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The ultimate Chicago events, restaurants, bars and nightlife blog

Nutella spice latte at Cookies & Carnitas

Nutella spice latte at Cookies & Carnitas

The Nutella spice latte at Cookies & Carnitas is here to make you feel better

Posted by Laura Baginski on Sept 12, 2014 at 4:02pm

This weather is lousy. One way to get through it is through delicious warm beverages (and booze, of course). But before you march to Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte, hear this: You do not know fall in a cup until you've tried the new Nutella spice latte at Edgewater restaurant Cookies & Carnitas.

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Festival goers keep it cool at North Coast Music Festival in Union Park.

Festival goers keep it cool at North Coast Music Festival in Union Park.

Park District bans smoking in Chicago parks

Posted by Zach Long on Sept 10, 2014 at 5:49pm

We knew this was coming, but now it's official: DNAinfo is reporting that the Chicago Park District's Board of Commissioners has banned smoking in Chicago's parks, effective immediately. The ban applies to all forms of smoking, including tobacco alternatives like e-cigarettes and vaporizers.

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Steppenwolf Garage

Steppenwolf Garage Photograph: Courtesy of Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Steppenwolf announces 2015 Garage Rep lineup

Posted by Kris Vire on Sept 9, 2014 at 12:31pm

Steppenwolf Theatre Company has revealed the three theater companies that will make up the sixth annual Garage Rep lineup, to run in repertory, February–April 2015. The three include Cold Basement Dramatics, Pride Films & Plays and Red Tape Theatre.

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Punks, headbangers and rockers unite for the Riot Fest Chicago 2013 music festival on September 15, 2013.

Punks, headbangers and rockers unite for the Riot Fest Chicago 2013 music festival on September 15, 2013. Photograph: Max Herman

Riot Fest announces complete schedule and set times

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Sept 5, 2014 at 12:25pm

Riot Fest continues to impress. First, it announced the best lineup of all the Chicago summer festivals with acts like the National, the Cure, the Flaming Lips, Tegan & Sara and too many others to name (well, not really, they're all below). Then, the festival nearly quadrupled its size, expanding to take over over Humboldt Park. Today, Riot Fest released its complete schedule and set times. That's not revolutionary, but unlike Lollapalooza (and even Pitchfork), there seems to be far more thought put into how these acts are bunched. Check it out.

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Jessie Mueller and the Broadway company of Beautiful—The Carole King Musical

Jessie Mueller and the Broadway company of Beautiful—The Carole King Musical Photograph: Joan Marcus

Broadway in Chicago announces latest subscription season

Posted by Kris Vire on Sept 3, 2014 at 11:34am

Broadway in Chicago has firmed up the subscription offerings for a "2015 Spring Season" that stretches well into winter, with new subscriptions going on sale this Sunday, September 7. The six shows in the package, all previously announced, include two Broadway-aimed musicals: First Wives Club and the autobiographical jukeboxer On Your Feet, by Gloria Estefan. Touring productions include the return of Kinky Boots, the new Broadway revival of Pippin and Beautiful—The Carole King Musical. Rounding out the offerings is The Illusionists.

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London's Electric Diner is a spin-off of Au Cheval.

London's Electric Diner is a spin-off of Au Cheval.

We tried the burger at Electric Diner, London's Au Cheval spin-off

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Sept 3, 2014 at 9:01pm

With a reel-to-reel machine behind the host stand (but not spinning), red leather booths and Cowshed soap and lotion in the bathrooms, it’s obvious from first glance that London's Electric Diner is a Brendan Sodikoff restaurant. The Chicago restaurateur teamed up with London's Soho House (we just got one of those in Chicago, and we'll have more on it next week) to open the Diner, which is a spin-off of Au Cheval. The menu has a mix of Sodikoff hallmarks. Of course, that includes the Au Cheval burger. It doesn't export well.

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A rendering of Chicago Surf at Montrose Beach

A rendering of Chicago Surf at Montrose Beach

A Chicago native wants to bring surfing to Montrose Beach

Posted by Zach Long on Sept 2, 2014 at 1:45pm

For years, Midwestern surfers (yes, they exist) have trekked to Sheboygan, Wisconsin to catch waves along a five-mile stretch of Lake Michigan. Now, a native Chicagoan is trying to bring surfing to Montrose Beach, though you won't be hanging ten in the lake. Instead, K.C. Hoos wants to install a SurfStream wave machine by the beach. Hoos is turning to Kickstarter to raise $101,000.

