Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

Kick Off Summer with Your Wicker Park & Bucktown Festival Guide

Michael Hamrick - Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Your Handy Pocket Guide to Wicker Park & Bucktown's Best Festivals


Want to know where to head this Summer and beyond? We can help. We'll provide the up-to-the-minute information about Wicker Park & Bucktown's best fests, line ups shopping and more.We're your one stop shop to all neighborhood festivals. We've included everything from  Do Division to Green Music Fest, Wicker Park Fest, Renegade Craft Fair, the Bucktown Arts Fest and, or course, additional information about Coyote will follow. We will see you there.

Do Division

June 1st -  June 3rd
Division Street btwn Damen & Leavitt- Wicker Park


Green Music Fest

June 23rd June 24th
Damen & Schiller -
1425 N. Damen Avenue- Wicker Park

Headliners Dinosaur Jr and The Raveonettes
Festival Details - Line Ups and More

Wicker Park Fest

July 28th and July 29th
Milwaukee Avenue Between Wood and North Avenue
12:00pm - 10:00pm

Bucktown Arts Fest

August 25th August 26th
Holstein Park - 2200 N. Oakley



Renegade Craft Fair

September 8th & September 9th
Division Street Between Damen Avenue and Paulina - Wicker Park


 Want the full details? Head to our Events section. We've included each Festival, lines up as they're announced, news and more. Stay tuned for full 2012 details.

Your Wicker Park Bucktown Memorial Day Weekend Guide Has Arrived

Michael Hamrick - Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 24, 2012


Hello and welcome to your Memorial Day Edition of your Insider Weekend Guide.


First and foremost, thank you so much for your help in making us Wicker Park & Bucktown's most popular neighborhood guide. We've reached almost 8,000 followers on social media alone and 10's of thousands of people visit us online each month. We couldn't do it without you and are very appreciative of your support.


Secondly, we receive information, events and news all day long. Our Weekend Guide is expanding every week so we've streamlined the format a little so it's easier for you to read. Hope you like it. Just click on the accompanying links for more detailed information on any topic. Last but not least, we've included our highlights for Memorial Day Weekend. Chicago Craft Beer Week continues with special events planned up and down Division Street, Poi Dog Pondering will be playing 2 VIP shows this weekend, there's lots of Summer Fest news to share (with Do Division right around the corner), you can win FREE brunch for 4 this Sunday and a couple of sweet deals are waiting for you too.

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





Division Street IPA Crawl

Jerry's joins forces with Smallbar Division and Bangers & Lace to bring you the IPA's of North America. Only a short distance separates three of the best destinations for beer in Chicago. Tonight just head to Division Street to taste some of the best IPA's coast to coast. IPA Crawl.

Moonshine Brewery Open House/Tour

Many don't know that Wicker Park's Moonshine at 1824 W. Division Street is actually a brewery. And tonight, in honor of Chicago Craft Beer Week, local brewer JD McCormick is opening the doors to the brewery. Doors open at 5pm and you're invited to join JD for a free tour to learn what goes into making a great local craft beer. Moonshine Tour.



People Lounge Introduces Brunch

This weekend People Lounge - located at 1560 N. Milwaukee Avenue - is introducing a brand new brunch on both Saturday and Sunday. What can you expect? This is not your standard bacon & eggs. Expect higher end fare and creative twists on your traditional favorites. The menu looks delicious an you can take a peek at the new brunch options waiting for you right here. Brunch Menu.






Do Division June 1st - June 3rd

Do Division 2012 is just around the corner and will be a 3 day festival for the 1st time in its history. Shopping, food and, of course, great music will be waiting for you. The final line-up includes: Pinebender, The Antlers. Peanut Butter Wolf, Le Butcherettes, Murder by Death and more. But that's not all, there are also lots of fun activities for kids. The details are here: Do Division.


The Magic Boat Puppet Show in the Park

For young and old alike, please join The Magic Boat Puppet Show at the Wicker Park Playground - 1425 N. Damen Avenue -Sundays at 11am. This annual Summer event kicks off this Sunday and will continue through September. Lots of fun and the shows coincide with the Wicker Park Farmers Market. So you can visit the Farmers Market in the park and then head on over to the The Magic Boat Puppet Show.


Wicker Park Fest Headliners

Although still 2 months away, Wicker Park Fest has announced the headliners for the 2012 neighborhood festival which will include: The Drums, Cursive and local favorites including Joe Pug and Kill Hannah. The festival will take place on Milwaukee Avenue between North Avenue & Wood Street July 28th and July 29th. Stay tuned for additional details about: Wicker Park Fest.







93XRT Presents Poi Dog Pondering Weekend

Local Chicago favorites Poi Dog Pondering will be playing not 1 - but 2 - shows this weekend at Wicker Park's Double Door - 1572 N. Milwaukee Avenue. VIP Packages are available and include cds, signed posters, drinks and more. Get your tickets early. Poi Dog.


Raw Natural Born Artists Showcase

RAW: natural born artists is an independent arts organization that hand-selects and spotlights independent creatives in visual art, film, fashion, music, hair & make-up artistry, photography and performing arts. Tonight, they'll be showcasing who they feel represents the best of the best. Doors at 7:30pm. Show starts at 8pm. Raw Showcase.





FREE Brunch for 4 This Sunday

Would you like win FREE Brunch for 4 for this Sunday at Bucktown's Riverside Cafe? Just look for our announcement later today on our Facebook & Twitter pages. Share our announcement and you'll be entered automatically into our random drawing. The winner will be selected Friday afternoon. Win FREE Brunch for 4.


Glazed and Infused Now Open

Donuts donuts donuts. Yes you can now score gourmet doughnuts directly across the street from the Damen Blue Line el stop at Glazed and Infused. Just look for their window on the west side of Francesca's Forno at 1576 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Open early...and late. Doughnuts.


Jazz Tuesdays at MC

Perfect for Summer, MC Restaurant has announced they will be hosting jazz every Tuesday night from 6pm -9pm. With free parking & wi-fi, a beautiful patio and the banh mi/domestic beer special for just $6.95, MC will be a great spot to relax this Summer. And the banh mi is excellent. Details.

