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Restaurant News: Beard Papa's Closes, Chilam Balam Cousin Opens

By Anthony Todd in Food on Nov 27, 2012 5:00PM

Creme Puffs at the departed Beard Papa's. Photo by Laura Stolpman.

- The Chicago outpost of Japanese cream puff franchise Beard Papa's announced yesterday that it was closing. Beard Papa has been open since 2010 in the Block 37 complex in the Loop, and, judging from the hullabaloo on Twitter, a lot of people are very unhappy about the news. "Today, we are very sad to announce that BeardPapa's Chicago is closing," the owners reported. There wasn't even a chance to pick up one last treat—the closing was effective immediately. We published a gallery of Food Pr0n from Beard Papa's a couple of years ago. If you want to mourn their passing, gaze longingly at the pastries.

- Remember back when the repurposed Bonsoiree (now named Table, Donkey and Stick and themed to the Alps) decided to crowdsource its chef? Well, the competition is over and the chef has been chosen! Grubstreet Chicago, which documented the entire process, reported yesterday that the new chef is Scott Manley, formerly of Vie and El Ideas. "Manley's menu, built around a half boar he acquired from Slagel Family Farm, impressed diners for its rustic porky flavor," according to Grubstreet's Mike Gebert. Yum, porky flavor. The restaurant hopes to open for real on December 15th - the proceeds from the crowdsourcing are going to charity.

- Remember Chuy Valencia? He made a brief, nutty splash on Top Chef a couple of years ago, and he came from Chilam Balam, a Mexican BYOB small plates restaurant in Lakeview. Well, Valenica left the restaurant in April to work on a cookbook, but that apparently hasn't slowed his former partners down. Chicago Magazine reported yesterday that the same group has opened a similar restaurant, Shaman. It's got a similar menu, but it takes reservations and is a little bit more formal. Chicago Mag got a couple of menu items that sound pretty good: a butternut squash tamal with pecan mole and cranberry sauce, pan-seared quail with bacon-morita chile broth, spaghetti squash, and green grape pico de gallo. The new spot is located at 1438 W. Chicago Ave.