Chicago restaurants – Cucumber Chef Wed, 22 Sep 2021 05:59:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Chicago restaurants – Cucumber Chef 32 32 The heart of Hellenism in the city of winds Wed, 22 Sep 2021 05:59:54 +0000

Greek city of Chicago
Chicago’s Greek Quarter. credit: Greek journalist

Chicago’s Greek Quarter, the dining and nightlife district of the city’s Near West Side, is the undisputed cultural hub of the third largest population of Greeks living in the United States.

Greektown bars and restaurants, serving some of the best Greek food in the country, can be found roughly between Van Buren and Madison streets along Halsted Street, west of the loop.

Grecian Delight supports Greece

It is estimated that approximately 150,000 people of Greek descent live in the greater Chicago area. The language is still heard in the neighborhood, and the community comes out in full ethnic pride during the annual Greek Independence Day parade, the “Taste of Greece” festival and days surrounding Greek Easter.

The Hellenic National Museum, the renowned center of Greco-American history, is also located in the area.

Konstantinos Koutsogiorgas, owner of the “Greek Islands” restaurant, which opened in 1971, says Greektown is becoming Chicago’s new “red light district”.

Konstantinos Koutsogiorgas
Konstantinos Koutsogiorgas. Credit: Greek journalist

“We started in a small room where we had around 30 loyal customers a day. We have gradually grown, moved to a bigger location, and now we serve around 1,000 customers every day, ”Koutsogiorgas says with legitimate pride.

From the Greek city of Chicago to Greece

“My body is here in Chicago, but by soul my spirit is in Greece,” he told the Greek journalist in an interview.

The first Greeks from Chicago arrived as captains of ships in the 1840s. After deciding to settle ashore, they began working as food hawkers and, by natural progression, quickly became restaurateurs.

By the turn of the century, the Greek population was concentrated around the areas of Harrison, Blue Island and Halsted, originally known as Deltaîbut, later renamed “Greektown”. At the time, this was where the entire Greek community lived, where its doctors, lawyers and traders were based.

During the 1960s, Greektown was moved by the Eisenhower Freeway and the University of Illinois at Chicago, forcing residents and businesses to move north a few blocks. Most Greeks at this time were also rising into the middle class and moving to the suburbs. But their businesses, especially in the food industry, have remained rooted in Greektown.

Greek city of Chicago
Maria Melidis. Credit: Greek Repoter

“Chicago’s second and third generation Greeks actually spread out of town,” says Maria Melidis, owner of “Artopolis,” a Greek delicatessen that opened in 2000.

The Greek staple, the gyroscope, as well as saganaki (fried cheese, presented flambé style at the table) were first introduced in the United States in Chicago’s Greek Quarter in 1968. Most restaurants and companies currently operating there were opened from 1970 to 1990, and the “Taste of Greece” summer festival has become a tradition.

John Theoharis, owner of the 9 Muses bar, says his business “has become an institution in Chicago. It is a place where many generations of Greeks have come, met, got married.

His son, Stathis Theoharis, bartender, “carries on the legacy of Greektown,” says his father, who adds that the younger generation of Greeks are turning to their Greek culture again.

“They want to support Greek businesses. They come, they dance traditional Greek dances like the Kalamatianos, they dance on bars. Little by little, they are turning to Greek culture, ”he explains.

“Their roots are here. Knowing that they have a place where you are not completely Americanized, Ground Zero is there, ”adds Theoharis.

]]> 0 Afternoon edition: September 21, 2021 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 20:00:00 +0000

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest Chicago news you need to know. This is an approximately 5 minute read that will educate you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be mostly cloudy with a high of nearly 66 degrees and gusts of up to 20 mph. It will be mostly cloudy this evening with a low around 58 and 40% chance of showers. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high of near 64 and also a 40% chance of showers.

Top story

Benet Academy backs off and offers gay woman coaching job after public outcry

A Catholic school in the western suburbs turned around and offered a coaching job to a woman who was initially turned down when the school learned she was married to another woman.

Benet Academy offered Amanda Kammes the position of Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach and she accepted. The reversal was decided after a meeting last night by the school’s board of directors.

“The board of trustees has heard from members of the Benet community on all sides on this issue over the past few days,” the school board said in a statement.

“In the future, we will seek opportunities for dialogue in our community about how we remain faithful to our Catholic mission while meeting people where they are on their personal journey through life. For now, we hope this is the first step towards healing the Benet community. “

A seasoned lacrosse coach, Kammes was offered the head coach job at the school about two weeks ago, but the school turned it down after learning she was married to another woman.

Kammes previously coached lacrosse in Pennsylvania, leading a team to two state titles, and most recently at Montini Catholic High School in Lombard, while leading the Lakeshore lacrosse program in the Chicago area.

Yesterday, students and parents demonstrated outside the school, handing out rainbow masks to their classmates.

Read the full story here.

