Tag Archives: Jake Melnick’s

Eat, drink, mini-golf and more at Navy Pier this summer

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Navy Pier will kick off summer this Memorial Day weekend when its widely anticipated free summer fireworks light up the sky at 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. But if you’ve got the time, plan to eat and enjoy some of the Pier’s other entertainments beforehand.

Fireworks at Navy Pier return at 9 p.m. every Wednesday and 10 p.m. every Saturday, through Labor Day. Navy Pier’s signature displays are synchronized to dramatic and popular music, and unique soundtracks for special occasions. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to find a great viewing spot along the Pier.

One of the best vantage points for viewing the fireworks is the Navy Pier Beer Garden, the city’s go-to destination for free, outdoor music all summer long, under the banner Live on the Lake. Opening night performances include John Kimler & Friends, Mike & Joe, and New Orleans funk and jazz artist Shamar Allen. Live on the Lake continues Sunday, May 29, with Fareed Haque, DJ Papa G, and Kofi & the New Roots, and on Monday, May 30, with Libido Funk Circus and Vintage Vinyl.

The Beer Garden is the local home of farm-to-foam beers from Tangled Roots Brewery, which creates a full range of light lagers and ales to dark, experimental brews made with hops grown on their farm right here in Illinois.

Visitors can also enjoy a mouthwatering experience at Ciccio (pronounced Chee-cho) officially opening from 11:00 a.m to.8:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 26. Owner Mario Ferraro is a second-generation Chicagoland restaurateur. His new venture combines traditional Italian cuisine with Chicagoland favorites, like Ciccio’s star menu item, the “Italian Beef” Sandwich. Ciccio’s boasts a 100 percent scratch kitchen giving guests quality in every bite.

New this year, Jake’s on the Lake brings one of Chicago’s favorite restaurants to Navy Pier. Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap (see our previous enthusiastic review) is celebrating its 20th year in business this July, as the city’s hottest destination for hot wings. Jake’s famous wings—once named best in the country by NBC’s Today show—come in heat levels ranging from Spicy Buffalo wings to Firecracker Wings to XXX Wings—packed with habanero, ghost pepper and scorpion pepper. To view the full menu, click here.

Pixar Putt, open May 28 through Aug. 20, lays out a course of 18 fun and interactive holes of mini golf at Polk Bros Park, each based on characters from such beloved Pixar classics as “Toy Story,” “The Incredibles,” “Monsters Inc.,” “Finding Nemo,” “Coco,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Wall-E,” and “Inside Out.”

Pixar Putt, co-presented by Rockefeller Productions and TEG Life Like Touring, will be open from noon to 10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays (with last entry at 8:30 p.m.) and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (last entry 8:30 p.m.). Pixar Putt is also available to Private Groups and Corporate Groups. Get your tickets at  www.pixarputt.com/chicago.

See Chicago Dance kicks off the 10th annual Chicago Dance Month with a free two-hour performance that samples styles from ballet to fire acts with six different Chicago companies sharing the Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park. The schedule features Nawja Dance Corps, 3 p.m.; Chicago Tap Theater, 3:20 p.m.; Raks Inferno, 3:45 p.m.; Movement Revolution Dance Crew, 3:55 p.m.; Visceral Dance Chicago, 4:05 p.m.; and Last Dance, 4:20 p.m. Live dance performances will return to Navy Pier at 3 p.m. every Saturday throughout summer at the Wave Wall.

Wave Wall Wax, a series featuring Chicago’s most recognized DJs spinning house and dance music, also begins May 28, with Steve “Miggedy” Maestro at 5 to 7 p.m. The series continues at 5 p.m. every Saturday through Sept. 3 at the Wave Wall Platform.

All events subject to change or cancellation. ​​To view the full Navy Pier events calendar, click here.

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3 Chicago restaurant news notes as we lumber into summer!

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  1. Blue Door Farm Stand, 2010 N. Halsted St., has red, white and blue pancakes for Memorial Day weekend. All day May 25 through 27, enjoy some red velvet pancakes with white yogurt sauce and blue blueberries.Num!!

