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Ricketts’s DNAinfo and Chicagoist Shutdown Leaves a Void and More Intel

Plus, Goose Island Bourbon County Black Friday tickets go onsale next week

The Goose Island Brewhouse in Lincoln Park
Barry Brecheisen
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

—By now, news has spread of the decision to end the publication of DNAinfo Chicago and Chicagoist. There’s a note on the websites’ landing pages that announces the decision from Joe Ricketts, the owner of the Cubs, whose family has ignited development around Wrigley Field, thus altering the neighborhood’s character. DNAinfo was vital in covering restaurant openings and topics including gentrification — reporter Ariel Cheung broke stories this week about Pilsen — that restaurant owners and companies hoped customers would ignore. Chicagoist featured the talents of Anthony Todd, and included restaurant reviews and other food news that entertained and informed the city. Ricketts, a multimillionaire, claimed that he couldn’t figure out the right financial strategy to sustain the publications. Instead of negotiating with staff or selling the websites, he shut them down days after staff in New York unionized.

—An example of DNAinfo’s reporting impact showed when Wicker Park reporter Alisa Hauser reported that the Blue Line Lounge and Grill, 1958 W. Damen Avenue, would soon reopen after remodeling. The link doesn’t work as of publication time — Ricketts took down the website’s archives — but Hauser reported that the bar would reopen on Wednesday with new booths. The decor was beaten up inside the bar underneath the Damen Blue Line stop.

—DNAinfo’s Kelly Bauer and Dave Matthews reported heavily on the Bottled Blonde saga — the River North “restaurant/bar” that could have its liquor license revoked. It hasn’t been a good neighbor, allegedly. The decision over the license now falls with the city. A decision should come in fewer than five weeks, according to a city spokeswoman.

—River North’s tiki destination, Three Dots and a Dash, has launched a new menu. In the news release, it clandestinely confirmed that bar director Julian Cox was no longer at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. Looks like, as Eater LA predicted, Cox has retreated back to the West Coast only after a year. He’s at Riviera in LA. Kevin Beary is now LEYE’s beverage director. The company made a big deal of hiring Cox.

— A holiday rite of passage is coming closer. Tickets to Goose Island Brewery’s Bourbon County Brand Stout Black Friday tasting go on sale on at noon on Monday. Set those alarm clocks. The Tribune breaks down what customers will get for their $100 tickets. The tastings of the rare beer (they get released every year to ridiculous fanfare) will take place at the newly remodeled Lincoln Park brewhouse — it reopened last week.

Three Dots and a Dash

435 North Clark Street, , IL 60654 (312) 610-4220 Visit Website

Bottled Blonde

504 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654 (480) 970-1112 Visit Website

Wrigley Field

, Chicago, IL 60613

Lettuce Entertain You

5419 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60640 (773) 878-7340