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A colorful array of music fans and costumes were on hand for day one of North Coast Music Festival 2014, Friday, August 29.

A colorful array of music fans and costumes were on hand for day one of North Coast Music Festival 2014, Friday, August 29. Photograph: Matthew Sperzel

North Coast Music Festival Friday photos

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Aug 30, 2014 at 11:37am

The weather gods must dig bass. Despite forecasts and unlike last year, when torrential rain fell on Union Park on the first day of North Coast, the air was muggy but sweet for headliners Bassnectar and Alesso. That brought out the glow sticks, hula hoops, tie dye and Adventure Time characters. See if you can spot them all in our shots from Union Park.

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Jay Cutler looks skeptical.

Jay Cutler looks skeptical. Jamie DiVecchio Ramsay

Soldier Field to serve "DaBurger Sliders" at Bears games

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Aug 28, 2014 at 10:17am

Aramark, the food and beverage provider for 11 NFL teams, unveiled new signature items for each of its clients this week. Aramark's "tribute to [Chicago] heritage, hometown culinary scene" is DaBurger Slider, a pepper-jack pork burger with chorizo cream, chipotle barbecue pulled pork, Havarti cheese, thick-cut bacon and crispy potato sticks. Question this concoction's relevancy to Chicago's culinary scene at your will, but you have to admit that tiny little sliders feels wrong for the Bears fan. This thing should be the size of Ditka's face.

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Photo: Frank Ockenfels/AMC; Photo imaging: Jamie DiVecchio Ramsay

Dave Chappelle to host Common's hip-hop festival with Lupe Fiasco, De La Soul and more

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Aug 28, 2014 at 9:14am

Common has put together quite the impressive hip-hop showcase, Aahh! Fest, a late entry into the summer festival season but one of the best. Naturally, the local legend headlines, bringing heavy cuts from his No I.D. assisted album Nobody's Smiling. Lupe Fiasco and Lil Herb represent both ends of the Chicago hip-hop spectrum—the conscious political side and the stark drill of the younger generation. New York represents to, with old school icons De La Soul and MC Lyte. Not to be overlooked is the elusive Jay Electronica. Oh, and Dave freaking Chappelle emcees the thing.

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  1. Union Park 1501 W Randolph St, between Ogden Ave and Justine St
  2. Sun Sep 21
Buy tickets
Onlookers welcome the Jackie Robinson West Little League team back to the city with a parade on August 27, 2014.

Onlookers welcome the Jackie Robinson West Little League team back to the city with a parade on August 27, 2014. Photograph: Max Herman

Jackie Robinson West Little League parade and rally photos

Posted by Zach Long on Aug 27, 2014 at 2:34pm

Friends, family and supporters (including Mayor Emanuel and Governor Quinn) gathered in Jackie Robinson Park on the South Side today to welcome the Jackie Robinson West Little League squad back to the city. Joined by head coach Darold Butler, the Little League World Series U.S. champions took the field at their home field, while onlookers cheered them on. After the celebration, the team boarded a trolly which drove them to Millennium Park, where Chance the Rapper introduced them to the assembled crowd.

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A rendering of the Field Museum's Cyrus Tang Hall of China

A rendering of the Field Museum's Cyrus Tang Hall of China Photograph courtesy of Tang Foundations

The Field Museum announces a new permanent exhibition

Posted by Zach Long on Aug 27, 2014 at 12:45pm

Yesterday, the Field Museum revealed that a new permanent exhibition of Chinese artifacts is currently under construction. When it opens next June, the Cyrus Tang Hall of China will showcase more than 350 pieces from the museum's collection, including textiles, bronzes, ceramics and sculptures. The exhibit will explore the history of China, tracing a path from the country's ancient beginnings to its modern status as a leader in trade, technology and innovation. The new exhibit will replace the museum's previous display of Chinese artifacts, which was closed in 2013.

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Volunteer docent Stuart Hall poses with Shake Shack's art installation

Volunteer docent Stuart Hall poses with Shake Shack's art installation

Shake Shack installs interactive public art at Ohio Street site

Posted by Zach Long on Aug 27, 2014 at 10:45am

Shake Shack will soon be opening its first Midwest location at the corner of Ohio St and Rush St in River North, offering up burgers and hot dogs in addition to the New York chain's signature milkshakes. The location's storefront is currently boarded up while work continues inside, but the plywood barrier has been decorated with six interactive murals created by St. Louis artist Noah MacMillan (who is also responsible for the "Float" mural on the Century Building).

