Frost-cold days are here again, and as Chicago residents calm down in the joys of cozy sweaters and heart-warming drinks, the city’s pop-up scene seeks to lure them out and keep the winter blouse at bay. This is good news for locals and visitors looking for fresh entertainment in the form of creative pop-up collaborations and events in bars and restaurants around the city. Stay tuned for a selection of the best the city has to offer in Eater Chicago’s pop-up round.
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From January 3, the city has ordered that those aged 5 and up must be fully vaccinated and masked in public places indoors while not actively eating or drinking. For up-to-date information on coronavirus cases, please visit the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider eating out is one high risk activity for the unvaccinated; it can pose a risk to the vaccinated, especially in areas with significant COVID transfer. The latest CDC guide is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.
Around the town: Chef Iliana Regan, the founder of Michelin-starred Elizabeth, will be hosting a two-day pop-up this spring, scheduled for March 18 and 19. All other details, including the location, remain hidden, but interested patrons can contact Regan via email for more information and booking instructions, she writes on Instagram. Known for his distinctive feed-based cooking, Regan officially left Elizabeth in October 2021. Iliana Regan pop-up, March 18 and 19, Location not yet available.
Chatham: Barbie’s Luxury Rentals will be hosting another edition of its pop-up store for black-owned businesses at MDM Dance School on the last Sunday in January. Food vendors include Happy Taco, I Heart Grits and Barbie’s Catfish. 2pm to 6pm Sunday, January 30, 8248 S. Cottage Grove Avenue.
Lakeview: Dear Margaret will be celebrating her first birthday with an enthusiastic embrace of her Canadian roots: poutine, Labatt’s, shots of Canadian Club whiskey and, best of all, an all-rush soundtrack (and maybe some Celine Dion). Alcohol is only available when buying food. Dear Margaretfirst birthday, 5 p.m., until dinner is over, Monday, Jan. 17, 2965 N. Lincoln Avenue.
Lincoln Park: Replay Lincoln Park is extending its Hogwarts-themed Very Harry Winter celebration by another month. The bar features Harry Potter-inspired decorations, a cosplay contest and a House Cup contest that includes trivia, wizarding fights and Quidditch Beer Pong. Express access tickets are available here, only for customers 21 years and older. Very Harry Winter at Replay Lincoln Park, 15:00 to 02:00 daily through January 31, 2833 N. Sheffield.
River North: Chefs Cedric Harden (River Roast) and Darnell Reed (Luella’s) will host the Chicago event for the James Beard Foundation’s culinary series Taste America on Wednesday, January 12, a collection of nationwide dining events aimed at supporting independent restaurants, according to a rep. Harden and Reed will present a three-course meal that includes king crab-pork-gumbo and a crispy pork shank (served with lentils, corn and apple cider) as well as vegetarian alternatives. 65 percent of the proceeds from ticket sales go directly to the participating chef restaurants and 35 percent will support the Beard Foundation’s national programming. Tickets ($ 300 per pair) and more details are available on the foundation’s website. James Beard Foundations Taste America: Chicago on River Roast, 18:30 Wednesday, January 12, 315 N. LaSalle Street.
West Loop: For Chicago residents who can’t even head south for a tropical vacation, Soho House brings the tropics north by hosting Sweet Liberty, one of Miami Beach’s best cocktail bars, for a month-long stay at the lobby bar. Along with hot, weather-inspired drinks like Always Sunny Negroni (Bombay Sapphire, Little Rosé, pineapple-infused martini bitters, strawberry glitter and dried mango), there will be thin-crust pizza from Paper Plane and a live DJ every night. Sweet Freedom x Soho House Chicago, January 14-12 February in the lobby bar at Soho House, 113-125 N. Green Street.