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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Lillie’s Q Barbecue Is Back — With A New Look, A Walk-Up Counter And Cooking Classes

“Our new space is more casual, perfect for quick visits," chef and owner Charlie McKenna said.

Lillie's Q reopens its North Avenue location on March 8.
Lillie's Q/Provided
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WICKER PARK — After a brief closure last month, Lillie’s Q will re-open its doors at 1856 W. North Ave. this Friday, offering guests a new look and a new way to enjoy the spot’s signature barbecue.

The restaurant will still serve the same smoked meats, fried chicken and southern sides, but will now offer customers walk-up counter service where meats are cut and weighed on the spot.

Beef fans will be happy to learn brisket is now available daily, as opposed to only on Tuesdays.

Lillie’s Q’s new service model is accompanied by a new look, including a walnut bartop, reclaimed lighting, white marble tables and wooden paneling.

Credit: Lillie’s Q/Provided
Charlie McKenna is the owner and chef at Lillie’s Q, a barbecue restaurant that has called Wicker Park/Bucktown home for nearly a decade.

Chef and owner Charlie McKenna said he wanted the restaurant to reflect the evolving neighborhood it’s called home for nearly a decade.

“Bucktown has grown and changed since we opened 9 years ago and we felt that it was time for Lillie’s Q to evolve with the lifestyles of our loyal customers,” McKenna said in a press release. “Our new space is more casual, perfect for quick visits, and will allow for our award-winning BBQ to be served at a lower price point.”

Also new are monthly classes, taught by McKenna. Classes are $75 and can be booked online.

Here’s what’s on Lillie’s Q spring schedule:

  • Ladies & Barbeque: Mastering the Perfect Steak (March 25, 7-9 p.m.)
  • Smoked BBQ Ribs: Baby Back, That Is (April 15, 7-9 p.m.)
  • World Champion Pulled Pork: Learn From The Pitmaster (May 6, 7-9 p.m.)

This month, Lillie’s Q will donate $1 from every pulled pork sandwich sold to the 100 Club of Chicago, a group that helps families of first responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Lillie’s Q suffered a damaging fire in March of 2013 — exactly six years ago. McKenna said the Chicago Fire Dept. was “instrumental” in helping the barbecue joint recover.

“With our reopening, we saw this as an opportunity to give back, in some small way, to our city’s first responders and support their families by donating to the 100 Club of Chicago,” he said.

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