    The Trenchermen Looks to June

Although the folks behind The Trenchermen hosted a fundraiser/preview party May 17th, it looks like it will still be several weeks until Wicker Park's newest upscale eatery opens their doors. According to Grub Street, there is still a lot of work to do and they're guessing the opening date will be closer to the end of June. The Trenchermen.






20% Off Store Wide Memorial Day

Chicago's premier fair trade, eco-friendly store Greeneheart Shop has announced a store wide sale this Memorial Day Weekend.  You'll find unique, beautiful and recycled merchandise that helps to create a better world. The details are here. Sale.

Eat for Beauty - Friday

Kelli Komar reveals the secrets of achieving radiant skin from the inside out at this educational, fun and interactive workshop being held at Elevenzees Friday night. Join Kelli as she discloses the ancient secrets of Ayurveda to help you create a customized holistic dietary skin care regimen that will balance your body and skin. Eating For Beauty.


Insider Deals of the Week

Shear Sapphire is a Women's & Men's Salon at 1712 W. North Avenue in Wicker Park and their 1st Anniversary is just around the corner. As their way of saying "thank you" to you,  they're offering a couple of great deals. First: men can score 50% off any hair cut service. And women, you can get a FREE haircut with a purchase. These offers won't last forever. So hurry! Insider Deals.






Theatre of War - The Chopin Theatre

Tonight only: Theatre of War is an artistic investigation of the disconnect between the experiences of most citizens and those of people directly impacted by war. This show takes place just days after the city bids farewell to the NATO summit. Theatre of War.

If you're interested in receiving up-to-the minute news & event information from us throughout the week, please feel free to join us on Facebook & Twitter. We'd love to include you.


And if you'd like to receive our Weekend Guide each week, sign up. It's easy.


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




The Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

Bucktown's Movies in the Park - This Summer - Churchill Park

Thyra DeCicco - Monday, May 21, 2012
The Bucktown Community Organization has announced their Summer "Movies in the Park" line-up  Churchill Park (2007 W. Churchill Street) for this Summer. This year will include:


Summer! Dates to follow
Churchill Park - 2007 W Churchill (Churchill + Damen)

Sounds like a great time and we will keep you posted on the dates as they're announced.

For up-to-the-minute updates, be sure to follow us - and our 8,000 followers! - on Facebook & Twitter.

Do Division 2012 - Full Line-up and More

Michael Hamrick - Monday, May 21, 2012

June 1st, June 2nd and June 3rd

On Division Street (Of Course) from Ashland Avenue to Leavitt Street

$5 Suggested Donation

 Do Division Fest 2012 heads to Wicker Park the weekend of June 1st and for the first time will be a 3 day event beginning Friday night.  What can you expect? Lots of shopping, fashion shows, food, drink and possibly even food trucks at the Polish Triangle and, of course, lots of great music.

 Final 2012 Line UP

We're excited to present the final music line-up for these 3 days:

Damen Stage: Programmed by Empty Bottle Presents

Friday, June 1st
Black Belles 8:30 pm
BBU 7:15 pm
Moon Furies 6:00 pm
Hosted by Peter O'Connell [Wham City Comedy] 4:45 PM

Saturday, June 2nd

Peanut Butter Wolf 8:30 pm
Besnard Lakes 7:00 pm
Craig Finn 5:30 pm
Mannequin Men 4:00 pm
Peter O'Connell 3:50 / intro
In Tall Buildings 2:30 pm
Chris Connelly 1:00 pm

Sunday, June 3rd
The Antlers 8:30 pm
Pinebender 7:00 pm
Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons 5:30 pm
Teengirl Fantasy 4:00 pm
People's Temple 2:30 pm
Eiren Caffall 1:00 pm

Leavitt Stage:

Programmed by Subterranean and House Call Entertainment

Friday, June 1st

JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound @ 8:30 pm

Todd Hembrook & The Hemispheres @ 7:15 pm

The O’My’s @ 6:15 pm

Saturday, June 2nd

Le Butcherettes @ 9:00 pm

O’ Death @ 7:45 pm

White Mystery @ 6:45 pm

Brown Bird @ 5:45 pm

The Blind Staggers @ 4:45 pm

Magic Milk @ 3:45 pm

Sunday, June 3rd

Murder By Death @ 8:00 pm

The Soft Pack @ 6:45 pm

Gypsyblood @ 6:00 pm

Mutts @ 5:00 pm

Young Jesus @ 4:00 pm



Wicker Park's Do Division Fest includes a variety of great music, fantastic food, retailers and shopping.  Sidewalk sales fill the perimeter of the area and the extra-wide side walks allow plenty of al fresco dining at the incredible area bars, restaurants and bakeries ... in addition to all of the food being served directly at the fest itself.  And for the first time, you'll even be able to take advantage of food trucks stationed at the Polish Triangle at 1500 W. Division Street.


Family Fun Fest

The Family Fun Fest will continue to occupy a two-block stretch of Hoyne Avenue, north to Potomac. New this year is the Shedd Aquarium, who will bring several of their popular games such as the Penguin Plunge and the Polar Playzone as well as an opportunity to see some of their animals up close and personal throughout the weekend. We are also excited to have the Great Lakes Initiative, an organization that is focused on conservation and education about our most precious water source. We will continue with Fun Facts about the Great Lakes and a quiz that promises to be an adventure in the neighborhood.

We're bringing back many of the popular activities including The Easel Art Studio Craft Tent, punk rock hair styling by Psycho Baby, face painting, the Children's Learning Place Toddler Zone, a bounce house, dunk tank and pony rides. And you can win prizes from Building Blocks' famous Carnival Wheel.

Plus boogie on down at the main stage! See the full schedule below.

