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Uptown in the News  

September 23, 2003
Chicago Tribune
Movin' on up
Hip new lounges, shops and restaurants are giving once-shabby Uptown an extreme makeover
By Stephanie Pendexter, metromix special contributor

For years we've been waiting for Uptown to join the ranks of Andersonville and Ravenswood as the latest hot 'hood. Still, the North Side enclave has taken its time making the transition from gritty to glam. Lately, though, a steady accumulation of hip bars, ambitious restaurants and funky boutiques have begun to tip the scale. Here are a few of our favorite spots.

New Chick on the block
Serving organic food from local farms, Tweet, the recently opened restaurant by Michelle Fire, has graduated from weekend brunch spot to dinner destination.

Frankie says relax
Frankie J's on Broadway is a fringe comedy club/restaurant. While every night offers a different style of comedy, Wednesday's Open Mic Night is the crowd favorite. Before a show, stop by the restaurant for the salmon with soy-Jack Daniels sauce, and don't forget to BYOB. Sketchy past, funky future
Located in the space formerly occupied by The Saxony, the "diviest" of dive bars, it's the ideal alternative to the nearby Green Mill. Open until 4 a.m.

Net gain
Connexio Café is an Internet cafe where you can dig into Latin-inspired food and enjoy the work of local artists. Use one of the nine computers for $3 per hour, or bring your laptop and connect wirelessly. On the menu: a plantain-steak sandwich and Southwestern "eggrolls" filled with chicken, black beans and pepper jack cheese. There's no bar, but feel free to BYOB.

Magnolia blooms
A fine-dining restaurant offering dishes like wild mushroom and brie ravioli at reasonable prices. Monthly wine nights feature a five-course meal with wine pairings for $70-$75.

Marvelous Mexican
Born out of the owner's craving for food from his homeland, Riques Regional Mexican Food specializes in no-frills food from the Yucitan peninsula, like achiote-marinated chicken breast with pumpkin seed sauce.

Argyle Street's best
Any connoisseur of Vietnamese food knows Argyle Street offers plenty of great options. But Hai Yen is the best of the bunch. Don't miss the excellent green papaya salad.

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