King’s Noodle Restaurant was uploaded to Flickr

Spadina, Toronto, after a rain.

embiggen by clicking

I took King’s Noodle Restaurant on September 20, 2014 at 11:08PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 11, 2014 at 04:09PM

King’s Noodle Restaurant – Contrasty BW was uploaded to Flickr

Spadina, Toronto, after a rain.

embiggen by clicking

I took King’s Noodle Restaurant – Contrasty BW on September 20, 2014 at 11:08PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 11, 2014 at 04:09PM

The Lunatic, the Lover & the Poet – A Planned wine bar for 736 W Randolph Street



Hmm. More wine drinking options in the West Loop are always good…

Thomas Powers, a sommelier, former director of Chicago-based KDK Restaurants Inc. (Jerry Kleiner’s defunct company) and the onetime owner of long-closed Harvest on Huron, plans to open a wine bar focused on American vintages on Randolph Street’s restaurant row.

Mr. Powers has signed a lease at 736 W. Randolph St. to open the Lunatic, the Lover & the Poet. It will sit across the street from Haymarket Pub & Brewery and Au Cheval, adding yet another element to the increasingly popular West Loop nightlife scene. Expected opening is late 2014.

Mr. Powers and his business partner, who declined to be named, have raised half of their needed $2 million investment from a group of about 40 individual investors. They have not yet hired a chef but have secured a beverage director, whom Mr. Powers declined to name.

He’s looking for a chef to build out a mostly small-plates menu featuring salumi, cheeses, oysters and a few entrees.

The 6,900-square-foot, two-story former warehouse is raw space. Mr. Powers’ plan is to build out the 1,700-square-foot first floor with 40 to 50 seats, 20 bar seats and 10 seats in a lounge.


(click here to continue reading Former Kleiner associate planning wine bar for Randolph Street – Crain’s dining blog – Crain’s Chicago Business .)

Billy Goat proprietor wants to stay put amid planned development

Billy Goat
Billy Goat

Everything changes eventually, but is there a good reason to kick out Sam Sianis from this location of the Billy Goat? Doubtful, just greedy real estate corporations…

No Pepsi. No fries. No desire to change things.

The Billy Goat Tavern has been a Chicago landmark for generations and a fixture underneath North Michigan Avenue for almost 50 years. And its owner wants to remain there, regardless of whatever redevelopment goes on above it.

Sam Sianis, who runs the tavern and is the nephew of the Billy Goat’s original owner, William Sianis, said Tuesday that he knew nothing of potential plans for a massive redevelopment disclosed Monday that would involve replacing the Realtor Building at 430 N. Michigan Ave. That project, on property located above the Goat, would at least temporarily displace the tavern from the subterranean location it has called home since 1964.

“I want to stay here,” Sianis said. “I’ve been here for almost 50 years. Like the Realtors, I’m part of Michigan Avenue.”

…”Nothing has changed since 1964,” Sianis said. “Nothing has changed from the time we opened up to now.”

Asked if he’d like a more modern, fancier new home as part of a new development, Sianis fell back on the cadence — No fries! Chips! No Pepsi! Coke! — immortalized by John Belushi in the “Saturday Night Live” skit that made the place famous.

“No fancy,” Sianis said. “I want it to be the same.”

Staying put wouldn’t be an option if the building above it is razed and redeveloped, but the National Association of Realtors thinks it has come up with the next best thing: Pick up the various pieces of the tavern, picture frame by picture frame and chair by chair, and move the Goat across the street.


(click here to continue reading Billy Goat proprietor wants to stay put amid planned development –

Moving to a location in the basement under the Wrigley Building would be ok, though I wonder how much the odor of the hamburgers, chips, Pepsi waft up to the floors above?

Billy Goat's Tavern & Grill
Billy Goat’s Tavern & Grill

Chuck Sudo of the Chicagoist describes the planned development thus:

An ambitious project to turn one of Michigan Avenue’s iconic buildings into a mixed-use “destination building” could have some short-term consequences for tourists and local media folk. The National Association of Realtors board unanimously approved a plan to raze its 13-story building at 430 N. Michigan Ave. and replace it with a new building including a high-end hotel, condominiums, office and retail space and an open plaza. The proposed new building would be mirrored after the NAR’s New York City-based project and could be as much as 93 stories high.