More news you need

  1. A man faces a misdemeanor charge after allegedly attacking Ald. James Cappleman last weekend as he responded to a resident’s text on “a group of drunk people”. The man hit Cappleman on the head with a blunt object, police said.
  2. A 32-year-old man was stabbed multiple times this morning while inside a restaurant in River North. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with several lacerations and was listed in fair condition, police said.
  3. The former CEO of Wood Dale-based Power Solutions International Inc. was acquitted of all charges in a federal case accusing him of inflating revenue reports by $ 24 million. James Winemaster and two other former employees named in the case were found not guilty on all counts.
  4. A spike in cases of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, has sparked a recent explosion in local emergency room visits by nervous parents. The common respiratory virus has prompted local health officials to issue a gentle reminder – unless it is a real emergency, see your pediatrician, not the emergency room.
  5. A statewide hotel group says the Biden administration’s plans to ease COVID restrictions for foreign travelers offer the industry a silver lining. Travelers will need to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test before boarding, starting in November.
  6. Guinness chose Fulton Market to host its second American brewery. The Irish brewer is set to open a brewery and brewery in the Pennsylvania Railroad Terminal Building, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.
  7. The Fugees – Ms Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel – have announced they are reuniting for a world tour, which will include a stop in Chicago this fall. Hill’s performance at the Ravinia Festival this Saturday has been postponed to 2022 to accommodate the tour.

A brilliant

Music, culture, family celebrated alongside heartache in ‘American Mariachi’

Playwright Jose Cruz Gonzalez grew up with mariachi music because his parents were great listeners.

And it was this music that he would learn to play many years later, an experience that would inspire his play “American Mariachi”, which made its Chicago debut at the Goodman Theater in a co-production with the Dallas Theater Center and as part of of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance’s Destinos Festival.

Gonzalez is the first to admit that he had “no musical talent in his body”, but had a desire to learn and became proficient on the guitarron after taking lessons for 10 years as a teacher. to the State of California. University of Los Angeles.

He also studied the culture of mariachi, how it is traditionally passed down from father to son and why it is an important aspect of the Mexican-American community and how it is the soundtrack to many lives.

Tiffany Solano (from left) Molly Hernández, Amanda Raquel Martinez, Gloria Vivica Benavides and Lucy Godínez are shown in a scene from “American Mariachi” directed by Henry Godinez at the Goodman Theater.
Liz lauren

Another player once mentioned to Gonzalez that she and her band had performed for an elderly woman on her birthday: “She described how when they played a certain song this woman would come alive and sing. This idea of ​​music as memory stuck with me.

“American Mariachi” would be born from this idea. Set in the 1970s, the story revolves around a young woman Lucha (Tiffany Solano) who takes care of her mother, Amalia (Gigi Cervantes), who suffers from dementia. One day she plays an old record of mariachi songs that awakens the memory of her mother, who in turn inspires Lucha, against her father’s will, to create an all-female mariachi band – something unheard of in the past. 1970s. The cast also includes Lucy Godínez, Amanda Raquel Martinez, Molly Hernandez, Gloria Vivica Benavides, Eréndira Izguerra and Christopher Llewyn Ramirez.

The play is steeped in mariachi music and features members of the Chicago band Sones from Mexico City performing on stage with the actors who learned the instruments for their roles. The co-founder of Sones, Victor Pichardo, is the musical director.

Mary Houlihan has more information on the “American Mariachi” backstory here.

From the press gallery

Your question of the day ☕

What do you think of the recent trend in restaurants to forgo printed menus for QR codes?

Send us an email (please include your first name and place of residence) and we could include your response in the next afternoon edition.

Yesterday we asked you: what do you think of restaurants that have adopted no-tip policies and flat service charges? Here’s what some of you said …

“They won’t retain the best servers. It will work on its own, and hopefully the restaurant chains will disappear. “- Brigitte Lattanzi

“I would be happy to become the owner of a restaurant that has removed tips, as long as it pays its staff appropriately. I would rather an employer of any kind pay their staff a fair wage rather than forcing anyone to depend on the kindness of strangers to help them earn enough money to survive the week and / or the month. – Ashley lewis

“I want to pay for the value of the service rendered. Not a fixed amount developed to equalize the value of labor, whether good or bad. I want to encourage the high performance of the service staff and I will do so with a higher tip. – Philippe H. Kaplan

” I think that it’s good. In other countries (like Japan), tipping is not a tradition. Being employed in the service industry just means you have to give good service. If you give poor service, you can be fired (since you don’t meet the job requirements). – Daryl patrick yao

“Tipping for pathetic wages is a cruel sham for both the customer and the workforce. “- Benjamin johnson

Thanks for reading the Chicago Sun-Times afternoon edition. Think we missed a story? Write to us here.

Sign up here to have the Afternoon Edition delivered to your inbox every day.

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RH opens Oak Brook concept store, Cosentino opens Chicago showroom, and more Tue, 21 Sep 2021 03:25:56 +0000

This month, house brands and design studios are proving their versatility by launching innovative spaces and new types of shopping experiences. In our September roundup, BOH has gathered all the expansions and openings you need to have on your radar.


In New Canaan, designer of luxury bedding and textiles John robshaw transformed an 1840s farmhouse into a combined retail space and design studio called The Shop at John Robshaw. While retaining some of the home’s original features, such as windows and floors, he modernized the space to house his eponymous brand’s product line and more – and antique textiles from around the world. On the second floor, Robshaw will operate his design studio, with rooms designed with JR products. A barn adjacent to the main building will offer more store offerings including antiques, fabric by the yard and upholstered furniture, as well as a block printing studio.

Kerri rosenthal completed the renovation of its flagship space in Westport, which now houses all facets of its eponymous lifestyle brand. The first floor will include a retail space offering the company’s upholstered furniture, oak furniture and home accessories, as well as its trade and interior design division, where customers can make appointments. you to work with a designer and receive advice on product selection. Meanwhile, the second floor will feature a clothing and homes showroom, a kitchen designed by Rosenthal, and his original art gallery.


RH announced the opening of The Gallery at Oak Brook Center, modeled on the company’s hotel experiences in Chicago and New York. The 60,000 square foot space contains the brand’s indoor, modern and outdoor offerings, in addition to a wine bar, rooftop restaurant and park. Conceptualized by the CEO of HR Gary Friedman, the new shopping center is housed in a contemporary transparent multi-level structure with glass and steel patio doors that open onto garden courtyards and terraces. In addition to the retail and catering offerings, the location will include an interior design business and workshop, as well as an interactive studio with private presentation rooms for clients and cutting edge technology for services. professional design.

Global flooring supplier Cosentino has inaugurated a renovated exhibition space in Chicago’s Design District, the first North American location in its international series of downtown showrooms, where the shopping experience is focused on supporting and inspiring designers. The 4,600 square foot space includes a workshop, an augmented reality design area, and scaled digital screens with images of the brand’s surfaces, allowing the designer community to see their work in context with products outside of Cosentino’s offerings.

Danish textile brand Gabriel has opened a new 3,900 square foot showroom in Chicago’s Fulton Market district. The open space layout includes work areas for designers, architects and fabricators to meet with clients, as well as built-in shelving displaying the brand’s wool, recycled polyester and mesh fabrics on the backrests, cushions, screens and hangers in the full range of colors.


In the Michigan Design Center, the professional-only showroom Tennant & Associates has moved into an adjoining suite to showcase an exclusive line of natural, textured and specialty wall coverings created with Phillip Jeffries. There, designers can explore several new screens in a bright, commercial space.

new York

Studio Robert McKinley has announced the opening of the McKinley Bungalow Edison, the design studio’s fourth commendable and marketable concept. Located in Montauk on Long Island, the 4,200-square-foot space is the largest in the Bungalow series to date and marks a break from the company’s older Mid-Century-style ranch homes. With a contemporary twist to traditional New England design, the Cedar Log Home features furniture available for purchase from Design Within Reach, EQ3, Heath Ceramics, Reform and more.

North Carolina

Havertys reopened its Carolina Place store in Pineville after completing interior and exterior renovations on the 46,700 square foot space. The remodel was designed to provide customers with a lighter, brighter shopping experience – its new LED lighting is programmed with warmer color temperatures and a higher color rendering index to replicate conditions commonly encountered in retailers. houses and provide a more accurate preview of the fabric color. Along with other updates, the location includes a dedicated area for free consultations with the company’s in-home design department, H Design.

Homepage image: Inside McKinley Bungalow Edison | Courtesy of Nicole Franzen

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Chicago’s best ceviche and aguachile Mon, 20 Sep 2021 19:24:05 +0000
Yes, Chicago has some amazing ceviche options.


It’s as if the mere act of uttering the word “ceviche” transports guests to a beach as soon as it stuck out their tongue. And that’s probably because, in their minds, the concept is classified under “seaside”.

Usually prepared with cubed or grated fish or seafood that are cooked by letting them marinate in citrus fruits and spices – which vary by region – ceviche is as ubiquitous as it is diverse. Different fruits, vegetables and condiments are added depending on location and season.

Appearing on Chicago menus as often as, in addition to or instead of ceviche, the equally delicious aguachile often begs the question, how is it different? Born in northwestern Mexico, aguachile (chili water) is also made by cooking raw seafood (usually butterfly shrimp or conch) in a spicy, sour marinade, but for a shorter time. Cucumbers, tomatoes and onions are also usually added.

Much like people’s relationship with taquerías in Mexico City, those lucky enough to live near the ocean will likely have a favorite seafood vendor. Often sold in food carts (called carretas) well stocked with corn tostadas and savory crackers. The unique salsas also help to differentiate the selections.

Spelled ceviche, cebiche, sebiche or seviche, the origin of the plaque cannot be isolated to one place or to people. It is a mixture of pre-Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Asian cultures, as well as their contributions in terms of ingredients and techniques. And while it might not be on every street corner, in Chicago, an exciting place of culinary convergence, creativity and discovery, ceviche and aguachile are becoming easier to find.

In addition to the Mexican or Mexican-inspired executions of the two dishes, Chicagans can enjoy a ceviche in South American variations. Peruvian ceviche deserves a separate list, as it was named the country’s national dish in 2008.

And while the ceviche and aguachile are fundamentally minimalist, cooks agree that their preparation is a process that requires both skill and a thorough understanding of the ingredients.

