With Logan Square’s explosive scene of new places to eat and drink, it’s not too hard to see why our little pocket of Chicago has been crowned the “Midwest headquarters of hip” by Cushman & Wakefield. There’s always something new, always an oldie but goodie, and always something for everyone. You’ll definitely want to check out any one of the places highlighted below…even if there isn’t a Pokemon hovering on its doorstep.
Logan Square extended an olive branch in the never ending battleground that is NYC Pizza vs. Chicago Pizza when Brooklyn-based chain Paulie Gee’s Logan Square (2451 N. Milwaukee Ave.) arrived on the scene. This is their first location outside of New York. As reported by Chicago Tribune, owner Derrick Tung and founder Paul Giannone will serve Neopolitan style wood-fired pizzas and feature longstanding favorites such as Hellboy (mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Berkshire soppressata, and a Brazilian-style chili pepper-infused honey) and the Big Bad Wolf (tomato, soppressata, sausage, bacon jam, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano). This location will also feature Tung’s original creations, such as Thrilla in Manila (tomato, garlic, onion relish, and Filipino longanisa), and will also pay homage to this fine neighborhood with two Logan Squares, one meat and one veggie. Just to note, Paulie Gee’s does not take reservations, or offer take out/delivery.
Neighborhood favorite L’Patron (2815 W. Diversey Ave.) opened the doors to a second location at 3749 W. Fullerton Ave., at Fullerton and Hamlin west of Central Park Avenue. But with rent for the original restaurant doubling from $3,000 to $6,000/month, it’s yet to be decided if their new home away from home will just be home. DNAInfo reports that the jump in rent could mean a similar jump in prices from $2.50 to $4 per taco in order to retain the quality of ingredients. But while owners Ernesto and Cesar Gonzalez work out the fate of the Diversey restaurant, the menu at the second location will offer the same price points. Additionally, customers at the Fullerton location can enjoy five new dinner items including a steak burger, ceviche, and a Mexico City-style quesadilla, as well as a larger dining area and a 40-50 seat patio.
UPDATE: The Diversey location of L’Patron has closed. Read our update here.
With tales of opening an adjoining bakery and cocktail lounge floating about, Fat Rice (2957 W. Diversey Ave.) has been on many a foodie’s radar for the past year and a half. And after waiting ever so patiently, we have been rewarded, grasshoppers. Both The Bakery at Fat Rice/its evening counterpart, Petisco, and The Ladies’ Room were unveiled last week. A cocktail lounge styled after Chinese gambling halls and mid-19th and 20th century Macau, The Ladies’s Room offers an adventurous beverage program helmed by partner and chef, Abraham Conlon. According to Chicago Eater, the new bar will feature two large format options (meant for 8-10 people or those whose who like to go big or go home), boozy teas for two, three classics with a twist, and five original cocktails.
Logan Square said goodbye to a little piece of the Bayou when Analogue (2523 N. Milwaukee Ave.) shuttered this week. Chicago Eater notes that the news comes after major personnel changes announced in May, beginning with the departure of founders Robert Haynes and Henry Prendregast, both veterans of Violet Hour, and head chef Alfredo Nogueira. General Manager Scott Crawford promoted sous chef Dani Kaplan to head chef and Spencer Rutledge to bar manager to fill in the gaps but despite the adjustments, Analogue closed its doors on Monday afternoon and the space is now for sale.
Logan Square boasts an impressive number of coffee shops but there is, admittedly, a bit of a dry spot in the southwest quadrant of the neighborhood. Enter: Damn Fine Coffee (3317 W. Armitage Ave.). A Kickstarter project, Damn Fine Coffee is an independent coffee shop committed to being an “oasis in this otherwise coffee desert.” With plans to open this summer, Damn Fine Coffee will offer Halfwit Coffee (itself located in Logan Square) in addition to a monthly rotation of roasters from around the country. Keep an eye on their Facebook page and website for more info.
To round out our list of new food and drink joints (for now), say hello to Estereo (2450 N. Milwaukee Ave.), an all-day cocktail bar showcasing a range of Latin American spirits brought to us by Heisler Hospitality (Trenchermen, Bar DeVille, Sportsman’s Club); keep an eye out for Hibachi-style joint, RYUU Asian BBQ (2766 N. Milwaukee Ave.), which just applied for a liquor license; and stay tuned for Owen and Engine’s Bo Fowler’s new Southeast Asian spot, Bixi (2515 N. Milwaukee Ave.). Fowler and her team are developing the menu and we hear there may cured duck eggs.