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Brad Armacost, Ira Amyx, Dan Waller, Shane Kenyon and Kevin Theis in The Seafarer at Seanachaí Theatre Company

Brad Armacost, Ira Amyx, Dan Waller, Shane Kenyon and Kevin Theis in The Seafarer at Seanachaí Theatre Company Photograph: Joe Mazza

Seanachaí to become Irish Theatre of Chicago

Posted by Kris Vire on Aug 26, 2014 at 2:09pm

Seanachaí Theatre Company, the modest Equity theater that's focused on Irish stories and themes, is marking its 20th year by clearing up any lingering confusion over that mission. Henceforth, the company will be known as Irish Theatre of Chicago. "While our name is changing, our mission remains the same, and Seanachaí (gaelic for ‘storyteller’) is still at the heart of what we do," said co-artistic directors Michael Grant and Ira Amyx in a statement announcing the change, along with a slate of two productions for Irish Theatre Company's 2014–15 season.

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Le Dress is le closing

Posted by Laura Baginski on Aug 26, 2014 at 10:43am

The Ukrainian Village store Le Dress, which specialized in dresses (duh), is closing its doors on Sept 28 after six years in business. And just like they did when the store flooded last year, the owners are making lemonade out of lemons by holding an "au revoir" sale, with items in the store marked down up to 75 percent.

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Comic, movie and video game lovers dress up as their favorite characters for Wizard World Chicago Comic Con on August 23, 2014.

Comic, movie and video game lovers dress up as their favorite characters for Wizard World Chicago Comic Con on August 23, 2014. Photograph: Joshua Mellin

Photos of Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2014

Posted by Jessica Johnson on Aug 25, 2014 at 3:28pm

Spider-Man, Batman, Catwoman—these are the characters you expect to see at an event like Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. As you can see from our photos, there were plenty of those, but also some inspired choices, such as Daft Punk, the Ghostbusters plus the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, Pimpbot 5000 from Conan O'Brien and...a Transformers pimp? Check out our photos of the crazy costumes to inspire some ideas for Halloween.

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City announces Jackie Robinson West parade and rally

Posted by Laura Baginski on Aug 25, 2014 at 3:16pm

Since when do grown people follow a Little League team as if they were in majors? When a team as extraordinary as Jackie Robinson West comes around, which is a rare thing, indeed. The mayor's office today announced that a parade and rally will be held on Wednesday to celebrate the team's U.S. Championship in the Little League World Series.

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Bryan Bosque and Echaka Agba in The Deer at the Ruckus

Bryan Bosque and Echaka Agba in The Deer at the Ruckus Photograph: Jeffrey Bivens

The Ruckus Theater announces 2015 season, new leadership

Posted by Kris Vire on Aug 25, 2014 at 2:45pm

The Ruckus Theater has announced a pair of productions for the company's sixth season in 2015, along with new artistic and executive directors. First up in the new season is the Midwest premiere of Matt Lyle's comedy Barbecue Apocalypse (Feb 15–Mar 15). In the summer, Allison Shoemaker will helm Dan Caffrey's Matawan, which the pair developed as part of Red Tape Theatre's Fresh Eyes series. Dates and venue for Matawan, which centers on a spate of shark attacks that took place along the Jersey Shore in 1916, remain to be determined.

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iO Theater

iO Theater Photograph: Anthony Soave

5 things you should know about the new iO

Posted by Jessica Johnson on Aug 25, 2014 at 1:10pm

The red carpet is being rolled out this Friday for the grand opening of iO's new location at 1501 N Kingsbury Street. While the stars will be out this weekend to celebrate the comedy landmark's expansive new space, we snuck a peek during the current soft opening to see what's notable at the new address. 1) It's not as easy to find…

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Punks, headbangers and rockers unite for the Riot Fest Chicago 2013 music festival on September 15, 2013.

Punks, headbangers and rockers unite for the Riot Fest Chicago 2013 music festival on September 15, 2013. Photograph: Max Herman

Riot Fest expands to massive footprint in Humboldt Park

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Aug 21, 2014 at 4:01pm

Today, the organizers of Riot Fest released a map of its 2014 festival grounds. One thing immediately jumps out: It's much, much bigger. And it features mini-golf, a haunted house, a vintage arcade and a wine bar. Oh, and two Ferris wheels. How much bigger is that space? 162 acres (minus the watery bits, of course) versus the 38 acres of old. To put that in perspective, Lollapalooza takes up 115 acres in Grant Park.

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