Chicago Sun-Times
Are you out in it? We're on it. All the street-level tunes, flicks, chow, cocktails and more from sources around the city ...

September 2009 Archives


You know what they say about doctors and apples, right? Well, you can get your daily fix of crunchy fruit goodness without leaving the Loop on Thursday, as Chicago's Downtown Farmstand (66 E.Randolph) is celebrating its one-year anniversary by offering free apples all day long (the market is open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.), according to The Stew.

While you're at the farmstand, we suggest you pick up a whole bag of locally sourced apples -- after all, you've gotta practice for the upcoming Bucktown Apple Pie Contest, which goes down Sunday, October 18 at Holstein Park (2200 N. Oakley) from 2-5 p.m. The event costs $15 to enter; if you're not the baking type, you can visit for free (each slice will cost ya, though). Just remember, that whole "apple a day" thing doesn't apply to pies.

Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just Opened: Life Line Tropical Island Cuisine
Take your island Rogers Park.

Weekly Treat: "Keep the cup" at Division Ale House
Five bucks gets you a Captain Morgan cocktail and a souvenir on Saturdays.

Off the Beaten Path: Miss Lee's Good Food
Down home cooking just like Grandma used to make near Washington Park.

Man We're Crazy About: Pho's Thai Cuisine
A friendly staff serves up fresh, filling fare in West Lakeview

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

3 Things We Love About ... Saturday

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

Northwestern University plays Big Ten rival Minnesota at 11 a.m. at Ryan Field, 1501 Central, Evanston. Tickets are $35-$50. Family fun starts at 9 a.m. with a pre-game “fan fest” called Wildcat Alley, just north of the stadium. Tail-gating for a more adult crowd, with jams and shuttles to the field, starts even earlier at the North Beach parking lot, Lincoln and Sheridan. Info:

This is the Randolph Street Market’s last weekend of the season. Come to Randolph between Ada and Ogden to find one-of-a-kind goods that include antique and designer clothing, jewelry, decor and more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5-$10 for the weekend; kids are free. Info: (312) 666-1200;

A pub crawl!
Dress as your favorite NFL player or coach and head to Harry Caray’s Tavern, 3551 N. Sheffield at 2 p.m. for Supercrawl, an eight-bar odyssey that will end at 10 p.m. at Murphy’s Bleachers, 3655 N. Sheffield. Draft specials, a Bears ticket raffle and other prizes are all part of the fun. Tickets $15; 21 and over. Info: (773) 478-3378;

Tell us your three favorite things about Saturday!

Love theater, but can't afford the tickets? You'll want to check out this site as soon as possible. It's the home of the Theatre Communications Group's Free Night of Theater, and it'll tell you which Chicago-area theaters will be offering tickets for nothing on particular nights throughout October (it's actually more than one Free Night, but who's quibbling?).

You can reserve tickets beginning September 29 for shows like "1001," "America: All Better!," "Boom," "St. Crispin's Day" and more. Need help choosing? Visit Centerstage for reviews and descriptions of every play.

At a time when we're still freaking out about the Swine Flu, you wouldn't think it would be a great idea to debut a creative performance in which the 17th-century Plague has a starring role. But local narrative chamber-music ensemble Fifth House likes to take risks, and its latest production, "Black Violet," a collaboration with graphic novelist Ezra Clayton Daniels, seems likely to reward audiences who do the same. The show will marry the ensemble's music with a corresponding narrative about the travails of a black cat (Violet) and white albino rat (Tibia) in Plague-ridden London (the story will be projected on slides displayed above the ensemble).

The first performances will occur on October 6 at the Chicago Cultural Center's Claudia Cassidy Theater (7 p.m., free) and October 8 at SPACE in Evanston (8 p.m., $8-$25). Subsequent shows at both venues will continue in February and April. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit the Fifth House website.

8 Bold Souls are among the many jazz acts performing on Saturday. (Photo: via

Hyde Park Jazz Festival
Saturday in Hyde Park; free
This 14-hour, multi-venue event is like a marathon for music fans, and, like any long race, the true rewards are near the finish line, with exciting performers like 8 Bold Souls, Garaj Mahal and Dee Alexander. Remember to pace yourself and stay hydrated as you travel to unlikely music spots like the International House of Chicago, Hyde Park Bank and Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center.


