Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lights Out for Farmerie 58


Just got a tip from Urban Daddy that Farmerie 58 is no longer.

A call to the restaurant, which had a lot of drama in 2008, confirmed that the farm-centric, River North resto served its last meal last Saturday.

The only info 312DD could get for now is that there's a sign in the window stating a new concept is coming soon from Slick Design . . .

UPDATE: Slick Design, which was also behind Fuel's concept, is working on a 15,000-square-foot, two-level, clubby restaurant in the space that is expected to open this fall.

UPDATE TWO: Dish says owner Sandy Yu, who was also behind Farmerie 58, will turn the first level into a sushi bar (wasn't it already that?!), while the second floor will be reserved for "casual izakaya, i.e., Japanese small plates."

Good Girl Gone Bubbly . . .

"The Bubbly Bar" author Maria Hunt sharing bubbles with Hall & Oates legend John Oates. (Photo: Maria Hunt)

Chicago native, Northwestern grad and all-around fabulous gal Maria Hunt knows a thing or two about sparkling wines.

So much that she compiled all her knowledge in a fun new tome, The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion (Clarkson Potter/Random House; $17), that's certain to be a best seller as we enter the full-on entertaining holiday season.

In it, she's assembled more than 57 recipes that make 312DD thirsty just thinking about them. From the Classics (Champagne Cocktail, French 75, Kir Royale) to Bubbletinis to a number of muddled and mixed masterpieces, you'll find drinks for every occasion.

It's available in stores now, but we'd rather schmooze with the author when she hosts a very tony cocktail party/booksigning at the tres approps Pops for Champagne.

That's 6-8pm Thursday, Oct. 1. The $25 admission fee gets you a signed copy of the book, appetizers, and of course (!!!!!) bubbly!

RSVP to to reserve your space.

Using Rick's Name in Vain?!

(Photo: Rick Bayless)

Some allegedly disgruntled former employees of Goldberg General Contracting got out of pocket Wednesday morning when they decided to protest in front of Rick Bayless's brand-new XOCO restaurant, on the corner of Clark and Illinois streets.

Brandishing signs emblazoned with Rick "Payless" Bayless at the top, the workers strategically placed their grievances against the contracting company—which was hired to build out XOCO—at the bottom.

Was this a ploy to get attention from the media?!

Yes, said XOCO spokesperson Jennifer Fite, who also reps Bayless's award-winning restaurants Frontera Grill and Topolobampo.

"This protest was not against Rick at all," she said. "They're protesting against Goldberg General Contracting, but they're just using Rick's name to draw attention to their cause. None of these people are employees of Frontera Grill, Topolobampo or XOCO."

UPDATE: 312DD had Jeff Berry, project manager of Goldberg General Contracting, take a look at the new photo posted on GrubStreet, and he had only one comment to say: "Those guys have never worked for us. I have no idea who they are."