Read more

To note: The restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

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Roundtable on commercial real estate Mon, 20 Sep 2021 05:06:05 +0000

What role does technology play in adapting to the evolution of CRE and the work environment?

Camillucci: COVID has accelerated the trend of using e-commerce to purchase a wide range of products. This in turn shaped the commercial real estate market by driving demand for warehousing, trucking and logistics facilities. E-commerce, social media, cloud computing and related technologies have also created a massive need for data capacity, which has shaped the real estate market with the development of many new data centers. Additionally, as more restaurants look to focus on delivery and pickup using apps and other platforms, we are seeing a proliferation of shared kitchens, cloud kitchens, and eateries. pick-up only. Clearly, the many video conferencing and workflow management applications available today allow office workers to be productive while working remotely. This has allowed many companies to survive the pandemic and envision a future hybrid workplace.

Walters: From increased data speeds to connect with remote workers to enhanced security measures to keep workers safe, advanced electrical technology plays a vital role in our changing workplace. We are continually installing new safety technologies for a contactless work environment and these tools will be critical to the success of Chicago‘s new workplace.

DuPraw: Companies are using technology to facilitate a hybrid work-from-home model and ensure a safe environment for their employees. For example, we are seeing more and more hotels where even older businesses are using scheduling software to allow employees to book office or other conference space independently based on schedule and load. of work. Contactless environments and the ability to have social distancing are still very important to employees. It also means that there has been a surge in audio / video conferencing technologies, both in quality and quantity.

What are your prospects for the corporate office sector in general?

DuPraw: As Chicago entered Phase 5, we started to see more activity and momentum, especially in the Fulton Market area and a slight increase in planning for architectural and design firms. Multi-story tenants in general are looking for options to re-space or reposition their existing space. Sublease space is still high but is stabilizing and with the Delta variant becoming more prevalent it is prudent to move too quickly.

Camillucci: In the short term, the outlook is uncertain. In the long run, I think strong demand will return. We cannot predict for sure how long COVID will interfere with the large-scale return to the office. If we get Delta under control and other disruptive variants don’t appear, maybe plans to return to the office will resume by winter or spring. But, if Delta persists or another variant emerges, the office sector could be in limbo longer, especially given the politicization of public health measures. That said, despite the hubbub about working from home, I think many people will end up going back to the office at least some of the time. Big business has sent this signal. For me, going back to the office three days a week was a welcome change from working exclusively from home.

Is the hybrid working model here to stay?

DuPraw: Yes, but it will be a “work first from the office” model, rather than a “work first from home” model. Many industries, including law firms, banks, institutions and traditional businesses, have embraced the hybrid work model, which will reduce the office footprint and provide new design options for the future office. That said, there will never be a complete substitution for in-person collaboration and brainstorming.

Camillucci: For many employers and employees, a hybrid approach in one form or another will strike the right balance. COVID has taught us that workplaces don’t have to be rigid about when and where people work, as long as the job is done right and on time. Working from home can be efficient by eliminating travel and interruptions by colleagues. However, working in an office also has its advantages. Colleagues identify with each other and their employers more strongly when they have the opportunity to interact in person. Employers want to develop this sense of identity, and over time many employees will regret it. As nice as it can be to work from home on certain days, it’s also nice to be connected to a team with a common goal. It can also be stressful to work at home with children, pets, and household responsibilities always on the lookout.

Walters: While some workers will not return to the office full-time, those who even spend part-time in the office will need contactless components as well as increased reliability of the data connection. Our member electricians and contractors have been trained to recommend and install the best high-speed data connectivity options to ensure remote workers can perform their jobs seamlessly.

What emerging or cutting-edge trends are likely to affect the future workplace?

Walters: Although a hybrid working model can prevent many workers from entering their offices on a daily basis, they will still need to feel secure when entering. The UV air filtration technology creates a healthier air quality which circulates in the suites ensuring that bacteria, molds and viruses are removed from the air. RFID readers can ensure that those entering an office building can pass through security by swiping an ID badge rather than touching door handles, and UV lighting can be placed in the escalator of a building to disinfect the balustrades each time.

Camillucci: Many large shopping centers will be adaptively redeveloped and reused as mixed-use developments that integrate retail, foodservice, entertainment, multi-family residential, hotel, commercial office and consumer processing uses. last mile. These mini-cities will attempt to create symbiotic relationships between the different uses so that each is more commercially sustainable than any of them alone. The trend started before COVID and may have temporarily stagnated, but many malls won’t be able to survive without creatively thinking about how to reinvent themselves as full-service communities.

DuPraw: Emerging trends will revolve around health, wellness, safety and sustainability. Employees will expect to work for organizations that not only make it a priority, but invest in the physicality of space to achieve those goals. For example, our own downtown office is WELL and LEED certified and incorporates an additional fresh air intake, circadian lighting systems, healthy food and snacks for employees, and a waste recycling program. While we started this process long before the pandemic, COVID-19 has certainly placed more emphasis on these issues.

