Hindman Promotes Alyssa D. Quinlan To CEO
Hindman, the national fine art auction house, has promoted Alyssa D. Quinlan to the role of chief executive officer. “She steps into the leadership role after three highly successful years as chief business development officer,” the company relays, “a period in which Hindman increased annual sales by forty-three-percent. In 2022, the company recorded its highest-ever annual sales total and expanded its presence to New York, its sixteenth U. S. location. Quinlan brings twenty-five years of diversified experience in private banking, wealth management, and fine art appraisals. Early in her career she led business development at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, before moving on to leadership roles at J.P. Morgan Private Bank and Gurr Johns, the global art advisory and appraisal firm. She returned to the auction sector in 2019, joining a relaunched Hindman, created from the merger of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers and Cowan’s Auctions. She is the second woman to serve as Hindman’s CEO, following her mentor Ms. Hindman, who broke barriers for women in the industry when she founded the Chicago-based auction house forty years ago. Jay Krehbiel, co-chairman and CEO of Hindman since 2018, appointed Quinlan as his successor. He moves into a new role as executive chairman, where he will continue to advise and support the company’s growth strategy, technology initiatives, and recruitment efforts in key markets.”
Future Of Grant Park Virtual Meeting On Wednesday
“Chicago’s Front Yard Reimagined” is the aim of a virtual meeting set for Wednesday night at 6:30pm, posts the Grant Park Advisory Council on Facebook. The design process of the Grant Park Framework Plan will be discussed.
Central Logan Square May Get Special Zoning
“City officials and local leaders want to implement a special zoning designation for a stretch of Logan Square’s Milwaukee Avenue that would give neighbors more say in how the area is developed,” reports Block Club. “Milwaukee Avenue between Western and Central Park avenues would become a ‘special character overlay district’ under the plan driven by the Department of Planning and Development and local alderpeople.”
TIF Funding Of $13 Million For Redeveloping Pioneer Trust In Humboldt Park
The Community Development Commission has approved $13 million in TIF funding toward the restoration and redevelopment of the 1925 Pioneer Trust and Savings Bank Building at 4000 West North, reports Urbanize Chicago. “Located at the corner of West North and North Pulaski, the bank building is part of a larger redevelopment by Park Row Development [with] construction of a new nine-story building on adjacent vacant lots to the north.” The development will be “a mix of office and incubator spaces. JGMA, the architect for the project, will move its offices into the upper floors of the bank building, while BTEC and Arquitectos will lease the remaining space. BTEC intends to focus on workforce management and community business incubation, while Arquitectos would use the space as their first headquarters to assist local Latino design and engineering firms [build] businesses. A community café and restaurant will occupy the ground floor of the annex building.”
Committee On Design Considers Forty-One-Story West Loop Tower
The Committee on Design will meet virtually on Wednesday, January 11, with the public session of the meeting beginning at 2:30pm. Information of the livestream and Zoom session is here. “725 West Randolph is a proposed 700-foot tall, forty-one-story commercial building comprising approximately 931,000 square feet of office space, 17,000 square feet of retail food and beverage space, a 48,000-square-foot fitness club and 260 parking spaces. The project will provide approximately 11,500 square feet of public open space along West Randolph and West Washington and approximately 40,000 square feet of outdoor amenity spaces and terraces for tenants. The building is primarily proposed to be constructed with a vision glass and aluminum window system with metal fins and frames.” The 700-foot-tall West Loop office tower could provide space for Chase, which is rumored to be considering a move from their present Loop digs. The sixty-one-page draft presentation is here. Crain’s has a rendering of the forty-one-story mass here.
DINING & DRINKING
Chef Bobby Geetha Partners with Bar Goa
Bar Goa, River North’s Indian gastropub and cocktail bar, has partnered with Chef Bobby Geetha as the restaurant’s executive chef and culinary consultant. He specializes in taking traditional Indian cuisine and combining it with international techniques and local ingredients to elevate Indian menu offerings. Geetha was drawn to Bar Goa as one of the few restaurants in the U. S. to serve Goan cuisine, representative of the culture along India’s sunny southwest coast. “I like to work around nature, and I like to source the best ingredients Chicago can produce into Bar Goa’s menu,” Geetha says in a release. “What we’ll end up with is Indian tapas with American ingredients, and that’s the target.” Geetha is the author of five cookbooks in his “Fine Dining Indian” culinary series and the founder of the website Fine Dining Indian, dedicated to the next generation of Indian cuisine. More on Bar Goa here.
