Wednesday, February 26, 2014

City To Crack Down On St. Patrick's Day Festivities

The line outside of Celtic Crossings during a past St. Patrick's Day party. (Photo: Celtic Crossings)

A few Chicago bar owners tell 312DD that the city's aiming to tame the rowdy St. Patrick's Day crowds by issuing some exorbitant fines for those infamous "all-you-can-drink" packages.

"It started with New Year's Eve and all the '$100 open bar' ads," says one tavern owner, who asked to remain anonymous. "No on-site enforcement; the city just mailed you court hearing dates and fines of $3,500. Then they decreased them to $3,000."

He adds that the city liquor commission "reinterpreted" the happy hour law to suit their needs. "If an advertisement does not state how many drinks are included, they assume it's unlimited and are ticketing them."

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Nico Osteria Named One of GQ's '25 Most Outstanding Restaurants of 2014'

Nico's cocktail lounge (Photo: One Off Hospitality)

What an achievement in two months!

GQ just released Alan Richman's annual best new restaurant guide and One Off Hospitality's Nico Osteria was the only Chicago eatery to make the cut.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Brendan Sodikoff Takes Over Waldorf Astoria Dining, Plus More Red-Hot Dining & Drinking News

Photo via the Chicago Tribune

The man just doesn't stop.

Now the tireless restaurateur behind such cult favorites as Au Cheval, Bavette's and the newly opened Green Street Meats is taking over the dining program at the Waldorf Astoria, according to Eater Chicago:

"(Brendan) Sodikoff will reconcept Balsan, but details on what it will become are currently unavailable. His company will also handle Bernard's Bar, in-room dining and special events, putting his design stamp on the hotel as a whole."

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I'm Gushing & Crushing Over These Fabulous Things In February And You Should Too

(Photo: Protein Bar)

I'm pretty serious about this, and it makes up for all this horrible weather we've been experiencing lately.

If you can hold off until Feb. 15, you'll get a chance to witness one of the most spectacular Chicago restaurant openings I've heard about in a long time. It's not as though the new Lincoln Park location for Protein Bar is even all that fancy, it's what owner Matt Matros is doing for the public that's got me all geeked.

On opening day, the store will first host a sunrise yoga class at 6am, then the doors officially open at 11am when the first 100 customers will receive $500 gift cards (Yes, that is $50,000 in gift cards).

One public relations veteran exclaimed about this promotion: "I have done a lot of openings and anniversary PR, including the Potbelly's 20th anniversary free giveaways, but this is one of the best I have heard of in a long time. It's good idea for new and repeat diners; and good for the hood."

Something tells me that folks will be lining up overnight for this opportunity, so don't forget to set your alarm clocks!

Monday, February 3, 2014

'Balls' Was Secret Password To Get Into 'Chicago Fire' Party Where Lady Gaga Was Guest


And once word got out, the party wasn't so exclusive anymore, according to my Ultimate Insider.

My source was going for the free cocktails, so it was only until he arrived at Chop Shop on Saturday did he find out that it was also a birthday party for three of the cast members of "Chicago Fire," which airs on NBC.