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Added Mar 08 2018

What kind of restaurant do you hope takes over at the Mia's location off of Central across from Portage Park? I'm thinking I would dig a breakfast and then a lunch soup/salad/sandwich spot similar to Milk and Honey Cafe in Wicker. Definitely wanting some healthier good tasting food options instead of the million pizza/burger/taco places in this side of town. Just curious to hear everyone's thoughts. Thanks!

  • Well said, Huddie Burg, well said.

    Had dinner last night at Tipsy Cow. Enjoyed my meal but the music (live) was way too loud. I go out to socialize, not just look at my friends mouths moving and yelling "What?".

  • Debbie- You are not the first person to tell me this and I will address with the team. Thank you for the feedback

  • The barbacoa beef at Tipsy Cow is my favorite.

  • As long as I am on my soap box I would like to make my recomendations for the places that I feel are changing the face of the NWside and are constantly reinvesting into the NWside. If you want to change your neighborhood, you need to start a movement to change behaviors of people in the neighborhood-

    If you find yourself going to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, put on the breaks and go to Perkolator, Portage Grounds, Fannies, Tease, Westons. They all have amazing locally roasted coffee, it may take alittle longer, they may not have the marketing dollars but they have great coffee, sandwiches and pastries and they all give back to the community in time and capital

    If you are thinking of going to Gibsons or Chicago Cut instead go to Gale Street Inn, Sabentinos they are legendary, have great steaks chops and of course ribs and are about 20% cheaper than the alternative

    If you are looking for eclectic fine dining how could you pass by Community Tavern and go to another neighborhood, their food is amazing, their prices are even better

    If you are going to Binnys or a grocery store to buy your liquor, go to Fischmans, it is locally owned, they support the community with every event and community project

    If you are going to Dairy Queen or Baskin Robbins for ice cream, change directions and go to Josi's. They are the nicest people and have amazing product

    If you are buying pastries, breads and cakes please stop buying them at the grocery strore and get to Delightful Pastries or Sicilian Bakery. These are award winning bakeries that use only the finest ingredients.

    You have two of the top Mexican restaurants in the city in Cochinita and Mom's Old Recipe. If you are going to any other neighborhood for Mexican you are making a mistake.

    Remember at one time 6 corners was the number 2 shopping destination of Chicago

  • Huddie Brgr, your prices the past couple months at BrgrBelly have been the bomb. Has some of it been in response to the new Culver's? I love Culver's but have yet to check out the Six Corners location due to, as you mentioned, all the other local restaurants I've chosen to go to. And since I try to watch what I eat, I don't get out for burgers as much as I would love to.

    But just the past two months, I've been to BRGRBELLY three times and finally checked out Tipsy Cow ... I don't think the music is too loud BTW. I love it. Speaking of music, have you considered putting Guns N' Roses live in Tokyo 1992 on rotation at BRGRBELLY?

    Anyway, back on topic: Huddie Brgr has given us excellent perspective on pipe dreams vs. what the neighborhood supports. Too often we hear people throwing out the big chains like Trader Joe's as desires for the neighborhood but then we don't support other local offerings as much as we should. As I said, being on a stricter diet, I can't go out for pizza and burgers daily, but I do try to hit up all my favorite local spots.

    One last note on beer: Binny's at Six Corners is amazing. But the beer at Fischman Bottle Shop is just as fresh. And for my needs (Half Acre and 18th Street), they've always had the new, fresh offerings same as or more so than Binny's.

  • Chris- Thank you for the nice note and I will personally get the Guns and Roses video for you. Please watch our FB page for when it will be playing as we will dedicate to you. As for your question about Culvers, we really dont see them as our competition and in fact they are more competition for MCD's, Brandys, Mr Zees and places like that. If someone is looking for a frozen 2 ounce $2.99 burger they are probably not thinking about us, they were probably deciding between going to Culvers or going to McDonalds. In fact I think it is great that Culvers has come to our neighborhood, it tells us that we can sustain a highly respected brand like them and more will come. That is how you will get the Trader Joes, the Whole Foods, when premium national brands sustain. When a neighborhood is clicking on all cylinders you have great live theatre, art galleries, great parks, great coffee houses and cafes, great local restaurants and shops and accented by premium branded concepts. You really don't need to look any further than Lincoln Park, Wicker Park to see that model. They are doing this all over America in small towns with less industry than the NWside of Chicago but again it comes down to everybody spending their money in the neighborhood if they want a great neighborhood.