Decades Of “Sweat Equity” Built George Trois’ Fonda
“Chef Michael Lachowicz is widely acclaimed as one of the deans of French cuisine in Chicagoland, with his two Winnetka restaurants Aboyer and George Trois regularly making best-of lists.” But his latest venture is into Mexican food. “I’m not Mexican at all,” Lachowicz tells Anthony Todd at Chicago magazine. “It would be disrespectful of me to pretend that I am—it’s one thing if you’re Rick Bayless and you immersed yourself in Mexican cuisine for decades. I did that with French food; I’m not going to do that again.” His newest, in Evanston, Fonda, “is a project designed and run by three of Lachowicz’s long-time staff, all of whom are of Mexican descent. Carlos Cahue, the current sous chef at Aboyer, will be running the kitchen, along with Miguel Escobar (a longtime chef at George Trois) and Sergio Angel (who has run Lachowicz’s wine program for years). Lachowicz describes Fonda as a logical next step for these three, who have become experts in their field over many years working at George Trois. ‘This is sweat equity for dealing with my crazy for the last twenty years. They were good enough to stick around when I was sometimes less than savory.'”
Rock Bottom Brewery Closes
“After more than twenty years downtown, Rock Bottom Brewery suddenly closed Sunday night without explanation,” reports Block Club Chicago. “Reached by phone, general manager Jon Jones said he could not say why the restaurant closed. ‘We just decided to close,’ Jones said.” Rock Bottom closed locations in Milwaukee and Wisconsin late last year.
Noma No Mo’
Some consider Noma the world’s best restaurant, but “the Copenhagen chef René Redzepi says fine dining at the highest level, with its grueling hours and intense workplace culture, has hit a breaking point: ‘It’s unsustainable,'” he tells The New York Times. The restaurant will close its doors in 2024 (but will remain a laboratory for culinary experimentation). “The decision comes as Noma and many other elite restaurants are facing scrutiny of their treatment of the workers, many of them paid poorly or not at all, who produce and serve these exquisite dishes. The style of fine dining that Noma helped create and promote around the globe—wildly innovative, labor-intensive and vastly expensive—may be undergoing a sustainability crisis.” “We have to completely rethink the industry,” Redzepi said. “This is simply too hard, and we have to work in a different way.” Times food critic Pete Wells offers a mid-postmortem: “I don’t think any restaurant came up with so many ideas that were shoplifted by so many other places in so many other cities quite so quickly. Noma invented a lot of bits, and they got around. At times these bits could look like mannerisms in search of a manner.”
Tribal Nations Reintroducing Bison In Wisconsin
“More bison are returning to Wisconsin to be managed by tribal nations,” reports the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “The Menominee Nation this winter received ten bison through a partnership among the South Dakota-based Intertribal Buffalo Council, The Nature Conservancy in Illinois and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ‘Right now, the whole idea for us is to reintroduce ourselves to the bison,’ said Guy Reiter, whose Menominee name is Anahkwet and is the executive director of the Menominee community organization Menikanaehkem, Inc. ‘They played a role at one time in our culture.’ The bison… have about sixty-six acres to roam between pastures on the Menominee reservation… Much of that land had once been a non-tribal farm that used chemicals… Under tribal management, a restoration process that includes the Indigenous technique of prescribed burning is bringing back native grass for the bison to feed on.”
“True-Blue South Sider,” Restaurateur Michael Galderio, Was Sixty-Nine
Michael A. Galderio, “a lifelong Southland resident and longtime restaurateur, is being remembered for his generosity, passion for food and love of family,” reports the Daily Southtown in a tender obituary. “He was a partner in Matteson’s Ciao Ristorante from the early to mid-90s. He also owned and operated M&M Paving in the 1990s. In 1997, he opened Homewood’s Balagio on Ridge Road and Martin Avenue. In 2008, he moved it to 175th Street and Dixie Highway.” Says his wife, “To Mike, food is love.”
Maple & Ash Co-Founders Settle Lawsuit
“The co-founders of Gold Coast steakhouse Maple & Ash have settled their ten-month-long court battle and plan to divvy up their nationwide restaurant portfolio,” reports Crain’s.
Winter Brew 2023 Set For Lincoln Square Ravenswood
The Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce has announced dates for Winter Brew 2023, with the eleventh annual craft beer extravaganza heading outside for a second year as Chicago’s only outdoor craft beer street festival. Winter Brew is Chicago’s first winter street festival, located in the Lincoln Square neighborhood along Lincoln Avenue. Over two dozen local craft beers will be available to taste, plus cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages featuring local distillers. More here.
FILM & TELEVISION
Tips From Sleep Experts On How To Stay Awake Streaming
Eight tips from WIRED on not snoozing through streaming, including “Save the Hard Drinks for Another Night” and “Instead of Takeout, Try Charcuterie for Dinner.”
Steve James On “A Compassionate Spy” And Participant Involvement
California awards-consideration one-stop-shopping fest, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, is programming Steve James’ “A Compassionate Spy” tonight, writes Lauren Wissot at Filmmaker magazine. James used re-creations, as well as dealing with subjects who were, mostly, dead, as the events took place seventy years ago, with a young physicist who was part of the Manhattan Project. “How exactly does a filmmaker shape a documentary about a controversial figure around a protagonist wearing a pair of permanently rose-colored glasses?” wrote James in a director’s statement. But, as is his custom, he involved figures where he could. “I never hand over editorial control to main participants, but I always involve them. They deserve that agency, given that they have entrusted me to tell their story. The films always get better as a result of this process, even when I refuse to make certain changes that they want. I’m happy to report that, across the board, every participant in the film is very pleased with the final cut. I love when that happens.”
