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  • Friends and business partners Tyrrell Tomlin, right, and Iran Garcia are working on opening Abe Froeman's, a new eatery at 74 S. Grove Ave. in downtown Elgin, in the spot formerly occupied by On the Side Restaurant.

    Childhood friends opening restaurant in downtown Elgin Jun 3, 2014 12:00 AM
    Tyrrell Tomlin and Iran Garcia say they know exactly how to make a hit out of their new eatery in downtown Elgin: offer something that's sorely needed. Their Abe Froeman's will be located at 74 S. Grove Ave., in the spot formerly occupied by On the Side Restaurant.

  • JOE LEWNARD/ Yuki Kunishina of Hoffman Estates performs on the Taiko Japanese drum during the 2010 Japan Festival at the Forest View Educational Center.

    Japan Festival this weekend in Arlington HeightsJun 3, 2014 12:00 AM
    The 32nd Annual Japan Festival, a celebration and demonstration of Japanese culture, will be held this weekend at Forestview Educational Center, 2121 Goebbert Road in Arlington Heights. It will include demonstrations of traditional arts, a marketplace, a pop culture exhibit and a food court. A pop concert will be held Saturday night.

  • Michelle Lesco of Tucson, Arizona, left, is en route to a win in a hot dog-eating contest in the Bloomingdale Kmart parking lot. She ate 28 hot dogs. Third-place finisher Yasir Salem, center, ate 26, while Eric “Badlands” Booker, right, ate 27 hot dogs.

    Tiniest competitor triumphs at Bloomingdale eating contestMay 31, 2014 12:00 AM
    If you picked the 115-pound girl over the 400-pound man in the Nathan's hot dog eating contest in Bloomingdale Saturday, your longshot came in. Professional eater Michelle Lesco bested Eric "Badlands" Booker by one frankfurter to win the event and earn a spot at the finals table on the Fourth of July at Coney Island, New York.

  • Microgreens and fresh-baked bread accompany burgundy snails at Ad-Lib Geo Cafe in Lindenhurst.

    Minimalist menu elevates Lindenhurst's Ad-Lib GeocafeMay 30, 2014 12:00 AM
    Ad-Lib Geocafe sits along Route 45 in Lindenhurst in a quiet strip mall with hardly any signage. And that is, quite possibly, intentional. The small dining room feels exclusive, like you've been invited to dinner at chef Rick Starr's home.

  • The Sugar Factory restaurant in Rosemont will look similar to this location in Las Vegas.

    Sugar Factory coming to Rosemont entertainment districtMay 28, 2014 12:00 AM
    Rosemont’s entertainment district is nearly built out — featuring bars and restaurants, a movie theater, bowling alley, comedy club, and recently opened indoor sky diving facility. Come this summer, add one more venue to the list: the Sugar Factory, an upscale candy store/bar/restaurant suited for kids and adults alike. "We’re not your average candy store where you’re just going to get Snickers,” said founder/owner Charissa Davidovici.

  • Tell us your favorite hot dog spot, and you could win some summer swag.

    Dining events: What's your favorite hot dog?May 28, 2014 12:00 AM
    Where do you get your favorite hot dog? Tuscany Wheeling introduces new gluten-free fare. And Old Town Pour House serves up some tasty new menu items.

  • A Tipsy Stout Burger comes topped with haystring onions at the Tap House Grill in Des Plaines.

    Des Plaines' Tap House makes impression with eclectic beer list, unique menu May 27, 2014 12:00 AM
    Tap House Grill in Des Plaines looks like a modern take on your neighborhood watering hole. It's comfortable, friendly and welcoming. The bar is not cluttered with memorabilia or knickknacks, but there are plenty of big screens for watching sports whether you are there for dinner or a craft beer.

  • Culver’s of Schaumburg reopening May 27May 23, 2014 12:00 AM
    Culver’s of Schaumburg, at 1800 Wise Road, will mark the completion of a recent upgrade project with a grand reopening celebration from Tuesday, May 27 through Tuesday, June 3. The celebration will kick off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. May 27 featuring company co-founder and CEO Craig Culver.

  • Stonewood Alehouse celebrates Memorial Day with a ribs special from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday.

    Dining events: Leave Memorial Day cooking to StonewoodMay 21, 2014 12:00 AM
    Give your grill a rest as Stonewood Alehouse in Schaumburg honors Memorial Day with a barbecue ribs special from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, May 26. You’re not smart until you’re “Border smart” with new items less than 600 calories added to On the Border’s menu.

  • Halibut with chorizo sauce, corn chowder and braised baby leeks is a standout on Waterleaf's menu.

    Chef Nadia Tilkian makes Glen Ellyn's Waterleaf shimmerMay 20, 2014 12:00 AM
    Tucked within Glen Ellyn's College of DuPage campus in the gleaming Culinary & Hospitality Center, steps from the student kitchen, is an upscale, approachable gem of a restaurant: Waterleaf. Adding to its appeal — and cred — Nadia Tilkian of erstwhile Maijean Bistro is in the kitchen, overseeing what is, from start to finish, sublime fare. The spot proves an impressive, professionally run find, one with a celebrated wine list to match.

  • Carlos Tapia chef at Carlos and Carlos Restaurant cooks at Taste of Arlington Heights in 2012. Arlington Heights agreed to let Carlos and Carlos offer outdoor dining in Harmony Park.