  • Huddle Brgr, yes, thanks for your informed perspective. It seemed to me Mia’s benefitted from being next to the day school, but that location not being on a major intersection does not help it garner commuters’ quick stops for breakfast or coffee. It’s good the park is across the street, if a restauranteur promotes to park users - kids and their parents after baseball games, brunches coming from the farmers market, but that won’t add up to 750 coffees a day, will it? I think Portage Parker’s don’t eat out Mon thru Thurs as we cook at home, some for families with kids, and that’s a healthy, economical practice. Wicker Park and Logan Square restaurants seem patronized by younger, less family oriented customers, though Legnos appears to have some of the right mix of groups - supported by Suprarossa take out? Which suggests to me a destination restaurant has a better chance than a neighborhood staple place, but then too Mia’s is small. Sandwich shop doesn’t make much sense with no businesses nearby from which lunchers would troop in. I’m not a restauranteur, and I work from home so don’t lunch out unless I’ve got company to impress, but yes, if good deli fare were available I can imagine buying corned beef/turkey/ham/subs/dogs for take-out or enjoying in park during summer, Or bagels/donuts for breakfast.Then there’s the question of hours. 7 am for breakfast to 8 or 9 pm to catch dinner trade seems like an awfully long day.

  • Jazzmandel- I could not agree with you more, unfortunately I think we are witnessing the slow death of the traditional restaurant industry in Chicago. If you have not noticed in the past 12 months we have seen the largest closing of restaurants that we have seen in our history and it is not mom and pops but rather proven restaurant groups, celebrity chef restaurants, legendary restaurants and of course the mom and pops as well. Here are just a few of the famous chefs and restaurants that have closed in Chicago in the last 12 months- Rick Bayless, Michael Kornick, TRU, Pump Room, Carsons Ribs, Father and Son Pizza, Won Kow (90 years in business), Grace, Ocean Cut, Bin 36, Dolce Italian (Voted best restaurant in America), Yusho, MK, 42 Grams, and so many more. These are Michelin starred restaurants, these are restaurants that have been open for more than 20 plus years and now they are closing.

    I believe we are seeing the beginning of the end of the traditional restaurant in Chicago, you are seeing all the family styles restaurants disappearing, the hot dog stands are next, the mom and pop restaurants and finally you will even see the proven brands go away because the model is broken right now. There are too many vultures in the business model from the Silicon Valley Techie Mafia skimming 28% of all takeout sales through Grub Hub, Groupon and Uber Eats,an over taxed Chicago citizen who is struggling to just pay their mortage and make sure they have a happy life for their children. All that will remain will be the MCDs, the Starbucks, Panda Express the Dunkin Doughnuts, Chipotles who will have robotics and self checkout to eliminate the high price of labor. It will be a sad day when this all comes to a head.

  • This has been a very informative and interesting string of comments. Thank you all very much. I will be sure to consistently patronize our unique Portage Park restaurants!

  • Deutsch portage36

    I think people in every neighborhood will support places that give them what they want. Give them a crappy place, they won't go back. Give them something they enjoy, they will come back. Taste, atmosphere, price etc.... The ma and pop places will do great, if they have something great to offer. Cant make people go to Mia's, just to support the hood. If they don't like eating there? They will go elsewhere.
    I will spend my hard earned money, anywhere in the hood, that gives me what I want. At places that take the time to give the people something they just cant do without.

  • Not sharing your pessism Huddie, but I was never a fine diner. A lot of the high end places have been replaced by others. But if there is a downward trend, it's because you can now get gourmet food out of food trucks, at breweries, and local places like Cochinita, BRGRbelly, and Smoque. Why pay ridiculous prices? Chefs are also choosing to open up top notch restaurants in smaller cities.

  • Re Mon - Thurs, it is tricky for us to make it out, so the local places that deliver and have food that can easily be taken for lunch the next day get our business. We have rarely dined at Ruk, Poretta's, NOK, etc but have had food delivered dozens of times.

