— Cherry Circle Room’s Andrew Algren, one of Chicago’s top sommeliers, sadly passed away earlier this month. The Kansas native was named a Star Chefs rising star earlier this year. Fellow acclaimed local sommelier Jon McDaniel wrote a touching tribute to Algren and here’s an interview that looked back at Cherry Circle Room’s first year, which Algren took part in.
— Acclaimed Edgewater cake artist Adam Gueldener won Food Network’s “Holiday Wars” in an episode that aired on Sunday night. Gueldener, who has created epic cakes for Chance The Rapper, the cast of “Empire,” and more celebrities, works at Edge of Sweetness bakery. Block Club did a deep dive into Gueldener’s victory here.
— El Maya, a Mexican restaurant that opened in 2013 at 1522 W. Montrose Avenue — less than a block away from the popular Mixteco Grill — is also now shuttered. Yelp lists it as closed, its voicemail is full, and an LTH Forum poster reports a sign in the window that reads “Closed — restaurant for lease.” Mixteco shuttered in January 2017.
— And finally, essential Southern restaurant Big Jones in Andersonville was vandalized and burglarized on Monday night, ownership revealed on social media. It was closed for lunch yesterday before reopening for dinner service last night. Multiple businesses in the area were robbed on Sunday and Monday, Block Club reports, and First Slice Pie Cafe had its safe stolen during a Thanksgiving break-in.