"Shut Up and Let Me Go" -- it's not just the name of The Ting Tings' hit single, it's also what you'll be saying to anyone who tries to keep you from going to the U.K. duo's exclusive performance on Friday night at Rockit Bar & Grill. The 7:30 p.m. show is free, just make sure to RSVP to to get on the list get there early because entry is on a first-come, first-served basis.

If they really won't let you go, maybe you can get away for Saturday night's Allstate Arena concert, headlined by Pink. Tickets are still available.

Good news, pizza and pasta lovers.The always amiable Marie's Liquors & Pizza, whose notable features include old-fashioned cracker crust, super-friendly staff and an attached liquor store that will send retail-price bottles right to your table with only a small corkage fee attached, is celebrating its annual Customer Appreciation Days this week. Today, all in-house diners get half-price pizza; tomorrow, it's half-price spaghetti and ravioli.

How can you succeed in the music business? No, that's not a trick question. You actually can do it, and Tom Silverman wants to help. In addition to being the founder of Tommy Boy Records (the one-time home of such luminaries as Queen Latifah, De La Soul and Naughty By Nature), Silverman created the New Music Seminar in New York City in 1980. Now, after a 15-year hiatus, he's bringing it back.

Before you scoff at the idea of a new problem being addressed by the old guard, take a look at the lineup of industry professionals slated to appear at the Park West on Tuesday, October 6. It includes representatives from the likes of Pitchfork,, Sound Exchange and many other big players, not to mention keynote speaker Michael Spiegelman of Yahoo! Music. Panel discussions on business strategy, new media marketing, the creative process and concert tours will make this a key event for both learning and networking -- which makes the $125 registration fee seem worth it (consider it payback for all the music you've downloaded illegally over the years).

The Seminar actually caps off a big weekend for music in Chicago, as the 5th Annual Global Mixx Retreat will go down from October 2-4 at various venues. The Retreat is a music and marketing gathering aimed at the urban music community, featuring DJs, label execs, managers, entertainment lawyers and more. This year's panels ("Marketing and Branding in the Digital Age," "Songwriting, Publishing & Licensing," "The Global DJ," "Radio Chronicles," "A&R Sessions" and "Music Meets Politics") will be augmented by several artist showcases and producer battles -- making this as much about entertainment as it is about education.

Things are sure to get splashy on Wednesday night.

"Peat can't be beat!"

"Smoke's no joke!"

"I love 15-year-olds!"

The Great Whisk(e)y Debate is coming up on Wednesday, and you can expect the participants to argue strongly for their causes (though we wouldn't recommend saying that last slogan too loudly).

The free event (7-9 p.m. at Faith & Whiskey in Lincoln Park) will explore the differences between American bourbon, Canadian whisky and Scotch whisk(e)y via the opinions of some well-soused experts. Complimentary samples will be provided to all attendees. RSVP to (773) 248-9119 or

3 Things We Love About ... Saturday

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Missing our bubbe!
It’s Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish new year), and while we can’t be with our grandmother this year, a sesame bagel and a schmear of lox spread from New York Bagel & Bialy, 7714 W. Touhy, Lincolnwood (847-677-9388), reminds us of bagels shared with her. A dozen bagels and a tub of lox spread will set you back $8.40 and $6.99, respectively. And did we mention it’s open 24 hours?

Up, up and away
Assume your secret identity and head over to the second Windy City Comicon at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted. The convention will feature comic books and collectibles for sale as well as panels and appearances by comic industry writers, artists and creators. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission: $10. Info:

Conjunction junction, we know your function
Scott Ferguson’s “School House Rock Live!” celebrates the catchy and informative animated musical shorts from the ’70s. Show time is 8 tonight at Mary’s Attic (above Hamburger Mary’s, 5400 N. Clark; 773-784-6969). Tickets are $10 — not a lot of cash, considering these jingles got us through eighth-grade grammar and 10th-grade civics.

