Today, Crain’s Chicago highlights two local restaurant expansions that are probably going to turn out to be fairly big news on the neighborhood restaurant front. As has become crystal clear to us by the millions of PR pitches littering our inbox right now, barbecue is “the hottest trend to hit Chicago since the hot dog!” (That is an actual quote from a publicist whose dignity we, with great restraint, shall spare.) Hopping on that proverbial train, the folks behind River North’s Tizi Melloul are opening Pork Shoppe (2755 W. Belmont Ave.), a barbecue-centric joint that will showcase local farmers and suppliers, offer sandwiches as well as meat by weight, and is on track for an April opening. Geographically and culinarily speaking, it could be poised to turn the Kuma’s Corner/Hot Doug’s Belmont/California continuum into a triangle.
Barbecue is also on the menu at Big Bricks (3830 N. Lincoln Ave.), a new venture from the owners of Old Town’s Bricks pizzeria. The “Big” in the name is a clue that the two-story space is significantly larger than the original Bricks, and also indicates that besides the pizza they’re known for, there’ll be an expanded menu including chicken, fish, and — you guessed it — barbecue. They’re aiming for a December open, with a simultaneous (and slightly smaller) project in the works for Bricks on the Run, a take-and-bake pizza place (think HomeMade Pizza Co) near the Clybourn Metra station.
Restaurateurs plan 2 new city eateries [Crain’s Chicago]