Lee Ann Whippen is back as a pit master in the Gold Coast. Whippen, formerly of Chicago Q, is collaborating with the team behind pricey celebrity hangout/riverfront business lunch specialists Chicago Cut Steakhouse. Ownership has remodeled their space at The Local and renamed it Southern Cut Barbecue.
The Local had been closed for January while crews reshaped the space. Southern Cut has been open since the start of the month inside the Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile Suites Hotel. The menu is pretty similar to Chicago Q’s, and they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Southern Cut also features Whippen’s competition ribs. There’s also a hearty, layered concoction called the Bar-B-Que Sundae with smoked meat, baked beans, coleslaw and pickles.
Neither co-owners David Flom and Matty Moore were reached for comment. However, they’re already drawing celebrities. Former Mayor Richard M. Daley joined them on Tuesday at Southern Cut.
Whippen left Chicago Q two years ago, and eventually filed a lawsuit against the barbecue restaurant’s owner Fred Latsko, alleging the company didn’t properly pay her or make due on a promises to make her a partner. That case is still pending in court. Chicago first noticed the opening.
The Gold Coast has another barbecue spot, as Southern Cut is open.
Southern Cut Barbecue, 198 E. Delaware Place, inside the Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile Suites Hotel, (312) 280-8887, open daily 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.