Everyone knows summertime is the best time to be in Chicago. The Parties. The Festivals. The Alfresco Drinking and Dining. And.So.Much.More.
This holiday weekend also welcomes the debut of three hot openings. Exotic live-music venue The Shrine hits the South Loop; sexy tapas lounge Eivissa takes on Old Town; and the peepshow-themed night spot Theatro settles into the Warehouse District.
If that's not your speed, the 312 Dining Diva has the 411 on so much more going down the next few days ...
When was the last time you went to a good old-fashioned bake sale?! Atwood Café participates in Share Our Strength's second-annual Great American Bake Sale, offering home-style apple butter, granola, specialty cakes, pies, cookies, muffins, brownies and more. That's from 10am-2pm. The restaurant also fetes its 10th anniversary with $10 classic dishes during lunch and dinner through October. Executive Chef Heather Terhune's whipping up fish & chips in May.
Another amazing cause is Real Men Cook, the annual Father's Day event where high-profile and everyday dads come out to grill out on the South Side for hundreds of hungry folks. They're doing a fundraiser tonight at Park 52 to sell the advance $20 tickets and raise additional money. The June 21 outdoor benefit includes three hours of food (over 150 dishes!), entertainment and more. 6-9pm. Cash bar.
Tonight's the night for the monthly Secret Supper at Southport Grocery. You'll get four courses of a seasonal prix-fixe menu. 7pm. $45. Limited seats, so call to reserve.
Unisex boutique and salon Guise Chic (2128 N. Halsted St., 773-929-6130) celebrates its one-year anniversary with complimentary salon services, drinks, appetizers, music and an Earnest Sewn denim trunk show. Attendees also get 25 percent off apparel purchases. 6-8pm. After-party happens at Cagney’s. 8-10pm. RSVP to email@example.com.
Channeling the scandal-ridden The Box in NYC, Theatro combines peepshow-type performances with nightlife. Look for them to go all out during this holiday weekend. 9pm-2am. No cover.
The bar at One Sixtyblue should be jumping, now that they have a brand-new Friday night deal. You'll get a Neapolitan-style pizza and a prosecco (or a craft beer) for $9.
Cochon 555 (5 Pigs, 5 Chefs, 5 Winemakers!), the only national chef competition promoting heritage pigs and breed diversity, happens this afternoon at The Drake. Each hand-selected chef prepares a heritage breed hog from head to toe, to be judged by a group of professional judges. Participants include Patrick Sheerin (The Signature Room at the 95th), Chris Pandel (The Bristol), Sam Burman (bluprint) and Stephen Dunne (VOLO/Paramount Room). In addition to pig-a-licious portions, guests will get beer from Three Floyds and bacon-infused chocolates from Vosges Haut-Chocolat. Benefits Farms for City Kids. 5pm. $125.
Three spots are left for the Chicago Singles Brewery & Beer Tasting Tour, happening at Goose Island. Who knows, you might find the love of your life over a beer or two or three. RSVP here to attend. 1-3pm. $19.99.
If you're looking for a place to watch the Cubs and Blackhawks games, head to Bull & Bear for the Bullpen BBQ. $5 Bloody Marys, wings and more . . . all day.
French-themed Le Passage goes All American on us for the Memorial Day Weekend. The venue and staffers will be decked out in patriotic style, as deejays Jem and Sye Young spin. Get there early for the VIP-hosted party from 2200 to 2300 hours. Also, a percentage of proceeds from every Purple Heart cocktail benefits Operation Homefront, an organization dedicated to supporting our troops and helping the families they leave behind. 10pm-4am. RSVP to LPinfo@lepassage.com for VIP admission to the reception. Active military personnel receive free admission all evening.
Audarshia Townsend is the creator of the local food blog 312DiningDiva.com. She also provides content for Dining Chicago, Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine, Playboy.com and Concierge Preferred.