Lolla lineup announced | Supreme new barbecue | Street dining is back

·5 min read

Good afternoon, Chicago.

This week has been a big one for summer activities in the city, as Lollapalooza, Navy Pier and outdoor dining programs by the city have all announced plans for summer comebacks.

Meanwhile, one of our food critics has some barbecue he says you must taste, and we broke the news of a West Town brewery moving into the former Band of Bohemia habitat. Meanwhile, the Museum of Contemporary Art announced a career retrospective for a beloved Chicago artist. See you Friday.

— Adam Lukach

Review: Soul & Smoke deserves to join the ranks of the Chicago area’s best barbecue

Appearances can be deceiving. Case in point? Soul & Smoke operates out of a commissary kitchen, but it’s serving some of the best barbecue in the Chicago area.

Check out the first review from one of our new food critics Nick Kindelsperger, as he pays a visit to this takeout-only enterprise in Evanston.

Lollapalooza 2021 lineup released: Megan Thee Stallion, Post Malone, Foo Fighters, Miley Cyrus, DaBaby, Journey and more to headline

Well, that was quick! Within 24 hours, Lollapalooza both confirmed its full-capacity, four-day return to Chicago this summer *and* announced its full lineup.

We’ve got a rundown on all the details for the festival’s comeback.

  • Column: If Lolla is back, for heaven’s sake, all these other COVID precautions make no logical sense, writes theater critic Chris Jones.

Street vendor plaza in Belmont Cragin, ice cream socials in Rogers Park: Here’s what Chicago Alfresco will look like in 15 neighborhoods this summer

Last summer, blocking off bustling city streets to expand outdoor dining provided a boon for the restaurants that were able to take advantage.

This summer, that Expanded Outdoor Dining program returns, but the city is also launching Chicago Alfresco, an expanded program cultivating creatively designed spaces that will encourage outdoor dining, activities and support for community businesses.

Forbidden Root opening second Chicago location in a place familiar to many beer drinkers — the former Band of Bohemia

The expansive space in Ravenswood has been vacant since Band of Bohemia — the nation’s first Michelin-starred brewpub — closed in October.

The new facility will be called Cultivate by Forbidden Root, offering pub food, including ample vegetarian dishes — all “elevated (but) approachable,” said Forbidden Root owner Robert Finkel.

Get the details in reporter Josh Noel’s exclusive story on the announcement.

Navy Pier announces full reopening Thursday, plus summer programs and fireworks

While outdoor portions of the Pier have been open since the end of April, its indoor counterparts will soon join them. Indoor hallways and spaces will reopen tomorrow, with select businesses and retail stores to follow, per Navy Pier’s announcement. The goal is to fully reopen by Memorial Day.

Read the full announcement to see when your favorite activities are expected to return.

Big Nick Cave retrospective, a first for the Chicago artist, announced for MCA next year

“Nick Cave: Forothermore” — curated by former Museum of Contemporary Art senior curator Naomi Beckwith (now deputy director and chief curator of the Guggenheim in New York) — promises to be a spectacle, given that Cave has never been an artist easily contained to a single exhibit.

The multipart MCA installation marks Cave’s first full-blown career retrospective. “Forothermore” will open in spring 2022.

Ribfest, scheduled to be held in Romeoville, has been postponed again

Summer festival season is off to a rough start before it even began.

Ribfest was one of the first major summer festivals in the area to announce a return for 2021. Now, just a few weeks later, the food festival is walking back those plans.

My worst moment: Busy Philipps on bombing an audition for a big-name director

The former talk show host and “Freaks and Geeks” actor Busy Philipps is currently starring in Peacock’s popular “Girl 5Eva” comedy.

For critic Nina Metz’s My Worst Moment series, she talked about crying for weeks on the heels of a breakup — then being suddenly unable to shed a single tear at a major audition.

’Waffles + Mochi’-inspired meal kits will feed 1 million in need

Fans of Michelle Obama’s Netflix show “Waffles & Mochi” know that it’s about introducing kids and families to nutritious food in a fun, approachable and educational way.

Now the former first lady is taking the effort step further by working in collaboration with Partnership for Healthier America to launch the “Pass the Love” campaign to provide more than 1 million meals to families in need.

Garth Drabinsky, controversial father of the Loop’s theater district, is coming back to Chicago with a pre-Broadway musical

The controversial Canadian showbiz mogul is reigniting high-profile theater in Chicago this fall with a new Broadway-bound musical, “Paradise Square.”

The piece, which uses both original music and the songs of Stephen Foster, focuses on the Lower Manhattan neighborhood of Five Point in 1863 and its blend of Irish immigrants and Black Americans.

Check out the exclusive scoop from theater critic Chris Jones.

They were loaned old-timey film projectors by Chicago Film Society, what did they watch? What did they think?

Did you know the Chicago Film Society will loan you one of its old projectors? Not only that, it will also deliver it to your home and show you how to operate the thing.

The program, Project Yourself!, has been so stealthily successful around Chicago that, sorry, but at the moment, there’s a two- to three-month waiting list. Reporter Chris Borrelli has more on the throwback program.