Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz talks politics, love and nightlife

Pete Wentz
(Photo: PaigeSwisher)

Last Girl Standing Sarah Preston interviews Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, who sounds off on his support for presidential candidate Barack Obama, his latest nightclub venture in the River North area, and oh that "not-so-famous" girlfriend of his.

Also, check out some cool photos from the event at Darkroom Demons.

Now open: Herban Gourmet Cafe and Smoothie Bar

Herban Gourmet Cafe and Smoothie Bar (900 N. Michigan Ave.)
opened on schedule in the 900 Shops earlier this month.

Padma Lakshmi, John Legend headline Common Threads' World Festival


Just days after the fourth season of cult fave "Top Chef" debuts on Bravo, its model-hostess Padma Lakshmi will serve as the mistress of ceremonies at the third-annual Common Threads' World Festival.

This event, which takes place on March 17, is big time, featuring some of the country's top culinary kings—and queens—including a mighty tight list of our very own stars.

The walkaround tasting includes appetizers prepared by Common Threads founder Art Smith, TABLE fifty-two; David Burke, David Burke’s Primehouse; Tom Colicchio, Craft; Gale Gand, Tru; Ken Oringer; Clio; Marcus Samuelsson, Aquavit and C-House; Jacques Torres, Jacques Torres Chocolates; and Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger.

Those who purchase VIP tix get to attend an exclusive Chef After Party, which will be hosted by Food Network’s Paula Deen, with a special performance by R&B megastar John Legend.

Tickets are $250 for general admission and $500 for VIP. The nonprofit Common Threads was founded in 2003 by Art Smith to teach children cultural diversity, nutrition and personal well-being. Call 312-752-2692 for more info.

A noteworthy update on Table 8 project

Will Table 8 be as opulent as NYC's Goldbar (shown above), another creation by designer Rob McKinley? We'll find out when it arrives in River North this fall. (Photo: Goldbar)

As reported here exclusively, the Chicago outpost of Table 8 is coming to River North in the fall, and we got the word directly from one of the partners, local entrepreneur John Oppenheimer, who is also behind Rednofive (440 N. Halsted St.) and Halsted's Bar & Grill (3441 N. Halsted St.).

He's not disclosing the location, but it will be somewhere in a prime location in River North. Also of important note is that it will be designed by Rob McKinley. McKinley's name may not be well known in these parts as well as he's known in New York. But if you travel to Manhattan and frequent sleek venues like Goldbar, Felice Wine Bar, PM or Cain, then you already know that we're in for a treat.

A view from the all-new CityScape

I'm not sure if I can see myself partying it up in a Holiday Inn (remember that line from Rapper's Delight: ". . . . hotel, motel, Holiday Inn . . ."), but didn't we say the same thing some time ago when the W Lakeshore (644 N. Lakeshore Dr.) reinvigorated the space formerly known as the Days Inn with Whiskey Sky?

Now comes CityScape (350 W. Mart Center Dr., 312-836-5000), the lounge on the 15th floor of the hotel that wants to take the town by storm. It's right off the Merchandise Mart, and guests can easily gain access through a passageway. But the coolest thing about CityScape is that like Trump's Rebar, it'll have the best views of the Chicago River with its floor-to-ceiling windows.

Light bites will include crab cakes, chicken "strings," mini-burgers, and a crab and shrimp cerviche—which we're told is simply phenomenal. And, in addition to classic cocktails and specialty beers, they're boasting local and organic beers as well as certified organic wines. Look for it to open in mid-February.

Vegetarian sandwich too good to be true

First Slice Cafe's Chicago-style vegetarian sandwich.
(Photo: Chicagoist)

I'm a huge carnivore, but this scrumptious-looking Chicago-style vegetarian sandwich at First Slice Cafe (4401 N. Ravenswood Ave., 773-506-7380) just might make me ditch the deli meat for a day.

A great time for a bottle of wine . . .and more


I know you’d rather be somewhere tropical this weekend, and if you do manage to get away, good for you.

If not, then you know the drill. Here’s the weekend update:

The House of Glunz (1206 N. Wells St., 312-642-3000). Perfect for an evening like tonight, this cabernet and merlot wine tasting event occurs at this old-school wine and spirits shop. Guests can walk around sampling vino from South Africa, Bordeaux, Napa, Sonoma, Washington State and other noteworthy regions. 7pm tonight. $25; reservations required.

Uncommon Ground (1401 W. Devon Ave., 773-465-9801) Also happening tonight is the new Edgewater location’s first Green Room Sessions. Local farmer Good Earth Farms and Green Acres will generously host the complimentary appetizer reception, while the Giving Tree Band performs. Party starts at 7pm. Free.

Wave (644 N. Lake Shore Dr., 312-255-4460). Get the girls together for an early dinner at the W Lakeshore restaurant and enjoy a Mediterranean-inspired, five-course small plates and mini desserts menu. Each guest (minimum of two) will also get a complimentary glass of sangria. 5-11pm Fridays. $25 (not including tax and tip).

Sonotheque (1444 W. Chicago Ave., 312-226-7600). Keepers of the underground house music culture 3 Degrees Global host their first event of the year with a upbeat party and music video shoot for “After the Rain.” Guests are encouraged to arrive in glammed-out attire for the event that includes a live set by Desla and Mr. David Broom, and deejay performances by FLX, Monna and Julius the Mad Thinker. If you love deep and sexy house music, then this is the place for you Friday 9pm-2am. $10.

Jokes and Notes (4641 S. King Dr., 773-373-3390). It’s the second-year anniversary for this comedy/live entertainment club located in the heart of Bronzeville. Get ready to laugh your ass off as the city’s top urban comedians—from popular shows like BET’s “Comic View” and “Def Comedy Jam"—offer hilarious perspectives on current events. Two shows on Jan. 26: 8:30 and 10:30pm. $20.

Republic (58 E. Ontario St., 312-440-1818). The monthly Chicago Fashion Exchange event happens with an urban fashion show and dance party on two levels. Guests may also order from Republic’s Pan-Asian menu. Jan. 26 9:30pm-3am. It’s free, so if it’s not hot, then head across the street to Jbar (610 N. Rush St., 312-660-7200) for a reliable stylish scene.