While rumors and leaked press releases have been circulating for the majority of the year, Chicago soccer fans got an official confirmation this morning: the Chicago Fire will return to Soldier Field for the 2020 Major League Soccer season. The soccer club played several seasons in Soldier Field after it was founded in 1997, but it has been based out of SeatGeek Stadium (formerly Toyota Park) in suburban Bridgeview since 2006. The Fire's ownership has been working on a deal to bring the team back inside city limits for the past year—according to the Chicago Tribune, the Fire will pay $65.5 million to the village of Bridgeview to break its lease at SeatGeek Stadium. The Chicago Fire's latest season at Soldier Field will commence with the club's home opener on March 21, 2020 against Atlanta United FC. Under the terms of the Fire's current deal with Soldier Field, the team will play home games at the stadium through 2022, with an option to extend the contract for eight more years. Local billionaire Joe Mansueto (full disclosure, Mansueto formerly held a stake in Time Out Chicago), who purchased full ownership of the Chicago Fire in September, seems to have served as the driving force behind the move to Soldier Field. In a letter announcing the team's new home, Mansueto stated "it is my pledge to deliver a world class club worthy of our city and one that represents all of Chicago." Getting the Chicago Fire back inside of city limits is an accomplishment (albeit one that came wi
Just like the Sears Tower, Comiskey Park and the John Hancock Center before it, the Museum of Science and Industry has been bestowed with a new name that most longtime Chicagoans will probably ignore. The Chicago Tribune broke the news that the Hyde Park institution has received a $125 million gift (the largest in the museum's history) from local hedge fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin. MSI plans to honor the sizable donation by renaming itself as the Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry. While the new name was accepted via a vote by the museum's board, it will take a while for it be reflected throughout the museum, not to mention on its website, marketing materials and anything else that bears the institution's identity. MSI president David Mosena told the Tribune that it "could take a year or more" to fill out the paperwork and officially transition to the new moniker. What will the South Side museum do with $125 million? According to a release, the money will be used to "help secure the institution’s long-term financial future," which likely means that funds will be used for building upkeep, new exhibitions and attracting first-time visitors to the institution. MSI revealed that a portion of the financial windfall will be used to create a new exhibition called "Pixel Studio," described as "a state-of-the-art digital gallery and performance space that will be the only experience of its kind in North America." Hopefully the museum will come up with a way to mak
Attention public transportation nerds! October 1 marks the 72nd anniversary of the formation of the Chicago Transit Authority, which combined the Chicago Rapid Transit Company (which operated the El) and the Chicago Surface Lines streetcar system under a single governmental agency. To celebrate the auspicious occasion, the CTA is holding a Customer Appreciation Day that will allow riders to take a trip around the Loop on a pair of vintage railcars. Beginning at 11am on Tuesday, October 1, two restored 6000-series railcars from the CTA's Heritage fleet will make a series of trips around the Loop, marking the first time since 1992 that these cars have hosted the general public. Tickets for a series of rides originating from the Washington/Wabash Station between 11am and 12:30pm have already sold out, but the vintage trains will take passengers in the Loop on a first-come, first-served basis from 12:30 to 2pm (keep an eye on the CTA Twitter account, as these hours may be extended). While a trip on the vintage railcars offers a chance to experience how Chicagoans got around the Loop in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, you'll still need to tap your Ventra card to get through the turnstiles—CTA tokens are no longer accepted. