There’s never a shortage of things to do and places to eat around Chicago, and now there’s even more to add to your hit list. From baseball-themed craft cocktails and top-notch coffee and pastries to cutting-edge virtual reality experiences and a new pilates studio, these are just a few of the new restaurants and businesses that have opened recently (or are opening soon) in Chicago and the suburbs.
912 N. State St., Chicago
In September, restaurateurs Ryan and Anna O’Donnell (Ballyhoo Hospitality) and chefs Jon Keeley and Ji Yoon opened this “thoughtfully executed approach to the neighborhood restaurant and bar concept with refined yet unpretentious American-leaning fare.” Besides enjoying dishes like roasted king crab, 12-hour short rib, and lamb Wellington, diners will also find The Lounge below the restaurant. It’s the optimal spot to enjoy drinks in a cozy, library-like setting that seats just 18.
3473 N. Clark St., Chicago
The Wrigleyville makeover continues with this baseball-themed craft cocktail lounge, which opened in October. As you wait for the start of another baseball season, snack on bacon and sea salt “Cracker Jack” popcorn and sip cocktails like The Ol’ 6-4-3 (George Dickel #8, St. George Spiced Pear, Meyer lemon) and Empress of the Blues (Yama Japanese Whiskey, Amontillado sherry, Drambuie, lavender syrup).
5318 N. Clark St., Chicago
In Sweden, fika is the concept of taking a break over coffee and a treat to catch up with friends, both new and old. We don’t know about you, but we could use a little more fika in our lives, and this Andersonville bakery is the perfect place to take part. Opened by former Grace pastry chef Bobby Schaffer, Lost Larson offers croissants, cakes, breads, tarts, and sandwiches in addition to coffee and tea.
5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg
This favorite destination for coffee, ice cream, and doughnuts like Glazed Old Fashion and Lemon Pistachio Old Fashioned opened its second suburban location (10th overall) at Woodfield Mall in September. Next time you’re planning to shop-till-you-drop, take a break from the racks with one of these delicious treats.
682 Vernon Ave., Glencoe
Studying just got a whole lot cooler thanks to this “Soho House-style” luxury tutoring lounge in Glencoe. A members-only, Chicago Academic concept, The House features on-demand tutoring help; a library; a kitchen with snacks, beverages, and meals from Osteria Langhe chef Cameron Grant; and cool furniture and study spots.
4700 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago
The future is officially upon us with this virtual reality arcade and escape room — suitable for both newbies and pros — that’s opening soon. Even select drink orders come with VR headsets, so you can experience your cocktail being prepared in a whole new way.
1442 Waukegan Road, Glenview
Get a jump start on your fitness-related resolutions at this Glenview Pilates club that opened in September. No matter your goals or your level of experience, you’ll find a class that’s right for you, from a CP Intro Class to CP F.I.T., CP Cardio Sculpt, CP Center + Balance, and more.
1029 Waukegan Road, Glenview
A staple in Glenview for more than 40 years, Gigi’s Closette has a new location on Waukegan Road. Stop by to see the new space and experience the store’s fresh concept: daily wear and special occasion dresses.
Anna Carlson writes the weekly Weekend 101 column and monthly Recommended Events. A graduate of the University of Missouri, her work has been published in Chicago Parent, Inside Columbia Magazine, and Central California Parent Magazine. She is a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.