Damen Avenue. Construction and permit delays pushed the opening back earlier this year and the former home of Gratto at Damen Ave and Evergreen will now play host to a wide range of tamales and tacos just steps away from Big Star. The new Mexican eatery will feature 9 different types of tamales (for starters),  3 different types of tacos, a chicken wrap, soups and salads (including an authentic Mexican chopped salad), plus artisanal ice cream and sorbet.

The menu is still being finalized and the eatery will open as BYOB with seating for 40 (30 exterior patio spots and seating for 10 indoors).

Look for Tamale Spaceship's new bricks and mortar space to open mid-July in Wicker Park.



Tamale Spaceship Lands in Wicker Park in Two Weeks [Chicagoist]

Tamale Spaceship Food Truck Co-Owner Dishes on Wicker Park Eatery Menu [DNAinfo]



photo credit: Tamale Spaceship via Facebook

Published April 2014: At the end of last Summer, the owners of Tamale Spaceship asked us if we knew of any commercial spaces open for restaurants. We told them 1341 N. Damen Avenue had just become available as Gratto Pizza had just closed up shop and the rest is history. They quickly signed their lease making it official; moving beyond their food truck and into bricks & mortar. Great location and perfect fit for the neighborhood, Tamale Spaceship is preparing to open very soon in Wicker Park.

So what is Tamale Spaceship? Tamale Spaceship is currently a food truck that serves delicious Mexican fare, "space guacamole" and - you guessed it - tamales. Inspired by Mexican wrestlers, lucha libre masked owners greet you at the truck. We're not sure if the wrestling masks will be part of the ambiance in the new location. We hope so.


According to a recent report by Eater Chicago, Tamale Spaceship is preparing to open in Wicker Park, the 1st or 2nd week in June 2014. For a peek at their current MENU

Chicago's Most Anticipated Openings [Eater Chicago]

Wicker Park's XOCO Targets July ... and They're Hiring

Michael Hamrick - Friday, June 06, 2014

Photo courtesy of XOCO via Facebook

Wicker Wire: The new Rick Bayless spot was originally targeting a Spring opening in the former location of Salud at 1471 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Bayless is now targeting a late July opening according to a report published by Eater Chicago. 

The Wicker Park location will be bigger than the original and will include a bar, local beer, table service and a large patio. They are also currently hiring.


Bayless Updates [Eater Chicago]

Bayless is Hiring for Wicker Park Location [Chicagoist]


Max's Wine Dive Opens in Wicker Park

Michael Hamrick - Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Photo courtesy of Max's Wine Dive via Facebook

June 3rd was a big day for new openings in the neighborhood. Mariano's Market opened their new 80,000+ square foot grocery store at 2112 N. Ashland Avenue, Craft Pizza Chicago opened in the former Haute and Dog space at 1252 N. Damen Avenue and the Texas-based chain restaurant Max's Wine Dive opened in the former Covo Gyro Market space at 1482 N. Milwaukee Avenue.

Max's Wine Dive, whose mantra is "Fried Chicken and Champagne... Why the Hell Not?", opened quietly on Tuesday and will serve "a top-notch food and wine program" served in an eclectic and casual environment with exposed brick and an open kitchen.

Max's Wine Dive hours are  Monday-Thursday 4pm-10pm , Friday-Saturday 10am-1am and Sunday 10am-11pm.

Fried Chicken Take Out Heads to Wicker Park

Michael Hamrick - Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wicker Wire: LQ Chicken Shack will be heading to Wicker Park very soon. Moving into a very small section of Lillie's Q at 1856 W. North Avenue, the new takeout window will face Wolcott Avenue and will feature their signature smoked fried chicken for those looking for barbeque on the go.

According to a report published by Eater Chicago, a variety of sizes will be available ala Colonel Sander's buckets of chicken. Unfortunately, drinks won't be available and you won't be able to take your bucket to the patio. The patio will be available for dine-in customers only.

Look for Lillie Q's new LQ Chicken Shack takeout window to open mid- June.


Charlie McKenna Opening Fried Chicken Take Out Window at Lillie's Q [Eater Chicago]

Banh Mi & Co Opens in Wicker Park

Michael Hamrick - Saturday, May 10, 2014

photo courtesy of Banh Mi & Co via Facebook

In case you're wondering, Banh Mi & Co has officially opened their doors in Wicker Park in the former location of Purple Cow Ice Cream at 1740 W. Division Street. They'll be open until 10pm tonight if you'd like to give them a try.

We're loving the walk-up window. See you there.