  • The beauty of mom and pop restuaurants is the fact that they are built on heart and passion and not data and demographics. Over the past decade through Yelp and other online review sources restaurants have been critqued as if they are movie releases whereas each and every experience has to be perfect or the self appointed critic provides a scathing review. The variable is that movies have the opportunity to edit their work before they release it, test the market similar to National branded restaurants and that is why you generally see slightly above medicore films and slightly above mediocre restaurants being launched each and every week. A mom and pop restaurant can give you the most amazing dining experience one day and maybe one of your worst experiences the next day because they do not have the resources of these giant operations but you will rarely if at all get those amazing experiences at these large restaurant organizations, you will never see the passion and art of a restaurant at these places similar to the wonderful low budget art films that do not have the budgets and resources to attract the masses. Wouldnt you rather live in a world where you are allowed amazing expereinces periodically with bad expereinces thrown in rather than a mundane world of slightly above mediocre experiences the rest of your life.

  • Secondly, I find it comical how the NWside is basically ignored by the local media. They list the same top 10 burgers in Chicago because those burger places are in the right neighborhoods, have PR companies, but when you go there you are shocked at how mediocre the burger was. If you really want to see the underbelly of a restaurant you need to go "Dumpster Diving" and you will be shocked to find that quite a few of these so called best burgers in Chicago are using Sysco beef patties and the same bread companies for their hamburger buns that suplied your high school cafeteria. It would be comical if it wasn't so sad that Brgrbelly goes through the effort of baking our own bread, using Plugra French butter, grinding our own meat and only using fresh from scratch ingredients and some burger joint in the right neighborhood, with the right PR company can offer a frozen patty and cafeteria bun and be considered the best burger in Chicago and people are lining up for it. Even more funny is when we go head to head against the other burgers in competitions and the people vote and not the media we always seem to come in first or second place. It is like when I was in little league baseball and you could clearly see who the best player was on the team but the MVP always went to the coaches son. It as if the cards are stacked against the NWside by the media

  • PennyPenguin Chillin' out on EB

    I actually wouldn't mind seeing a spa type place, hair, skin, nails. Some neighborhoods have so many. Ours, not so much.

  • I feel your frustration Huddie Brgr, and agree that you folks make an excellent burger. However, what “local media” is to blame - the Trib and Chicago mag? We are in great need of more and more diversified media in Chicago. The Sun-Times has failed, the Reader is nothing, Ricketts closed DNA Chicago because they wanted to unionize (hopes for the new Block Club) and we’re about to be inundated by evil Sinclair media. The plight of media in Chi deserves another post. And of course it’s not just a Chicago problem.

    I like to try mom and pop, independent restaurants and stores over franchises. Last night ate at Community Tavern, and it was fun, tasty ( had the burger and fries, and have enjoyed more ambitious cooking there in the past). Never heard of Mom’s Old Recipe until your mention above, and will seek it out. We have some good options in this neighborhood - I like Ninja Sushi and Thai, as well as Pueblo Nuevo - and some I don’t see recommended often but remain curious about (the Colombian steak house, Ecuadorian La Pena, and your neighbor Smakosz, for instance). Small businesses of all types deserve our trade. Corporatism obviously can take care of itself.

  • The Starbucks at Irving and Central will break ground soon and there is a rumored Potbelly to also be built there. This will spark interest in our area. It’s good to have a mix of national and local Buisness. It’s down in the gentrified areas of the city and it would work here as well.

