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Restaurant News: Aviary To Begin New Beer Program, Hot Chocolate Closing For Renovations

By Anthony Todd in Food on Apr 18, 2012 3:40PM

Photo Credit: lauren*o*

- The Aviary is already Chicago's top destination for wacky cocktails, but they aren't ready to rest on their laurels. The fine folks at Grant Achatz's cocktail bar are initiating a new beer-on-tap program. Eater Chicago reported that the new system will be ready this week (possibly today) and they will offer six beers to start: Mikkeller Dream Pils, Stillwater Stateside Saison Evil Twin 404 Ale, Jolly Pumpkin Biere de Mars, Evil Twin Nurse Pepper and Founder's Kentucky Breakfast Stout.

- In other not-resting-on-their-laurels news, Hot Chocolate is closing for a renovation later this month. Mindy Segal's Hot Chocolate is one of Chicago's longest-lasting success stories. Even though they've been open for longer than we can remember, they are still packed, both for brunch and for dinner. But it's time for a fresh coat of paint and a change. 312 Dining Diva reported that the Wicker Park restaurant will be closing from April 22 - May 8. If you need a fix before then, make your reservations now.

- Chef Rodelio Aglibot sounds like kind of a nerd - and we mean that as a compliment. The former Sunda head honcho is heading up a reconcepting of the short-lived Aja that will convert that space into a 2-level wandering restaurant that recreates "the essence of 19th-century American feasting." We assume that means oysters and caviar, not tainted food and relish trays. Chicago Mag pointed out that 19th century diners probably didn't see cotton candy on menus, but we'll hold off judgement and wait to see how the whole concept (titled "Argent") turns out.