Richard Driehaus Lake Geneva Estate Takes $36 Million
Late financial executive Richard Driehaus’ lakefront “Glanworth Gardens,” a “baronial” thirteen-bedroom “getaway” on almost forty acres, has sold for $36 million, reports Crain’s.
Webster Place Unloaded At Loss
Webster Place, the shopping center at Clybourn and Webster that is under seventy percent occupied, sold in December at a loss of almost $25 million, Crain’s reports, taking $29.3 million after an investment of nearly $53 million about five years ago. Chicago-based Novak Construction bought the property. Chicago developer Mitch Goltz tells Crain’s that it is “a very well-located asset that needs to be in the hands of an owner that can reposition it. The bones are there. You just have to figure out a way to reactivate the pieces.” A past solution that never sought zoning clearance was the addition of a pair of twenty-story apartment towers.
Dismissing The Loop As A “Neighborhood”
“The Loop has taverns (even a dive bar, the Sky Ride Tap), a funeral parlor, bakeries and vegetable stores, but it doesn’t have a public elementary school or a ball field, and my guess is it doesn’t have many drunks, trollops or idiots, either. Drunks, trollops and idiots can’t afford to live in a place where the average one-bedroom apartment rents for $2,075 a month, and the average home sells for $351,000,” click-baits Chicago magazine. “Neither is the Loop a place where folks settle down, raise families, and pass property on to their children, the way they do in Chatham or Norwood Park.”
Garbage Pick-Up Cancelled Across Country
“The omicron variant is sickening so many sanitation workers around the U.S. that some cities have had to delay or suspend garbage or recycling pickup, angering residents shocked that governments can’t perform this most basic of functions,” reports AP. “The slowdowns have caused recycling bins full of Christmas gift boxes and wrapping paper to languish on Nashville curbs, trash bags to pile up on Philadelphia streets, and uncollected yard waste—grass clippings, leaves, branches—to block sidewalks in Atlanta.”
Half-Billion-Plus Fulton Market Project Mooted
Fulton Market’s biggest project yet has been proposed, a $600 million development with office and lab space, apartments, a hotel “and a big fitness center in the red-hot Fulton Market District,” reports Crain’s.
DINING & DRINKING
Gordon Ramsay Talks Hot Dog
“Listen, we’re the new kids on the block. If I put it on, I’d be criticized. If I left it off, I’ll still be criticized,” Gordon Ramsay tells Time Out Chicago. “So either way, I’m fucked. I decided to put mustard and ketchup on, that way you get the best of both worlds and that’s your choice. But listen, the dog is the most important thing, right? And then you have your own personal choice in terms of what you want to smear that with. I’m not a massive ketchup lover—if I do, I want spice or a little bit of heat. It’s a tough call, so I decided to go with both mustard and ketchup and become a little bit Switzerland in Chicago. Otherwise they’d have me with my balls upside down out on that Lake.”
Singing “Jucy Lucy”
Louise Chu surveys the Minneapolis lore of the “Juicy Lucy” at the Trib: “The Jucy Lucy may be the best burger in America. Also known as the Juicy Lucy, the cheese-stuffed burger was invented in Minneapolis nearly seventy years ago… What’s most surprisingly overlooked with the Jucy Lucy and Juicy Lucy conversations focused on cheese has been the absolute importance of fried onions on the burger. At Matt’s Bar you can watch the transformation of dehydrated onions into bits of blackened gems on the tiny grill in front. By the way, they cook Jucys for seven-and-a-half minutes on each side. Your burger will take about twenty minutes from the time you order until a paper-wrapped package hits your table. ‘We offer fried onions, which is the natural way of having our burger… But we also offer raw onion and a slice or two or three of dill pickle. Simple, plain, but very, very delicious.'”