  • The lack of Monday-Thursday traffic is spot-on and to overcome. It's a matter of making the best of the facts that: We aren't close to the Loop, we don't have a lot of tourists wandering around and (to a certain degree) we don't have a train stop nearby, aside from Jefferson Park. It is what it is. (I'm still amazed that they haven't been able to get more restaurants/bars going up there, though some progress has been made.) The lack of a train stop isn't as big of an issue, since people here have cars, plus people all over America drive to restaurants. But we suffer a bit for being so close to hip areas where you don't have to drive. Sort of a catch-22. That said, I think we're seeing more people move to the area that want better food options, plus there's been a nationwide push for local eateries. The reason I think Indian and Middle Eastern would do well because those types of restaurants tend to do a good takeout business, they're typically reasonable and we don't have many (any?) options for either nearby. (And also because I love both.) I'm encouraged by what's going on at Six Corners, with the places that have already opened and the upcoming Frunchroom and Fischman's (the bar/restaurant portion) openings. If we can get that block to be a destination, that will be great. Eris (not quite in PP) and some of the other newer places around the Irving Park stop could really do the same for that area. I really hope Fischman's opens soon, as I think it'll help them compete with Binny's around the corner. If someone wants beer and has no idea Fischman's is there, they'll go to Binny's. If someone goes to Fischman's to eat/sit at the bar and wants to get a six-pack for home, they'll be more inclined to go to Fischman's store and then keep coming back. I agree with the above point on bigger and local businesses. They always say if you want to open a local coffee shop, put it close to a Starbucks; they've done the research for you. I'll still go to the local places.

  • I was sorry to see that Mia's is closed/closing. I am not in Portage Park but in Cragin. I brought my sister and my nephew here after I found it. I really liked it and was already anticipating going back this season. I thought it was really welcoming inside and made me think of Willy Wonka. I was hoping this post was mistaken and that they would be back. I'm going to miss Mia's..

  • pattymelt is mostly in charge

    I think Mia's could make a nice doughnut shop or chocolate shop. Or maybe a wine shop. Or soup in the winter and salads in the summer. Or an outpost of Bistro 6050 so it would be closer to me. But not sure these are viable ideas.

  • I agree patty, but on a side note. Why can’t we get a microbrewery like the ones that are popping up just east of there? There is an abandoned bank on Irving just east of Austin that would be a perfect fit. I don’t want to get off topic here but I would like to hear some feedback.

  • Jazzmandel, Las tablas the Colombian place and smakosz are both great if you've never been. I've only been to la pena once as a brief stop in and it was fine. I keep meaning to go back to try other things.

  • CJ Gladstone Park Native Chicagoan for life

    Part of the reason places like this don't do well, is that our section of the city lacks weeknight diners. Families with school-age children don't eat out much on weeknights. These places need daily diners, not just the weekend warriors. It is a little better in the summer.

  • I know a few people don't share my viewpoint on the future of traditional restaurants but I think I can define it more clearly in this way. What you are seeing happening to the restaurant industry right now is what has recently happened to the retail industry in the past decade. To put it in perspective the government has stepped in and dictated to private business what the minimum wage should be becuase they had not adjusted the minimum wage to CPI properly for the past 20 years. Meaning that in the past 5 years the minimum wage went from $8.25 an hour to this coming year being $13 an hour and thus all other slaries in your business must be adjusted accordingly with this. That means in 2013 the average CPS teacher salary was $76,000 and if the government stepped in and adjusted their salaries similar to what they did with private businesses working with minimum wage employees then teachers would be making about $130,000 in 2018. The model would not be sustainable for the Chicago tax payer. I want people to have a fair living wage but you can not just dump this on new business owners in a 3-5 year period for something that was not taken care of for 25 plus years.

    Now I will throw in the Amazon effect of business and what it has done to retailers as you can see the constant closing of brick and mortar stores, shopping malls, etc... because people will almost always choose convenience over what may be in the best interest of building their community. So now the bulk of all of the purchases in the United States are flowing through Silicon Valley and that is why the wealthiest people live there. We are basically shipping all of our local income out of our neighborhoods everytime we choose to buy online instead of buying at a local store. The same thing is happening now with Uber, Grubhub, Groupon, Blue Apron, Open Table. You will look back on restaurants like you now look at Montgomery Wards, Radio Shack, Woolworth

  • PennyPenguin Chillin' out on EB

    This is why I spread my business around both the cyber world and the real world. People will even yell at me for not doing more online. But when I go to places in person, and not online, I know I'm supporting my area and all the jobs that go along with it.

  • PennyPenguin Chillin' out on EB

    Huddie--I read all your posts above. Thanks for all your extra hard work and not serving school cafeteria buns, etc.

  • we never said we dont serve them too...just kidding.

