The Heartland Cafe, a Rogers Park mainstay since 1976, is in desperate need of a cash infusion. Its fallen into a deep financial hole to the tune of $118,000 and needs to raise $30,000 immediately and another $20,000 by mid-October.
The restaurant, which serves a lot of vegan, vegetarian and organic fare, has seen many bands—mostly folk and bluegrass—come through its space in the last 34 years. The owners are reaching out to the community for help and asking patrons to either give a cash donation or to buy membership cards good for future discounts on food and drinks. You could buy in for $1,000 for a lifetime membership, $500 for five years or $150 for a year. Honestly, anything would help them at this point.
It would be a shame if this institution was forced to close its doors. Read their plea on their website and please help if you’re able.
In honor of his induction into the Chicago Culinary Museum’s Chefs Hall of Fame, Mayor Daley has declared Sept. 30 Art Smith Day in the city. Daley was so impressed the Smith shed nearly 100 pounds that he’s giving the chef this award. We kid, we kid.
When Todd Stein announced he’d leave Cibo Matto to helm the kitchen at the Florentine and that some of his culinary creations would make the move, we weren’t surprised to find out that he’s also taking some of the kitchen staff. Foodie discovered this morning that sous chefs Russell Kook and Mark Newman would join Stein at the soon-to-open restaurant at the forthcoming JW Marriott hotel.
Ah Chicago Gourmet, how you tempt us with your promises of amazing food, fantastic drink and culinary camaraderie. For the most part, you succeeded, but while more chefs and restaurants joined the fray this year, Chicago Gourmet also sold way more tickets than last year, causing the foodie faithful to endure long lines for the temptation of a morsel of food.
Not that the food, once obtained, wasn’t delicious. That wasn’t the issue. It was just the waiting. And waiting. And waiting. The Gibson’s tent, which offered pork belly sliders, filet sliders and an avocado/crab salad had a line that took upwards of 15 minutes. The Allen Brothers tent, which had four to five restaurants represented at any given time, had shorter lines, but still took a while. And then the line for Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill, which apparently was giving out chips and guac, was so long that we avoided it like the plague.
A number of Uptown restaurants, including Chava Cafe, Tank Noodle, Pho 777 and Hai Yen, have been broken into over the last week, prompting a community warning to be issued. The warning says the “unknown subject gains entry through the front door, causes damage to the cash register and escapes with the proceeds” sometimes breaking windows to get inside.
The burglaries have taken place along the 5000 block of Sheridan, 1000-1200 blocks of Argyle and 4800-5600 blocks of Broadway. In other words, throughout much of east Uptown. The Chicago Police burglary/robbery/theft division asks anyone with information to call 312-744-8263. Businesses: make sure you put your cash in a safe and keep your empty cash register draws open to show the money has been removed.
[via Uptown Update]
Every week the New York Times travel section gives readers easy tips on how to navigate a city in 36 hours. This Sunday, Chicago gets the 36 Hours In treatment and, not surprising, it’s pretty food heavy. Fortunately there’s no cliche talk of deep-dish pizza and Chicago hot dog’s, rather they hit upon more of our new hot foodie destinations, including Girl & The Goat, Gilt Bar, Xoco, Longman & Eagle and Terzo Piano, which is almost a footnote as part of the Art Institute blurb.
A pleasant surprise in the article is the inclusion of Big Chicks, the often-packed, always-lively Uptown gay bar tucked among grungy convenience shops and hair-weaveries on Sheridan Road. With all the great spots in town, we couldn’t imagine having to narrow the list, but the article does a great job of highlighting unique spots in various parts of the city.
For those of us craving the lively intimacy of avec for a glass of crisp albarino or some chorizo-stuffed mejdool dates, we’ll just have to wait a little bit longer. Crain’s reports that avec will remain closed until at least October. The restaurant was shuttered following a grease-chute fire on Aug. 9 that led to the tragic death of a Chicago firefighter. Now the restaurant must make some necessary repairs to the roof and building’s exterior before they can re-open and they have secured three of the five permits they need, according to avec office manager Renee Johnson.