The life of a Chicago restaurant is movie-worthy, and the story of a fictional one is on the indie video screen. "Trubadeaux: A Restaurant Movie," produced by Chicago-based Group Mind Films, is inspired by real events. The main characters, chef/GM brothers, struggle to keep their bistro afloat. It's available to watch now on the website.
Group Mind partners John Berka and Jay Sukow have 35 years combined in the restaurant business and much of the film's content is sourced from their time working in many local restaurants. While serving together at a Rush Street restaurant, they told each other, "why don't we just make a movie about this."
The goal for the duo, who have an improv background at Second City, was to paint a more realistic picture of restaurant work, with "middle-management bullies" and wannabe celebrity chefs, than a movie like "Waiting."
"It's not about high school kids working at Applebee's," Berka says. "We think working in restaurants is super funny in a sad way."
Continuing the Chicago ties, the entire film was shot in Chicago. All the restaurant interior footage was shot over nine days at Edgewater Beach Cafe. All the food was made by Mike Sheerin (Trenchermen), who also consulted on the film.
Released last month, it's available for a $5 download on the website. The release is only on a digital format, it's not in theaters.