Tell us your three favorite things about Saturday!

Dirty Sanchez and his pals are sure to put on an entertaining show on Friday.

Lucha Va Voom
8:30 p.m. Friday at Congress Theater, $25-$60
If you like your Mexican midget wrestling with a splash of skin (and who doesn't?) this event is for you. Top-ranked luchadoritos battle it out in the ring while scantily clad burlesque dancers provide entertainment between matches. Now that's what we call entertainment.

Make Cap'n Slappy and Ol' Chumbucket proud on Saturday. (via

Shiver me timbers! Is it International Talk Like a Pirate Day again already? Seems like just last month we were shouting "avast!" at unsuspecting children. No matter. Come this Saturday, September 19, we'll be ready to parrrrrty. To make sure you arrrre too, we've compiled a list of ways to celebrate like a true pirate. Use at your own risk:

  • Storm one of the many ships cruising the Chicago River and demand to see the "plank." If you can't afford the tour fee, or you're prone to seasickness, just do the same thing at the ship-shaped El Barco.
  • Heckle the parrotheads at the Landshark Lager Oyster Fest (sponsored by Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Brewing). Actually, we'd suggest this any year.
  • Try to count all the decorative birds at Lakeview's Parrots. "One! Two! Three! Fourrrrrrr!"
  • Run aimlessly through noted parrot-haven Hyde Park in full buccaneer gear, calling desperately for your lost pal "Arrrrchie."
  • Head to the Cubs game armed with some Willie Stargell quotes. See who gets the joke. (Make sure to stop into the Captain Morgan Club to order a noggin o' rum.)
  • Hit the barrrr. Actually, five of 'em. The Booty Pub Crawl (beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday, $20) starts at McGee's and moves on to Wrightwood Tap, Durkin's, Duffy's and Redmond's. A buffet, rum punch and domestic drafts are included in the price, and a free trolley will be your vessel for the night.
  • Learn how pirates really talked. The eye patch-obsessed Field Museum will be hosting all sorts of activities from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., including treasure hunts, sword-fighting performances and even an appearance from Navy Pier's mascot, Patch the Pirate Dog. Kids are encouraged to dress up - and we guess parents can, too. Free w/museum admission.

Got any other ideas? Let us know, matey!

We're guessing this guy could use a drink or two.

You've heard of having a shot and a beer -- how about a shot and a glass of wine? Before you get all flustered about flavor profiles, let's be clear: we're talking about a flu shot and a glass of wine. You can get both for $40 at the South Loop Wine Cellar tonight from 7-9 p.m. (Thanks, Gapers Block!)

The best part of the deal? Tomorrow, you can pretend that headache is part of the "side effects," instead of overindulgence.

Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just opened: Rustico Grill
This new Logan Square cafe is caliente!

Off the Beaten Path: Baladna
Get your kebabs hot and juicy at this Albany Park strip mall cafe.

Weekly Treat: Make it dart night at Driftwood
Uptown lounge has $1.50 PBR cans and free darts all night on Tuesdays.

Man We're Crazy About: Macondo
Colombian coffee and empanadas in Lakeview.

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

Thinking about going to Chicago Gourmet (September 26 and 27), but scared off by the $150 ticket price? For today only, you can snag a one-day ticket to the second-annual food-centric fest (featuring a who's who of local, national and international chefs) for just $89 courtesy of Groupon. We're guessing the event has worked out many of the kinks (e.g. too much wine, not enough food) from last year, so this is a foodie deal worth investigating.

You really shouldn't have.

You know how birthday parties for one-year-olds aren't really for the kids, but more an excuse for the parents to invite some friends over and show off?

Yeah, this is kinda like that. Prime 207L, the 2,500-pound Black Angus bull owned by David Burke's Primehouse, turns eight this year. To celebrate, the restaurant is...serving up a whole lotta beef. How thoughtful!