The NAR would also relocate its headquarters to Chicago which the Emanuel administration would surely tout in a press release as another sign the mayor is bringing jobs to Chicago if this project gets the green light. The NAR has an unnamed partner in the project. Pamela Monroe, chair of NAR’s Real Property Operations Committee, would only say the group is “a world-class partner with premium credentials” that is “very private” and “extremely well-capitalized.” The Realtor building is one of the few properties remaining on North Michigan Avenue that hasn’t been developed in recent years and the NAR bought the building behind it that houses 437 Rush restaurant.

(click here to continue reading Michigan Avenue Development Project Could Displace Billy Goat Tavern For A Spell: Chicagoist.)

Billy Goat Tavern Est 1934
Billy Goat Tavern Est 1934

I wonder if the “hex” on the Chicago Cubs would be broken if the Billy Goat was forced to move?

The Goat’s role in Chicago as a well-known bar goes back generations. It has been a hangout for journalists for decades and earned headlines regularly through owner William Sianis, an impresario as well as barkeeper. He’s the one who placed a hex on the Chicago Cubs in 1945 after his pet goat was kicked out of Wrigley Field during the World Series.

Photo Republished at Blackbird In Chicago

Snow Day at Blackbird

My photo was used to illustrate this post

Photo By Seth Anderson “Blackbird is one of the finest restaurants in the country” – Chicago Tribune. Sophisticated, earthy food in a modern, sleek setting. Owner of a Michelin star.

click here to keep reading :
Blackbird In Chicago

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New resident at 833 West Randolph

doorway at 833 West Randolph
doorway at 833 West Randolph, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

Former location of Marché, soon to be reopened under new management:

Nellcôte (833 W. Randolph St.; no phone yet), the previously unnamed venture by Jared Van Camp (Old Town Social). The restaurant is named for Villa Nellcôte, the mansion on the Côte d’Azur where the Rolling Stones threw a notorious house party that somehow spawned the album Exile on Main Street.

“Over-the-top luxury without pretense” is how a spokeswoman describes the look. “There will be white Italian marble, wrought-iron gates, [and] cartouche crown molding, but also irreverent accents like bohemian pop art,” she says. The menu will feature a changing-daily lineup of house-made foods using local ingredients, including pizzas and pastas made with house-milled 00 flour. The flour mill is a 9-by-11-foot leviathan that the kitchen was built around, and the finely milled flour will be available for retail sale. Van Camp is targeting November or December for opening.

Chicago Mag – Dish

Sounds somewhat intriguing, the proof will be if it is a place that Gram Parsons would hang out in while consuming heroic amounts of opium derivatives.

Red Light Shut Off

Haven’t eaten at Red Light1 in quite a while, but I pass it frequently walking down Randolph. Hope Jerry Kleiner’s KDK Restaurants pulls out of its death spiral…

Blue Light

Crain’s Chicago reports:

Red Light restaurant in the West Loop has closed due to an expired state license, the same week its South Loop sibling succumbed to its own license problems. Red Light, a pan-Asian restaurant at 820 W. Randolph St., on Wednesday posted a sign on its door saying it was closed, according to a woman who answered the phone at neighboring De Cero restaurant.

Calls to Red Light went unanswered Friday.

A spokeswoman with the Illinois Department of Revenue said that Red Light’s retail license expired Jan. 31 and the restaurant had been operating illegally and against the direction of the state office to cease operations. The Illinois Liquor Control Commission revoked Red Light’s liquor license in January, she added.

(click here to continue reading More trouble for KDK Restaurants: Red Light goes dark amid license problems | Restaurants | Crain’s Chicago Business.)

Jerry Kleiner Way

  1. on W Randolph in the West Loop []

Anthony Bourdain Loves Him Some Chicago Dogs

Can’t say I blame him, New York City dogs are decidedly lesser than Chicago dogs. Also, deep dish pizza is like eating a big piece of bread, and I’m not a huge fan either.

Chicago Dog

Kevin Pang interviews Bourdain, including this question:

KPangWhat can you say about the Chicago food scene that would piss off Chicago foodies?