Main Stage Schedule
Saturday, June 2:
Shakespeare All-Stars 12pm
ARCC 1pm
Mary Macaroni 2pm
Mad Science 3pm
Q and A with Sam from the Great Lakes Initiative 4pm
Sarah Parker 5pm

Sunday, June 3:
Dave Acoustic 12pm
Fiddle Billies 1pm
My Gym 2pm
Changs Martial Arts Demo 3pm
Awkward Cousins 4pm

Proceeds from Do Division Family Fun Fest go to Friends of Pritzker School and LaSalle II PTO, two public elementary schools in Wicker Park



Each and every year this event is packed and getting bigger. Do not miss this fantastic and fun event. It's a great kick-off to Summer. 




Be sure to follow us on Facebook & Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates about Wicker Park & Bucktown news & events, Green Music Fest, Wicker Park fest and much much more.. 

Your Wicker Park & Bucktown Weekend Guide for May 17th Has Arrived

Michael Hamrick - Thursday, May 17, 2012
May 17, 2012

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

The weather is expected to be just perfect so be sure to head out and enjoy. What's on our radar this week? Chicago Craft Beer Week kicks off today throughout Chicago with an emphasis on 'neighborhoods'. The Map Room, Small Bar, Hot Chocolate, Bangers & Lace, Piece and more will be participating. Be sure to take advantage of the special craft beer being featured this week. But that's not all. We've also included a variety of fundraisers, new art exhibitions, music fests, movies in the park, community events, spa nights, great deals and more. For additional details, just click on the photos.

But that's not all, The Trenchermen is hosting their "Preview Party" tonight. Want to know how to buy tickets? We've included that too. For up to the minute updates throughout the week be sure to follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

Thanks, as always, for joining us and we'll see you in the neighborhood.



          Chicago Craft Beer Week

Chicago Craft Beer Week kicks off today and this event will be taking place throughout Chicago. Full maps and details have been provided for each neighborhood and in Wicker Park and Bucktown, plan on visiting The Map Room, Small Bar, Bangers and Lace, Big Star and more.

        Sadie Hawkin's Throwback Party

Tonight...Sadie Hawkins is back. Cheeky Chicago and Leinenkugel present the Sadie Hawkins Throwback Party at The Anthem at 1725 W. Division Street in Wicker Park. There's still time to reserve your tickets but you have to hurry. Party starts at 6pm.




       Annual Kitten Shower

Bucktown's Annual Kitten Shower is being held this Saturday at Treehouse Humane Society at 1625 N. Ashland Avenue. For just a $5 donation you can ooh & ah over 20+ kittens ready for adoption. A great organization. Hope you can make it.

         Bucktown Garden Walk Dates Announced 

 When you think of Summer in Bucktown, you can't help but think of the Bucktown Garden walk, petting zoo for kids and big bash that weekend at Lotties Pub. The dates were announced this week so mark your calendars.


        Lights Camera Action  - MTV Films in Wicker Park

Just a word to the wise, MTV's Underemployed is filming in Wicker Park; specifically around the Evergreen and Hoyne area. If you live in the area or are planning to head into the neighborhood to visit, the parking in that area is a little tough. Filming is expected to last a couple of weeks.


      Undergraduate/Graduate Internships  Available

Want to work with the Insider's Guide? We have internships available for Graduate and Undergraduate Students with DePaul University. This is a perfect opportunity for marketing/advertising/media students. Let us know if you're interested and feel free to pass this on to anyone you know who might be a great candidate.


     Wicker Park's Farmers Markets Open in June

This year Wicker Park will be hosting 2 Farmers Markets and they're right around the corner. The first is the traditional Wicker Park Farmers market that's held every Sunday at 1425 N. Damen Avenue. That Farmers Market will open June 3rd. The 2nd will be hosted on Thursdays at the Polish Triangle starting June 7th.


     Wicker Park & Bucktown's Movies in the Park

At long last, both the Wicker Park and Bucktown Movies in the Park have been announced for this Summer. We told you earlier about the Wizard of Oz, The Lorax and Ferris Bueller heading to Bucktown. Hugo, Raiders of the Lost Ark and ET head to Wicker Park. Dates for the Wicker Park "Movies in the Park" are right here. 



        A Personal Project Show
13 Chicago artists bare their souls so you can see how their photographs, paintings and other ... expressions came to be. It's extraordinary. Head to Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery 1136 N. Milwaukee Avenue  this weekend for the opening.

       LVL3  - Suspended
Suspended is a state, a moment, some kind of disbelief, a stalemated gesture frozen in its own established conditions. The Suspended Exhibition features the work and paintings of Richard Galling and opens at  LVL3 in Wicker Park this Saturday.

       Monique Meloche - 2 New Exhibitions
Also opening this Saturday, 2 exhibitions at Monique Meloche in Wicker Park. The first called wood is a group exhibition with artists who incorporate the element of wood into their respective practices with differing goals and objectives. The 2nd exhibition is "on the wall" and can be viewed on Division Street. PPPPPresto! directly references 5 male artists creating paintings and sculptures out of wood. Both exhibitions open Saturday.   





       Hozac Blackout Fest This Weekend
This former 'zine turned garage-rock label will be hosting their Annual Blackout Fest this weekend at The Empty Bottle. The two-day event showcases the label's best bands. Tickets are on sale now.



Rockin' for Rescue Rock For Rescues This Saturday

A great cause; The Annual Rockin' For Rescue Fundraiser for the Trio Animal Foundation is this weekend! Food will be provided by a top Chicago Caterer featuring signature items designed and served by Hot Doug's Chef.  There will also be an open bar, 2 VIP areas, and a fabulous silent auction and raffle. All donations are tax-deductible.

     Soul Summit Dance Party Friday

The SOUL SUMMIT is a monthly dance party spanning the spectrum of early, raw R&B, Soul & Funk. Monthly parties are free except when showcasing live bands. This weekend's dance party is Friday May 18, Double Door, 9pm, Guest Band Brooklyn's IKEBE SHAKEDOWN (Ubiquity Records).







          Black Bull Tapas Opening "Very" Soon

We keep hearing "we're opening very soon" but don't have an actual date yet from the folks behind Black Bull Tapas located in the space previously the home of the Angels & Mariachis. We will do our best to keep you posted on the opening at 1721 W. Division Street in Wicker Park and as soon as we know, you'll know.

