Monday, February 18, 2008

Holy Cow! Harry Caray gets BIG props . . .

(Photo: Harry Caray's)

Thursday, Feb. 21 marks the 10th anniversary of late Hall of Fame baseball announcer Harry Caray's passing.

And to commemorate the anniversary, Harry would not have had it any other way than what they're planning over at Harry Caray's (33 W. Kinzie St., 312-595-3500) that night. At 7pm—your time, anywhere in the world—it's the 10th Annual Worldwide Toast to Harry. Bars and restaurants worldwide in more than 100 countries will also be participating.

During the toast, Harry Caray’s in Chicago will attempt to break the Guinness record for the World’s Largest Glass of Beer. The vessel is two feet wide by four feet high and will hold 100 gallons of Budweiser. Full, the glass will weigh 1,000 pounds. The previous record of 4 gallons was set in New Zealand in 2004. Prior to the toast, they're filling the vessel with 100 gallons of Budweiser and will sell commemorative cups containing beer from the record-breaking glass for $5 each. All proceeds will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in honor of Cubs legend Ron Santo.

Celebrities around the world will toast Harry’s memory on Thursday, including Will Ferrell, Jim Belushi, Harold Ramis, Max Weinberg, Stephen Baldwin, William Petersen, Jeremy Piven, Jeff Garlin, Jay Mohr, Joe Mantegna, Fisher Stevens, Dennis Farina, Linda Fiorentino, Bonnie Hunt, Dennis Franz, Will Arnot, Woody Harrelson, Lorraine Bracco, Nick Lachey, Vanessa Minnillo and former Harry Caray’s server, James Denton, comedian Frank Caliendo, Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney, General Manager Jim Hendry, Coach Lou Piniella, Alfonso Soriano, Kerry Wood, Felix Pie and Derrek Lee, Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Ryne Sandberg, Harry’s broadcasting partner Steve Stone, current announcers Bob Brenly, Len Kasper and Pat Hughes, Chicago White Sox Jim Thome, former TV newsman Bill Kurtis, Mayor Richard M. Daley, President Bill Clinton, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, rock bands The Fray and Fall Out Boy, including Pete Wentz, and many others.

WLS AM Radio’s The Roe Conn Show will broadcast live from Harry’s Bar from 5-7pm.

Quote of the month: 'Anything you cats don't eat?'

(Photo: Chicago Tribune by Jeff Sciortino)

That's Michael Carlson at his highly anticipated (re-)opening of his hot Wicker Park eatery Schwa (1466 N. Ashland Ave., 773-752-1466). The Stew has the deets.

What's going on now

(Photo: Yelp)

So it looks like Marshall McGearty Tobacco Lounge (1553 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-772-8410) didn't survive the new Illinois Smoking Ban. There's a little note in the window that simply says, "We are now closed." No further information is given.

But on a good—and much healthier—note, word from Berry Chill ( 635 N. State St., 312-640-0312) owner Michael Farah is that the specialty "froyo" spot is set to open the first weekend of March. Right now he's conducting a series of VIP focus groups and tastings, so if you want in, get on it now.

Also, BomBon Cafe (170 W. Washington Blvd.) closed its Loop location, according to Time Out. But have no fear. You can still get their pastry goodies in Pilsen and Little Village.

And finally, Nia (803 W. Randolph St., 312-226-3110), which we wrote about here before any other media outlet, opened last week in the West Loop.

Deal of the day . . .

(Photo: Tizi Melloul)

Jump start your week with a smile—whether you have today off or not for Presidents' Day—with this deal certain to please all:

Super exotic eatery Tizi Melloul (531 N. Wells St., 312-670-4338) offers half-priced appetizers and $3 martinis every Monday and Tuesday in the lounge. Pick from favorites like the Rockin' Moroccan (UV 80 vodka, lime juice, fresh mint, soda and a splash of Sprite), Cucumber Martini (vodka, cucumber, mint, simple syrup, lime juice, garnished with a sliced cucumber) or the Fizi Tizi (sparkling wine with fresh seasonal fruit puree, garnished with fresh berries).

Tizi Melloul will celebrate 10 years in 2009, but you'd never know it by its slick, futuristic design and always on the edge cuisine. It's also one of River North's best-kept secrets.