On an otherwise quiet corner of Chicago's Ukranian Village neighborhood, a crowd of 20-somethings spills out onto the sidewalk to smoke and mingle. Like its hipster devotees, The Empty Bottle seems to never sleep. The club keeps late hours and hosts bands or DJs nearly every night, from local showcases to celebrated dance parties such as the Windy City Soul Club. Even in the coldest months, the overfill spills out onto the sidewalk, where crowds huddle together for warmth beneath a black awning that reads “MUSIC/FRIENDLY/DANCING.” Inside, past the pool table and pinball machine, is a doublewide space and a small stage lit by multi-colored lights. Decorated with years of musical and barfly ephemera, the bar sits beneath a tilted chalkboard that displays the daily drink specials and beer offerings. The club prides itself on cheap drinks and cheap admission prices—all the better for checking out local acts you may never have heard before. Don’t try to take advantage of the staff’s friendliness, however, lest they decide to show you how the severed door of a CPD car came to hang above the exit.
Not much at Corvus Coffee Roasters is automated. Here, the coffee beans are roasted in small batches using a Geisen cast-iron roaster, which must be operated by hand. This device results in a carefully attended roast calibrated to the nuances of each batch of beans. Beans are thus roasted several times a week, so customers get a bag in their hands within mere days of this process taking place. In the shop, coffee is brewed by hand as well, using an aeropress brewer or squeezing it between the barista's fists. Guests perch at the steel-and-oak bar or find a spot at community tables??crafted from salvaged Broadway trolley rails??inside or on the patio.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition? Our family business has made it a priority to be a part of the neighborhood we are so lucky to serve. We think of our espresso and wine bar more like a living room than a restaurant. We enjoy getting to know our guests and think of them more like family than paying customers.
What is one of your most popular offerings? How is it prepared? Our tortilla flats make the perfect tapas or light snack. With five kinds to choose from, there is sure to be one that whets your whistle. They are made on a flour or gluten free tortilla and topped with fresh vegetables, cheese and sauce.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business? Family! And a love of serving others. Our espresso and wine bar is our second location, right near DU and the Newman Performing Arts Center. Our shops are named after our grandmothers, Mae Rose and Jeanette. We hope our shop is as inviting to you as their homes were to their friends and neighbors!
What do you love most about your job? Not working for the man!
Chefs at Little India's four locations infuse authentic Indian dishes with fresh and exotic ingredients, earning Top of the Town awards from 5280 magazine for "a decade running." The culinary creatives concoct a taste-bud-tempting lot of specialty dishes, from the butter chicken to the super-hot lamb madras, which makes taste buds sweat with scantily clad seasonings. Vegetarians can spoon a kaleidoscope of meat-free dishes, including the dahl makhani, lentils cooked with tomato and savory spices. Guests sip mood-enhancing beverages from the bar, and the friendly wait staff places plated Indian delicacies and unplated charades suggestions at their fingertips.:m]]
From their beers to their entertainments, the owners of Renegade Publik House like to do things their own way. They brew their own craft beers, some of which—the imperial red IPA Scarlet Letter, for instance—can only be found at their bar. They pair their unique drafts with thin-crust, grilled pizzas that eschew traditional ingredients such as sauce in favor of combinations like the Baked Potato, a crust sporting a blend of crispy Yukon gold potatoes, pork belly, and chevre. They even refuse to hang a single television on their walls to distract from the social interaction within their pub. Instead, they entertain with a robust music selection and shelves full of once-banned books such as Farenheit 451, Clockwork Orange, and I Was in Reno When That Cherry Tree Was Felled: The Autobiography of George Washington.