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The Big City Blog: Barrel-aged beer festival, a 90210-themed pop-up bar and Picks n’ Treats at the Randolph Street Market

The following is courtesy of

By Jeremy Lindenfeld

The Festival of Wood & Barrel-Aged Beer is back

For the 16th year in a row, The Festival of Wood & Barrel-Aged Beer, North America’s largest barrel-aged beer festival and competition, is making its way back to Chicago. November 16 and 17 will see the festival provide its attendees with opportunities to partake in tasting some of the world’s most sought-after and hard-to-find beers, ciders, meads and perries. With more than 400 brews from 200 breweries, the two-day event is sure to have something for every enthusiast. Held at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt.    

90210-themed pop-up bar opens in River North

Located in the “Below Deck” space at Ironside Bar & Galley, the 1990s TV show 90210-themed bar Peach Pit After Dark offers a unique experience that promises to flood your brain with nostalgia. Open for just a few months, the bar will display life-size cutouts of 90210’s stars, a cast selfie station, and an interactive 90210 chalkboard to fully immerse its guests in the atmosphere. While enjoying one of the bar’s themed drinks or food items, you will be able to watch episodes of the show as well as listen to music from the era of Christina Aguilera and Barenaked Ladies. 546 N. Wells.

“Picks n’ Treats” at the Randolph Street Market

On Oct. 27-28 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., the monthly, world-renowned, European-style market in the West Loop will host Picks n’ Treats with more than 125 vendors, offering everything from vintage clothing to art, antiques, beer collectibles and Halloween apparel. Plenty of music, food, drink and countless shopping options. 1341 W. Randolph.

HopCat’s new happy hour

With more than 130 beers on tap to go with more than 100 bottles and 30 local beers, HopCat Chicago is a perfect spot to hit for a night out. With its new happy hour menu, good from 3-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, HopCat offers $5 off burgers and pizzas as well as $1.50 off local list drafts, wines and well drinks. Throughout the week, daily specials such as Sharing Mondays and Bingo Night on Tuesdays only add to the environment. 2577 N. Clark.

French-Mediterranean restaurant Le Sud now open in Roscoe Village

One of Roscoe Village’s newest and most exciting additions is the French-Mediterranean restaurant, Le Sud. With a menu that focuses heavily on high-quality and locally sourced ingredients, Le Sud offers an impressive array of dishes ranging from escargot and foie gras tarte to Parisian gnocchi to pair with a nice list of craft brews, cocktails and French wines. The interior space offers marble countertops and exposed brick walls, as well as a rooftop deck. 2301 W. Roscoe.