Once you get past the incongruence of tonight's celebration, you'll realize this is a pretty sweet deal. The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a "Meat and Greet" with chefs David Burke and Rick Gresh, featuring complimentary champagne cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Beginning at 7 p.m., guests can enjoy a four-course menu including choices of kobe beef sashimi, surf-and-turf dumplings and the "South Side" fillet, plus a variety of seasonal offerings like french onion soup ravioli and pan-roasted baby octopus. The event costs $55. Call (312) 660-6000 to reserve your spot.

Have you often thought about biking to work, but remain intimidated by the thought of maneuvering through the busy city streets? We don't blame you. But this weekend's New Belgium Urban Assault Ride might give you some added confidence.

The bike scavenger hunt sends two-person teams biking around the city to complete a range of tasks. We're talking bike jousting, human wheelbarrow, that sort of thing. The first team to complete all the stations wins two limited-edition cruiser bikes - perfect for riding to work. No more excuses!

It's $120/team, and kids 7 and up are welcome. See for details.

3 Things We Love About ... Saturday

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

The art of wine
Wine as both muse and subject matter is the focal point of “A Case for Wine” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan. The exhibit is included in general museum admission ($18 adults, $12 students and seniors, free for children under 14). Information: (312) 443-3600;

Happy anniversary
The Wine Discount Center, 1826 N. Elston, celebrates its 25th anniversary with a free wine tasting of some of their favorites from noon to 4 p.m. today. Info: (773) 489-3445;

Wine fest
More than 250 domestic and international wines will be available for tasting at the fifth annual Windy City Wine Festival from 3-10 p.m. in Daley Bicentennial Plaza in Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph. Admission is $30 at the gate. Info: (847) 382-1480;

Tell us your three favorite things about Saturday!

Twice in its 120-year history, esteemed British journal Granta Magazine has dedicated its entire publication to the literary output of a single city. The first featured metropolis was London, many years ago. The second? Chicago, circa now. To celebrate the release of its all-Chicago issue, the mag is hosting a special event at the Chicago Cultural Center at 6 p.m. on Monday with two of the 28 featured authors, Audrey Niffeneger (The Time Traveler's Wife) and Aleksander Hemon (The Lazarus Project). The free event will be hosted by Steve Edwards of Chicago Public Radio. A reception will be held afterward.

Want in? RSVP (soon!) to Emily Long or (312)742-0821.

If you miss your chance, consider heading to the Stop Smiling storefront (1371 N. Milwaukee) for a Granta-sponsored poetry reading on Tuesday, featuring local poets Anne Winters, Reginald Gibbons and Diego Saenz.

The Blacks reunite at Saturday's Bloodshot Beer-B-Q. (photo via

Bloodshot Records 15th Anniversary Beer-B-Q
noon Saturday at Hideout; $10
Ok, so there's no Hideout Block Party this year. Done crying yet? Good. Because the popular fest's replacement ain't so shabby: local (and nationally acclaimed) alt-country label Bloodshot Records will celebrate its 15th anniversary with an all-day "Beer-B-Q". The lineup is predictably strong and diverse; along with the more high-profile appearances from Alejandro Escovedo and The Waco Brothers, we're excited for the reunion of The Blacks, whose two albums rank, for us, among Bloodshot's finest releases to date. There will also be food from Honky Tonk Barbecue, an art show, kids' area and more. Sounds like a fest to us.

Wine, women and shoes: everyone likes at least one of these things. Come October 1, you can get them all at UNICEF's fourth annual fundraiser.

Held at the River East Art Center (435 E. Illinois), the $85/head event includes sales of designer shoes, handbags, jewelery and accessories from nationally known boutiques (including locals Akira, Lori's Shoes and Shirise), samples of fine wines (including Alexander Valley Vineyards and Two Angels), a raffle and a silent auction.

Proceeds will benefit UNICEF’s Accelerated Child Survival Initiative, a program that helps to reduce the number of children who die each day of preventable causes. Want tickets? Go here.


Got a mid-afternoon hunger pang going? If you can hold out 'til tomorrow, you can satisfy it for free. That's because Thursday is September Sampler Day; all Panera Bread locations will offer complimentary portions of menu items like the breakfast sandwich, BBQ chopped chicken salad, Napa almond chicken salad sandwich (just had this last week -- it's solid) and desserts including chocolate fudge brownies and macadamia nut blondies.