Music Bar Bingo at Jake’s, Rush & SuperiorFor those who like the idea of games at the bar but hate the idea of thinking too much, come hang out and drink with your friends for Music Bingo – and win prizes! The game is almost exactly the same as regular Bingo, except we’ll play clips of popular songs rather than reading off letters and numbers. The music ranges from the 50’s to today’s top hits including fun themed rounds like 80’s rock, 90’s hits, and more! Music Bingo is free but pays out in real prices every single time. Upcoming Bar Bingo Dates June 11, 25 (partnering with 21st Amendment)

Torchio Pasta Bar, 738 N. Wells St. in River North, is now open serving authentic Italian-inspired cuisine. Chef/Owner Bill Varley says Torchio means “press” in Italian, and relates to both the vintage hand-crank pasta press and the torch-base pasta shape from Abruzzo. He and wife, Janice, traveled the country and studied with Nonnas from Venice to Palermo. Dinner menu examples: Baked Semolina Gnocchi, Bucatini Puttanesca with anchovies, capers, Gaeta olives, Spring Vegetable Pappardelle in a lemon basil butter sauce, Gemelli and Pesto with string beans and sautéed potatoes) and more. Dinner served 5-9pm T – Th and 5-10pm F and Sat – prices $9 to $32. Lunch service starts Friday, June 7.

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6 Chicago restaurant news bytes for spring 2019

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Hubbard Inn “Mad Men” martinis

Well, we’re getting our first tastes of spring out there – the beginning of the best season for fun in this great city full of patios and decks and rooftop venues. But whether you’re inside or out, it’s a great time to celebrate the return of this joyous season – however brief it may be. So here are a few party and celebration ideas to get you started.

Estelle’s, 2013 W. North Ave. in Wicker Park, is hosting a Pre-Earth Day Fundraiser on Friday, April 19 starting at 5pm. Enjoy drink specials and a raffle with $1 from all drinks sold being donated to the Gardeneers, the only Chicago-based nonprofit providing school garden programs that give communities equal access to healthy food and food education. Try Estelle’s special $10 themed cocktail, The Green Thumb and munch on “green” menu items like Fried Pickles Spears ($7) and Southern Style Green Beans ($6.50), both served with chipotle ranch, while you play at the Earth Day DIY seed activity table from 6 to 9pm (while supplies last).

Hubbard Inn, 110 W. Hubbard. Happy hour every Monday – Friday from 4 to 7pm. If you’ve got a yen to relive the 60s, come bask in the bar’s “Mad Men”-themed happy hour. Watch 1960’s movies like James Bond, The Graduate, Sound of Music, West Side Story and The Good The Bad and the Ugly. Or sing along with 60s music favorites like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, The Beach Boys and Bob Dylan. Ad agency employees (proof of employment, please) enjoy 15% off their total bill. Other specials include:

  • $1 oysters on-the-half-shell or shucked clams
  • $2 shrimp cocktail, scallop crudo, or king crab legs
  • $3 oyster shooter
  • $5 Manhattans and Martinis
Jake Melnick makes craveable stuff

Jake Melnick’s, 41 E. Superior, is sporting Music Bar Bingo. Instead of reading off letters and numbers, listen to clips of popular songs. The music ranges from the 50’s to today’s top hits including fun themed rounds like 80’s rock, 90’s hits, and more. Music Bingo is free but pays out in real prizes every time. Jake’s partners with several beer companies for samples and awesome prices for upcoming Bar Bingo dates: April 9 & 23 (partnering with Half Acre); May 14, 28 (partnering with Lagunitas); June 11, 25 (partnering with 21st Amendment). Try these April specials while you’re playing or just enjoy: the Buffalo Chicken ($16.95); the Fiesta Wings ($13.95); Sriracha Chicken Mac ($12.95).

Kizuki, 1457 N. Halsted and 1482 N. Milwaukee, welcomes patrons on Monday, April 15 with a Tax Day special on all-you-can-eat unlimited refills of noodles added to any ramen order. Choose noodle type Chuka, Tonk, Tsukemen, Shirataki or Kale. Happy Hour from 5 to 7pm. A few Tax Day specials include: – $1 beers, one per person, with a signature ramen purchase (ask your server for specifics);- $3 Sake Bomb, $5 House sake; $5 House red/white wine; $7 Daily special sangria, $7 Momotoro, and several food specials.

Remedy Bar, 1910 N. Milwaukee, supports Earth Day on Monday, April 22, with an $8 “Sprouts Honor” gin cocktail. Bring friends, sip and watch episodes of Planet Earth on TV throughout the evening. A portion of proceeds from each cocktail will be donated to help kids become better students using project-based learning for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects via Project SYNCERE.

Wings galore! Throw calorie caution to the winds and come sample from dozens of wing experts at the 20th annual Chicago’s Best WingFest on Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 12 to 4pm. Watch Chicago Police Dept and Chicago Fire Dept contestants compete to eat the most. Credit Union 1 Arena (formerly known as UIC Pavilion at 525 S. Racine Ave.). After party! Elliot Bambrough is hosting it for $50 a person at 551 Live (551 N. Ogden Ave.), a new live music venue featuring Live Band Karaoke from 5 to 8 p.m. with $4 drink specials and a 551 Live swag giveaway. VIP tix also available. Visit https://wingfest.net.

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