Restaurant Review – Father’s Day and Juneteenth at Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods

The celebrations keep coming! This weekend, we honor all fathers the third Sunday of the month on Father’s Day for their hard work in raising their families. We also celebrate Juneteenth, now a Chicago official holiday, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, on June 19, 1865, according to

“In New Orleans, every day seemed like Friday.”

Executive Chef Brian Jupiter and Mark Domitrovich, owners of Ina Mae

One restaurant celebrating both holidays is Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods in Wicker Park, The Michelin-listed restaurant serves Southern comfort food as a true art form. Chef and Co-owner Brian ‘Chef Jup’ Jupiter, a former Chopped champion, “pulls inspiration from closely held family secrets and recipes,” according to their website. So much so, in fact, that Ina Mae is named for Chef Jupiter’s grandmother.

Starting at 11am this Sunday, you can celebrate Dad and Juneteenth with live music from 12-3pm, $5 Cigar City drafts, and $10 Old Fashioned drinks. All outdoor seating will be on a first come, first serve basis, and currently, they are limiting table reservations to an hour and a half for groups of 2-3 and 2 hour booking for groups of 4-8. Reservations are available on Tock by clicking here.

Their Creole and Southern menu means spicy creations await you and your family! Their Spoken Cafe Boudin Balls are packed with Tabasco aioli and pickled cayenne peppers. Or try Nola Hot Sausage Sliders, which are two pork sliders with cheddar cheese, Vidalia onions, and Creole mustard, served on a brioche bun. For a slightly less spicy option, try Chilled Gulf Shrimp with remoulade, which is paired with iceberg lettuce and preserved lemons, served with saltine crackers, and drizzled with Chef’s House Hot Sauce. ‘Chef Jup’s’ soups include Gumbo Ya-Ya…” Just like Maw Maw makes it!” The gumbo is traditional, with shrimp, chicken, crawfish, Andouille sausage and rice, served with potato salad. Cajun Cobb Salad has mixed greens, boiled egg, bacon, cheddar cheese, tomato, red onion, cucumber, croutons, Tasso ham and blackened ranch dressing. Crispy Okra Salad pairs tomato, pickled peppers, N

Nola Po Boys are served on French Bread, and dressed with lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo and hot sauce, and served with French fries. Your choice of protein includes Blackened or Grilled Shrimp, Crawfish, Cauliflower, or Oysters. Jup’s Chicken Coop’s Big Chicken Dinner may cost $50, but it includes eight pieces of fried chicken, your choice of two sides, and four buttermilk drop biscuits. The not-to-be-missed sides include Corn Maque Choux– fresh summer corn sautéed with bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and Cajun seasoning, Their Crab Mac is spaghetti with crab cheese sauce. Bayou Potatoes are tossed in Cayenne Aioli.

Save room for desserts! Among their specialties are seasonal Bread Pudding, and a Beignet Sundae, which has warm beignets served with ice cream, butterscotch sauce and crushed pralines

Finally, Ina Mae’s brunch menu features classic takes on Southern recipes, including Shrimp & Grits- sauteed shrimp served on a bed of stone ground grits and topped with Ina’s house Nola sauce, Their Grand Slam is a Nola Classic Breakfast served with Seasonal fruit, Buttermilk drop biscuit and stone grits, and your Choice of Gator sausage, Andouille Sausage, or Bacon, as well as your choice of scrambled or fried egg.

One Google reviewer gave the highest rating, saying. “A really unique place! The food was really good, I had the chance to try the alligator sausage. The waitress was really kind and they also have a band playing live. I recommend the restaurant!” 

Another wrote, in part, “(It’s) soul food with a twist of New Orleans, nice decor to match theme! They also have live music 🎶 as well. The food was good and flavorful. The wait staff is awesome and attentive. I definitely recommend this establishment, and yes I will back…”

Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods is located at 1415 N. Wood Street. Several reviews mentioned the lack of parking, and to read the signs around the restaurant carefully, but say it’s definitely worth it. They are open Tuesdays-Fridays from 4pm–1am, Saturdays from 11am–1am, and Sundays from 11am–10pm. They are closed on Mondays.

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago