Thursday, March 27, 2008

Be an Earth Angel this weekend

(Photo: World Wildlife Foundation)

You shop the farmers’ market for locally grown and organic produce. You conserve energy by walking or using public transportation as much as possible. And now here’s your chance to help the environment once again. This weekend you can celebrate Earth Hour—a World Wildlife Foundation initiative to turn off the lights in cities around the world for one hour on Saturday from 8-9pm.

Many Chicago restaurants and bars are participating, including Cyrano's Bistrot & Wine Bar (546 N. Wells St., 312-467-0546), which is adding two extra days (tonight and tomorrow) with romantic candlelight dinners in its classic French atmosphere. InnBar (162 E. Ohio St., 312-787-3100), who will celebrate with the Eco-tini (a specialty martini made with organic vodka and juices), and Cityscape Bar (350 W. Mart Plaza Center, 312-836-5000), which will offer The Energizer (V2 vodka infused with caffeine and Taurine with cranberry and grapefruit juices) and Tony Miu's Zentini (Skyy citrus vodka with zen green tea liqueur and fresh lime juice), will also participate.

Other happenings this weekend:


one sixtyblue (1400 W. Randolph St., 312-850-0303) celebrates its 10th anniversary with a party in conjunction with Green City Market and ChicaGourmets. Chow down on special bites prepared by Executive Chef Martial Noguier, drink libations from an interactive "green" cocktail station, and check out a fashion show highlighting garments from eco-friendly boutique Pivot. A portion of proceeds benefit Growing Home, a charity providing job training and employment opportunities to homeless and low-income people. 6-9pm. $80.

You'll find more high-energy grooves at JBar (610 N. Rush St., 312-660-7200) for the Sounds Good Thursdays session. Jesse de la Pena brings on the sounds with a live saxophonist; get there early for a comp VIP champagne tasting from 9-10pm; Stoli Elit cocktail specials all night for $5; bottles $150. 9pm-2am. No cover.

Looking for a chill place for dinner? Head to CafĂ© Selmarie (4729 N Lincoln Ave., 773-989-5595) for a prix-fixe dinner for only $20. Tonight’s menu includes a petite mixed greens salad, seared Ruby Red Rainbow trout with sweet potato hash and shiitake mushrooms, and a housemade dessert.

A Night in Jarvis Square takes place in Rogers Park. For $35, guests get a three-course Italian dinner at Gruppo Di Amici (1508 W. Jarvis Ave., 773-508-5565); the chance to see the Jeff-recommended “Faster” production; and a wine/cheese post-show reception featuring the cast and crew at Taste Food & Wine (1506 W. Jarvis Ave., 773-761-3663). Dinner takes place between 6-7pm; the show starts at 8pm and the post-party happens at 9:45.

This Ain’t No Ordinary Open Mic occurs at The G Spot (2719 E. 92nd St., 312-399-7522), with live entertainment, private massages, complimentary refreshments and a cash bar. 9-11:30pm. $10 general admission; $5 for performers.

Jesse de la Pena spins every week at Jbar for "Sounds Good Thursdays." (Photo:


Meet and greet the new hosts and crew for local entertainment show “24/7: Secrets of Chicago,” which kicks off on Saturday immediately following “Saturday Night Live” on NBC-5. Party takes place at Rockit Bar & Grill (22 W. Hubbard St., 312-645-6000), and co-owner Billy Dec is also co-host of the new show (where in the hell does this guy find the time?!). 6-8pm, and RSVP to

Hipster Wicker Park clothing boutique Bonnie & Clyde's (1751 W. Division St., 773-235-2680) hosts a fashion show and party at Lumen (839 W. Fulton Market, 312-733-2222) with guest DJ Steve Aoki a.k.a. Kid Millionaire. Jeffrey Sebelia of Bravo's "Project Runway" also hosts the event, which features fashions by UGG. Dark Wave Disco deejays also spin, and there’s a Snow Queen vodka hosted bar from 9:30-10:30 if you RSVP at 9pm-2am.

The first 25 people who show up at Victor Hotel (311 N. Sangamon St., 312-733-6900) for the American Boogie Down Release Party get a free CD, which has been highly rated by critics. DJ Jerome Derradji celebrates the worldwide release of "The American Boogie Down,"—his first disco boogie mix CD for London's best BBE records. Party starts at 10pm for $10.


Shop ChicagoGEN ART’s world-class shopping experience—returns to The Great Hall, Union Station (210 S. Canal St.) featuring more than 80 emerging accessory and clothing designers, including Abigail Glaum-Lathbury, Erin Gallagher Jewelry, Haji Couture, Warth Acarne and Akira. Guests can shop the latest trends, enjoy complimentary cocktails and even receive a little pampering at the Shop Chicago Beauty Lounge. VIPs will enjoy champagne, Shop Chicago gift bags and a break from the busy Shop Chicago floor in the Room & Board VIP Lounge. Guests of the VIP Lounge will also be treated to hors d’oeuvres provided by Food for Thought catering and the Berry Chill (635 N. State St., 312-266-2445) frozen yogurt bar. 3-8pm. VIP tickets $40 (available in advance); free general admission by RSVPing to 312-229-1701.

CARNAVAL. For their fifth-annual event, the performing artists group Collaboration transforms a 120-year-old gothic cathedral into an artistic arena that includes gothic cathedral-inspired live rock music, theatrical interludes, interactive artistry, two floors of dancing, unlimited drinks and a Carnaval couture costume contest. The pew-less church will feature The Prairie Cartel - featuring Blake Smith of Caviar and Scott Lukas of Local H - performing as The Final Salvation; Dark Wave Disco DJs Mark Gertz and Trancid; DJ Jordan Z; DJ LA Jesus; and Collaboraction company member DJ Anacron. $20 for general admission; $75 for VIP that includes access to top floor, separate bar, catered food and special performances. 9pm at Epiphany Episcopal Church, 201 S. Ashland Ave. Call 312-226-9633 for tix.