Bridge Acquires StepSister Press
Bridge has acquired Chicago-based StepSister Press as an imprint of Bridge Books. Founder Annie Heckman has joined the Bridge board of directors and will chair the organization’s publications committee. Bridge will also continue publication of the annual journal of the Museum and Exhibition Studies graduate program at the University of Illinois Chicago under the leadership of professor Therese Maura Quinn. More here.
Apple Introduces AI Audiobooks; Production Of January 6 Audiobook “Akin To The Manhattan Project”
“Audiobooks narrated by a text-to-speech AI are now available via Apple’s Books service,” reports The Verge, “in a move with potentially huge implications for the multi-billion dollar audiobook industry. Apple describes the… ‘digital narration’ feature on its website as making ‘the creation of audiobooks more accessible’… by reducing ‘the cost and complexity’ of producing them for authors and publishers… The feature is initially only available for romance and fiction books, where [the site] lists two available digital voices: Madison and Jackson. (Two more voices, Helena and Mitchell, are on the way for nonfiction books).”
By contrast, an audiobook of “The January 6th Report” was a logistical juggernaut, reports the Washington Post: “Nine narrators and nine post-production editors helped create the twenty-three-hour audiobook less than a week after the committee released its findings… Producing an audio version of that 800-page report about the 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol was akin to the Manhattan Project… Instead of using one postproduction editor, Macmillan used nine, working simultaneously. They received the incoming audio files, checked for errors and quality control, and finalized each part. By 10:30am on Christmas Eve — a mere thirty-six hours after the report was released—the recording was done. But no single person had yet listened to the entire twenty-three hours. There simply wasn’t time. ‘It was a collective effort,’ Guy Oldfield, the head of production at Macmillan Audio, says. ‘I just had to trust the process.'” (The complete text of the report is here.)
Hideout Reopens Today
Just a bar today: The Hideout announces its reopening on Instagram. “We’re still working things out, and for a bit here we’ll just be a bar. $4 drafts, daily dealer’s choice specials at the bar. When there isn’t a show, we’ll be open 5-10pm on Tuesday & Wednesday, 5-11pm on Thursday & Friday, and 6pm-midnight on Saturday. Drink for cheap, show your bartender some love, check the site for shows as they’re added. We miss you.” Part of a statement on the decision to reopen from the club’s owners: “In the last few months, we’ve taken a long look at who we are, what we’re doing, and what the Hideout is all about. It has been intense and emotional… It’s on us to make sure everyone feels welcome at the Hideout, especially our staff. We believe that everyone—owners, staff, performers, or patrons–who walks through our doors must treat each other with respect and decency… We heard over and over just how important the Hideout is to so many people… Over the past two months, our human resources advisor, an expert in workplace culture and diversity, equity, and inclusion, interviewed all Hideout staff and owners to find out what’s working and what isn’t.” A diversity, equity and inclusion statement has been adopted, and is on their website here. “Now, our job is to put these ideas into action. We are not perfect, we are a work in progress. But we are absolutely committed to trying to do what is right. And we know the Hideout community will hold us accountable as we move forward.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Illinois Holocaust Museum Names Bernard Cherkasov As CEO
The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center has named Bernard Cherkasov as the museum’s new CEO. “Cherkasov joins the Museum during an incredible moment in its history. In 2022, the Museum saw record-high attendance and gained international attention for its groundbreaking virtual reality exhibition, leadership combating antisemitism, and speaking out for justice,” the museum relays. “When he was thirteen years old, Cherkasov and his family fled antisemitism and ethnic violence in his native Azerbaijan and came to the United States as refugees.” Cherkasov “believes that education and community engagement are key to inspiring young people and the public at large to take a stand against antisemitism, racism, and all other forms of hate-fueled violence, genocide, and atrocity today,” says Mitchell Feiger, chair of the Museum’s board of trustees.
Oregon An Example To Further Increase Illinois Voter Participation?
“Oregon had the nation’s highest turnout rate in the November 2022 election,” reports Oregon Public Broadcasting. “Oregon has had a relatively high turnout rate since the state implemented its pioneering vote-by-mail system twenty-five years ago… The numbers have really ramped up since Oregon’s motor voter law went into effect in 2015. That law automatically registers people to vote when they get a driver’s license.”
Illinois Marijuana Sales Cross $1.5 Billion
“Illinois marijuana sales reached a record high of more than $1.5 billion in 2022—and this past December marked the strongest sales month to date,” reports Marijuana Moment. “When I signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act into law in 2019, we set out on an ambitious goal: to create the most equitable and economically prosperous cannabis industry in the nation,” Governor Pritzker said in a press release. “Our data from 2022 shows that we are well on our way towards making that idea a reality.”
“The new figures don’t include medical cannabis sales, which are tracked separately by a different agency. Officials also touted the fact that Illinois currently has 113 retail dispensaries operating in the state, including three social equity licensees that were approved last year after a protracted effort by the administration to start fulfilling equity goals.”
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