Although restaurants across the state have been allowed to reopen for on-site dining for weeks, some weren’t ready to emerge just yet. But as phase three and now phase four of the reopening of the coronavirus shutdown have unfolded in Chicago and the suburbs, more and more restaurants are launching, many of them with new menus, patios , redesigned dining rooms and, in at least one case, an entirely new concept.
On top of that, restaurateurs are growing more comfortable with the idea of opening in a pandemic-stressed economy, opening new locations including Baye’s Little Bakery, The Elm and Uncooked.
Here’s a look at 19 restaurants that have opened or reopened in the past week or so, including a few looming on the horizon.
Acadia. After focusing on transportation during the shutdown, Acadia will unveil a new (and first) patio on Saturday. Against a wall-mounted backdrop, the patio features six tables (available on a first-come, first-served basis). Patio offerings are based on Acadia’s popular bar menu, including dishes such as Maine lobster roll, steak frites, and oysters. Also new is a walk-in window, where customers can pick up take-out cocktails and food based on changing themes (“American Diner” currently). 1639 S. Wabash Ave., 312-360-9500, acadiachicago.com
To bark. The Troika Brasserie portion of Michael Lachowicz’s restaurant (which includes George Three and Silent) is open for indoor dining Friday-Sunday (outdoor Thursday-Sunday) with 12 tables (7ft apart ) and, of course, a classic French menu. 64 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, 847-331-4100, georgetroisgroup.com
The Little Bakery of Baye. Darnell Reed, chef/owner of Luella’s Southern Kitchen, opened this annex, a take-out bakery offering cookies, cornbread, sweet potato pie, hummingbird cake, and French toast kits at home. Plan ahead: Orders must be placed online by 3:00 p.m. the day before pickup; no same day orders at this time. 4609 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-961-8196; luellassouthernkitchen.com
Bottleneck management reopened its three Chicago restaurants on Wednesday, all offering classic American cuisine and its huge beer selection (more than 90 taps). Good news for fans of Old Town Pour House (1419 N. Wells St.), South Branch Tavern & Grille (100 S. Wacker Drive) and Sweetwater Tavern & Grille (225 N. Michigan Ave.) bottleneckmgmt.com
Elm. This expansive La Grange restaurant opened its doors last month and can accommodate guests on the rooftop terrace, the main dining room, or one of three private rooms. The menu is a simple American selection of steaks, seafood, and pastas, and a few heavy sandwiches. Curbside pickup always available. 23 W. Harris Ave., The Grange, 708-639-4068, theelmlagrange.com
Farm on the roof. The rooftop space above the West Town Roots Handmade Pizza location in West Town is back, with a $15,000 renovation and a new head chef in Ivan Valdez (formerly sous chef at sister property Portsmith), which features a Latin American comfort food menu of tacos, salads, and small and large plates. 1924 W. Chicago Ave., 773-332-2354, homesteadontheof.com
Mom Delia. Bonhomme Hospitality transformed the moody Black Bull into the more vibrant Mama Delia, which opened in late June with a gourmet market (Spanish produce such as conservas and jamon Iberico), an intimate rear dining room, a 60 sidewalk seating and a rooftop garden for private parties. Executive Chef Marcos Campos (who oversees all of Le Bonhomme’s restaurants) combines imaginative cuisine (a gourmet bite of foie gras with quince paste and sherry in an almond tile “taco shell”) and Spanish tradition (paella, a aged nicknamed “vaca vieja”). 1721 Division Street West, 312-487-1236, mamadelia.com
The perch. Opening in August, the latest effort from 4Star Restaurant Group (Smoke Daddy, Tuco & Blondie, Crosby’s Kitchen) will be a 5,000 square foot space with an on-site brewing facility, created in partnership with Finch Beer Co. (the assistant Finch’s brewer, Josh Kunzil, will oversee the rotating draft beer selection, offering a dozen beers at any one time. A grill and wood-fired rotisserie will produce most menu items, and the restaurant will be open daily for lunch and dinner and brunch on weekends. 1932 Division Street West. 4starrestaurantgroup.com
Rooftop at Nobu Hotel. Nobu Restaurant & Bar will open later, but the rooftop debuted on July 1, offering light bites (nori tacos, black cod lettuce cups, lamb and chicken kushiyaki, and various nigiri/sashimi/ maki), cocktails and sake — and, like most rooftops, city views. Nobu Hotel, 155 N. Peoria St., 312-584-6649, chicago.nobuhotels.com
Roots artisan pizza. Group Fifty/50 opens its fourth Roots location on Friday, this time in a two-story, 10,000 square foot space at Printer’s Row. The restaurant features two outdoor patios on the ground floor, and the second floor, dubbed The Canopy (and reserved for ages 21 and up), has a retractable roof. 744 S. Dearborn St., 773-645-4909, rootspizza.com
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Sepia. Indoor dining returned to Sepia on Wednesday, with a four-course menu for $65. Meals on the terrace and takeaway meals remain available. 123 N. Jefferson St., 312-441-1920, sepiachicago.com
Spiaggia. Chicago’s quintessential Italian restaurant returns Thursday; Executive chef Eric Lees (who took over after Joe Flamm’s departure) will offer an a la carte menu, as well as a six-course set menu for $115. 980 N. Michigan Ave., 312-280-2750, spiaggiarestaurant.com
Travel to the Langham. One of the city’s finest dining venues will reopen on Friday, when Travelle, on the second floor of the Langham Hotel, resumes serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily (brunch on weekends) . 330 N. Wabash Ave., 312-923-7705, travellechicago.com
Uncooked. A take-out restaurant focused on raw, plant-based foods and a zero-waste credo, Uncooked debuted on Monday, serving breakfast through dinner (closes at 8 p.m.) Monday through Saturday. 210 N. Carpenter St., 312-315-5552, http://eatuncooked.com
Yougen. Yugen will reopen on July 31 with several changes. Seating inside will be at all other tables and new wooden dividers will add to social distancing. Mari Katsumura will offer a unique eight-course menu for $190 ($125 for assorted drinks). The front lounge, Kaisho, will become Kaisho Grab & Go, serving sandwiches, ramen, and other casual fare from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. And a new front patio, dubbed Kaisho Tiki Takeover, will serve salads, burgers, binchotan skewers and frozen cocktails. 652 W. Randolph St., 312-265-1008; yugenchicago.com
Vermilion. The River North restaurant reopens on Friday, unveiling new design elements (white floors, new wall pictures, a 10-seater fire table) and a revamped menu including a new Toddy Shop section (named after roadside spots in the southern state of Kerala, with very spicy regional dishes), new Indo-Latin fusion dishes (the cuisine for which Vermilion is best known) and a rotating monthly platter that highlights a specific cuisine (primarily: the Indonesian rijstafel). 10 W. Hubbard St., 312-527-4060; thevermilionrestaurant.com
Virtue. Erick Williams’ Hyde Park restaurant has resumed indoor dining (24 seats in total) to accompany its 38-seat outdoor patio. Both offer Williams’ South American cuisine. 1462 E. 53rd Street, 773-947-8831; virtuerestaurant.com