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First Round of Check Please Auditions Conclude; Howells & Hood Open in Tribune Tower; More

David Manilow and Andrew Kaplan
David Manilow and Andrew Kaplan

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GOOSE ISLAND—The two-pronged first round of the Check Please auditions ended at Kendall College on Monday. They took nearly 1000 applicants down to 150 for the auditions, and will narrow it down considerably to around 15 before Wednesday. A who's who of Chicago food media and chefs are under consideration.

WEST TOWN—A superstar chef in the making, Rene De Leon, was named chef of the highly anticipated upcoming project from The Gage and Henri team at 730 W. Grand. Remember that name.

MAGNIFICENT MILEHowells & Hood, in the first floor of the Tribune Tower, opened up on Thursday with chef Scott Walton (Markethouse) heading the kitchen. With the extreme poles of historic neo-Gothic architecture and sleek interior (not to mention 360 draft beers) it'll be a place to keep your eyes on.

WICKER PARK—An Italian butcher shop, bar/restaurant, and performance venue hoping to draw big acts all rolled into one? That's what Chicago Chop Shop will be, Eater reported the specifics on the upcoming enormous project on North Avenue.