The Debriefing: This week's bar and restaurant news

Openings, closings and more need-to-know dining and nightlife news

February 10, 2012

Next's El Bulli menu debuts
Next debuted its fourth and possibly most elaborate menu yet, a tribute to the famous (and recently closed) restaurant El Bulli in Spain. On Sunday, Kokonas announced via the restaurant's Facebook page that dinners during open week (starting Feb. 8) would be sold to randomly selected Facebook fans that e-mailed a designated e-mail address. Season tickets for El Bulli plus the restaurant's next two menus have still yet to be released on nextrestaurant.com. Check out the opening video here.


The Aviary launches El Bulli menu, plans Valentine's Day party
Next's neighboring cocktail lounge is also getting on thei bandwagon with a short menu of El Bulli-inspired cocktails and bites. Folks on Tumblr have a good list going of the $15 cocktails and $4-$8 bites being offered.

If you're still looking for somewhere to take your sweeties for Valentine's Day, The Aviary is hosting aSt. Valentine's Day Massacreparty as part of their ongoing Tuesday party series. Tickets are $125 per person (without tax) and include passed bite and drinks (including grower champagnes and Prohibition-era cocktails) along with music by a singer and pianist. Email vday@theaviary.com for a reservation. Party starts at 8 p.m.

Melman/McGee bar details revealed
After weeks of speculation, Lettuce Entertain You unveiled the the plans for the upcoming venture between broths RJ and Jerrod Melman and former Whistler bartender Paul McGee. While McGee will be involved in the country bar the brothers plan to open in the former Frankie Z's space in River North, his real focus will be a new tiki bar that will be housed in the basement. The 4,000 sq. foot space will also house "the city's most extensive and well-curated selection of rum," according to a news release.

District Bar closes
According to a post on their Facebook page, District Bar is now closed. The River North sports bar opened in April 2009.


Tavernita opens its lounge
Hotter-than-hot River North restaurant Tavernita opened its lounge area. Read our full review or just drool over this photo tour.


3 shot in front of Frontier
Three employees of Noble Square bar and restaurant Frontier were shot early Thursday night in front of the restaurant. The employees had attempted to stop a the theft of a worker's car when the shots were fired.


Cheesie's closes for renovations
Lakeview grilled cheese bar Cheesie's is closing Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. It will reopen in mid-March with an expanded space, new draft beer lines and an expanded menu featuring pizza by the pie and slice.


More restaurant openings
Italian-inspired Ombra in Andersonville and the farm-to-table revamp of Cyrano's Wine Bar, called Cyrano's Farm & Kitchen, both opened this week.

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