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Blackbird & Avec’s Ex-Bookkeeper Charged With Stealing More Than $600K

Plus, Lost Lake revamps its menu and more intel

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Barry Brecheisen

— The former bookkeeper for Blackbird and Avec was arrested and charged with allegedly stealing more than $600,000 by writing unauthorized One Off Hospitality checks for more than six years, the Tribune and Sun-Times report. Renee Johnson, if convicted of the fraud, could face up to 20 years in prison. One Off, which is going strong and opened Big Star Wrigleyville earlier this week, originally filed suit against her in February.

— Tiki icon Lost Lake has released a brand new menu that includes a bevy of new cocktails as well as food items including a banh mi sandwich. Read through the full menus below.

Sarah Grueneberg is the latest guest chef to design a sandwich at Honey Butter Fried Chicken. The Monteverde chef/owner’s special is a spicy chicken parm, made of fried chicken strips, Calabrian chile pimento cheese, spicy tomato sauce, and fresh basil. It’ll be available from April 10-15 for $11, and $1 from the sale of each will go to Mercy Home For Boys & Girls.

Fort Willow, DMK’s treehouse-inspired bar and eatery on the Elston Corridor, starts Sunday brunch service this weekend. Menu items include a variety of brunch cocktails including brunch punches and dim sum-style “brunch bites” such as oyster shooters with fresh tomato juice and Sriracha, and house-made Fritos with salsa verde, cheese and a fried egg.

Goose Island is now “the official craft beer partner” of the Chicago White Sox, the Tribune reports. The deal adds much more Goose Island beer and signage to Chicago’s South Side ballpark.

— And finally, two server assistants at City Winery on the Riverwalk will receive an award for bravery from the Chicago Fire Department today. Jarmond Sharkey and Amaurilino Garcia protected the life of a young man who was seriously injured after falling onto the Riverwalk from Wacker Drive on St. Patrick’s Day, according to a news release.


615 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661 (312) 377-2002 Visit Website


614 North 2nd Street, , PA 19123 (267) 324-5224 Visit Website

Guaranteed Rate Field

333 West 35th Street, , IL 60616 (312) 674-1000 Visit Website


1020 West Madison Street, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 888-3041

Fort Willow

1721 North Elston Avenue, , IL 60642 (773) 687-8898 Visit Website

Lost Lake

3154 West Diversey Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 293-6048 Visit Website

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

3361 North Elston Avenue, , IL 60618 (773) 478-4000 Visit Website