To take advantage, stop into your local cafe between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. We won't tell if you go twice.

The Chicago company of "Jersey Boys" has just annoucned the release of its final block of tickets; the show's two-year run at the Bank of America Theatre ends on January 10, 2010.

Tickets for the final month and a half of performances will go on sale on Friday, September 11, at 10 a.m.

The following table shows the lowest main-floor ticket price available for "Whose Live Anyway?" a live improv-comedy show featuring Ryan Stiles at the Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University on April 30, depending on date of purchase.

September 13: $49
September 14: $49
September 15: $15
September 16: $49
September 17: $49

Notice anything unusual?

In honor of its15th anniversary, the Center will offer 15 main-floor tickets to each of its shows for just $15 each at on September 15 beginning at 10:15 a.m. If you're one of the lucky ones to get the (up to 69 percent) discount, you can only buy two tickets. Hey, demand is high for shows like Jim Brickman (October 3), Jeff Corwin (October 17), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (January 23), Los Lobos (March 20), The Glenn Miller Orchestra (May 15) and more. See the full lineup for season on the website.

Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just opened: Old Town Social
Upscale neigborhood bar with an old-school feel.

Off the Beaten Path: Il Poggiolo
Take fine dining to the ‘burbs at this Italian spot in Hinsdale.

Weekly Treat: Support America at Tavish
Domestic drafts are just two bucks on Wednesday nights.

Man We're Crazy About: Yak-Zies Bar & Grill
After a two-year hiatus, the original Lakeview bar is better than ever.

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

Mexican wrestling.


Stand-up comedy.

If an event were to include even two of these things, we know you'd be scrambling for tickets. Next Friday's Lucha Va Voom event at the Congress Theater has all three (plus, possibly, midgets). The touring spectacle has been featured in numerous publications and on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," and included appearances from the likes of Jack Black, Robin Williams and Patton Oswalt...and now it's finally coming to Chicago.

Tickets range from $25-$60, but we have three pairs to give away! To be entered in the drawing, send a direct message with your namemessage with the words "Sign me up for the Lucha Va Voom ticket contest!" to Centerstage via Twitter by this Friday, September 11, at 3 p.m.

Need more motivation? Check out this promo video:

Trend alert! In the past week, we've told you about a Samsung-sponsored Jay-Z show and The Roots and Common's Hennessy-sponsored set at The Shine. Now comes news (via Time Out Chicago) that Kia Motors will host the latest of its free Soul Collective events in Chicago this weekend.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, guests will have the opportunity to test-drive the new Kia Soul, watch videos and, oh yeah, hear some music at the EnVent Event Space in West Town. Whether this trend of product-sponsored shows disturbs you or not, you've gotta admit, this looks like a pretty good lineup for a free event:

Friday, September 11 (noon-8 p.m.)
Plain White T's
DJ sets by Shala, Kid Color, MoneyPenny

Saturday, September 12 (noon-8 p.m.)
Times New Viking
DJ sets by Skyler, Kid Color, and Jubot of Yellow Fever

Sunday, September 13
(noon-4 p.m.)
The Walkmen (must test-drive a Kia Soul to get tickets)
DJ sets by Willy Joy, Black Holes

Things are always done bigger on Broadway, and "A Steady Rain" is no exception.

Over the past few years, several Chicago theater productions have made their way to Broadway. Ever wanted to follow them? Now's your chance.

Local PR firm Noreen Heron & Associates will launch its first Chicago-to-New York tour on the weekend of October 15-18. The package ($1,399-$1,999 per person depending on room occupancy) includes round-trip airfare, a room at the Sheraton Manhattan hotel, dinner at Tavern on the Green and tickets to see "A Steady Rain" (a Chicago original now starring Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman) and the Tony-Award-winning "Billy Elliott." Guests will also be able to talk with Ray Gaspard, producer of "A Steady Rain."

To book your trip, call Heron PR at (773) 969-5200 or visit the website.

Four courses for $250. Sound pricey? It won't sound so bad when you realize that the money's going to help kids with cancer.

