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Restaurant News: Smoke Daddy Expanding, Stout Reopening After Fire

By Anthony Todd in Food on Oct 23, 2012 4:20PM

2012_10_23_SmokeDaddy.jpg - Smoke Daddy, everyone's favorite Wicker Park BBQ hotspot, is about to get a lot hotter. Over the next three months, the restaurant is going to double in size. Don't worry: they are staying open during construction. But when everything is finished in January, the restaurant will have 120 seats, a huge garage door to open up the front of the restaurant, windows into the smoking room so you can watch the action, and a private party space. Plus, they'll be launching a brunch menu. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

- Stout Barrel House & Galley had a minor fire yesterday. The River North bar and restaurant was closed when an ice machine developed a minor flaming problem - luckily, no one was hurt. There was no major damage to the restaurant. If you have reservations in the next few days, you're probably out of luck, but as soon as everything is cleaned up and inspect, they'll be back open.

- Oh Billy Dec, you're at it again. A few weeks ago, he bought Martini Ranch (some tweets led Grubstreet to speculate that he had bought it accidentally, without telling his partners) and decided to reconcept the 4 a.m. space into something new. He sorta decided to crowdsource the concept. We say sorta because the proposals that Dec put out there included "Dive Bar" and a Mexican riff on his partner's hometown. There was a space for the public to give ideas, but they must have been pretty lame. Why? The new concept will be.... Mexican Dive Bar. The new bar will open around the beginning of 2013.