An Ode To Lost Lake
Right before its Saturday shuttering, Matt Buetsch at LoganSquarist had thoughts about Lost Lake: “When management ultimately decided the time was right to reopen last fall, they did so with a variety of changes, the most notable being the eschewing of the phrase and label of ‘tiki.’ ‘It’s become clear that tiki culture cannot be divorced from cultural appropriation and colonialism, which is the reason for the shift to ‘tropical,’ spokesperson Carrie Sloan wrote.” The bar also applied “a no-tip policy after reopening. A note on the new menu explained that traditional tipping was ‘shown to reflect and amplify racial inequities, contribute to racial profiling, and encourage sexual harassment.’ … The all-inclusive price allowed management to provide more consistent wages and better benefits for their staff.” Block Club Chicago: “Despite the cold and snow, dozens lined up outside Lost Lake Friday evening to get to-go tropical cocktails and merch, and drink daiquiris under the pink neon lights one last time. The line stretched down Diversey Avenue almost to Troy Street, with nearly each person walking away with a bag full of cocktails and goodies like glassware and bottles of rum hand-selected by the Lost Lake’s founder Paul McGee.”
“Why Restaurants Are So F—–, Part II”
Restaurateur Joelle Parenteau continues her early pandemic online hit: “Every time we place an order, it’s basically a gamble to guess what’s sold out. One week it’s tofu, the next it’s tomatoes, then we actually get all the ingredients, but no bowls to put them in… we’re constantly scrambling. I mean, even Heinz ran out of ketchup… Even Chick-fil-A is struggling — and they’ve got God on their side! Do you know how much it sucks to have to tell you we don’t have what you want? … All of this trickles down. Sysco, one of the biggest food distributors, showed food inflation of 10.2% on their quarterly report. So what do they do? Pass it down to us of course. Like a game of hot potato.”
Downers Grove Restaurant Cooper’s Hawk Says It’s Worth A Billion Dollars
“Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, a casual-dining chain and wine club backed by Ares Management Corp., is planning a U.S. initial public offering this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The Downers Grove, Illinois-based restaurant is targeting a valuation of more than $1 billion,” evaluates Bloomberg. “The company is working with advisers including Bank of America Corp., Jefferies Financial Group Inc. and Piper Sandler Cos. on the listing… Founded in 2005, Cooper’s Hawk operates what it calls an upscale-casual dining restaurant chain, according to its website. It also runs a wine club that has almost 350,000 members and is growing at an annual rate of twenty-five percent, the company has said.”
Inside River West’s Urban Market
Eater Chicago takes the tour of the family-owned store: “In River West, a neighborhood with few options for food shopping, locals have long called for an independent grocery store with fresh meat and produce and prepared meals. Their wish is now answered with the debut of Urban Market, a family-owned grocery emporium at 1001 West Chicago [at Milwaukee and Ogden]. At 40,000 square feet, Urban Market is designed to address the latest in customer concerns [with] roomy, seven-foot wide aisles to allow for social distancing; a produce section that’s more than sixty-percent organic; a café with contact-free purchasing for made-to-order food; and even biodegradable plastic bags, which co-owners Christina Palivos and Maria Dernis say they’re the first in the state to offer. Palivos and Dernis have also made an effort to highlight locally-owned purveyors of meat, seafood, deli items, and vegan products, and have established partnerships with more than 200 Chicago-area businesses.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Urkel As Introduction To Black America
“As a young boy in Nigeria, I was introduced to aspirational and loyal Black American friend groups through shows like ‘Living Single,’ ‘Martin,’ and ‘In the House.’ Heartwarming Black family shows such as ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ taught me about not having to fit in, yet still making a difference,” writes Demilade Phillips at the Triibe. “The first Black American show I remember came into my life long before I’d even seen an episode. Whenever I made a mistake as a kid growing up in Nigeria, my dad would belt out Urkel’s one-liner ‘Did I do that?’ to ease my babyish guilt. And in high school, Urkel’s nerdy style became the trend for young Nigerian men. In the early 2000s, it was nothing to see us dressed in the suspenders and big glasses combo. We were even begging our parents to buy Urkel’s attire so we could fit in at school.”
Regal Cinemas’ Parent Company Reports Positive Cash Flow
Cineworld, “The world’s second largest exhibitor, which owns Regal in the U.S.,” reports Deadline, says “box office and concession revenues saw significant growth across the second half of 2021.”
Poetry Foundation Adds Staff
The Poetry Foundation has added staff members and new reviewers for Harriet Books. “This marks the first update in a year of exciting new changes at the Foundation,” the foundation announces. The three new hires are Keri Cascio as technology director; Allison Claybon, vice president of marketing and communications; and Christine Jordan, guest experience manager. More here.