     The Trenchermen Preview Party- How You Get Tickets

The Preview Party is tonight! Want to attend? There's still a little time to buy your ticket. $75 buys you the General Ticket which includes the Menu Tasting and Beer & Wine. $95 buys you a VIP Ticket which includes all of the above plus a Meet & Mingle with Chef Micheal Sheerin, Specialty Cocktails and 1 Raffle Ticket. We've got the details here.





     Futurgarb's New Location, VIP Program and 20% Off 

Indie boutique Futurgarb has moved! They're now located at 1369 N. Milwaukee Avenue and have moved into a bigger space. Futurgarb sells very cool and hip men's and women's apparel and accessories at very reasonable prices. They also provide excellent service + 20% off everything in the store on Wednesdays. A don't miss. 


             Health, Wellness, Gluten Free and $10 Off

The owners of Mazi Dance Fitness are committed -of course- to fitness and offer many classes which strengthen and tone your body. But that's not all. Mazi is also focused on overall health & well-being. As an example of their commitment they've developed a video guide which explains the value of a gluten-free diet and where you can find it in the neighborhood. Mention this video and you'll get $10 off your next class.

           Staples Celebrates Small Businesses 

As a small business, we can attest to the fact that Staples Wicker Park, 1300 N. Ashland Avenue, is extraordinarily supportive of small businesses in our community. Be sure to stop by and celebrate our small businesses with them next week. Can't make it? Staples will begin showcasing small businesses every single month. Stay tuned for additional updates about Staples Small Business Showcase.

             The Wicker Perks 

Have you checked the Wicker Perks lately? We update neighborhood deals just about every day. So be sure to check in and see what's available. Are you an area business and would like to be included? Just let us know. 


restorative yoga               Yoga Spa Night Friday 

On Friday night, head to Wicker Park's Elevenzees for an evening of relaxation and tlc. First, you'll enjoy 90 minutes of yoga. Then you'll move to a hand massage, refreshments, crudites, a private shopping event and more. Ready to relax and be pampered? Make your reservation today.

Again, if you're interested in receiving up-to-the minute news & event information from us throughout the week, please feel free to join us on Facebook & Twitter. 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

Your Favorite Wicker Park & Bucktown Brunch Spots

Thyra DeCicco - Sunday, May 06, 2012
You know us. Yeah sure we can list every restaurant and bar in Wicker Park & Bucktown that offer brunch. But what we really like to offer our viewers is the best in the neighborhood. So we asked you about your favorite place for brunch in Wicker park or Bucktown and the feedback we got was phenomenal. There are a number of tasty options out there and each offers something a little different. Not only are there great brunch options available, there's a very good chance you'll find exactly what you're looking for right here because there is such a variety. And with all of these options available, there's no reason to wait in line on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

A very big "thank you" to everyone who participated. If you missed the poll, not a problem. Just provide a comment below and let us know about your favorite. In the interim, have a great time at brunch -- and tell 'em we sent you.


Bangers & Lace

1670 W. Division Street - Wicker Park

Brunch 11am -3pm

Looking for a very different twist on the traditional Sunday brunch? Try Bangers & Lace. The late night spot opens early on the weekend to serve sausage pancakes and hash as well as the Benedict: a favorite featuring eggs, sausage, bacon all sitting on top of brioche for $8.00. We also wanted to add 4 very special words: Build Your Own Biscuit. Yep...and delicious. This gets 2 very hearty thumbs ups from all of the foodies out there.

Our viewers tried most of the menu, however, and loved it all. Special note: the gravy fries ...delish. Favorites on the menu beyond just brunch included the deviled eggs, black truffle/white cheddar grilled cheese and brioche corn-battered Vienna hot dog. Don't forget the Bloody Marys.


Birchwood Kitchen

2211 W. North Avenue - Bucktown
(773) 276-2100
Sunday 9am – 4pm

Friendly and comfortable Birchwood Kitchen offers a great atmosphere, terrific attentive service and excellent food. The brunch menu may not be as expansive as other neighborhood establishments but there is a variety to choose from. And the prices are reasonable.

Choices range from the Breakfast Sandwich (vegetable frittata, cheddar, grilled focaccia, roasted potatoes, petit salad) to Quiche to Belgian waffles to Salad to Steak and Eggs + more. You may also want to try the Croque Vert - seasonal vegetables and cheese on sourdough topped with fried eggs and served with a petite salad.

If you’re looking for a comfortable and casual brunch spot with good food and excellent coffee, this just may be your place.


The Bongo Room

1470 N. Milwaukee Avenue - Wicker Park
Sunday Hours 9am- 2:30pm.

Super cozy with a diner feeling, the best advice I can give is to get there early. Lines of people are usually forming down Milwaukee Avenue early on the weekends. The food is good --- and original. Pancakes are a favorite here and they range from carrot cake with vanilla bean sauce to cranberry...or even white macadamia ! The standard fare: Omelettes, eggs, french toast are also available. Always good but very busy on weekends.



1616 N. Damen - Bucktown
Weekend Brunch
Sat - Sun: 9am - 3pm
(no reservations)

Feast is well-known for their fresh food and variety of delicious options and brunch is no different! Yes, the traditional pancakes are available but there’s so much more. Eggs are the primary focus with build-your-own-omelettes, the grand slam breakfast (eggs, sausage, potatoes + toast). For non-traditional brunch-lovers, why not try the eggs portobello (two poached eggs with spinach and oven roasted tomatoes over a breaded portobello mushroom with hollandaise sauce + feast potatoes) or the crab benedict two poached eggs and crab cakes over jalapeno cheddar corn bread with chipotle hollandaise + feast potatoes.


Hot Chocolate

1747 N. Damen Avenue

(773) 489- 1747

Hot Chocolate's brunch includes treats like sweets and warm doughnuts, fresh ricotta & eggs, smoked fish, cheddar melts, buttermilk pancakes, steak and eggs, quiche and much much more. Also available are salads, granola and fruit plates. For a new and fresh twist on your old favorites, be sure to stop by. And don't forget the hot chocolate. It is truly not to be missed.


