Red Lobster, Wicker Park’s Mirai Sushi, and Lincoln Park punk bar Delilah’s are three seemingly disparate venues. However, they have something in common—all three have hired graduates of American Professional Bartending Schools of Illinois to mix their drinks and man their bars. The schools have been landing graduates at notable Chicago establishments for more than 60 years, but their connection with alums doesn’t end with their first gig. Graduates receive lifetime, personalized job-placement assistance and can call the school’s career hotline 24 hours a day to find out about job openings or trade meatloaf recipes.
The schools' focus on employment also shows in their bartending classes, which are modeled after on-the-job training and led by teachers with an average of more than 20 years of industry experience. Taught at bars complete with realistic faux liquor, the sessions cover topics from mixology to presentation and etiquette.
Instead of relying on repetitive workouts and weight machines, Goality Fitness Club owner Eric Su guides clients through free-form exercises that change with every session. Workouts often consist of using exercise balls by Bosu, powering through suspension training by TRX, and running around impossibly shaped tracks by Mobius. Clients can select the training hours that best suit their daily lives; sessions begin as late as 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and also take place on Saturday morning. The club also offers yoga classes and free 30-minute consultations.
Under the umbrella of the Addison Park District, Club Fitness regales guests of all ages with 44,000 square feet worth of exercise equipment, group fitness studios, and aquatic amenities. Amid the clang of cardio and strength-training machines, certified instructors lead members through a range of free fitness classes, including Zumba, yoga, cycling, Pilates, and aquatic fitness sessions. Seasoned swimmers, 17 and older, can splash about within a six-lane lap pool, and runners can train for upcoming races by looping around the indoor running track in dramatic slow motion with arms outstretched. Those more interested in relaxation can sweat away anxieties in the hot tub or sauna. Before changing clothes within the modern locker rooms, parents can drop their tots off with the friendly attendants at the onsite childcare area.
Elmhurst Park District's Courts Plus gathers exercisers of all ages to its facility that boasts 60 fitness classes per week, an indoor climbing wall, and experienced personal trainers. From aquatics to martial arts, Courts Plus's troupe of trainers help their members and guests hone lean physiques, and a large gym boasts 70 pieces of cardio equipment, 38 strength-training machines, and impressively accurate mirrors. Youth programs abound as well, including summer camps, junior tennis lessons, and a strength-training program customized for ages 6–15.
A piece of writing can always benefit from an extra set of eyes. Fortunately for Chicagoans, Elisa of e.g. Editors LLC offers writing and proofreading services for professionals, academics, and small-business owners. Students might gain an extra edge with academic editing, and job seekers can politely edge out the competition with professional resumé-writing services. The eagle-eyed editor adheres to ethical scholastic standards and does not create content or write pupils' papers, but can provide assistance with either of those topics after the client simply submits a project.
The Chicago White Sox have some truly dedicated fans. In 1994, the team decided to reach out to the youngsters who worshipped their footwear. They sought to provide kids with the same conditioning and training they honed their skills with, so they started a sports-training summer camp. In a mere seven years, demand for the trainers' services necessitated that the program conduct year-round sessions in all types of sports, and the Bulls/Sox Academy was born.
Taught by the trainers who spend their life making sure that the Sox and Bulls are ready to hit the field or court, Bulls/Sox Academy's lessons bring professional techniques to aspiring athletes. Baseball programs teach functional speed movements for high-speed base stealing and help kids build the upper-body strength to knock balls out of the park and through the windshield of their least favorite neighbor's minivan. The basketball course divvies up training between shooting, skills, and defensive play. The fast-pitch softball teachers—both former professional players and longtime coaches—arm students to beat back high-velocity pitches without hurting the ball's feelings.
Cooking Skills Academy's four resident chefs oversee hands-on cooking classes in a custom-designed gourmet kitchen. During the 15-Minute Meals class, students learn to prepare healthy, flavorful meals in 15 minutes each and hone an arsenal of cooking techniques more efficient than trying to convince raw asparagus to walk across hot coals. Other classes include Chocolates class, Pizza workshops, and Latin Barbecue. Like sculptors constructing busts of Martin Luther from limburger cheese, amateur food artists can snack on their masterpieces as they go, and take home a copy of each recipe used in the session. Check Cooking Skills Academy’s online calendar for a full list of class times and dates for such sessions as hands-on pasta making, Knife Skills 101, and Date Night Sushi 101.