Chicago’s Most Acclaimed Barbecue Restaurant Reopens Today After Fire

Smoque will start serving its acclaimed barbecue again today

Plus, Dave & Buster’s plan to move to Water Tower Place was nixed, and more intel

Essential barbecue restaurant Smoque reopens today

Chicago barbecue fans can rejoice as Smoque BBQ, the Eater 38 restaurant that’s generally considered the top ‘que spot in town, will be back open today. Smoque closed on Saturday evening due to a small fire behind a wall in the kitchen. Owner Barry Sorkin announced that repairs are done and today will be business as usual. It turned out he needed a health department inspection to get the OK.

Alderman nixes Dave & Buster’s move to Water Tower Place

Dave & Buster’s won’t move to Water Tower Place after all. The gaming restaurant chain hoped to relocate its Gold Coast location to the Mag Mile urban mall, but was met with angry reactions during a community meeting in December. Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) officially nixed the move in his email newsletter, which was first reported by Crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown and Crain’s.

Judge could finally close Bottled Blonde after New Year’s overcrowding

Chicagoans have been hearing this for nearly three years, but Bottled Blonde’s run in the city could finally end soon. That’s because a judge could rule that the barstaurant’s alleged overcrowding on New Year’s Eve could violate his “short leash” mandate for the embattled establishment that’s fighting the city to keep its liquor license, Block Club reports. A status meeting is scheduled for February 11 and a hearing for February 19.

Prominent mayoral candidate wants to raise minimum wage to $15

Some possible good news for Chicago’s hourly restaurant workers: If Toni Preckwinkle is elected Mayor of Chicago she plans to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021. The current County Board President’s plan is to raise it in 50-cent increments and have it reach $15 by no later than July 2021, the Sun-Times reports. Preckwinkle is one of the favorites in a large field of candidates to take over for Rahm Emanuel in the February 26 mayoral election.

Illinois Supreme Court to hear challenge to Chicago food truck laws next week

And finally, could Chicago’s strict food truck laws finally change? It’s a possibility, as on January 23 the Illinois Supreme Court will hear the challenge to the laws, according to a news release. The owner of the Cupcakes For Courage truck and an attorney for the Department of Justice have asked the courts since 2012 to strike down the laws that prohibit food trucks to park within 200 feet of brick-and-mortar restaurants and mandate them to be tracked by GPS. Stay tuned.

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