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US closes part of Texas border and begins repatriating Haitians | Chicago News Sun, 19 Sep 2021 19:15:46 +0000

Haitian migrants gather on the banks of the Rio Grande after crossing the United States from Mexico on Saturday, September 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. (AP Photo / Eric Gay)

DEL RIO, Texas (AP) – The United States acted on Sunday to stem the flow of migrants to Texas by blocking the Mexican border in a remote town where thousands of Haitian refugees have set up camp, and US authorities have started to repatriate some migrants. to their homeland.

About a dozen Texas Department of Public Safety vehicles lined up near the bridge and river where Haitians crossed from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, to Del Rio, Texas for nearly three weeks. Yellow police tape was used to prevent them from using a small roadblock to enter the United States

Migrants first found other ways to cross nearby until they were confronted with federal and state law enforcement.

A Mexican policeman on the Mexican side of the border said migrants would no longer be allowed to cross. He wouldn’t give his name. But an Associated Press reporter saw Haitian immigrants still cross the river to the United States about 1.5 miles east of the previous point. They were then arrested by mounted border patrol officers and Texas law enforcement officials.

As they crossed, some Haitians carried crates full of food on their heads. Some took off their pants before entering the river and put them on. Others feared getting wet.

“Get out of the water,” officers shouted at the migrants who crossed the river waist-deep. The few hundred who had made it through and who were sitting along the bank on the American side were sent to the Del Rio camp. “Go now,” the officers shouted.

Migrant Charlie Jean had returned from the camps in Ciudad Acuña to collect food for his wife and three daughters, aged 2, 5 and 12. He was waiting on the Mexican side for a restaurant to bring him an order for rice.

“We need food for every day. I can do without it, but my kids can’t, ”said Jean, who had lived in Chile for five years before starting the journey north to the United States. It was not known if he had returned to the camp.

Haitians have migrated to the United States in large numbers from South America for several years, many having left their Caribbean countries after a devastating earthquake in 2010. After jobs have dried up since the Olympic Games d he summer of 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, many made the dangerous journey by foot, bus and car to the US border, including through the infamous Darien Gap, a Panamanian jungle.

Border patrol chief Raul L. Ortiz said on Sunday that 3,300 migrants had already been evacuated from the Del Rio camp to planes or detention centers, and he expects 3,000 of the approximately 12,600 migrants remainder are moved during the day. The rest should be gone within a week, he said. The first three planes left San Antonio for Port-au-Prince on Sunday, with the first arriving in the afternoon.

“We are working around the clock to quickly move migrants out of the heat, elements and under this bridge to our processing facilities to quickly process and remove individuals from the United States in accordance with our laws and policies,” Ortiz said at a press conference at the bridge.

The blockade and deportations marked a swift response to the sudden arrival of Haitians in Del Rio, a Texas town of about 35,000 people about 230 kilometers west of San Antonio. It sits on a relatively remote portion of the border that does not have the capacity to accommodate and process such a large number of people.

At Port-au-Prince airport, families arriving on the first plane held children by the hand or carried them out, and some deportees covered their heads as they entered a large bus parked next to the airport. airplane.

About a dozen officials from various Haitian government agencies gathered to meet with the deported Haitians. Public security officials from the Ministry of Justice have requested the presence of the Haitian National Police to prevent any potential violence.

An International Organization for Migration minibus was also stationed at the airport. It was filled with brightly colored bags containing toiletries, hand sanitizer, and hair ties.

All those deported have been tested for COVID-19, and the authorities do not plan to quarantine them, said Marie-Lourde Jean-Charles of the National Migration Office.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry wrote on Twitter on Sunday that he was concerned about the conditions in the border camp and that migrants would be welcome back.

“We want to reassure them that measures have already been taken to offer them a better welcome on their return home and that they will not be left behind,” he tweeted. Henry did not provide details on the measurements. A Haitian government spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

But another Haitian political leader questioned whether the nation could handle an influx of returning migrants and said the government should stop the repatriation.

“We have the situation in the south with the earthquake. The economy is a disaster, (and) there are no jobs, ”Election Minister Mathias Pierre said, adding that most Haitians cannot meet basic needs. “The Prime Minister should negotiate with the US government to stop these deportations at this time of crisis.”

Some migrants from Del Rio camp said the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti and the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse made them fearful of returning to a country that seemed more unstable than when they left.

“In Haiti, there is no security,” said Fabricio Jean, a 38-year-old Haitian who arrived in Texas with his wife and two daughters. “The country is in a political crisis.

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Representative Kelly and owner of local grocery store hail Restaurant Revitalization Fund as a lifeline Sun, 19 Sep 2021 02:44:33 +0000

Alice Davis, owner of Bergstein’s Deli, with her daughter Rachel, talks about the impact of federal aid on the business during the pandemic. From left to right, behind her, Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez, US Representative Robin Kelly and Chicago Heights Alderman George Brassea.

Representative Robin Kelly, D-Il, said she was proud to have voted for the $ 28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, and Alice Davis, owner of Bergstein’s NY Deli in Chicago Heights, said that without the money from this fund, Bergstein’s and other southern countries suburban restaurants would have gone out of business during the pandemic.

