Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

Underdog To Reopen in Wicker Park

Michael Hamrick - Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Underdog Returns to Flash Taco Basementphoto courtesy of DNAInfo Chicago

According to a report published yesterday by DNAInfo Chicago, UnderDog is re-opening this year in the basement of the Flash Taco space 1570 N. Damen Avenue in Wicker Park.

Underdogg to Heat to Underdog Once Again

For those who may not know, UnderDogg (with 2 g's) was a late night hot dog spot that closed its doors to greasy fries and veggie dogs in 2009. The owners re-concepted and the space became Heat; a gourmet hot dog shop with an emphasis on game and other unique fare like duck and elk hot dogs and boar sausage. 

But now it seems the space is heading back to its former UnderDogg roots. The new concept is not only losing the extra "g", however. It's losing the gourmet spin and game hot dogs.This casual eatery is featuring a new menu including Mexican-style hot dogs, Vienna beef hot dogs and will eventually add an ice cream parlor and coffee. They will also be adding veggie dogs back onto the menu. 

Prices for the dogs will be $3 and that includes fries. Gyros and burgers will stay on the menu.

Sounds like the newer version of the original concept may just be a better fit for the late night crowd at North, Damen and Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park. UnderDog is in the middle of renovations but is looking to reopen in November of this year and will, once again, be open until 5am. 

Underdog - 1570 1/2 N. Damen Avenue - Wicker Park

UnderDog Returns to Neighborhood's Main Hub Below Flash Taco [DNAInfo Chicago]

Gelato - Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwiches - Oh My

Michael Hamrick - Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Photo: And courtesy of Glazed & Infused via facebook

They're baaaack. Black Dog Gelato and Glazed & Infused are teaming up once again to bring you those amazing  gelato - doughnut "ice cream" sandwiches.

On October 24th they'll be featuring a brand new round that features their Fall flavors; one of which will be the Maple Bacon Doughnut with Banana Bread gelato. So if you missed it the first time or are just (finally) coming down off your sugar high, mark your calendar for October 24th and stay tuned for additional details about the new flavors and pre-orders.

Black Dog Gelato locations: 859 N. Damen Avenue and 1955 W. Belmont.

Is Rick Bayless Opening A New Wicker Park Restaurant

Michael Hamrick - Monday, September 23, 2013

Wicker Wire: New Restaurant Alert

baysal2.jpgimage courtesy of Eater Chicago

Updated: Following our publishing of the information outlined below, Alderman Moreno confirmed with us directly that the rumor is true and Rick Bayless will, in fact, be opening a restaurant in the former Salud space 1471 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park. He has signed a 10 year lease for the space.

Published September 23, 2013 - Eater Chicago is reporting that Chef Rick Bayless may just have his sights set on the space formerly that of Salud in Wicker Park at 1471 N. Milwaukee Avenue. According to the report published earlier today, Bayless is opening a new restaurant but the location has yet to be disclosed. A number of sources have confirmed the spot will be in Wicker Park and a new tenant just signed a 10 year lease 2 months ago.

Bayless is a Bucktown resident and the host of Mexico - One Plate at a Time. He has also recently been focused on opening Fronteras Frescos and Tortas Fronteras in different locations throughout the country.

New Rick Bayless Restaurant Coming- Is it in Wicker Park? [Eater Chicago]

Wicker Wire: Bucktown's Cafe Con Leche Space Has New Owners

Michael Hamrick - Friday, August 23, 2013

sodiccl.jpgphoto courtesy of Eater Chicago

We reported earlier that Cafe Con Leche at 1732 N. Milwaukee Avenue looked like they had closed up shop for good. And they have. Powerhouse restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff has taken over the space and is "sitting on it into next year" according to a report published recently by Eater Chicago.

According to Eater's report, Sodikoff has 3 new projects in the works ahead of the Bucktown space. Stay tuned for additional details.

Brendan Sodikoff Takes Over Shuttered Bucktown Cafe Con Leche [Eater]

Irazu Celebrates 23 Years in Bucktown

Michael Hamrick - Tuesday, August 20, 2013

image courtesy of Irazu via facebook

A very warm congratulations and happy birthday to Bucktown's Irazu who opened 23 years ago today at 1865 N. Milwaukee Avenue. After all these years they're still serving delicious affordable Costa Rican food and one-of-a-kind oatmeal shakes.

Keep up the great work guys.

Kick off July 4th with $6 Ketel One Martinis

Michael Hamrick - Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Start your holiday weekend right with Ketel One martinis! Today ... and all day long, they're just $6 at Bucktown's Club Lucky.

