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Two of Chicago’s Most Iconic Bars Have Been Sold

Pops For Champagne in River North is under new ownership

Plus, community controversy hits HaiSous’s Thai Dang and more intel

— River North bar icons Pops For Champagne and subterranean sibling Watershed have been sold to new ownership. Pops, which bills itself as “the nation’s longest running champagne bar,” and Watershed’s new owners are local industry veterans Craig Garofalo and Andrew Poch who also are franchisees of two downtown Chicago locations of the sandwich shop Capriotti’s, according to a news release. The bars will remain open uninterrupted and sale is expected to be finalized in mid-November. Pops, which originally opened in Lakeview in 1982 before moving to its current location at 601 N. State Street, is one of Eater’s essential bars in Chicago.

— Meanwhile in Wicker Park, longtime dive bar icon Gold Star has also been sold. New owners John and Kate Leydon, who also own G&L Tavern in North Center and the Wicker Park building that formerly housed Carriage House and Buck’s, plan to give Gold Star “necessary upgrades” while keeping many of the bar’s longtime features intact — such as its neon sign, pool table and art shows — Block Club reports. The bar originally opened in the early 1930s.

Thai Dang, chef-owner of Eater 38 restaurant HaiSous, is under fire from some Pilsen residents and neighborhood organizations for a social media post on Halloween. Dang wrote on Instagram about some residents who “only come in this time of the year just for free candy” which drew the wrath of the “Pilsen neighborhood” Facebook group, the Tribune reported. Dang attempted to explain how it wasn’t his intention to “shame innocent kids,” how their parents told the kids “I don’t want anyone [to] see us support these gentrifiers,” and how he’s an immigrant and refugee himself. Still, a boycott was scheduled for Friday evening during HaiSous’s dinner rush.

— Vegan chef Kevin Schuder’s new Lakeview restaurant Fancy Plants Cafe is a go and slated to open sometime this month at 613 W. Briar Place, VegNews reports.

Land & Sea Dept. now exclusively handles catering for the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club Chicago, the group announced. Food from Lonesome Rose, Lost Lake, and Parsons Chicken and Fish are now available. Party details and pricing are here.

— And finally, the Gibsons Restaurant Group will open the first location of its popular Italian restaurant Quartino outside of Chicago in the Dallas, Texas area. More info courtesy of Eater Dallas is here.

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