First Look at the Charlie Trotter Statue, America’s Dog Plans Major Expansion, More Intel

Plus, Portillo’s offers cheap cake tomorrow and Redhead Piano Bar gets new ownership

—After being in the works since summer 2015, the Charlie Trotter statue planned for Michigan Avenue now exists in physical form. ABC7 reported the statue unveiling at the 2017 Charlie Trotter Food & Wine Spring Festival on Monday, where mastermind and chef Didier Durand, formerly of Cyrano’s Farm Kitchen, told the TV station that he hopes to place the life-size bronze statue of the late legendary chef, which was originally planned to be just a bust, at one of three spots on Michigan Avenue. Check it out in the photo above. Fundraising efforts are ongoing and you can find more information here.

 

—Many more America’s Dog locations — now named America’s Dog & Burger — could open in the greater Chicago area soon and in other areas around the country in a few years. The Tribunereports that ownership, which changed the local chain’s name to reflect a new revamped menu that focuses on burgers and trendy ingredients rather than its regional hot dog varieties, hopes to open 30 locations in Chicagoland in the next few years 70 spots across the U.S. within five. There are four locations currently open of the concept that debuted on Navy Pier in 1996.

 

—Head to a Portillo’s tomorrow to grab a cheap slice of its legendary chocolate cake. The iconic local hot dog chain will offer slices for 54 cents in honor of its 54th birthday at all locations.

 

—Venerable River North spot Redhead Piano Bar now has new ownership a year after after longtime owner Art Bryan sadly passed away. Lodge Management Group, which owns a bevy of Viagra Triangle and River North classics including Pippin’s, Hangge-Uppe and Original Mother’s, acquired the bar and took over operations this week, according to a news release. The bar will stay open while the group implements “cosmetic changes to the interior.”

 

—Beware knockoff sandwiches: ownership and staff of uber-popular South Side spot Home of the Hoagy say that someone has been selling ripoff versions of their product on the sidewalk outside, drawing their regular customers and even telling them that the restaurant itself is closing.

 

—Celebrate female empowerment, donate to Planned Parenthood, and drink cocktails tonight at Presidio in Bucktown. Themed cocktails inspired by great historic females will be available for $10 with some proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, clothes inspired by female icons including Josephine Baker will be available, and get a consultation on a “female-forward” tattoo from one of Chicago’s best artists tonight from 6-9 p.m. The cocktail bar and restaurant at 1749 N. Damen Ave. has some of the top female staff in Chicago.

 

—And finally, a noteworthy reporter appeared at Baconfest this past weekend: celebrity chef Bobby Flay. The longtime TV personality filmed a segment for the Today show where he talked to a variety of Chicago chefs and bacon enthusiasts and sampled much of the food and drink at the ninth annual bacon bonanza. Check out the clip below.

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