I don’t like deep dish pizza, except for Burt’s Place (in Morton Grove) which was quite wonderful. Most deep dish is awful and not pizza, I don’t know what it is. It’s ugly stuff. But that’s about it. I love Chicago. Chicago’s one of the few American cities that’s big enough to support a large number of high end restaurants. A lot of cities cannot support restaurants like Charlie Trotter or Alinea or Blackbird. There just aren’t enough wealthy people. It’s a big town, it’s got great food on the high end and low end. And I’m on record admitting the Chicago hot dog is far superior than the New York hot dog.

KP: Any places in Chicago you’re eager to visit?

Publican I’d like to try.

[Click to continue reading Anthony Bourdain interview: No Reservations star talks TV, food and more –]

Seventy Five Years of The Goat

Billy Goat Tavern Est 1934

It ain’t Bennigan’s, that’s for damn sure.

As the Goat — which has moved to 430 Lower Michigan Avenue below the Wrigley Building and added seven other locations — celebrates its 75th year in Chicago, what is Mr. Sianis’s favorite story?

“There are too many stories,” he said this week as he took a break from flipping the cheezborgers made famous on “Saturday Night Live.” But he did fondly recall one exchange with

Mike Royko, the columnist who spent as much time at the Goat as behind a typewriter.

“Royko says to me, ‘What would you do if someone gave you $1 million?’ So I said: ‘I’ll tell you what I would do. I’d take the money and go home, and then I’d turn around and come right back down here.’ ”

Perplexed, Royko said, “Why wouldn’t you take a vacation and go see somebody?” Mr. Sianis, smiling as he stood in his bar crammed with tourists, said he told him: “This is my vacation. Why go anywhere to see anyone? They all come here to see me.”

[Click to continue reading Chicago News Cooperative – The Pulse – Where Everybody Knows His Name –]

Billy Goat

I took my folks to the original Billy Goat Tavern on a recent visit, but had to convince them to keep walking long enough to find the place (unless you remember the Billy Goat’s specific address, it can be a bit difficult to find down below Michigan Avenue). Glad we did, I had a beer, and shared a burger with my uncle1. The walls of the Billy Goat are stained with the brown of years worth of story telling and cigarette smoking…

  1. who didn’t put a single condiment on his burger, just bread and meat []

Jogging Past Boni Vino Pizza

Jogging Past Boni Vino Pizza
Jogging Past Boni Vino Pizza, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

Van Buren, I believe

View On Black

supposed to have pretty good pizza, actually, but I’ve never stuck my head in to check it out, or to try their fine Italian cocktails1

  1. whatever that may mean []

Reading Around on December 11th through December 12th

A few interesting links collected December 11th through December 12th:

  • No Moods, Ads or Cutesy Fucking Icons (Re-reloaded) » Squidgate. Update. – I have three comments about the allegations therein. Firstly, the story claims that I was entering the US, not leaving it: this is empirically false. Secondly, I find it interesting that these guys characterise “pulling away” as “aggressive” behavior; I myself would regard it as a retreat. And thirdly, I did not “choke” anyone. I state this categorically. And having been told that cameras were in fact on site, I look forward to seeing the footage they provide.
  • Chicago Eats | Travel | Smithsonian Magazine – In 1951, author Nelson Algren wrote of Chicago streets “where the shadow of the tavern and the shadow of the church form a single dark and double-walled dead end.” Yet President Barack Obama’s hometown is also a city of hope. Visionaries, reformers, poets and writers, from Theodore Dreiser and Carl Sandburg to Richard Wright, Saul Bellow and Stuart Dybek, have found inspiration here, and Chicago has beckoned to an extraordinary range of peoples—German, Irish, Greek, Swedish, Chinese, Arab, Korean and East African, among many, many others. For each, food is a powerful vessel of shared traditions, a direct pipeline into the soul of a community. Choosing just a few to sample is an exercise in random discovery.

  • Butchers trimming pork bellies for bacon at Swift meat packing Packington Plant -1930

  • Earth’s Atmosphere May Have Alien Origin | Wired Science | – krypton and xenon now present in the air — and many other atmospheric components as well — may be remnants of gas clouds swept up by the newly forming Earth. Or, they suggest, the gases may have been delivered to Earth by comets, in which the proportions of light isotopes for xenon and krypton are relatively higher.