Photo: Its First Wednesday!
That means $6 Prairie Organic Vodka martinis.
Come wet your whistle. Every 1st Wednesday of the month Club Lucky plays host to their martini party at 1824 W. Wabansia in Bucktown. Martinis are only $6 and you can have them with stuffed blue cheese, pimento and anchovy olives. A great deal and you can pair them with whatever you'd like including: brushettas, antipasti, calamari and the incredible entrees that are only Club Lucky. Don't miss this great deal each and every month.


1st Wednesday of Every Month
Club Lucky - 1824 W. Wabansia - Bucktown


 Photo Courtesy of Club Lucky.

Lillie's Q Bucktown To Re-Open in June

Michael Hamrick - Friday, May 17, 2013

Lillie's Q at 1856 W. North Avenue has been closed since last March due to a large fire that swept through this neighborhood eatery.

But Chef Charlie McKenna has announced the barbeque spot is targeted to re-open again this June:

Some GOOD NEWS! Our Lillie's Q Bucktown location is slated to re-open in mid-June --pending inspections and permitting. We can't wait to open up our doors again and feed all of you! We're all so grateful for the tremendous love and support you all have shown over the last few months following our fire. Please tell all your friends the good news! Share, retweet, shout it from your windows! We love you all!

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.

Holiday Parties Tonight in Wicker Park, Bucktown

Michael Hamrick - Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Let the festivities begin. Tonight head to Club Lucky (1824 W. Wabansia) where you can enjoy their beautiful award-winning decorations while sipping on delicious martinis for only $6 bucks. Martini Party.


Also tonight. Don your best (ugliest) holiday sweater and head to the Division Ale House (1942 W. Division Street) for a few selections from Petaluma, California’s Lagunitas Brewing Company. Ugly Sweater Party.


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Your Insider Weekend Guide - Labor Day Edition - Has Just Arrived !

Michael Hamrick - Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 30, 2012


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


This weekend is Labor Day Weekend; the unofficial end of Summer. But we have many fantastic Fall events heading our way far beyond this weekend and into September. So here's your preview of what's in store for Fall. As always, we have lots of information and great Insider deals to share. If you'd like to receive information throughout the week be sure to follow us via Twitter and/or Facebook.


Thanks, as always, for joining us. Have a great Labor Day Weekend and we'll see you in the neighborhood.




  Brent Riley at Firecat Projects       

Brent Riley Opens at Firecat Projects

For his latest show in Chicago, longtime resident  Brent Riley will present 42 original inkjet prints at Firecat Projects 2124 N. Damen Avenue in Bucktown.  The series began in 2006 and was finished 2012. The inkjet prints are “Original” in the sense that these pieces exist in no other form. Opening Reception is Friday. For additional details: Brent Riley.



Jackson Junge Gallery Announces Newest Exhibition

Jackson Junge Gallery asked artists to render their vision of such an apocalypse and, more importantly, portray their ideas of what a new world might resemble.The artwork chosen for the upcoming exhibit showcases this duality. “APOCALYPSE 2012 : GENESIS 2013”, at Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago, runs from September 14th to October 28th, 2012. Apocalypse 2012.





2nd Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest

Wondering what to do this Labor Day? Head to Bangers & Lace 2nd Official Hot Dog Eating Contest. Last year the winner downed 17 hot dogs in just 5 minutes. Think you can beat that record? $25 buys you a Bangers & Lace t-shirt, all the hot dogs you can eat in 5 minutes and a nice cold beer to wash it all down. The Grand Prize winner scores 2 Bears Tickets. Sign up up to 1 hour before the contest starts. Hot Dog Eating Contest.




College Football - Where You Can Catch the Game

We know how great it is to watch the game with a pack of alums so every year we publish our College Football Guide so you know where you can catch your team's games. Did we miss anyone? Let us know. We'll add 'em. College Football Guide.



FatPour - Win Grand Opening Party Tickets!

FatPour's Opening is tentatively scheduled for September 7th. Nothing official has been announced as they still have one more inspection to go. So stay tuned for details. Oh...and we'll be giving away a pair of tickets to the Grand Opening so if you'd like to win those, be sure you're following us on Facebook & Twitter. The Grand Opening Party will be in mid-September.




13 District Police Appreciation Party

Show your support of the 13th District Police Department on September 8th. There will be prizes, raffles, food, drink and more. This team has done a great job for the neighborhood and you can show your thanks by stopping by next weekend. 13th District.

5 "DON'T MISS" Fall Events

Labor Day may mark the unofficial end of Summer but it's not the end of great events heading into Wicker Park & Bucktown. Open Streets are expanding from the Loop into the neighborhood, Circus in the Parks are back, The Coyote Festival of the Arts arrives at the end of September and so much more. Put these on your radar. Early Fall Events.



Bucktown 5k - Kicks Off September 16th

It's back! The Annual Bucktown 5k is almost here. Have you registered? Sponsored by RAM Racing, join your neighbors, friends, and family at our annual neighborhood race! Sunday, September 16 line up outside Burr Elementary School and race friends to the finish line...or at least finish the little over 3 mile course. Enjoy a little Taste of Bucktown directly following the race: Bucktown 5k.