  • Off subject again: just got back from dinner at Tipsy Cow. Place was jam-packed. The gentleman playing acoustic guitar mixed in some Duran Duran, The Cure and Garth Brooks. Empanadas were on point. Finally tried a spiked shake. Churro is everything.

    Prices can't really be beat. Two entrees, an appetizer, chips and salsa, three adult beverages. $35.

  • Huddie Brgr, you provided us with an excellent analysis of the restaurant scene here in our own neighborhood and gave me a spark of enthusiasm to GO OUT and enjoy what we have in our own backyard! The weather is getting better for walking the hood and I'm going to make a concerted effort to check out the restaurants in our area. They made an effort to be here ... and I'm going to make an effort to explore them because of it. My money will stay here. Thank you!

  • Chris- Thank you for this note. Yes, Tipsy Cow Cantina has been a pleasant surprise with how busy it has been. It seems we found something that is new and different for the neighorhood with free live music nightly, cheap American Mexican street food and cheap drinks. We actually did quite a bit of analitics on this model with a consulting company and based on the data and the demographics of the neighborhood Tipsy Cow was created. Mexican diningi s the fastest growing segment in the US and live music is the most requested feature of people dining out and finally cost is what determines where people dine regularly Monday-Thursday when they are not ordring food in or cooking at home. Lets hope it works and resonates with our local audience. These nxt three months will tell the tale. Thank you PS Mayfair for your kind words.

  • Huddie, thanks. We're fans of your establishments. It was kind of you to truly break down what it takes, with numbers, for people to understand. Having worked in the industry, I'd estimated, but your up to date knowledge of our area is invaluable. Thanks!

    I love eating at our neighborhood places, the more I can walk to (gotta walk off those Tipsy desserts! amiright?), the better.

    So while we're mentioning local places, if you haven't tried delicias crucitas on Central and grace, give em a shot. Ecuadorian. First enjoyed them when I lived in Albany park and they were on Foster. Just picked up my favorite meal, tortillas con fritada, for lunch. :)

  • I'm someone who orders through GrubHub a lot. (And actually mostly M-Th.) Doesn't that help the restaurants vs no orders? Or vs. having to have their own delivery drivers on staff? (I'm not trying to be snarky, just seems counter-intuitive to me-even if the margins aren't as good as if the person was dining in.) I know that if I didn't order via GrubHub and there wasn't a delivery driver through the restaurant, I probably won't go to the restaurant (M-Th) and pick up my order and/or go and eat in. Weekend yes--I would go.

    I've also found that there are some restaurants that I've tried on Grubhub and then made a point to actually go to the restaurant based on how good the food I got was. Had I not gotten the original order via delivery, I may not have realized how much I liked it and therefore not visited them in person (and brought friends.)

  • Annethirteen- Thank you for your kind words and referral on the restaurant. I am on a culinary exhibition in San Fransico, Los Angelos and New York for the next two weeks and when I get back in town I will definitely stop in and try them. I can not overemphasize that I just listed the folks I know having impact in the neighborhood but there are so many more that I could not even list tem all...The creapes at Bistro 6050, there is this store front restaurant at Nagle and Irving that has the most amazing stews I have ever had, I mean we have the best hot dog stand in the nation in Super Dawg that doesnt even get the press it deserves using only the finest ingredients compared to other hot dog stands because it is on the NWside and not in a media freindly area of Chicago. It is aamzing when you think about all of the famousand successful people who grew up on the NWside of Chicago who left the NWside to pursue their dreams elsewhere, like Walt Disney, Hugh Hefner or even from a culinary standpoint you have one of the most famous chefs in Amoerca, Jose Garces who grew up in Belmont Cragin neighborhood and now is considered one of the best chefs in America with over 10 restaurants worldwide. Imagine if these talents had brought their talents back to the NWside, imagine if we embraced the arts on the NWside and it was an incubator for these talents. Just imagine what the NWside would be. That is why I take so much pride in the fact that my wife and I came back to the neighborhood we grew up in to bring our talents back to a neighborhood that gave us so much as children and hope that this neighborhood would embrace us once more, which it has. The NWside has everything and more that thse so called hipster neighborhoods have and we just need our nighbors to believe it, advocate for it, and not tolerate when the media does not ackowledge it as it is a diservice to all of us and we should stop being led by the media.

