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Chef Erick Williams’ All-Star Gumbo Fundraiser and Four More Chicago Pop-ups

A log of the city’s best bar and restaurant pop-ups

A bowl of seafood gumbo.
Five Chicago chefs will put their gumbo to the test at Daisy’s Po’Boy and Tavern.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Now that 2024 is underway and holiday preoccupations are a thing of the past, Chicagoans can at last return to matters of serious import, like restaurant and bar pop-ups. A fun opportunity for chefs and patrons to shake up the norm, these events are also important economic drivers for an industry that inevitably slows each winter. Follow along for a sampling of the best the city has to offer in Eater Chicago’s pop-up round-up.

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Avondale: The Bento Box was a beloved Bucktown restaurant that closed after a fire in March 2020. Chef Rick Spiros has been consulting ever since, but he’s bringing back his take on pan-Asian noodles to Avondale. Spiros will be cooking at Trogo, the second-floor cafe inside the Green Exchange. The to-go menu includes pork and cabbage egg rolls, green curry Bar Harbor mussels, beef bulgogi, and Singapore noodles. There’s also a special dessert from Trogo pastry chef Amelia Beckham. The Bento Box at Trogo, 6 p.m., Saturday, January 27 at Trogo inside the Green Exchange, 2545 W. Diversey, preorders via Tock.

The Loop: Rooftop restaurant Cindy’s inside the Chicago Athletic Association hotel is beating back the winter chills with a Teeny Tiny Tropical Bar pop-up featuring summery cocktails and snacks. Open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Sunday, March 31, the pop-up serves up escapism in the form of cocktails like RUM HAM (Mt. Gay Black Barrel, Coruba Dark Rum, Uruapan Charanda, crème de banane, guava, Jamaican Jerk Bitters) and Rabbit Season (Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, tepache liqueur, allspice dram, carrot juice, coconut cream). Food options include jackfruit sliders with caramelized pineapple barbecue sauce and egg rolls with peach pepper relish. Teeny Tiny Tropical Bar at Cindy’s, Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Sunday, March 31, 12 S. Michigan Avenue.

A blue tropical cocktail in a tiki glass.
Summer vibes can be found at Cindy’s.
Chicago Athletic Association

Hyde Park: James Beard Award-winning chef Erick Williams (Virtue) will kick off his Gumbo for Good fundraising pop-up series with a lineup of five Chicago chefs who will one-by-one present their version of gumbo every Wednesday from January 10 through February 7 at Daisy’s Po-Boy and Tavern. Participating chefs are Jimmy Bannos Sr. (Heaven on Seven; he’s just finished a Christmas gumbo drop at Trogo), Brian Jupiter (Ina Mae), Paul Fehribach (Big Jones), Darnell Reed (Luella’s Southern Kitchen), and D’Andre Carter (Soul & Smoke), and proceeds will go to the Virtue Leadership Development Program, Williams’ new nonprofit incubator. Gumbo for Good at Daisy’s Po-Boy and Tavern, Available every Wednesday from January 10 through February 7, 5215 S. Harper Avenue.

Lincoln Park: Boka chef Lee Wolen will bring his restaurant’s hefty new tome, Boka The Cookbook, to life with a series of four tasting menu dinners (one per season) featuring recipes pulled straight from the book. The first dinner, a winter-themed gathering with a six-course meal, is slated for Wednesday, January 10 at 1729 N. Halsted. Tickets ($175), available via OpenTable, include dinner and a signed copy of the book. Optional wine parings will be available for purchase. Boka: The Cookbook Dinner Series (Winter) at Boka, Wednesday, January 10, 1729 N. Halsted.

A person holds a large cookbook open to a full-bleed photograph of food on a table.
Boka The Cookbook was released in 2023.
Huge Galdones/Boka

River North: Local Japanese mini-chain Sushi-san will host a collaborative pop-up dinner with chef Andrew Lim and the team at Perilla Korean American Fare on Wednesday, January 17, continuing Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ series of events with local chefs. Menu details remain under wraps but it’s worth noting that Perilla has a major expansion in the works — a new Downtown steakhouse in partnership with Korean corporate giant Lotte Group. Bookings for the pop-up are available via OpenTable. Sushi-san x Perilla Collab Dinner, Wednesday, January 17, 63 W. Grand Avenue.


1729 North Halsted Street, , IL 60614 (312) 337-6070 Visit Website

Daisy's Po' Boy and Tavern

5215 South Harper Avenue, , IL 60615 (773) 675-8767 Visit Website

Perilla Korean American Fare

401 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60654 (312) 243-3344 Visit Website


63 West Grand Avenue, , IL 60654 (312) 828-0575 Visit Website


1500 Colorado Boulevard, , CA 90041 (323) 257-7375 Visit Website