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The 'Traveling Cowboy Chef' Takes Over the Chop Shop Kitchen

John Wayne Formica heads to Chop Shop while its former chef joins his running mate at Luxbar.

John Wayne Formica
John Wayne Formica

Just past the one-year mark, and there's a change in the Chop Shop kitchen and menu changes in the works. The dizzying combination restaurant/bar/deli/butcher shop/event space has a new chef—former Rodelio Aglibot protege John Wayne Formica, aka the "traveling cowboy chef," who previously worked at Sunda, E+O, Reverie, and Homestead.

Formica is working to add some "new, lighter dishes" to Chop Shop's meat-centric menu, as well as launching weekend brunch early next month, according to owner Nick Moretti.

Meanwhile, Chop Shop's opening chef, Joshua Marrelli, has moved on to rejoin his former running mate. He's now the sous chef at Luxbar—underneath former Urban Union chef Michael Schrader. Schrader fell off the map when Urban Union suddenly shuttered, resurfacing at the Gibson's Group's swank Gold Coast bar. Now he's bringing his former chef de cuisine along for the ride.


18 East Bellevue Place, , IL 60611 (312) 642-3400 Visit Website

Chop Shop

1366 Memorial Drive Southeast, , GA 30317 (404) 370-1818 Visit Website