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Every year, the Michelin Guide shows up in Chicago like the Tooth Fairy, bestowing its prestigious stars upon the city's top dining institutions. A whopping 25 Chicago restaurants made the cut for 2020, including five newcomers. Though a Michelin rating is one of the top honors a chef can receive, very little is known about the anonymous inspectors who eat their way through the city and decide on those rankings. These top-secret food agents are employees of Michelin (which means they're not linked to any outside organizations) who are tasked with traveling the country and eating out all the time. Doesn't sound like a bad gig, huh? Following Chicago's updated star rankings for 2020, we hopped on the phone with Michelin's chief inspector in North America to find out what goes on behind the scenes—from how many times he dines out in a year (a lot) to stripping a restaurant of its star. Read on to take a closer look at the secret life of a Michelin inspector. How exactly does someone become a Michelin inspector? And how long have you had the job?I’ve personally been an inspector for 13 years now. The team is pretty varied, but most inspectors follow the same kind of career history. They usually studied hospitality administration, they may have gone to a sommelier program, they may have graduated from a culinary school or program. By the time they come to be an inspector, they usually have years under their belt. It’s a pretty arduous interview process, but we’re looking for som
The Oscars of the food world descended on Chicago today as Michelin Guide bestowed its prestigious stars on 25 restaurants for 2020. The list includes five impressive newcomers: Kikkō, Mako, Next, Omakase Yume and Yūgen. It's worth noting that three of those additions (Kikkō, Mako and Omakase Yume) are traditional omakase restaurants that opened in the West Loop within the last year or so. Kikkō is the intensely intimate counter located in the basement of Kumiko, where chef de cuisine Mariya Russell and executive chef Noah Sandoval execute a pristine seven-course menu alongside creative director and cocktail guru Julia Momose. At Mako, celebrated sushi chef B.K. Park wows diners with a 25-course tasting menu that's rife with picture-perfect sashimi and nigiri. From the 16-seat counter at Omakase Yume, chef Sangtae Park dispenses a refined 17-course, sushi-centric parade that changes daily. Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas of the Alinea Group are having a bittersweet day: While Next, their theatrical fine-dining experience in the West Loop, finally nabbed a single star (an honor that has notoriously evaded the restaurant since it opened in 2011), neighboring spot Roister has been stripped of its star, which it retained since 2016. Alinea, the group's crown jewel, unsurprisingly held on to its three-star distinction for 2020. Chef Mari Katsumura and her team at Yūgen in the West Loop have reason to bust out the fancy champagne: The sophisticated restaurant earned one star for it
The holiday season will be here before you know it, which means that festive celebrations, tree-lightings, caroling and ice skating aren't far behind. This morning, Millennium Park announced its complete lineup of holiday programming, which kicks off with the opening of the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink on November 15 and continues with the annual Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Wrigley Square (at Michigan Ave and Randolph St) on Friday, November 22. Need even more holiday cheer in (and around) one of Chicago's best parks? The Millennium Park Art Market will offer jewelry, paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and more creative items made by students from School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago from November 22–24. Plus, Caroling at Cloud Gate will allow you to belt out seasonal tunes while admiring your reflection in the Bean every Friday between November 29 and December 20, and a Dance-Along Nutcracker session at the nearby Chicago Cultural Center invites everyone to learn a few ballet moves on December 8. Take a look at the current lineup of Millennium Park holiday events below and find something to look forward to amid the cold and snow of another Chicago winter. McCormick Tribune Ice RinkNovember 15–March, 2020 (weather dependent) 106th Annual Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting CeremonyFriday, November 22 at 6pmWrigley Square, Michigan Ave and Randolph St Millennium Park Art Market with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago a
If you've discovered the eighth world wonder that is Bon Appétit's YouTube channel, you're already familiar with the culinary magazine's test kitchen, where recipes are developed, tweaked and perfected. Now you can have those dishes delivered to your door, thanks to a partnership between Chicago-based companies Lettuce Entertain You and Grubhub. Appropriately dubbed Bon Appétit, Delivered, the virtual restaurant utilizes chefs from Lettuce Entertain You restaurants to bring recipes from Bon Appétit's Instagram feed to life. The extensive menu rotates seasonally and currently includes 17 dishes—from spicy pork soup with noodles and greens to salmon with lemon-sesame sauce and cauliflower rice. Every menu item is developed by the publication's editors, and pricing ranges from $6.95 for sides to $22.95 for entree-sized portions. Delivery is available for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday from 11am to 9pm and Saturday and Sunday from 3:30 to 9pm. Scope out the full menu and start plotting out your lunchtime delivery. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