    Carlos and Carlos to offer outdoor dining in Arlington HeightsMay 20, 2014 12:00 AM
    After a few objections from one trustee, Arlington Heights approved outdoor dining for a downtown restaurant at a public park.The Arlington Heights village board on Monday formally approved a request from Carlos and Carlos, 27 W. Campbell St., to create an outdoor dining space that will take up some of Harmony Park, a village owned public space starting later this month.

  • Humberto Martinez Jr. and his wife, Sara McKinnon, plan to open O’Toole’s of Libertyville in the former Mickey Finn’s location on Milwaukee Avenue in the downtown area.

    Neighborhood feel the key to new restaurant venture in LibertyvilleMay 17, 2014 12:00 AM
    Libertyville native Sara McKinnon and husband Humberto Martinez Jr. this summer will be opening O'Tooles of Libertyville in the former Mickey Finn's space on Milwaukee Avenue in downtown Libertyville. The couple also operate Timothy O'tools Pub in Chicago and Gurnee. This will involve an estimated $1.5 millioin renovation.

  • Polish restaurant opens in Mt. ProspectMay 16, 2014 12:00 AM
    A new upscale Polish restaurant in Mount Prospect held a ribbon cutting Friday that included a visit from a top official at the Polish consulate in Chicago.

  • Beer, barbecue and ball games are among the draws at The Range Grill & Tap in Batavia.

    Batavia’s The Range caters to hungry families, beer loversMay 16, 2014 12:00 AM
    Open Range American Grill reopened as The Range Grill & Tap in May, after the owners revamped the space to make it more family-friendly while offering a bigger selection of beer and wine. With a brand new patio expected to open this weekend, the Batavia bar/restaurant appears set to become a popular summer hangout.

  • All beef charbroiled burger with fries and pickle at North Avenue Charhouse in St. Charles.

    North Avenue Charhouse stakes its claim in St. CharlesMay 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    North Avenue Charhouse assumed a place on the St. Charles dining scene late last year when new management renamed the existing venue — once briefly known as Limani Port of Greece Restaurant — to concentrate on steaks and chops, chicken and seafood. Based on a recent visit, the reconceived kitchen is firing on all cylinders.

  • Dessert and breakfast come together on the plate in the form of carrot cake doughnuts. The treat debuted earlier this month on the spring menu at Sam and Harry’s in Schaumburg.

    Dining events: Doughnuts for dessert at Sam and Harry’sMay 13, 2014 12:00 AM
    Sam and Harry’s in Schaumburg has a breakfasty dessert you just can’t miss: carrot cake doughnuts topped with salted caramel cream cheese and candied pecans. Also, Flipt at Rivers Casino celebrates national burger month with a new burger every day during May for $10.

  • Spears Bourbon-Burgers-Beer, a new restaurant featuring gourmet burgers paired with craft bourbon and beers, opens Tuesday in Wheeling. The eatery is the creation of longtime restaurant entrepreneur Joe Romeo.

    New Wheeling eatery highlights burgers, bourbon and beerMay 12, 2014 12:00 AM
    Spears Bourbon-Burgers-Beer — a gourmet burger cafe with a bourbon and craft beer bar — will open Tuesday at 723 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wheeling. The restaurant is the latest creation of Joe Romeo, who has designed and marketed restaurants for 30 years.

  • Hopvine Brewing Company Restaurant & Brewery in Aurora has a large selection of craft beers. They will showcase Illinois brews for Chicago Craft Beer Week.

    Suburban bars celebrate Craft Beer WeekMay 12, 2014 12:00 AM
    During the fifth annual Chicago Craft Beer Week, Aurora's Hopvine Brewing Co. plans to dedicate all of its 32 taps to breweries from the state. “There are over 80 craft breweries in Illinois now,” said brewmaster Ken McMullen “It's not a big stretch for us.” That boom in local breweries is what the festival aims to nurture, while also introducing the area to craft beers from around the world.

  • The woman who wears the most eccentric hat will win a prize at the Mother's Day celebration at the Montrose Room in Rosemont.

    Mom's the word: 6 last-minute Mother's Day ideasMay 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    If you have not yet finalized (or even thought about) your plans for Mother's Day, have no fear. There are still plenty of last-minute options for those who want to do more beyond the usual family brunch. From taking her to Arlington International Racecourse to seeing the show "Cheaper By The Dozen" at Fox Valley Rep to appealing to her sweet tooth at Capannari Ice Cream, she won't even know you procrastinated.

  • A cook at Hot Doug’s prepares orders for customers Wednesday in Chicago. Owner Doug Sohn announced he’s shutting the doors of his “sausage superstore” in October after nearly 14 years for no other reason than he felt like it was time to move on.

    Despite closures, Chicago relishes its hot dogsMay 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    In a city known for its love of both eating and bragging about its hot dogs, this was news nobody relished: Gourmet stand Hot Doug’s, known for serving up options made of rattlesnake and yak, is closing. And the owner of another local hot dog institution, Portillo’s, is thinking of selling. Doug Sohn’s announcement this week that he’s closing his “sausage superstore” in October after more than 13 years — saying only that it was time to move on — triggered an outpouring of distress.

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