With the early thaw of winter, we’re ready to get out of the house. While we recommend doing so with caution as the COVID-19 scare continues, local businesses will be needing your support more than ever. So, pack up that parka and explore some of the newest spots around Chicago, including a Instagram-worthy bowling alley, a highly anticipated board game cafe from the makers of an infamous card game and more.
Food & Drink
2515 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago
Over the summer, the popular brewery closed their doors in Pilsen to move into a bigger space in Bronzeville. They recently debuted their big plans — the brewery now offers a full bar, a larger brewing production space and an elevated Dining Room. Led by chef Jared Wentworth, the Dining Room pairs a seasonal 12-course menu with their beers, some which are brewed exclusively for a dish. If you are just stopping in for a beer at the Bar, you can also order from their inventive a la carte menu that ranges from grilled octopus to to a Moody Burger.
2165 N. Western Ave., Chicago
Come for the cocktails and stay for the food at this new spot from the people behind Logan Square’s Giant. It’s hard to pick favorites from the Chinese dishes — from Mongolian beef to pork and cabbage potstickers, the menu is a delight. The cocktails are equally delightful, ranging from the trusty old fashioned to a Manager’s Special, a whiskey cherry Coke. Don’t miss their happy hour or late-night menus either, where you can grab a snack and a drink for only $10.
4014 N. Rockwell St., Chicago
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This new brewpub in North Center recently celebrated their grand opening. The large space on Rockwell features a large range of house-brewed beers, including IPAs, Amber Ales, Stouts and Belgian Dubbels. They also offer a rotating selection of guest taps, cider and wine, if beer is not your thing. There is no kitchen on site, but the brewery offers light snacks and welcomes food trucks weekly.
1965 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
From the makers of the popular Cards Against Humanities, “the party game for horrible people,” comes a new full-service restaurant, bar and game cafe in the former Margie’s Candies building at Milwaukee and Western. Come in for dinner and stay for the selection of over 300 board games, and even an escape room designed by The House Theatre of Chicago. The cafe has a full bar, and the food menu features shared plates from Vietnam, Spain, and Mexico by Executive Chef Aaron McKay (Schwa, NoMi, Le Lan) and Chef de Cuisine Evan Behmer (Mercat a la Planxa, North Pond). Just plan ahead — reservations are a must.
3118 N. Milwaukee Avenue., Chicago
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The long-awaited preservation of the 1920s Northwest Bowl was completed earlier this year. Featuring eight lanes, the bowling alley took two years to fully restore many of the retro designs, including pins setters and signage, and they even use hand scoring by card. A full bar, with a restored mahogany rail, offers light snacks, tap beer and cocktails, including retro throwbacks like White Russians and Amaretto Sours.
1723 Chestnut Ave., Glenview
This beautiful Glenview fitness club with a California vibe offers more than just a sweat. Featuring eight different group classes from spinning and boxing, to Barre and yoga, the studio believes that there should be a balance to your fitness plan. They stress active recovery as part of a well-rounded fitness routine, along with their three other fitness “lanes” — cardiovascular conditioning, strength training and metabolic conditioning — and encourage members to switch lanes often. The club also offers in-house massage therapy, physical therapy, and chiropractor services.
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Macaire Douglas lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two sons, and covers the Weekend 101 and monthly Recommended Events features. She proudly supports Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to prevent the illegal abandonment of newborns nationwide. Since its inception in 2000, more than 3,600 newborns have been safely surrendered and adopted into loving homes.