  • This thread makes me want to list all my favorite items from every local place. Lol. I read your mention of bistro 6050's crepes and immediately began craving their tsap empanadas. But I will resist the temptation. ;)

  • Chi- Girl Portage Park- Grub Hub exists, just like Uber exists just like Amazon exists. It is capatalist market in America so people are going to use these services and brands because they are convenient, they trust these brands and they work for them so in no way am I saying do not order from Grub Hub. MY point is that prior to these businesses existing if you wanted restaurant quality food you would go pick it up at the restaurant and the restaurant would retain all of the revenue and thus the revenu would stay in the community. Now 28% of that revenue is sent to Silicon Valley. so to put it in persecpective the old model would look like this-

    Your Order- $100 purchase
    Foodcost 30% $30.00
    Labor Cost 33%- $33.00
    Direct cost- 12% $12.00

    Profit- $25.00

    New Model

    Your Order- $100.00 purchase
    Food cost 30% $30.00
    Labor cost 33% $33.00
    Direct cost 40% (with grub hub charge) $40.00

    Total Loss- -$3.00

    Grub Hub and companies like GRub Hub will state that these are add on sales and your labor is already there and your direct costs are already there but there is no proven data on this and there have been major discussion in the restaurant industry if it makes sense to even work within this model or just live with the sales you have. I was on a panel with 5 CEO's of Natioanl companies at the Restaurant Show about this discussion and it really came down to it being 50/50 or to pass the charge directly on to the customer. Which I believe will be where this will end up in the next 5-10 years as it is not sustainable for a restaurant as it is structured now. I hope that helps

  • Huddie Brgr, I appreciate your comments on the local restaurants, your analysis of their economic situation and your neighborhood boosterism, but I beg us not to blame "the media." There is simply way too little media in Chicago now -- very little print or online coverage of the city as a whole. The Trib, which I grew up detesting, has become pitiable, thanks to the financial machinations of Szell first off and now tronc. The Sun Times is barely a shadow of itself. The radio stations don't do a lot of local investigative or even personal interest stories, and tv will get even worse as Sinclair moves in. Yes, Chicago Magazine is a snooty, commerce-driven publication as it has always been. The Nagle papers are hardly serious, and I'm awaiting the launch of Block Club, successor to DNA Chicago, but I don't expect it to save the day -- staff will be small and budgets not able to underwrite much. Probably to gain press attention we need to do special events -- as you're doing with music at Tipsy Cow -- and then publicize them heavily. I've been surprised that in the music field there is not a strong publicity company in Chicago, and that situation may extend to the restaurant biz, too, but some professional level of pr aimed at specific media outlets or representatives may be necessary to make our NW side institutions known beyond their current confines. And those shouldn't be underestimated. I bet Super Dawg is as well known as Leon's Ribs or the deli Max and Benny's or Vito and Nick's or Johnny's Italian Beef. People do come from out of the neighb for these non-central Chicago places.

  • Thanks Huddie Brgr, I didn't realize restaurants were taking a loss by particpating in the delivery services. I can see why it doesn't make sense for them to do that.

    I can see it landing in the middle--with it being more expense if you get the food delivered (on top of the delivery fee) or a discount (off the delivery menu price) if you pick it up. Similar to what some of the Brick and Mortar companies are doing now with online orders. Delivery is free, but if you go pick it up at one of their stores, they knock a little bit off the price of the product.

  • Jazzmandel- I want to clarify my point on the media and maybe chang the term to "some media". Your point on Leon Ribs, Super Dawg, for that matter Brgrbelly, is my whole point on the media. You are almost shocked to see them even listed as one of the best in Chicago and they are not in some hipster or tourist neighborhood. My point is this and it plays into your point that there is so little coverage on entertainment and restaurants right now so you have TimeOut, Eater Chicago, The Reader, The Suntimes, The Tribune, Chicago Magazine and local TV/radio. That is it and if you dont pay a particular PR company in Chicago for services you will never be featured on any TV, almost every cooking exhibition you see comes from restaurants though the same 2 PR companies and if you can not afford to pay them then you are out of luck. Now lets look at Eater Chicago, The Reader, TimeOut and do take my word for it, just go online and look and you will see that there may be 1-2% articles on restaaurants on the NWside of Chicago compared to the rest of Chicago, there is an imbalance and you will find that the 1-2% of the restaurants they do talk about somehow have a connection to the PR companies or are connected with the other restaurant folks in the hispter neighborhoods, it is shocking once you dig in and look. So basically we have a reduced media platform in our cty and little to zero coverage of our restaurants on the NWside, so for that reason I do have to blame the media, there should be more balance in their coverage of restaurants.