Toque: An Evening with Chicago's Culinary Masters, a benefit for Children's Oncology Services, Inc. (COSI), goes down on September 10 at the Harold Washington Library Winter Garden, 400 S. State. Journalist and Tallgrass Beef founder Bill Kurtis emcees, while Michael Kornick (mk) acts as chef coordinator of a menu that also features Graham Elliot Bowles (Graham Elliot), Paul Kahan (Avec, Blackbird, The Publican), Art Smith (Table Fifty-Two), Chris Pandel (The Bristol), Randy Zweiban (Province), Mindy Segal (Hot Chocolate) and many more.

The fun starts at 6 p.m. with cocktails, a silent auction and featured chef's stations, followed by a sit-down dinner with wine pairings at 7:15 p.m. (there will also be a live auction at that time). For tickets and more details, visit

3 Things We Love About ... Saturday

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

A final summer fling
Danny Lemmon and the Squeeze milk the summer for one more bash when they take the Entertainment stage at 2 p.m. for the Last Fling at the Naperville Riverwalk, 100 W. Jackson, Naperville. Admission is free. Information: (630) 961-4143;

Time for one more staycation
Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, 2024 N. Hasted, offers $3 tapas from 4-6 p.m. and reminds us of when we went to Barcelona (back when we could afford to go on vacation).

Ultimately, the Dude abides
Gorilla Tango Theater, 1919 N. Milwaukee, presents “Rollin’ Outta Here Naked: A Big Lebowski Burlesque,” an evening of mature comedy, music and striptease themed around the Coen Brothers’ cult classic “The Big Lebowski,” at 10 tonight. Tickets: $15. Information: (773) 598-4549;

Tell us your three favorite things about Saturday!

Looking for a cheap drink downtown this weekend? You won't be able to do much better than the $4 glasses of wine at BIN 36. The deal's actually available all month, as part of the restaurant/bar's ongoing 10th anniversary celebration. If you're skeptical of the quantity and quality of the wine, consider this: BIN offered $5 glasses of wine in August, and were convinced to bring back the deal this month due to customer demand.

Already thinking about what October's $3 deal will be? While we don't know that, we can tell you that BIN 36 will be a good spot for wine lovers to check out early in the month. The annual Harvest Festival takes place October 4, offering a chance to blend your own custom wine using a Cabernet Sauvignon base and adding proportions of Merlot or Syrah. If you like your creation, you can purchase bottles of it for around $15 each. The event costs $36 and advance tickets can be purchased at

We may be competing with Rio for the 2016 Olympics, but that doesn't mean us Chicagoans should ignore Brazil's Independence Day (September 7) -- especially when it's a great chance to get some sweet food and drink. SushiSamba Rio is celebrating throughout this weekend with a special menu including braised pork belly a la pancha ($15), casquinha se siri (stuffed blue crab, palmito and acai vinaigrette, $17) and an Amazon roll (alligator tempura, smoked soy, chiles and bacon farofa, $18).

Come Sunday, guests can enjoy performances from samba dancers and live drummers at 7, 8 and 9 p.m., as well as sample the Sambista (Leblon Cachaca, Strawberry-Cinnamon "Conserva," sweet basil and pop rocks).

It's ok -- on Tuesday, you can go back to chanting "Let Friendship Shine."


African Festival of the Arts
All day Friday-Monday, Washington Park (51st and Cottage Grove), $5-10 or $30 for a weekend pass
The 20th installment of this immensely popular South Side festival finishes with a bang as the "Godfather of Funk" himself, George Clinton, headlines on Monday. Leading up to that, check out acts like The Pharcyde and Booker T. Jones (Saturday), Ahmad Jamaal and the Soukous Stars (Sunday). There's also a kids tent and a food court with traditional African fare.

The NFL season doesn’t start for another week. But if you’re already sick of football, take advantage of the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago “Getaway from the Gridiron Package,” available starting Sept. 13 (Bears opener) through Super Bowl Sunday. The $175 package includes a 55-minute massage, a spa lunch (read: no beer or brats), a pool/fitness club passport and a free make-up application session at Bloomingdale’s.

