4/02/2013 02:56:00 PM

Summer Expansions: Big Star, Emporium and Porkchop Eye New Turf

Big Star
As Chicagoans move out of hibernation, we require some space to stretch our legs and drink our beers. Luckily, three restaurants and bars heard the cries of cooped up consumer, and answered with expansion plans to some of the most popular and crowded spots.

Big Star
Will converting the adjacent parking lot into additional patio seating reduce the wait on a perfect summer afternoon? Probably not, but these are just part of the plans to expand the popular taqueria. According to DNA Info, it will also lease the neighboring storefront and move the takeout window to the new space. This will allow for a larger kitchen to accommodate the influx of customers demanding al pastor tacos.

If Big Star is the most crowded Wicker Park bar during the summer, Emporium is the most packed during the winter. The arcade bar, which opened last year, was immediately popular with the beer-drinking, arcade-game-playing crowd. In order to relieve the overcrowding issue, it will expand into the space next door (formerly Barry’s Drugs). DNA Info reports the owners said the new space will double the size of the bar and allow for private events, a second bar and projector screen. The expansion is scheduled to be completed in June.

Joining the Hyde Park immigrants (Promontory, Yusho and Matthias Merges’ new concept) will be Porkchop. Eater reports that the West Loop restaurant and bar dedicated to all things whiskey and pork will open a second location in Harper Court. The project, scheduled for complete in late summer, will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner alongside the two other restaurant slated to open in the development (Park Tavern and Ja’Grill).


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