Wicker Park Bucktown Insider's Guide

Cipolina - Gratto Close in Wicker Park

Michael Hamrick - Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wicker Wire- July 30, 2013


Two small Wicker Park eateries have closed up shop on Damen Avenue. Long-time staple Cipolina at 1543 N. Damen Avenue has closed citing issues related to rents according to a report published by Eater Chicago. Their last day was July 25, 2013.


Gratto at 1341 N. Damen Avenue also appears to have closed up shop. The restaurant equipment and part of the front counter been removed and the reasonably new Italian eatery has been dark for almost a week. There has also been no answer via phone. We thought the food here was terrific and liked the location at Evergreen and Damen Avenue; a little off the beaten path.


Will keep you posted on any new developments. For up to the minute information, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.



Two More Shutters Add to Wicker Park Turnover [Eater Chicago]

Wicker Wire: Gratto Closes in Wicker Park

Michael Hamrick - Monday, July 29, 2013

Wicker Wire: July 28, 2013

We're sorry to report Wicker Park's cute tiny Italian deli and pizza spot Gratto has closed up shop at 1339 N. Damen Avenue. Not only were the sub sandwiches good, but those big slices of cheese pizza with the big chunks of melted blue cheese were addictive and an absolute favorite.

No information from the owner directly but the restaurant equipment has been removed and the phone has been disconnected.

Gratto was a great little neighborhood gem at Evergreen and Damen that served delicious food off the beaten path of North-Damen-Milwaukee-Division. They will be missed.


Related: Why We Love Wicker Park's Gratto

Smart Cars and Free Big Star Tacos

Thyra DeCicco - Saturday, July 06, 2013

Photo credit: Chicago Tribune

Smart Car is wrapping up their 11 city tour this weekend in Wicker Park at Big Star; just to make it extra crowded this weekend.

You can register in person between 11am and 7pm Saturday and Sunday. If you test drive one car you'll receive a coupon for a taco. Test drive 2 cars and you'll receive a $10 gift card.

Just in case you're wondering what the heck is going on at Big Star this weekend: 1531 N. Damen Avenue.


Test a Smart Car for 2, Get A Free Taco [Chicago Tribune]

Wicker Park's Chicago Chop Shop Names Chef

Thyra DeCicco - Thursday, July 04, 2013

Photo credit: Faze Photography

Wicker Park's newest restaurant/bar/venue/butcher at 2033 W. North Avenue is working hard to open this Summer and they've selected Joshua Marrelli (Epic, Urban Union) as their Executive Chef according to this report by Chicago Magazine published earlier this week.

So what can you expect from Chef Marrelli when you arrive at Chicago Chop Shop? Here's a sample of the anticipated menu: 

• BLT with heirloom tomatoes dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt, avocado wedges, bacon vinaigrette, and crispy bacon bits

• Butcher burger, ground in-house from scraps, with aged cheddar, caramelized red onion, and signature burger sauce on a ciabatta bun.

• Meatballs, made from a family recipe from the Minelli clan, who will run the butcher shop. Served on creamy polenta with San Marzano tomato–pork sauce.

• New York strip steak sandwich, with cheese, mushrooms, bordelaise sauce, and bone marrow butter

And much much more. Look for Chicago Chop Shop to open in Wicker Park in early August.


Chicago Chop Shop Wicker Park's New Restaurant/Butcher/Venue Names A Chef [Chicago Magazine]

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.

Win A $25 Gift Card for Wicker Park's Takito Kitchen

Michael Hamrick - Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Photo: Special Tonight: Slow Roasted Pork Adobo Taco featuring a Grilled Ramp Tortilla & Little Darling Cheddar!Photo courtesy of Takito Kitchen via Facebook

Our generous friends at Takito Kitchen 2031 W. Division Street in Wicker Park have given us a $25 Gift Card to give to one of you. Enter until midnight today July 2nd. We will be announcing the winner at 10:00am tomorrow via Facebook and Twitter.

You will then have one hour to claim your card. If you don't claim your card by 11:00am, we'll do it again. For details on how to enter, please go to our Facebook page and RT our Twitter announcements.


Ready. Set. Go and good luck.


Don't know about Takito Kitchen? This Wicker Park Mexican eatery is more than just a taco spot. Chef David Dworshak is creative in the flavors he pairs together in this Mexican cuisine and you'll find options like the crispy redfish tacos on handmade hibiscus tortillas and a crispy pork belly taco served on a sesame tortilla with morita, fresh mozzarella and arugula.

The drinks are also creative and refreshing and the patio is open for business; a don't miss on Division Street.

FINAL Day for CRONUTS in Wicker Park

Thyra DeCicco - Sunday, June 30, 2013

Photo courtesy of

Starting this Friday (June 28) at 8am, Wicker Park's Alliance Bakery will be selling cronuts - a doughnut made of croissant dough filled with pastry cream and covered in a raspberry rose glaze.


Cronuts have been the rage on the East Coast with lines of people out the door waiting for a taste. Cronuts combine a little bit of crunch with melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness and are available this weekend only. They'll be selling for 5.00 dollars each and the limit is 2 per person.


Get 'em while you can. Alliance Bakery will only have cronuts available through Sunday.


Alliance Bakery - 1736 W. Division Street - Wicker Park  

Mon - Sat: 6:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sun: 7:00 am - 9:00 pm

Hot Dogs and Ice Cream Head to Wicker Park

Thyra DeCicco - Friday, June 14, 2013

Wicker Park - The Hat will be heading into the space previously the home of a Currency Exchange building at 1604 W. North Avenue according a report published earlier today.

Tired of looking at the long-standing empty building, the owners of Hollywood Grill have decided to take on this new project which just so happens to be directly across the street on the northwest corner of Ashland and North.

According to today's report The Hat will serve good old-fashioned Vienna beef hot dogs, Polish sausage, gyros, Italian beef, pastrami and corned addition to burgers and fries. They will also share parking with the Hollywood Grill.

Look for The Hat to open this Fall at 1604 W. North Avenue in Wicker Park.



Blighted Currency Exchange Gets New Life as Old Fashioned Dog, Burger Joint (DNAInfo)

Lillie's Q Wicker Park Reopens Tonight

Thyra DeCicco - Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lillie's Q has been closed following a fire in March that destroyed much of the restaurant at 1856 W. North Avenue. But after many months of hard work, they've rebuilt and are re-opening tonight. The following announcement was published today:

Pigs are running scared around the country right now ... 'cause Lillie's Q re-opens to the public at 5pm tonight! Thank you all for your amazing support the last three months -- you all have shown Lillie's Q true Southern hospitality. The time is here ... come eat & drink with us!

Congratulations Lillie's Q. 

 Image courtesy of Lillie's Q via Facebook.

Mott Street Opens in Wicker Park

Thyra DeCicco - Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mott StPhoto credit: Martha Williams - Time Out Chicago

The highly anticipated Mott Street has officially opened their doors at 1401 N. Ashland Avenue according to this report published earlier this week. Mott Street is owned by the team behind Ruxbin and is serving up sharable and approachable late night street food that combines a mix of influences in each dish.

Unlike Ruxbin, the decor is more DIY with an eclectic mix of style and more "utilitarian". It's also a 180 degree change from its predecessor MC Restaurant. The outdoor space will only serve beverages for now. 


For additional details and photos:

Mott Street the new restaurant from the Ruxbin crew opens tomorrow (TOC)

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