Las Palmas

1825 W. North Avenue - Wicker Park

(773) 289-4991

For something completely different, put a Mexican spin on your Saturday (or Sunday) morning brunch. Tucked away on North Avenue, Las Palmas is a favorite of the neighborhood and one of Wicker Park & Bucktown's best kept secrets. For starters, how about two eggs sunny-side up smothered in salsa ranchera and served with refried black beans, rice, avocado, crema Mexicana & warm tortillas? Not a bad start to the day. Many many brunch options wait for you. The brunch menu is right here: Brunch.


Letizia's Natural Bakery

 2144 W. Division Street - Wicker Park

(773) 342-1011

First of all, you have to love the fact that Letizia's wesbite is That being said, Letizia's is one of Wicker Park's best kept secrets. Off the beaten path on the West end of Division, you might miss it if you don't know it's there. And if you're looking for fresh natural ingredients, head to Letizia's. You'll also find a full espresso bar, pastries, muffins, panini and more. In the Summer, the patio in the back is like an oasis. For hours and more.



Milk & Honey

1920 W. Division - Wicker Park
(773) 395-9434

One of the earlier brunch spots in the neighborhood, you head to Milk & Honey at 8am on Saturday or Sunday and brunch is open until 2:00pm. What can you expect to find at Milk & Honey? Buttermilk granola pancakes, orange brioche French Toast with almonds, scrambled egg burritos or smoked salmon on a toasted bagel. Those are just the starters. There are many more optins, fresh juice and you won't break the bank at $7 or less. The full Brunch Menu.




1846 W. Division Street - Wicker Park

Quickly becoming a neighborhood favorite, Prasino was almost immediately voted as a neighborhood favorite for brunch. This eco-friendly hotspot features organic and locally-sourced food when available. The brunch menu is unconventional and not your traditional Sunday morning breakfast and eggs. Here you'll find lobster stuffed avocados with mango salsa, chili beurre fondue or the honey chicken salad sandwich – arugula, grapes, pecans, celery, honey yogurt dressing, pretzel croissant. For breakfast, you'll also find gluten-free pancakes. For the full brunch menu: Prasino Brunch.





Riverside Cafe

1656 W. Cortland - Bucktown

 (773) 278-3354

This small little neighborhood gem is tucked away on Cortland Avenue far away from the beaten path and hectic pace of North, Damen and Milwaukee. For those looking for a quiet respite in the heart of the city, the Riverside Cafe is for you. The large patio is very private. The Sunday brunch is a huge spread of about 50+ items were you'll find: fruit, eggs, pierogis, pancakes, cereal, steak and so much more. The regular menu is not available but this is a great deal (and a great deal of food) for $12.95 a person.

Riverside is cash only.


The Bristol

2152 N. Damen Avenue - Bucktown

Sunday Brunch Hours: 10am - 2pm

Seasonal and locally sourced food reigns supreme here at The Bristol. What can you expect on a Sunday? Mimosas, Bloody Mary's and large menu with a lot of variety. A few items to get you thinking about heading to The Bristol this Sunday: glazed doughnuts and maple sausage. Those are just for starters. Once you head to the heart of brunch, you'll find buttermilk pancakes, house made biscuits with a poached egg, braised pork chilaquiles with fried egg, eggs benedict with smoked ham & mustard hollandaise and much much more. The full menu is right here: Bristol Brunch.



The Southern

1840 W. North Avenue
Weekend Brunch


The Southern has quickly become know for its outstanding brunch and amazing Bloody Marys. Although a bar, The Southern is a true contender for great food in the neighborhood. On Sunday morning, try the fried chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, chicken and biscuits or eggs sardou.  Our viewers give this Sunday morning hot spot a great rating and it has quickly become a neighborhood favorite.  The word everyone uses to describe The Southern Brunch: delicious.


Have a favorite who's not included? Let us know. We're happy to add them.

Your May 3rd Wicker Park & Bucktown Weekend Guide Has Arrived

Thyra DeCicco - Thursday, May 03, 2012
May 3rd, 2012

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

The Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo arrive this weekend and there are many events and parties planned throughout the neighborhood. But that's not all. We've also included community news, art gallery celebrations, new restaurant openings and more. If you'd like to receive information throughout the week, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We would love to include you. 

Thanks, as always, for joining us and we'll see you in the neighborhood.



   Cinco de Mayo- Kentucky Derby Parties

This weekend Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby land on the same day. So we've included Cinco de Mayo street festivals, Kentucky Derby parties and those celebrations that will include both. We're adding a few more parties so if you're looking for fun and festive options in the neighborhood, we've got em right here.



   1st Ward 1st Thursday - Small Bar 

They're baaack. Alderman Joe Moreno is hosting a 1st Ward 1st Thursday get together tonight at Small Bar - 2049 W. Division Street. So head to Small Bar for appetizers and drinks with the Alderman. Have questions or concerns? Bring those too.


   Movies in the Park - Bucktown

The Bucktown Community Organization announced their Movies in the Park line-up this week. So, which movies are heading to Churchill Park this Summer? Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Wizard of Oz and The Lorax. And they're free. Stay tuned for the dates. As soon as they're announced, we will let you know. 


   Wicker Park Farmers Market

It's coming....the highly anticipated Wicker Park Farmers Market will reopen in Wicker Park proper at 1425 N. Damen Avenue on June 3rd. For those who may not know, the market is located at the corner of Damen & Wicker Park Avenue. We will see you there!


   Wicker Park Plant Sale & Fundraiser

Don't miss the Annual Plant Sale & Fundraiser this weekend in Wicker Park. Experienced gardeners and designers will help you pick the plants that are best for you. Proceeds are donated to the 10,000 square foot Wicker Park Gardens and lecture series.



     Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Arts N Spirits
Want to do something different this weekend in honor of Cinco de Mayo? Head to Arts N Spirits at 1921 N. Damen Avenue in Bucktown with your friends and drink of choice. (They're BYOB). You'll have a great time and come home with artwork ready for framing. Details for how to sign up are right here.  


