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Chicago Announces Three New Riverwalk Concessionaires for 2016

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The new establishments are expected to open in the coming months

Vendors along downtown Chicago’s Riverwalk are in for a bit of a shake-up this season, according to a city of Chicago announcement this weekend. While favorites like Cyrano’s Cafe and City Winery will return, the Hideout and Flander’s Belgian Beer and Fries will no longer operate on the popular riverfront plaza. Despite the closures, three new concessionaires are also expected to make their riverwalk debut in the coming months.

The first is Tiny Hatt, slated for the former Flander’s space. The establishment is a partnership between Big Hatt Gourmet and Lincoln Square’s Tiny Lounge — reportedly one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s favorite restaurants. The space will offer free live music Monday and Wednesday evenings along with a barbecue-focused menu when it opens in June. A third Tiny Lounge location dubbed Tiny Tavern is expected to open at Navy Pier later this summer.

Meanwhile, diners looking for fast food on the Riverwalk will be able to take advantage of Lillie’s Park Grill. The vendor will serve grab-and-go options that can be enjoyed at the benches in the Cove and River Theatre sections of the Riverwalk between Dearborn and LaSalle. According to a Craigslist job posting, Lillie’s is anticipated to open Memorial Day weekend.

Lastly, Dulce in Horto, will represent the Chicago Riverwalk’s first movable vending cart. A play on Chicago’s motto of "urbs in horto," city in a garden, the sweet seller will offer an assortment of cupcakes, cookies, and brownies as it makes its way up and down the the south bank of the Chicago River.

New concession locations are also expected as part of phase III of the Chicago Riverwalk expansion, which has been under construction to the north since last summer. These three new blocks or "rooms" of riverwalk will extend from LaSalle to Lake Street and are expected to be complete in October of this year.