Might as well relax a bit. It’s gonna be a loooong season.

Make a reservation at (312) 649-2340.

Got a cause you're passionate about? Put your money (and your booty) where your mouth is. On September 17, Between Boutique Cafe & Lounge in Wicker Park hosts the inaugural Music is the Weapon -- a party for local non-profit organizations. DJ Limbs and Man-O-Wax will provide the hip-hop, funk and house beats, while guests mingle and learn about the featured organizations. Here's why your support is important: 15 percent of the bar proceeds (usually the DJ's cut) from the night will go directly to the organization that brings in the most people.

Participating organizations for the first installment include Connect 4ce, which combines hip-hop and youth development, En Masse, a collective of Chicago creatives and Original Change Project, founded last year at Rush University to help non-profits be more effective. Know of an NPO that'd be a great fit for future events? Contact DJ Limbs (aka Victor Carreon) at for more info -- participating orgs get a table/booth to hand out materials/make connections, plus free booze.

Sorry Mike, no smoking, even in your own restaurant.

Try this: eat a steak and baked potato, then go out and play a fast-paced game of basketball. Sounds tough, right? Apparently, that's exactly what soon-to-be Hall of Famer Michael Jordan did on the reg. He really is superhuman.

West Loop restaurant one sixtyblue (partly owned by MJ himself) celebrates His Airness's September 11 induction by offering the meal that the star supposedly ate before every contest. The Pre-Game Ritual Dinner includes a 14-ounce, prime aged Delmonico rib eye smothered with caramelized shallots and served with a baked potato and steamed broccoli for $39. Wash it all down with Jordan's favorite cocktail, a margarita with cranberry juice ($8).

The deal runs from September 7-12, so get there while it lasts. Just remember not to eat with your tongue hanging out -- and wait at least 30 minutes before dunking.


Apparently, next week is "free concerts with hip-hop legends week" in Chicago.

We already told you about the Samsung-sponsored Jay-Z show at the House of Blues on Tuesday; now Hennessy gets into the mix with an invitation-only event featuring Common and The Roots (who will also be serving as the house band) at The Shrine on Saturday, September 12. The show will also feature rockers Elevator Fight and Colin Munroe. Want to get on the list? WGCI 107.5FM is giving away tickets this week, and you can also enter to win spots on Hennessy's Facebook page and on

Make sure to keep an eye out for other upcoming shows on Centerstage's music calendar. Who knows, Nas could announce a free show at Sub-T before the week is out.

You could be this guy...if you really want to.

It's September...and we haven't seen the good side of 70 degrees in about a week. It's enough to make you want to move to Hawaii, right? Well, before you make such a rash decision (it's not like you can surf), test the waters with a slightly less taxing trip.

Tonight, Stone Lotus hosts its first-ever luau, complete with beach-themed drinks like the Bikini Martini (Absolut Citron, Malibu coconut rum, grenadine and pineapple juice, $7), Shark Bite (shot of Malibu coconut rum, grenadine, amaretto and orange juice, $7) and Big Kahuna (Malibu coconut rum, grenadine and Sprite, $20 for unlimited 24oz pours). If you're a high roller, you can get bottle service including a bottle each of Malibu and Absolut for $150. The lounge's waterfall will also be in full effect.

The fun starts at 10 p.m. with a private reception sponsored by, you guessed it, Malibu and Absolut. RSVP to for free entry before midnight. It's $20 without the RSVP. Oh, and make sure to dress in your finest grass skirt. You'll feel like you're miles away from Chicago...'til you have to catch a cab home, at least.

Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just opened: 33 Club
Jerry Kleiner's newest production comes to Old Town.

Off the Beaten Path: Tangerine
Contemporary breakfast fare in Naperville.

Weekly Treat: Girls Night at Aberdeen
Wicker Park place offers half-priced wine bottles and $6 salads tonight.

Man We're Crazy About: Square Bar & Grill
Avondale bar and grill proves it's hip to be square.

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

Share Your Photos



About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2009 is the previous archive.

October 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.