    Park Schrek's 1 Year Anniversary
Park Schrek Gallery is celebrating their 1st Year Anniversary with an opening reception this Friday from 7:00pm - 10:00pm. Featured work will include Jonathon Stein and the one and only Dan Schrek & John Park. Congratulations on a terrific 1st year.






    Better Than Something - Film Screenings
The Empty Bottle will be hosting 2 film screenings this weekend for Better Than Something:  a feature documentary about the controversial and prolific garage rock icon Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr, better known to the world as Jay Reatard.The portrait of Jay's life is captured just months before his untimely passing. Public Works Gallery - 1539 N. Damen Avenue.

    Local H - This Saturday

Hailing from Chicago, Local H is a two-man wrecking crew; a powerhouse invigorated by former Triple Fast Action drummer Brain St. Clair and driven by the distinct lyric and melodic vision of guitarist/vocalist Scott Lucas. Get your tickets now. Keep your eyes open on our facebook and twitter pages. We may just be giving a way a free pair of tickets for this show . Double Door- 1572 N. Milwaukee Avenue.


Rockin' For Rescue Fundraiser

Mark your calendars. The Annual Rockin' For Rescue Fundraiser for the Trio Animal Foundation heads to the neighborhood May 19th. Food will be provided by a top Chicago Caterer featuring signature items designed and served by Hot Doug's Chef.  There will also be an open bar, 2 VIP areas, and a fabulous silent auction and raffle. All donations are tax-deductible.






1/2 off Bottles of Wine

Via Carducci not only offers delicious and authentic Italian fare, but every Monday - Wednesday you can save 50% on select bottles of wine. Head to the patio and enjoy.

   Red Door Opens Today

The reviews following the soft opening last weekend have been extremely positive and the Red Door officially opens today in Bucktown in the space formerly the home of Duchamp at 2118 N. Damen Avenue. We're looking forward to the private 100 person patio. See you there.




  Real Estate

    Foreclosure Spotting

Every foreclosure we publish sells within a week or less. The 1 bed + den we mentioned last week was under contract in couple of days. But you have another chance. This 3 bed/2 bath is in Ukrainian Village is current listed for $341k. We've also included a banner on our website which links to foreclosures. Don't wait on these if you're interested. 



     Mother's Day Gift Baskets- $25

Looking for a gift for Mom? Head to Greenheart Shop. You'll find beautiful gift baskets that extend beyond physical and cultural borders. Support fair trade and empower mothers everywhere. Starting at only $25. 


    Spex Grand Opening Party - Friday

Spex opened their Wicker Park location earlier this year at 1407 N. Milwaukee Avenue and on Friday May 4th they'll be hosting their official Grand Opening Party. With swag bags, refreshments and appetizers, it's sure to be a great time. Be sure to stop by.




   The Mariachi Man Drinks to Cinco de Mayo

For one day only this weekend, in celebration of Mexican Heritage and drinking holidays everywhere, the cast of El Mari Chi Chi will perform an interactive drinking theme burlesque show. The audience may keep up with the characters on stage and take a drink for each time a character takes a swig. Gorilla Tango Theatre - 1919 N. Milwaukee Avenue.

Again, if you're interested in receiving up-to-the minute news & event information from us throughout the week, please feel free to join us on Facebook & Twitter. We'd love to include you.

If you'd like to receive our Weekend Guide each Thursday, here's how you do it. Sign up.



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




The Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

Win FREE Tickets for this Weekend's Local H Show

Thyra DeCicco - Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Local HPhoto courtesy of

Double Door Welcomes Local H

Want to win 2 FREE tickets to see Local H this weekend at Double Door (1572 N. Milwaukee Avenue) in Wicker Park? The show is Saturday at 9pm. Doors at 8pm.

Look for this announcement on our Facebook and/or Twitter page on Friday.

Share this announcement on your Facebook Page or RT on Twitter to enter.

A random drawing will be held of all entries for the winners.


Thanks and good luck !

Your Wicker Park Bucktown Weekend Guide Has Arrived 4-20-12

Michael Hamrick - Friday, April 20, 2012
April 20, 2012

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

For the week ahead, we've included our recommendations for fantastic events like the Blackhawks Playoff Party this Saturday, Earth Day celebrations, lots of fundraisers, National Record Store Day, great deals and a little news too. We're very sorry to report that Cafe De Luca will be closing their doors.On a happier note, you can still score "Insider Only" deals at Mai Chi- Wicker Park's only French-Vietnamese restaurant at 1401 N. Ashland Avenue and Riverside Cafe.

For full details, just click on the photos below. If you'd like to receive information throughout the week, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We would love to include you. For additional information about any of the events below, just click on the photos. Thanks, as always, for joining us and we'll see you in the neighborhood.



          Blackhawks Home Game Event

Saturday catch Game 5 of the Blackhawks Playoffs at The Anthem. This weekend they're hosting a Home Game Event which includes: a raffle with Blackhawks signed memorabilia (provided by the Blackhawks), a Blackhawks PA announcer, the game shown with full audio and more. Starts at 9pm. Looking for the Bulls? They'll be on at 7pm.  1725 W. Division Street


        Gold Star Fundraiser at Double Door

Gold Star Bar has been a staple in the Wicker Park neighborhood for many years and co-owner Susan Stursberg was recently diagnosed with a very aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. Medical bills are high and a benefit is being held this Sunday at Double Door on her behalf. If you can't attend the benefit, you can still donate directly to a fund established for Susan. Thank you for your support. 1572 N. Milwaukee Avenue




         Getting Dirty - 7 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

This Sunday is Earth Day and there are many different ways to get involved in the community this weekend. Parks are being cleaned, the Wicker Park Garden Club is teaching green techniques in the Field House, the Annual "Green & Clean" is being facilitated by the 1st Ward Alderman Joe Moreno & more. Find out how you can be involved, make a difference and have fun too.