Bloomingdale Trail - World's Longest Elevated Park

Did you know that when the Bloomingdale Trail is finished it will be the longest elevated park in the world? True story. Paris and New York City also have elevated parks but ours will be the longest. You can find the details and ABC's video report right here: Bloomingdale Trail. 



Renegade Craft Fair - Next Weekend

This is such a fun event and even more special now that Renegade Craft no longer has a store on Division Street in Wicker Park. This  DIY extravaganza features more than 300 indie-craft artists from across the U.S. selling handmade wares, from jewelry and clothing to rock posters to bath products to plush toys and more. Great music, food and drink also abound. A don't miss. Renegade. 



Spanish Classes Start Soon - Sign up Now

Back to school takes on a whole new meaning with Elena Chicago. Join Elaine Winer for new Fall classes and learn Spanish in a casual and relaxed environment. Elaine's reviews have been outstanding and you can grab a glass of wine and enjoy Club Lucky's ambiance while learning. Hurry! Classes start next week. Spanish Classes.






Tony Scott's UNSTOPPABLE on 35 mm

The untimely death of director/producer Tony Scott has left an irreparable scar on Hollywood cinema and this weekend you can catch Scott's last film in spectacular 35mm at Cinema Borealis at 1550 N. Milwaukee Avenue. The will be 2 screenings. However, seating is very limited so please arrive early. Unstoppable.






Avenue N Guitars Rock For Kids Showcase Tonight

Tonight Avenue N Guitars located on North Avenue in Wicker Park is hosting a free showcase to benefit "Rock For Kids". The doors open at 7:00pm and the showcase begins at 8:30pm. For additional information including bands in the showcase: Rock For Kids.



Metro Chicago & Big Star Present The Dust Up

Metro Chicago and Big Star have teamed up for The Dust Up, a free music festival happening on September 8th in the Big Star parking lot. The fest will include music, DJs, a record fair, and of course good food and good drinks. Read on for complete details: The Dust Up.








Blue Star Bistro and Wine Bar Opens For Lunch

Off the beaten path, Blue Star Bistro & Wine Bar offers fresh delicious food and an impressive selection of wine. They are also now open for lunch on Fridays and Saturdays. With a large patio and easy street parking during the day, head to Blue Star Bistro and enjoy a delicious lunch presented beautifully. Blue Star Bistro.


 In Search of The Best Pisco Sour

As long-time neighborhood residents and true Insiders, we have insight you just can't find anywhere else. We look beyond the hip and trendy to what's truly good and share information you should know. So here's a little Insider information for where you can find a great authentic Pisco Sour. You won't see this in other publications but you will find it here...enjoy! Pisco Sour Tour.


Wicker Basket Cafe' - What You Should Know

Another great Insider tip for the day... is Wicker Basket Cafe'. After venturing in for our Saturday Sandwich feature, we just can't wait to head back. The sandwiches there are de-licious and after writing our feature, we heard from others that their egg salad sandwich is addictive. Off the beaten path at 2113 W. Division Street, Wicker Basket Cafe' has a nice patio, solid service and tasty food. Wicker Basket Cafe'.







David's Tea To Open in Bucktown

DAVIDsTea is quickly expanding and is opening 3 new locations in Chicago; 924 W. Armitage Ave. in Lincoln Park, 1645 N. Damen Ave. in Bucktown and 3530 N. Southport Ave. in Lakeview. in Chicago. Look for Bucktown's shop to open October 13th. DavidsTea.



Final Sale at NEW'D - Most Items $5

Thursday and Friday will mark NEWD's final 2 sale days so be sure to stop by. Everything must go and most items are listed at $5. NEW'D has been a great spot at 1917 W. Division Street in Wicker Park and we wish them all the best. NEWD Sale.



Labor Day Sale with 70% Off at STA

Wicker Park's Second Time Around is kicking off a Labor Day Sale this weekend with 70% Off All Summer Merchandise and 20% off new Fall arrivals. STA sells designer clothing, accessories and shoes at a fraction of their original price. Be sure to check out their sale. You'll find some incredible values here: Second Time Sale.



ZOOM Whitening - Only $169 !

THIS is an incredible value! If you book an appointment with ORA Dental in September, you can score a ZOOM Whitening treatment for only $169. The regular price is $599. What are you waiting for? They book up early so be sure to schedule your appointments now...before this deal ends. Zoom Whitening Deal.

Those are the highlights for the week. Hope you have a terrific Labor Day Weekend! If you have news or an event to share, please don't hesitate to let us know. And last but not least, if you're a Wicker Park or Bucktown business, be sure to sign up. We'd love to include you.


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




The Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

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