Chicago Sportscaster Of Half-Century Les Grobstein Was Sixty-Nine
“Les Grobstein, a hometown original whose career as a Chicago radio sportscaster spanned more than fifty years, was known as a hard-working reporter with a phenomenal memory and a loyal following among night owls,” reports Rob Feder. “During his ten-year run as sports director of WLS 890-AM (where he became a favorite foil of Larry Lujack, Steve Dahl and Fred Winston), Grobstein captured for posterity an infamous locker-room tirade by Chicago Cubs manager Lee Elia in 1983.” (That obscene aria is here.) Paul Sullivan profiles the Chicago “sports encyclopedia” at the Trib. The Sun-Times: “‘The Grobber’… began working overnights at The Score in 2009, but his history in Chicago sports media goes back much farther. He was a walking encyclopedia of local sports knowledge with a steel trap of a memory for the smallest detail. ‘People talk about eating, living, breathing sports. He was married to this life, and nothing could come between them,’ said longtime Chicago radio voice George Ofman. ‘He was like a savant. I sat next to him in press boxes for well over thirty years. Les was funny without being funny. He was everybody’s friend for those people who listened.'”
Black Ensemble Theater Announces Season
Black Ensemble Theater has dubbed its 2022 offerings as “Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings,” including four world premiere musicals “showcasing the power of healing, each featuring different journeys and musical genres including gospel, spiritual, soul, jazz, hip-hop, blues and the sounds of the Harlem Renaissance,” the group says in a release. Mainstage shows will run ninety minutes without an intermission, and there will be no food or drinks. “We are in a time of challenges from which we need a healing—and healing is what the 2022 Four Play Season of Excellence is all about,” Black Ensemble Theater founder and CEO Jackie Taylor says in the release. “We proclaim that through these outstanding plays, the spirit of the music, the hope and faith experienced thru our stories—we proclaim that Black Ensemble Theater is in the healing business!” All performances are at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 North Clark. Details here.
Jackalope Postpones “Enough To Let The Light In” Indefinitely
Jackalope Theatre Company has indefinitely postponed their upcoming production of “Enough to Let the Light In,” set to begin performances in February. “With the safety of their artists and audiences in mind, Jackalope has decided to close the rehearsal process and ticket sales at this time.” More here.
Times Optimistic Toward Broadway
“Until the pandemic, the industry had been enjoying a sustained boom, fueled by a rebound in the popularity of musicals and by New York’s gargantuan growth as a tourist destination. And this downturn might not last long,” the New York Times forecasts.
ARTS & CULTURE
Charting Black Migration From Big Cities
“New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are becoming less Black as African Americans leave the cities that drew their elders,” reports the Washington Post. “The percentage of Black Americans who live in the South has been increasing since 1990, and the biggest gains have been in the region’s large urban areas, according to census data… Meanwhile, the Black population shrank in a number of Northern and Western cities. For the second census in a row, Chicago and its suburbs lost Black population, and has decreased by 130,000 since 1990. In Michigan, both the Detroit and Flint metropolitan areas lost Black population in absolute terms. The metropolitan areas of St. Louis, Cleveland and Milwaukee recorded their first declines in Black population since African Americans started arriving in large numbers during the Great Migration. This trend extended far beyond the Midwest. Metro New York recorded its second consecutive loss in Black population, losing about 110,000 Black residents since 2000.”
Another Chicago Postmaster Departs
Chicago’s latest postmaster has left abruptly after seven months, reports the Sun-Times. “Eddie Morgan, who took over the position in June, returned to his previous job as postmaster in Kansas City, Missouri, January 10.” A spokesman for Representative Bobby Rush “said Morgan’s departure came as a surprise, but they noticed a slight uptick in mail complaints” in the days after he left the job.
Losing Bears Don’t Lose At Bank
“Sports economists say a bad season on the field for NFL teams is usually belied by a good one at the bank,” reports the Trib. “No matter how poorly they play, teams get a share of the ocean of revenue generated by TV deals and national sponsorships.”
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