Happy Fish Fryday - 7 Spots Where You Can Find It Today

Michael Hamrick - Friday, March 21, 2014

photo courtesy of Big Star

Wicker Park - Whether you're observing Lent or just in the mood for seafood, here are a few recommendations right in our own back yard:


1)Antique Taco or Big Star - Fish Tacos-  Either of these spots are great for fish tacos. The Crispy Fish Tempura Tacos at Antique Taco are served with sriracha tartar sauce, smoked cabbage, chives, sesame. At Big Star the beer battered tilapia is served with chipotle may, cabbage, cilantro and lime.

Antique Taco- 1360 N. Milwaukee Avenue  *** Big Star- 1531 N. Damen Avenue


2)Frontier Fish Fry Fridays

Now through Friday, April 11

$15 Fish Fry Fridays

In observance of Lent beginning Friday, March 7, Frontier will offer $15 Fish Fry Fridays with rotating fish options, hushpuppies and hand-cut fries. 1072 N. Milwaukee Avenue


3)Link's Taproom - Friday Fish Fry and New Menu additions. Link's Taproom recently added smelt to their daily menu and on Fridays they include a weekly fish fry. The fish fry includes: lake perch, a potato pancake, french fries, cole slaw and of course tartar sauce. You can wash it all down with your choice of 36 drafts. 1559 N. Milwaukee Avenue.


4)Mac's American Bar - Friday Fish Fry - every Friday through April 18th from 5:00pm - 11:00pm Mac's is serving up a fish fry & chips; through Lent only. 1801 W. Division Street.


5)Mariscos El Veneno - Seafood with a Mexican flair- Two blocks south of Division Street on Ashland, this tiny neighborhood gem serves everything from lobster to red snapper, prawns and more. And the price is very reasonable. 1024 N. Ashland Avenue. Additional details.

6)Takito Kitchen - Takito is offering a Sesame Tempura Shrimp Taco through April 11th only that includes: a sesame tortilla, habanero turmeric aioli, napa cabbage, pickled carrots, Urban Till cilantro. $15 for 3 or $19 for 4. Lunch or dinner. 2013 W. Division Street.


7)The Savoy - Anything and everything - The Savoy brings globally inspired seafood and a raw bar to the heart of Wicker Park. So you have many options from which to choose. 1408 N. Milwaukee Avenue.

The Fifty/50 Celebrates 6 Years in Wicker Park Tonight

Michael Hamrick - Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Celebrate 6 years with The Fifty/50   - 2047 W. Division Street - Wicker Park.

Join The Fifty/50 on Wednesday, March 19 beginning at 6pm for their Six-Year Anniversary Party! $1 house shots, $2 select sliders, $3 Fireball shots, $4 craft drafts, $5 Grey Goose FLAVORS vodka cocktails, $6 orders of their famous jumbo chicken wings, FREE birthday cake from their sister restaurant West Town Bakery & Diner, Hawks game, Bulls game, and a bunch of other fun stuff.
The Fifty/50 is located at 2047 W. Division Street in Wicker Park.

New Wicker Park Potbelly's Opens Wednesday

Michael Hamrick - Monday, March 17, 2014


Wicker Wire: Moving in to the space formerly Oberweis at 1293 N. Milwaukee Avenue, the Potbelly Sandwich Shop will officially open their doors to the public at 11:00am on Wednesday March 19, 2014.

They are hosting a fundraiser tonight where $5 buys you a sandwich and proceeds will help to raise funds for Wells Community Academy High School. They'll close up shop again tonight and reopen on Wednesday.


 Embedded image permalink


$10 Burgers and Beer Tonight At Trenchermen

Michael Hamrick - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

image courtesy of Trenchermen via Facebook

Every Wednesday night Wicker Park's Trenchermen at 2039 W. North Avenue offers a special burger and beer pairing for just $10. Tonight March 12th the featured burger includes cranberry compote, Brie cheese and bacon. And it's being paired with 3 Floyd's Alpha King. 

They offer a limited number of burgers each Wednesday. First come- first served When they're gone, they're gone. 

Leghorn Chicken Opens Thursday

Michael Hamrick - Tuesday, March 04, 2014

photo courtesy of Leghorn Chicken via Twitter

Wicker Wire: Ukrainian Village's Leghorn Chicken at 959 N. Western Avenue opens Thursday according to a report published earlier today via Chicagoist

The menu created by owner Jared Van Camp and Chef Sieger Bayer will feature 2 different types of sandwiches: pickle brined and Nashville-style hot chicken. They will offer rotating menu items like fried chicken skin, chicken nuggets and chicken fried fries and use only locally sourced chicken and produce.

Leghorn Chicken will open daily at 11am and will stay open until they run out of food.

Leghorn to Open Thursday [Chicagoist]

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