Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sweet Thang, Oak Tree say au revoir

Sweet Thang lost its lease in Bucktown on Sunday after 10 years. (Photo: Sweet Thang)

After 10 successful years in its Bucktown home at 1921 W. North Ave., French pastry shop Sweet Thang is making a move. The owners lost their lease, so they're looking for a new venue in the neighborhood.

But have no fear because they're still whipping up the goodies at the new Roscoe Village location.

Another big closing is The Oak Tree, the long-time family favorite in the 900 Shops at 900 N. Michigan Ave. It's on its way out on Monday to make way for French-focused eatery Jacque's. After a few months of renovation, look for that to open in October under the same ownership.

Muy caliente concert venue comes to Wicker Park

Stella's Column has the deets on new concert venue/restaurant Fuego Mexican Grill/V Live that's debuting in the fall with a special performance by R&B sensation John Legend.

Ooh, ooh here it comes . . .


. . . it's the weekend:


Landmark Grill + Lounge kicks off a new seasonal series tonight. Passport to Summer should be a hit with the hip-stars for the complimentary 10 Cane Rum cocktails, small, creative bites by executive chef Benjamin Browning and fashion show. Event starts at 7:30pm with the cocktail party, then a fashion show with Akira happening at 10. No cover.

Celebrity favorite deejay Samantha Ronson returns for her monthly set at Crimson, and who knows who'll show up with her. Last time it was Lindsay Lohan, this time it could be ________! Ronson starts at 9pm, but get there early for the GQ Magazine/Discover Heineken Around the World reception. Comp Heineken 8-10pm. Free.

It's time for Highsight's annual Midsummer Eve of the Eve—the midpoint to their Eve of the Eve holiday bash. After-work party attracts young city-centric professionals and includes an open bar, food, live music and a silent auction. 7pm-midnight. Cafe Brauer, 2021 N. Stockton Dr. $80.

Get ready for a special preview of the 86 Collective featuring Echo. The artsy cocktail party will also have a special appearance by actress Amy Sedaris, passed appetizers and comp cocktails. 7-9pm. RSVP to for admission. 1101 W. Fulton Market

As part of the Gen Art Film Festival, AMC Pipers Alley (1608 N. Wells St.) will have the Chicago premiere of "Dark Streets," starring Bijou Phillips. A Q&A will immediately follow, then the after-party at Rockit Bar & Grill. Film at 7pm; party kicks off at 9:30pm. $15-$20.


It's time to Melt at Victor Hotel. Party includes James Lauer and Funky Couture holding it down with hot electronica dance; drink specials include $7 P.I.N.K. vodka cocktails. 9pm-2am. No cover.


There's never a bad time for bubbly, and Pops for Champagne gets the party started early with this afternoon tasting. Guests will have the opportunity to sample three cuvées from Iron Horse Vineyards, which cranks out exceptional craft-produced sparkling wines. 3-5pm. $15.

Head to Lush Wine and Spirits for the Three Floyds XI release party of some spectacular ales. They'll also be pouring three additional Floyds beers and grilling brats on the patio. 5-8pm. Free.

If you're putzing around Wicker Park on Saturday evening, make your way to Silver Room (1442 N. Milwaukee Ave.) for the Beat Boutique. This time they're featuring Kinky Notti, a local Neo-Soul group taking the city—and country—by storm. Also performing are Spqher, Sanction Music Group and DJ Sean Alverez. 7pm-midnight. Free.


After the Pride Parade, one of the best bets should be the Super Secret Makeout Party at Kinetic Playground (1113 W. Lawrence Ave., 773-769-5483). Hosted by Music 101, Beat Giants and Malibu Rum, the event includes performances by local spin stars Derrick Carter, Michael Serafini, Ron Carroll, Steve Melvage, Dark Wave Disco (Trancid, Mark Gertz, Greg Corner) and a special '80s set by Medusa Circle's Pier. 4pm-4am. Free.

Pastry chef cooks up healthy new tome for kids


Foodies know Gale Gand as the award-winning pastry chef behind Tru, and most recently as the consulting chef over at new Gold Coast cupcakery More.

But her most recent project is a far stretch from her sugary cookies, signature lollipops and fruity tarts. To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Wheat Foods Council, she's written Food for Thought from Parents to Children, a cookbook filled with fun, yet health-conscious, wheat-based recipes that families can prepare together. Just some of Gand's favorites, which she's made with her own kids, include Chocolate Hazelnut Cereal Haystacks, Wheat Berry Tuna Salad and Strawberry and Yogurt Wheat Crepes.

A portion of cookbook proceeds benefits Spoons Across America, a not-for-profit organization working to positively influence the eating habits of children through hands-on education. The cookbook is $3.50 and can be purchased here.