While Lillie's Q has enjoyed a great first year in business in Chicago, it's not the first location—and it likely won't be the last. Chef/owner Charlie McKenna's parents run a Lillie's Q in Destin, Fla., that he helped them open, and McKenna said he and his partners are talking about opening a third spot, possibly in the Chicago suburbs.
"We talk about opening in a suburb of Chicago, maybe Naperville. That's where one my partner's lives," McKenna said. "We have a realtor looking for locations, but it's all just talk at this point. We're at the beginning stages."
One thing that is more certain is that McKenna's housemade bottled sauces, of which he has created five, will hit retail soon. He already sells the sauces, along with proprietary rubs and T-shirts, on the Lillie's Q website so bringing the products to market is a next natural move. "We're working on that right now," he said. "We're looking to take that part of the business to another level."
McKenna has already sold his goods at Dose Market and will now bring the product to Williams-Sonoma's Artisans Market on Michigan Avenue the first Saturday of October, November and December. From there, he hopes to grow that relationship. "We're working out being in their top 60 stores across the country," McKenna said.
More locally, McKenna has entered into talks with some markets like Olivia's and the Goddess and Grocer, but at this point, nothing has been finalized. Eventually, he'd like to see his sauces and rubs at Whole Foods, but not a more general store, like Jewel. "That's just not really our market," he said. "Our sauces are all natural and it's more of an artisanal product."
· Charlie McKenna on Lillie's Q's First Year [~EChi~]