Early predictions for what will be on our best of 2014 lists

  • Ukrainian Village's the Winchester, helmed by Greg Bastien, is one of our best of 2014 predictions.

  • Photograph: Lindsay Gallup

    Rick Bayless is opening a new restaurant in Wicker Park, one of our best of 2014 predictions.

  • Photograph: Amy Stallard

    Homaro Cantu's Berrista Coffee shop in Old Irving Park is one of our best of 2014 predictions.

  • River North cocktail bar Tippling Hall, from Paul Tanguay and Tad Carducci, is one of our best of 2014 predictions.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Matthias Merges is opening a second outpost of Yusho in Hyde Park and is one of our best of 2014 predictions.

Ukrainian Village's the Winchester, helmed by Greg Bastien, is one of our best of 2014 predictions.

Thanks, 2013, it's been real, but we've moved on to 2014, which we predict will be an even bigger year for restaurant and bar openings, theater and more, not to mention marriage equality (counting down to June 1!). Check out what we say will be the best of 2014.

We can expect the Winchester (1001 N Winchester Ave) very soon. The restaurant will feature food from chef Greg Bastien (we loved his delicious meatballs at Tavernita) and will serve breakfast like avocado toast and quiche and an all-day café menu with sandwiches and salads. 

We can (finally!) expect Leghorn Fried Chicken (959 N Western Ave) to open in mid-January. Element Collective's restaurant has one menu item: Jared van Camp’s pickle-brined or Nashville hot fried chicken sandwiches. Leghorn will open for lunch and stay open till it's sold out. And as a response to Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay stance, the restaurant will donate two percent of its revenue to gay-rights organizations.

In February, Element Collective is also opening Kinmont (419 W Superior St). It’s a sustainable seafood restaurant helmed by Duncan Biddulph, formerly of Lula Café and Rootstock, who we named as one of 20 chefs to watch in 2011. 

The Longman & Eagle team is opening the Promontory (1539 E 53rd St) in Hyde Park. It was slated to open last spring, so we won’t hold our breath on this one. Also in Hyde Park: a second Yusho is opening there in the next few months.

Paul Tanguay and Tad Carducci’s Tippling Hall (646 N Franklin St), the new cocktail bar from Mercadito Hospitality, was supposed to open in late October 2013. But the project was pushed back and is now expected to open in early 2014.

Rick Bayless is moving into Wicker Park (1471 N Milwaukee Ave) and will open a spot that’s similar to Xoco but in a larger space and with a bar program. Paul Kahan and One Off Hospitality are also opening a Wicker Park restaurant in the old Cipollina space (1543 N Damen Ave), next to Big Star (which they’re also planning to expand).

It wouldn’t be a year in Chicago without a Brendan Sodikoff opening. We have no idea what’s first, but here’s what’s coming up: barbecue restaurant Green Street Smoked Meats, juice bar Jack & Juice and High Five Ramen, all at 112 North Green Street. He’s also planning a pizza place at 1732 North Milwaukee Avenue and to revamp Maxim's (24 E Goethe St). 

HotChocolate’s Mindy Segal is opening a bakery on the 2300 block of North Milwaukee, tentatively early this summer. Speaking of that block, Chicago Distilling Company is waiting on final inspections before it can open at 2359 North Milwaukee Avenue, and the Scofflaw crew is opening a new bar at 2357 North Milwaukee Avenue. It was supposed to open "before Chicago sees snow again," but since that’s already happened, we’re hoping to hear more soon.

Other things to expect: The team behind Wood is opening Salero (621 W Randolph St), which will feature Basque cuisine. In the spring, Homaro Cantu is opening Berrista Coffee (4217 W Irving Park Rd), which uses miracle berries to make sour foods taste sweet. R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman are putting a yet-unnamed ramen spot inside Paris Club (59 W Hubbard St) in the restaurant’s bar area. Big & Little’s (1034 W Belmont Ave) is opening a second location this spring in the shuttered Indie Burger spot. The Boka Group is planning two new places: a steakhouse and a sushi restaurant. Paddy Long’s owners are opening a pork and beer joint (1415 W Randolph St) in the old Tasting Room space this spring.