  • Continued from previous message- When Brgeblly wins every competition against the other so-called best burgers in Chicago in head to head competitions when real people are voting and cant even get ackowledged by Eater Chicago for whatever reason and not get exposure to 80,000 foodie fans that do not know about us then I believe this is wrong. As for local media DNA INfo, Nadig and I am sure the new Block Club...they are great at providing exposure but their exposure is to the same small audience ebvery week, the imbalance is the media controlling the messaging to the masses in Chicago because you did not hire a specific PR company or you are not in the right neighborhood. I hope you can understand my frustration and my point. This is not to rip the media as I am sure it is some specific individuals, in their specific divisions of the media that are creating this imbalance.

  • Chi -Girl Portage Park- I appreciate your comments and your understanding. My whole messaging on this thread is more or less just to enlighten people of the plight of running restaurants in particular in Chicago and I do agree on the discounting idea and I think I am going to implement at Tipsy Cow Cantina in April as a pilot. Thank you.

  • A Do-Rite Donuts Maybe? Tipsy Donuts?

    Didn't know that Grubhub charged that much! Do other online services charge less?
    Hopefully, competition will lower the priced for restaurants.

    Thanks for keeping our neighborhood well fed!

  • ChiBill- The cost includes delivery for any of the services including Door Dash, Grub Hub, Uber Eats...It ranges from 25%-35% on average. So yes, 28% is a the average cost for their services. I like your Tipsy Donut idea...We could create Intoxicake donuts...great way to start your mornings with an Irish Coffee.

  • That is a crazy amount.

    Yes, it could be you prime baking location and send donuts around to your other locations like Glazed and Infused did, No idea why they closed down.

    You could offer Perkolator coffee, Tease tea, etc...Maybe co-own co-op?

  • Chi Bill- We were in the process of working out an agreement with Check Please! creating Check Please! The Restaurant in Jeff Park whereas every month the restaurant would transform into a new chef driven menu featuring a restaurant that was on Check Please! Pretty cool concept but after doing the data research, it was determined that the NWside would not sustain it mainly due to the Monday through Thursday traffic counts. Now I think that would have been a cool Co-op for our neighborhood, don't you?

  • Like Hogsalt's place

  • It was actually a concept where the restaurant would be the Check Please! studio setting and every month there would be a guest restaurant at the location. It was a very forward thinking restaurant concept and it was very close to coming to the NWside but when we began recruiting the top chefs in the city and explained the location they became hesitant and stopped the project. I think it would have really helped put the NWside on the map from a culinary standpoint and being so close to the airport could have been pretty successful.

  • Huddie, the check please idea sounds amazing. Too bad it didn't happen. :(

  • Honestly, driving on Irving Park there's an oasis of restaurants. We are sorely lacking in Belmont Cragin for Ametican food!! All we have are pizza joints & Mexican- I truly don't know how they even stay in business. We desperately need a restaurant that sells Burgers, salad, ribs, family friendly type restaurants here. Wild wings at Brickyard doesn't count, altho I'm happy they're here

  • I agree Chicagonewbie, there is an abandoned bank on Irving just east of Austin that would be a perfect place for a microbrewery/restaurant. They are hoping up all over just east of us. Why can't we get one there?

  • I most often order take-out when I'm out somewhere and want to pick it up on my way home. I Google the place I want and when I click on "order" I'm sent to Grub Hub. That makes me crazy! I want to be sent to the phone line for the restaurant so that I can order something that will be ready for pick up when I get there. I don't want anyone to bring it to me because I'm not at home, especially now that I know how much their "take" is!

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