Marengo Ridge Golf Club, which began as a modest nine-hole course, endured a 25-year gap before taking full advantage of the surrounding landscape's diverse terrain and expanding into a sprawling 18-hole course. Course architect William James Spear broke ground on the front nine in 1963, designating a large, renovated cow barn as the first clubhouse and cleaving nine holes through densely wooded hills. This layout proved sufficient until a late ‘80s spike in the local caddy population—and business boom—made the addition of a back nine desirable. Construction began in 1988 and, two years later, a new nine-hole track opened for play, presenting golfers with a profound shift in scenery, as this layout was built on an expanse of open farmland. The old clubhouse lasted for three more years, but the awkward location and argyle-wearing cattle called for the construction of a new clubhouse to match the new 18-hole golf club.
Today, golfers enjoy the diverse layout of the 18-hole course from the first hole, the longest par 4 on the course, to the last, a par 5 severe dogleg right. Water enters play on nine holes, including on the first six, creating the potential for an extending water break for thirsty golf carts.
Course at a Glance:
The Great American Cooking Expo presents "It's Just a Taste: Food and Wine Festival" brings together celebrity chefs, culinary trendsetters, and food and wine connoisseurs for two days of eating, drinking, and education. The event fills Arlington Park Racecourse’s 50,000 square feet with delicious aromas generated by more than 100 exhibitors, who alternate between demonstrating advanced techniques and providing tasty morsels and wine samples for the crowds. While professionals show off the methods that produce exceptional flavors, more than 25 premium beverage manufacturers offer up the perfect wines to pair. They provide more than 125 wines to sample, along with ample spirits and cordials.
The event’s organizers hope to provide more than fleeting culinary satisfaction. They also organize stations to help generate menu ideas, teach specific recipes, or inspire visitors to find the perfect gift for a culinary-inclined friend, whether it’s a set of new pots or a kidnapped celebrity chef.
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.
Since 1981, families have flocked to the attractions at Jus-Fun Amusements. They zip around the 1/5-mile go-kart track, drifting around its three hairpin turns, then douse each other with water balloons in the Water Wars arena, where arguments ensue over which bathroom the loser has to clean. A more leisurely pastime can be found on the grassy expanses of the mini-golf, where the obstacles are changed once a month to challenge repeat visitors.
Founded in 1975, Martin Lawrence Galleries specializes in original paintings, sculptures and limited edition graphics. The gallery is distinguished by works of art by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Rembrandt, Robert Deyber, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Erté, Liudmila Kondakova, and many more!
Mary Mayer's career in Irish dancing started when she took her first lessons in Ireland while staying with her grandmother in the early '70s. She loved it so much that when she returned to Chicago, she—as well as her brother John—began taking lessons at a local Irish-dance school, where they danced with such people as Lord of the Dance creator Michael Flatley. Both Mary and John eventually starting placing at regional and national championships.
In 1980, they founded the Mayer School of Irish Dancing. It began in a basement with only five students—two of who were their younger brother and sister, Paul and Julie Mayer. These two followed in their older siblings' footsteps by placing in championships and even landing roles in Road to Perdition. Paul trained actress Jennifer Jason Leigh and danced with her in the film. Julie also trained many actors and performed alongside Paul Newman and Daniel Craig.
Though John has since retired, Mary continues to teach classes six days a week in Villa Park and Galena. Paul and Julie man two of the school's additional locations, which now span four states. Their students have placed in regional and national championships. Some have even traveled to Ireland to put their skills on display at the All-Ireland Championship and see if any snakes have found their way back yet.