This week in Chicago, raise a glass (or a shell) to National Oyster Day, attend a music-inspired play at the Goodman, drink your s’mores, and camp out with the family.
August 5: National Oyster Day at Café Cancale
If you haven’t yet been to Café Cancale, first of all, what are you doing? Second of all, National Oyster Day is the perfect excuse to try one of Chicago’s hottest new restaurants. The chic and sleek Wicker Park haunt is extending its happy hour for this venerable holiday, offering $1 oysters and $8 martinis. Slurp away! Details: 4–7 p.m.
August 8: Visit the Chicago Children’s Museum for Free
Quaker is teaming up with the Chicago Children’s Museum for a ton of free fun. There will be plenty of snacks and a chance to experience all of the exhibitions, plus a parachute and a dance party! Details: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
August 5–11: RWxRN Returns for Its Third Year
It’s almost time. Restaurant Week by River North (aka RWxRN) is back, bringing those budget-friendly Restaurant Week vibes to a slew of downtown eateries starting August 5. For the subsequent seven days, diners can enjoy specially priced prix fixe menus at participating restaurants, including Barrio, the Hampton Social, Prosecco, Mercadito, Katana, Beacon Tavern, and the one that started it all: Tortoise Supper Club.
August 8: “Peace, Love & Understanding” at 1070 Gallery
With this year marking the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, there’s a lot of ’60s nostalgia in the air—whether or not one was present at, or even alive, during the mythic music festival. This Edgewater gallery is certainly feeling it and has put together an exhibition of art that envisions the world as a better place.
Through August 18: The Music Man
A con man arrives in River City, Iowa, bearing promises of a marching band in an attempt to make an easy dollar. The town librarian, however, isn’t buying it. Will Harold Hill pull off his scam and win over the skeptic? This musical featuring 72 trombones and a moral reversal is the story of unlikely summer love you’ve been waiting for. Details: At Goodman Theatre
August 9: Deconstructed Anthems at Arts Club of Chicago
For the past couple of years, artist Ekene Ijeoma has been developing a performance that deconstructs America’s national anthem using data about mass incarceration. Notes from the song are removed according to national incarceration rates, so it increasingly becomes strange and unfamiliar. You’ll have to hear it yourself at this Chicago premiere.
August 10: S’mores Day at Begyle
Pastry stouts remain a crowd-pleaser among both entry-level beer fans and experienced drinkers. So apparently, Begyle got fired up about August 10 being National S’mores Day and decided to release a S’mores Flannel Pajama variant on draft. This dessert-reminiscent oatmeal stout will be available while supplies last, Three Legged Tacos will be in the taproom filling up bellies with deliciousness, and Amy’s Candy Bar will be serving up the kinda s’mores you gotta chew. Details: 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
August 10: Family Campout at the Botanic Garden
Take a camping trip to the Botanic Garden! Yes, the family can spend the night under the stars in one of the most beautiful places just outside the city. The Frog Lady will make an appearance with her critters, and there will be plenty of activities for kids 5 and up. And what’s a camping trip without a fire and s’mores? Don’t worry; they have you covered. Details: 5 p.m.–8 a.m.; $44–$55
Through August 18: Kiss
A double-date night goes awry in this work of political theater by Guillermo Calderón. The play stars Arti Ishak, one of my favorite actors, and I cannot wait to see what happens when culture and coupledom clash. Details: At the Den Theatre
Restaurant Opening of the Week: François Frankie
As someone who is obsessed with the carousel bar at New Orleans’s Hotel Monteleone, it is with great enthusiasm and excitement that I embrace the Loop’s French-inspired newcomer, François Frankie. First (and most important), there’s a bejeweled carousel bar in the middle of it. And in case that wasn’t enough to woo you, there’s modern fare by one of my favorite chefs in town: Mike Sheerin. Get hungry for dishes like black truffle macaroni gratinée, avocado Caesar salad (why didn’t I think of this?), and escargots à la Bourguignonne. Added bonus: The dining room decor makes this place look like a Parisian courtyard dream.