        Community Meeting - Miller Lumber Site

We reported earlier that a new Wicker Park development is being planned and Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants had been invited to participate in the development at 1815 W. Division - the site of Miller Lumber. Looks like the original plan is being revised and LEY hasn't fully committed to the project yet. If you'd like to participate in a meeting to discuss next steps on this development, Alderman Moreno is hosting a meeting on April 26th at 1148 N. Honore. The details are here.

         Sign Up Today for Beginner & Advanced Spanish Classes

Want to learn Spanish? Sign up for Elena Chicago's May Classes with Elaine Winer. She's received rave reviews from her students and you learn in the comfortable and casual environment at Club Lucky in Bucktown at 1824 W. Wabansia. But hurry! Classes are starting soon.



Galleries/The Arts

       Choose Your Own Adventure - Jackson Junge

Join the Members of the Wicker Park Choral Singers as they venture into fundraising this weekend at Jackson Junge Gallery in Wicker Park. Hors d'oevres, beer, wine will be served and you get to vote to determine what music/entertainment will be selected for the evening. 1389 N. Milwaukee Avenue








       Green Music Fest Announces Headliners

If you missed the announcement earlier, the headliners for Green Music Fest this year will be Dinosaur Jr. and The Raveonettes. Green Music Fest will be held Saturday June 23rd and Sunday June 24th. We will provide additional details about the line up as we receive them. See you there.


      Lollapalooza After Shows Coming Soon

The line-up has been announced and 3-day passes have already sold out for Lollapalooza 2012. As always, we will keep you posted on the After Shows being hosted in the neighborhood. Those shows have not been announced yet but we will publish and distribute the information as soon as we receive it.


        Soul Summit Dance Party

This weekend don't miss the Soul Summit Dance Party; a monthly event which features 3 DJs and a variety of guests which are featured each month. Soul Summit spans the spectrum of early R & B, funk, blues and soul. 1572 N. Milwaukee Avenue







 Bucktown's Cafe De Luca Closing - Grass Fed Heads to Bucktown
We're very sorry to report that Cafe De Luca - located at 1721 N. Damen Avenue has sold and will be closing their doors at the end of May just before their 13th Anniversary. Heading into their spot? Grass Fed; a new steakhouse focused on organic and sustainable meat.



    Club Lucky - Dine Out for Life Fundraiser
Please join Club Lucky next weekend for Dining Out for Life. Each year Club Lucky participates in this terrific fundraiser and a part of the proceeds from anyone dining at Club Lucky that day will be donated to an organization called Food & Friends. Make your reservations for next weekend

    El Rincon Azteca- Wicker Park's Newest Mexican Restaurant

El Rincon Azteca has opened their doors in the spot previously the home of Crepe Crave at 1752 W. North Avenue. We tried the chicken tacos and delicious Horchata for lunch but the menu is extensive and they're open from early morning (7am) through late night. Be sure to stop by.

    Five Dollars $5 Off Sunday Brunch at Riverside Cafe

Don't forget!  Insider's Only can still save $5 on Riverside Cafe's All-You-Can-Eat Sunday Brunch. But you have to hurry This offer expires April 30th. Kids under 3 eat for free too.


   Great Deals at Mai Chi- But Not For Long
We love Mai Chi- Wicker Park's only French Vietnamese Restaurant at 1401 N. Ashland Avenue. The food is great. There's FREE parking and FREE wi-fi. And now, they're offering fantastic DEALS only available to Insiders like you. But you have to hurry. These offers end April 30th. If you head there today, we may just see you. We're thinking about Crab Rangoon, Green Curry Chicken, the Noodle Salad and a little Chicken Satay for an appetizer. See you there later.


    Nanda Milano Trattoria Heading to Division ?

Traditionally, we prefer not to publish information until we speak directly to the owners of a business or project. However, we did notice a sign posted on the door of the space formerly the home of Dee's Place at 2114 W. Division Street and it appears a new Italian restaurant will be opening their doors in that space. Stay tuned for additional details.






    Real Estate


Foreclosure Spotting

This 2 Bedroom/2 Bathroom vintage rehab with a granite/stainless kitchen, beautiful bathrooms and hardwood floors throughout is currently located at Bosworth/Division and is listed for $222K. Interested? Don't wait. These foreclosures sell very quickly.




          Building Blocks Toys Earth Day Party

Bring the kids to Building Block's Earth Day Party this weekend. Balloons, temporary tattoos, prizes, giveaways and of course, lots of toys will be waiting for you. So celebrate Earth Day with Building Block Toys at 2130 W. Division Street.


            Greenheart Shop's Ice Cream Social

Did someone say free ice cream? Just in time for Earth Day, don't miss Greenheart Shop's Fair Trade ice cream social this weekend. The ice cream social will be held at their Wicker Park shop Sunday from 12pm-5pm and did we mention it's free? 1911 W. Division Street


       Meet Renowned Psychic Nancy Wallace  

Nancy Wallace has accomplished a level of psychic ability that is almost unheard of and her accurate portrayal of your past, present and future will astound you. There's limited availability this Saturday so be sure to schedule your appointment today. 1901 W. Division Street


        National Record Store Day

National Record Store Day is this Saturday. Chicago record label Numero Group will be having their annual pop-up store at The Empty Bottle from 9am -6pm and Reckless Records will be hosting in-store acts in each location including their location at: 1532 N. Milwaukee Avenue.We have the details right here.


       Small Businesses & Home Offices

Our neighbors at Wicker Park's Staples 1300 N. Ashland Avenue have asked us to let small business owners and/or those with home offices know that they're offering some incredible Sales right now. But that's not all, they also offer rewards for recycled ink cartridges, PC service + support and printing services. 






      Girl You Know It's True

Girl You Know It's True opens this weekend at The Chopin Theatre. When Bixby, a 40-ish playwright fails to get his work produced he conjures up a radical new identity for himself: an impostor ...and his "stand in" shoots to fame.  1543 W. Division Street.


Are you a Wicker Park or Bucktown Business?  Get Featured!  If you'd like to receive our Weekend Guide every Thursday, here's how you sign up here. Have a great weekend and we'll see you in the neighborhood.    




The Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

Your Wicker Park Bucktown Weekend Guide Has Arrived 4-12-12

Michael Hamrick - Thursday, April 12, 2012
April 12, 2012

Hello and welcome to this week's edition of your Insider Weekend Guide. For the week ahead, we've included many great events, like the Chicago International Movie & Music Fest, happening throughout the neighborhood and have also included a little news about new developments and eateries heading into Wicker Park. For full details, just click on the photos below. If you'd like to receive information throughout the week, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We would love to include you. Thanks, as always, for joining us and we'll see you in the neighborhood.



          Community Meeting - Miller Lumber Site

We reported earlier that a new Wicker Park development is being planned and Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants had been invited to participate in the development at 1815 W. Division - the site of Miller Lumber. Looks like the original plan is being revised and LEY hasn't fully committed to the project yet. If you'd like to participate in a meeting to discuss next steps on this development, Alderman Moreno is hosting a meeting on April 26th at 1148 N. Honore. The details are here.


Galleries/The Arts

        I Can Do That at Variable Space

I CAN DO THAT is independent curator Jenny Lam’s highly anticipated follow-up to last fall’s acclaimed Exquisite Corpse show. At the exhibition, in front of each piece will be the art supplies the show’s artists used to create their respective works. And visitors are invited to 'improve' the work. The opening reception is scheduled for Friday at 1564 N. Damen Avenue.

      Wine Tasting & Painting - Tonight

Looking for something fun - and different - to do? Head to Arts N Spirits tonight at 1921 N. Damen Avenue for their Painting & Wine Tasting Event. Winestyr brings thousands of wines to the US and you can sample a few tonight and come home with a great painting too. The details are here. Wine tasting starts at 6:30pm.




       Chicago International Movie & Music Fest

Starting tonight do not miss the 4th Annual Chicago International Movies & Music Festival converging upon the Wicker Park and Logan Square neighborhoods. The festival offers an incredible opportunity to view a wide variety of movies, documentaries, live performances, music videos and more from a range of countries and cultures. The common theme throughout: Music. A don't miss.

       Do Division Announces Additional Bands

Hot off the press the folks behind Do Division have announced more bands heading to Wicker Park this June. They include: The Antlers, Pinebender, Le Butcherettes, O'Death, BBU, Mannequin Men, and Murder by Death. Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

     Kids These Days at Double Door

Barely out of high school, Kids These Days blend a wide range of influences -- hip hop, jazz, soul, blues and classic rock into a unique and fresh sound that breaks boundaries while honoring America's musical heritage. Catch them Friday night with Rapper's Delight. 

      The Zombie Prom Fundraiser

This Saturday head to The Empty Bottle where you can relive your high school prom "zombie-style" and contribute to a great cause. Proceeds from The Zombie Prom benefit The Arts of Life. Get Up with the Get Downs will cover James Brown and Wild Blue Angel will cover Jimi Hendrix. If you can't make the event, you can also donate to The Arts of Life directly.





   Schwa Vs Rippasso's Chef Battle
Close friends Schwa Chef/Owner Michael Carlson and Bucktown's Ripasso Chef/Owner Theo Gilbert will go head-to-head in a contest to benefit Ruck 4 The Kids. The event, which takes place at Ripasso (1619 N. Damen) on April 15, will help raise money and awareness for Chicago Wapiti RFC, Youth Rugby Program. Reservations are going fast

      French Vietnamese Cuisine & Fantastic Deals

Off the beaten path, MC Restaurant and Lounge at 1401 N. Ashland Avenue is the only French-Vietnamese restaurant in the neighborhood and they serve up delicious, fresh authentic food. They also offer FREE parking and FREE wi-fi for their customers...and they also deliver. But that's not all, for the next 2 weeks you can also score a couple of great deals. Check out all of the details here.

     Wicker Park's Newest Pizzeria Plans Summer Opening

Crust closed earlier this year at 2056 W. Division Street and Pizano's Pizza & Pasta is planning to move in. With roots back to the original Pizzeria Uno, their award-winning deep dish heads to Wicker Park this Summer. We're thrilled to see the new businesses opening on Division Street and look forward to Pizano's opening in the very near future.


     Win Brunch for 2 for this Sunday
Want to be entered into a drawing to win Brunch for 2? Check our Facebook page later for our article about Blue Star Bistro's amazing brunch. We'll be publishing the information there. You have until 5pm Friday to enter. And we will pick a winner via a random drawing Friday evening for Sunday Brunch. Click on the photo for additional "how to" details.




  Real Estate



        Bucktown Foreclosure Spotting

Originally listed for $1.7 million dollars, this four bedroom home on Charleston in Bucktown is in foreclosure and is currently listed for $629,900. The description via the Multiple Listing Service is here and it sounds like a great deal. 




      Handmade Market Saturday

It's time again this weekend for the Handmade Market. This Saturday at Noon you can shop at the Empty Bottle where the market will be held. 33 sellers of handmade jewelry, clothing, handbags and more are featured.

    Heath & Renewal Celebration & Fundraiser

Elevenzees is hosting a health & wellness event this weekend where you can try all of the classes they offer in Temple Beautiful (ie: Yoga, Nia, Pilates) while trying out consultative services like: Intuitive Consultation, Craniosacral Therapy, Acupuncture & more. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the development of the LaSalle II school playground.

            Greenheart Shop's Ice Cream Social

Just in time for Earth Day, do not miss Greenheart Shop's Fair Trade ice cream social next weekend. The ice cream social will be held at their Wicker Park shop next Sunday from 12pm-5pm and it's free!


         Sprout Looks to April Opening

Based in San Francisco, plans for Sprout have been in the works for months and they're hoping to open in April. What can you expect to find at Sprout? Organic and healthy clothing, bedding, nursery items, toys and products for moms too.


Are you a Wicker Park or Bucktown Business?  Get Featured! And, as we mentioned earlier, for up-to-the-minute information throughout the week, please join us on Twitter and Facebook where we publish information daily. We'd love to have you.


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




The Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

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