There's no denying that Chicago is a great place to be single, but we could all use a break from the dating-app grind. Enter Dating IRL, an original Time Out Chicago feature that sets up two eligible singles on a blind date at a Chicago hot spot. After a night out, each dater reports back with honest feedback on first impressions, chemistry and awkward moments. This time, we matched Raphael and Jessica and sent them to etta in Wicker Park for dinner and drinks. Let's see how it went. RECOMMENDED: Want Time Out editors to set you up on a blind date? Apply for Dating IRL today. Photograph: Sarah Joyce MEET THE DATERS RAPHAEL, 27: Extrovert, music lover, creative JESSICA, 24: Social media manager, book nerd, feminist Photograph: Sarah Joyce FIRST IMPRESSION RAPHAEL “Jessica was the perfect person to ease the awkwardness of a blind first date: all smiles, cute, nice and just as open to trying new things as I am.” JESSICA “I usually go for shy, clean-cut guys, so his tattoos and extroverted personality were off-brand for me. But the conversation flowed smoothly, so maybe I should reconsider my type." Photograph: Sarah Joyce CHEMISTRY RAPHAEL “It was really easy to talk to her right from the get-go, and although there weren’t fireworks, I definitely wouldn’t put our connection entirely in the ‘friend’ bucket.” JESSICA “There was definitely a spark, but I’m not sure if it was first-date excitement or actual chemistry. I’m thinking it’ll end
Still making your way through all of the Michelin-starred restaurants in Chicago? Give your wallet a break and scope out the 54 local restaurants that just nabbed Bib Gourmands from Michelin. What's the difference between a star and a Bib? The latter is awarded to "establishments that serve good quality food at a good value, making it possible to order two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for around $40 or less." We can get down with that price tag. This year's new additions, in alphabetical order, are: Avlí Taverna, Birrieria Zaragoza, Cabra, Cira, Country Barbecue, etta, Flat & Point, Funkenhausen, Ghin Khao, Ina Mae Tavern, Kie-Gol-Lanee, La Josie, Nella Pizza e Pasta and Virtue. They join dozens of other Chicago restaurants that have held the honor, including Avec, Fat Rice and HaiSous. Despite gaining 14 newbies, Chicago's total number of Bib Gourmands is down from last year. The following restaurants are no longer on the list, some of which have permanently shuttered: Angry Crab, Au Cheval, bellyQ, Bohemian House, Bristol, Cumin, Dove's Luncheonette, Han 202, Hopleaf, Jade Court, Jin Thai, Mana Food Bar, MingHin, Nana, Quiote, Sabri Nihari, Sushi Dokku and Wood. Will any of these restaurants rise to star status next week, when Michelin announces its recipients for 2020? Tune in on Thursday, September 26 to find out. In the meantime, drool over the full list of Chicago's Bib Gourmands for 2020 below: AramiAvecAvlí TavernaBirrieria ZaragozaCabraCeres' TableChila
Entering its third consecutive year, Red Bull Music Festival Chicago will return in November, presenting a lineup of concerts at venues throughout the city. Running from November 17 through 30, the festival's eight concerts predominantly showcase local hip-hop, jazz and house music acts, similar to the 2018 edition of Red Bull Music Festival Chicago. It's a far cry from the 30 shows that the energy drink brand threw in the city in 2017 during the 30 Days in Chicago event series, but it's a welcome addition to the typically slim concert calendar surrounding the week of Thanksgiving. The festival kicks off on November 17 with a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Lakeview shop Gramaphone Records, taking over Metro and Smart Bar with a lineup of DJs that reflect the store's deep ties to the house music genre. Gramaphone owner Michael Serafini will be joined by the likes of Steve "Silk" Hurley, Derrick Cater, Ron Trent and a long list of Smart Bar residents a notable local selectors. Other highlights of the lineup include a collection of jazz musicians curated by Theaster Gates performing at the Garfield Park Conservatory (November 19), Lupe Fiasco performing his seminal 2006 album Food & Liquor front-to-back at the Riviera Theatre (November 21), acclaimed Philly rapper Tierra Whack headlining the Concord Music Hall (November 26) and singer-songwriter Jamila Woods performing her recent release Legacy! Legacy! at the Geraghty event space (November 27). Red Bull Music Festival