Sprout recently made a change of heart regarding their controversial "no kids allowed" policy for brunch service. The rule, which was put into place two and half years ago by executive chef Dale Levitski, ruffled more than a few feathers as the restaurant resides in an area with a lot of families. "There's a lot of places in Lincoln Park that cater to children. So we're choosing not to," Levitski told Time Out Chicago at the time.
But with Levitski away in Montana as a resident guest chef at The Resort at Paws Up, an e-mail from the restaurant went out a couple of weeks ago giving the impression that this rule had been done away with. The e-mail features a picture of owner Mike Causevic and his family (wife, daughter, and son)with a request to "join us for brunch every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m." as well as a new brunch menu. The menu also only mentions chef de cuisine John Hagedorn, Levitski's name is strangely nowhere to be found.
Levitski states that he's still on board as executive chef at Sprout, adding that the ownership simply "were not very happy with the original no kids brunch policy I put in place." He has been at the resort since June and is planning on returning to Chicago in November to continue running both Sprout and Lakeview's Frog 'n Snail.
Hagedorn meanwhile, says that the e-mail was "our way of declaring that everyone is welcome at Sprout," adding that "the level of cuisine is still of the same caliber, held to a constantly evolving, higher and higher standard."
Starting off as a line cook at Sprout this past March, Hagedorn was promoted to the chef de cuisine role by Levitski within two months. "He shared his approach with me" and "I have been leading the restaurant in his absence, trying my best to adhere to his style, but inserting my own where possible."