At a press conference outside Bergstein’s on Monday, September 13, Kelly and Davis, a Homewood resident, hailed the Revitalization Fund as a lifeline for many small businesses.

“Bergstein’s has been here for 13 years and is a gem in the Southern Suburbs,” said Kelly who represents Homewood and Flossmoor in Illinois’ 2nd District. “But like so many other restaurants across Chicagoland and the nation, this family-run grocery store was at risk of closing due to the pandemic.

“We adopted the US bailout to help businesses and restaurants weather this crisis. We have also included billions of dollars in aid specifically for restaurants.

Davis, thanking Kelly, said the deli is “a family business. This is my son, my daughter and myself. […] We kept our take out but we lost a lot of catering because we didn’t have big parties and things. I can say we wouldn’t be open today without the help.

“As of the end of June, 4,542 restaurants, bars and other dining establishments in Illinois received $ 1.4 billion in funding (from the) Restaurant Revitalization Fund,” Kelly said. “I am so happy to see this money coming into our communities to support our small businesses. This is especially important now, as the Delta variant is forcing more and more restaurants and small businesses to limit their operations again.

“The US bailout was one of the most important economic pieces of legislation since the New Deal, and I am proud to have voted for it.

Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez echoed Kelly’s comments.

“Small businesses like the Bergstein Deli make up over 50% of the revenue our cities receive, whether it’s through Cook County or the state of Illinois,” Gonzalez said. “So we’re all connected here. When they fight, we fight. I want to thank Congressman Kelly and the US Congress for their commitment and for allocating this $ 28 billion to the restaurant industry. .

Chicago Heights Ald. George Brassea (5th) thanked Kelly for “being our voice on Capitol Hill and taking care of us in 5th district”.

Also in attendance were members of the Chicago Heights Police and Fire Department, Prairie State College administrators and employees, and other members of the community.

During the press conference, Kelly also said she supported the two infrastructure bills proposed by House Democrats and would vote for them.

“I am one of the supporters of the care economy as we like to call it. I know you say ‘human infrastructure’, ”Kelly said. “I definitely support the infrastructure package. We need it.”

Prior to Senate negotiations, the infrastructure package included $ 45 billion to replace lead pipes in the country’s water supply system. The bill only includes $ 15 billion for the lead phase-out initiative. In June 2019, residents of University Park and Monee Township were warned by the Aqua Illinois water company not to drink potable water due to dangerous amounts of lead.

The proposed infrastructure package includes funding to rebuild the country’s roads, schools and high-speed train. It adds benefits for vision, hearing and dental care to Medicare and lowers the age of eligibility. The package includes another bill, the American Families Plan, which contains a plan to make community colleges such as Prairie State College free for two years.

“I support whatever we can do to get these two bills passed,” Kelly said. “People need help. And we can do it. And we have to do it.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund, lauded by Kelly, was part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

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A salary at the races for Justin Mustari Sat, 18 Sep 2021 12:00:00 +0000

LAS VEGAS – Several gallops out of the door, Rose’s Crystal stammered. The 4 year old roan filly almost collided with the beast in front of her, so jockey Juan Hernandez stopped for a bit.

About 330 miles from this eighth race, one mile across the Del Mar turf on August 29, Justin Mustari was standing on a platform here inside Bally’s Event Center. He looked at a giant screen and held his breath.

In the final race of the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship, the native of Des Plaines had ridden everything on Rose’s Crystal at 19 to 1.

“Looking at thousands of races, when they happen like that, it’s usually [isn’t good]. The jockey and the horse are generally not on the same wavelength, ”explains Mustari. “I thought, ‘Well, I’m doing fine here.’ “

Still, he knew the filly could finish, part of the reason he had tapped her. She settled down. The hiccups helped Hernandez get her into a comfortable position and pace.

“She got to the last corner, started to move,” Mustari says, “and that’s when it all just fell apart.”

Rose’s Crystal beat Warrens Candy Girl by three-quarter lengths, paying $ 41.80 to win, $ 16.40 to place. He paid Mustari the NHC prize of $ 725,000 for first place. At 26, he became the youngest NHC champion.

His uncle Dan spilled a beer as he pushed Justin into the arms of his father, Frank, who kept barking: “Oh, my God!

As Ron Flatter, Editor-in-Chief of Horse Racing Nation and Thoroughbred Scribe of Vegas Sports & Information Network, and others, began interviewing Mustari, he was left in limbo.

“Laconic, so stunned,” said Flatter. “Rose’s Crystal is closer, so her departure was not as important as her arrival. It was probably the most dramatic end of the contest’s 22-year history. “


Mustari had participated in the last three NHCs. Frank and Dan are also regulars. His father owned horses – Justin was maybe 5 in his first Winner’s Circle photo – and returned to this business.

Justin enjoyed his days on the track with his paternal grandparents, other relatives and many friends.

He’s somewhat sentimental about the impending closure of Arlington International and he’s qualified for the NHC via a Hawthorne competition, but he’s considering Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., Where his family owns a condo, his park. reception.

