Table Stakes

Because every Chicagoan needs to eat, and occasionally more than just hot dogs, we present Table Stakes: a recurring series that answers a man’s eternally recurring question (Uh, what’s new?”) and happens once every lunar cycle or so. Onward and upward.

Last week, everyone’s favorite encased meat emporium closed for good.

And while mourning the loss, we revisited this exemplary obit written back in May by Chicago Magazine’s chief dining critic, Jeff Ruby.

It’s short. It’s thoughtful. Take a gander.

But when it comes to Chicago restaurants, it’s the circle of life, Simba.

We’ve had openings aplenty. And it turns out size doesn’t matter.


Meaning a number of small spaces opened up slinging big flavors.

Paul Kahan and company swung open the doors of their highly anticipated diner right next to Big Star.

On offer: Mexican-inspired down home cookin’. Put this at the top of your list.

And out in Lincoln Square, the former Bang Bang Pie Shop duo branched out with their own organic milling company and opened a quaint café on Western.

Plus, the Element Collective crew’s swanky new juice joint, opening today.

Let’s get one thing straight: nothing will ever fill the hole Mr. Sohn left.

But it’s time to move on to other delicious endeavors.

So dine on, and drink well.

Enjoy the guide.


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