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Chicago's First Cider Pub Is Opening March 8—Without Exec Chef Cleetus Friedman

Former Browntrout chef/owner Sean Sanders is taking the culinary helm at Fountainhead Group in a major pre-opening chef shuffle.

The Northman
The Northman
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Chicagoans have been anxiously awaiting the city's first cider pub since it was announced more than two years ago. That wait will finally end three weeks from today, but it will open with a major chef change.

Today, reps for the long-awaited The Northman announced that opening date—and also announced that executive chef Cleetus Friedman will no longer be with the company when it opens to the public. Sean Sanders, former owner and executive chef of Browntrout, is taking his place not only at The Northman, but also at Fountainhead and Fountainhead Market. Sanders is certainly an acclaimed chef as well, having earned five Michelin Bib Gourmands at Browntrout before the hyper-local trendsetter shuttered at the end of August 2015.

In addition, Friedman is leaving to "pursue another project which will further his culinary and personal passion," according to a statement. Friedman, reached by phone, isn't revealing more details on that yet, so stay tuned. The former City Provisions Deli chef/owner landed with the group in March 2013.

The concept remains unchanged at oft-delayed The Northman, and Chicagoans are finally getting a hard cider and bistro food bonanza in three weeks, and lunch service a week after that (March 15). More to come.


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