At Maine West High School, Mustari played baseball and golf, in which he made the state as a senior. He also played golf for Oakton Community College and Aurora University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

He qualified for the last Illinois Open, has a handicap of 1 and sank two holes at once. And he’s helping Frank, under whose roof Justin still lives, run Five Star Insulation Corp. at Des Plaines.

Justin saved money for years to get a house for himself and his girlfriend, Paulina, at a vendor’s market. Their possible postal code has definitely been improved.


The three-day NHC kicked off on August 27. More than 450 players held 563 registrations. Each entry included 52 Mythical $ 2 win and place bets, and Sunday’s final round required bets on the same races.

On Saturday night, Mustari was ahead and a nauseous constitution. He was troubled at Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak, his favorite Vegas restaurant that has a show kitchen inside the Mirage.

He’s barely finished half his tenderloin, his cheesy mashed potatoes and his spicy onion rings. The meal was generally delicious, but the equines raced around the small circuit in his noggin.

He retired to his room and studied until 12:30. He slept uncomfortably. He got up at 5:45 am to study. The competition has resumed. He hasn’t won anything in six races.

“I put myself in a position,” Mustari says. “I was trying to give myself a chance to regain control or be close. Before this last race, there were only a few options. “


A horse with slim chances could have made sure to finish fourth, or so, to earn a salary of $ 100,000. However, in those very wee hours, he had circled Rose’s Crystal, in that field of 11 horses, after recalibrating his true chances.

She had run for the last time, in Santa Anita, on January 31. He knew that Coach Carla Gaines’ success rate, with a layoff of at least 90 days, had been around 8%.

“It’s not something a player or handicapper would say is a good bet,” Mustari says. “But being 19-1, and to me thinking the horse should be 6-1 or 7-1 – assuming she’s in good shape after a layoff – seemed the logical game.”

Frank spoke often about seizing unique opportunities, which helped Justin deliberate. “I might never get that chance again,” Justin told his dad before the race. “I would be sick if I didn’t take this opportunity.

Rose crystal delivered. He finished with $ 370.80, knocking out 2014 champion Jose Arias, who had raised $ 347.20. Mustari also won an Eclipse Award, as the continent’s horse player of the year, and entry to the 2022 NHC.

He fetched his winner’s check from a Caesars cashier’s cage. For the flight back to Chicago, he slipped this check into a zipped pocket hidden in his backpack. All the way back, on the cabin floor, his feet gripped that backpack.

His bank needed time to clear the check, but he finally saw the amount reflected in his account when he woke up Wednesday morning.

“It’s official,” Mustari wrote in a text. “Now that seems real! ”

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Freakin Rican Restaurant offers authentic Puerto Rican cuisine in Astoria, Queens Fri, 17 Sep 2021 22:30:28 +0000 NEW YORK – Nestled between a laundromat and a pub in Astoria, Queens, you’ll find a piece of Puerto Rico.

“Puerto Rican food truly nourishes the heart and soul. You cook with so much love you transcend […] the food, ”said Derick Lopez, executive chef and founder of The Freakin Rican restaurant.

Lopez grew up in the South Bronx and remembers going to Latin carnivals with his mother as a child.

“The happiest times were eating the cuchifritos,” Lopez said.

Lopez took this passion for food and made it a career. He was 34 when he opened his first restaurant.

“I really didn’t have much experience and I failed. I was broke. I lost everything, but learned so much. Since I had so much passion, I sat down to start over.” , Lopez said.

He did it this time around in the form of food festivals, bringing that back to what helped fuel his passion for cooking. He called his food truck “The Freakin Rican”.

“Fortunately, with the festivals, we were able to self-fund the restaurant. It’s authentic Puerto Rican cuisine,” Lopez said. “We sell everything from your grandmother’s pastels. The mofongo is doing very well.”

Lopez added, “We’re all community driven. We just want to connect people with the food conversation. It’s crazy how much love comes out of here.”

“Growing up in the South Bronx, there were so many Puerto Rican restaurants, almost in every corner. Now there really aren’t any because food takes a lot of work. You make all of these things from there. zero, ”Lopez mentioned.

“It was one of the main reasons I wanted to open this restaurant – to represent the Puerto Rican community,” Lopez explained. “It’s a lot of work, but it excites me, which is why I do it.”

“All we have is our heritage and our culture. If we don’t continue to pass it on to the younger generation, what do we have left? Lopez asked.

From actors to activists, people share stories of celebrating their heritage, expressing their identity as Latino, Latinx or Hispanic, and representing and accepting their diverse cultures. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with “Our America: Todos Unidos” on the streaming apps of ABC and Hulu-owned TV channels.

Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All rights reserved.

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Where to spend a special night in Chicago this fall Fri, 17 Sep 2021 16:23:42 +0000

Unofficially, fall is definitely here. And guess what? Fall is a great time to take your wife, partner or girlfriend to discover what Chicago has to offer. From cozy interiors and delicious bites to live music, grab your favorite plaid jacket and head to these hot spots for a special night out in Chicago this fall. We have separated each spot into four different sections, depending on what you want to experience.

Of course, we also highly recommend a pairs daytime play experience if you are more athletic!

Delicious bites to share

When a foodie meets a foodie, it’s about sharing food, sipping each other’s drinks and wiping the sauce off their cheeks. Capture the romance between the plates at one of our favorite restaurants with unique appetizers and a menu packed with features.

3335 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657

Nestled in the heart of Northalsted, savor a delicious dinner from Chef Devin Kreller at The Wood. Diners can indulge in new menu items Braised Chuck Beef Fib “Pot Au Feu” with braised soy turnip, ginger and shio kombu. Another novelty on the menu, treat yourself to a traditional roasted chicken breast in sage butter made with white pudding, cranberry beans, leek soup and local wild rice.

1709 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

In Funkenhausen, chef Mark Steuer draws on his German heritage and his upbringing in Charleston, South Carolina to create dishes that reinvent his best meals and childhood memories. The modern brasserie serves a touching mix of Southern and German flavors in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood and innovative dishes including pretzel French toast, summer spaetzle, steamed riesling mussels and more.

177 N Ada St # 001, Chicago, IL 60607

At Loyalist, Chef John Shields refreshed the menu last year to take an even closer look at French cuisine, inspired by the bustling brasseries of Paris. Each dish is prepared with the same attention to detail and love as Smyth, his more chic sibling from the two Michelin star restaurant upstairs. Diners can indulge in their famous and voted Chicago’s best cheeseburger and more.

400 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

Located in the heart of Chicago’s vibrant River North, The Smith is the ultimate meeting place. With a large outdoor patio and a variety of dishes to choose from. On Sundays, treat your date to its special “Red Sauce Sundays”. Priced at $ 45 for two, diners will receive a Parmesan chicken, Caesar salad, Rigatoni alla vodka, garlic and Parmesan flatbread and finish the meal with rainbow cookies.

Unmissable happy hours

Happy Hours are back in many Chicago bars! We have selected a few especially for you.

817 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607

The daily happy hour from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. is the best time at BLVD Steakhouse. From wine by the glass to new BLVD bites, grab some bargains in Chicago’s finest dining room. Cocktails like Evan Williams’ bourbon-infused Byline or their El Dorado rum-filled Thornhill cost just $ 9. Enjoy bites between drinks with $ 3.50 each of Rockefeller oysters, $ 7 of stuffed eggs, $ 8 of beef liver wings or $ 9 of mini street tacos.

Vintage Thursdays are also available every Thursday at BLVD Steakhouse. Beverage Manager Ted Rink pulls out vintage wines from vending machines, held inventory and wine auctions to offer wine by the glass to guests at cost.

340 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

Also located in River North, diners can indulge in all things Italian at Nonnina’s happy hour. Available at the bar only Monday to Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., customers can choose between $ 6.00 house wines or $ 7.00 cocktails. Other signature menu items on the happy hour menu include meatballs, Parmesan truffle fries, half a dozen oysters and more. Nonnina’s patio also offers a perfect ‘puppy menu’ for those who wish to dine with their dogs.

221 N Columbus Dr, Chicago, IL 60601

The restaurant’s happy hours Monday through Thursday are the perfect excuse to get out of the house and catch the game while enjoying delicious bites and refreshing drinks.

Enjoy the Mondays Burger featuring the restaurant’s FireLake Burger or a veggie burger and fries for $ 12 while sipping on a draft beer for $ 6. Tuesday tacos include two beef, salmon or vegetable tacos for $ 6 and house margaritas for $ 8. Wine Down Wednesdays including red or white house wine for $ 8 and pepperoni, cheese or margherita flatbread for $ 12. Oysters and bubbles Thursday for $ 9.

For lovers of live music + entertainment

Did you hear? Live shows are back! We all missed those spontaneous date nights where we walk into the first bar we see with a “live music tonight” sign outside. Well, let’s improve your live night out a bit by introducing you to some of the best entertainment venues in town. Save the blind guesses, because we guarantee that the next date will be unforgettable!

858 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607

All the elements of an unforgettable and undeniably sensual evening are found at Grapes and Grains. GG’s is the complete social experience for those looking to indulge in an intimate night out that oozes the exclusivity and underground thrill of 1920s Chicago. GG’s offers diners numerous options of wine by the glass as well as bottles by the glass. ‘purchase.

1134 W Washington Blvd, Chicago, IL 60607

The press room has turned into the ultimate sweatshop experience. To play in the 1920s theme, the press room also offers diners special events with tickets such as cabaret shows, cigar events, and more. Diners can indulge in a variety of dishes, including homemade pasta, scallops, fried steaks and more, while sipping innovative cocktails.

For a special evening

177 N Ada St # 101, Chicago, IL 60607

This Michelin-starred culinary hotspot pays homage to the depth and richness of Chef John Shields and Karen Urie Shields’ five inspiring years in the farmlands of Smyth County, Va., Where they broadened their knowledge and vision and found their voice. Diners can sample the tale for $ 225.00 per person and also choose from various beverage pairing supplements to enhance the experience. Smyth’s dishes are balanced and warm and are a feast for the senses. Guests can expect to sample award-winning dishes and flavors during this 2.5-hour experience.

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