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Ex-Grace Owner Ripped in Scathing Column Over Lawsuits

Plus, Cesar’s and Katy’s Dumpling House face IRS-related charges

Marc Much
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.

— Fooditor’s Michael Gebert earlier this week covered the Grace legal situation and pulled zero punches by describing Grace’s ex-owner Michael Olszewski as “the kind of guy who has F-you money.” The former owner of the shuttered restaurant sued chef Curtis Duffy and GM Michael Muser for chronic absenteeism and sending food to events across the world on the company’s dime. Gebert explained how these trips are essential to marketing; Duffy’s old boss Grant Achatz does that frequently for Alinea. Gebert also paints doubts that either of Olszewski’s planned restaurants will open, mentioning there’s already a chef shuffle at the Rogers Park restaurant. Gebert took the time to clarify that Duffy and Muser came out with a positive in their lawsuit against Olszewski. The case was dismissed, but — according to Gebert — the judge allowed them to pursue real estate leads for an upcoming restaurant while they wait for their noncompete clause to expire in mid-2019. Again, the judge did not rule in favor of either party, the case was dismissed.

— The owners of five Chicago-area restaurants were charged with underreporting receipts to the IRS, according to a U.S. Attorney’s office news release. The charges stem from a larger federal investigation. The owners of Katy’s Dumpling House in Westmont; Sushi City in Downers Grove, and Hunan Spring in Evanston were indicted on Tuesday. Their alleged crimes cover 2012 to 2015. In the city, the owners of the two Cesar’s locations (a.k.a. “the home of the killer margaritas”) in Lakeview were charged on Tuesday. Their alleged crimes cover calendar year 2012 that exceeded the $2.8 million they reported. Arraignments haven’t been scheduled. The probe focused on cash register sales suppression software known as “tax zappers.”

— It’s a tradition like no other: Goose Island Brewing Co. has released its 2018 Bourbon County Brand Stout lineup. Goose traditionally released the beers on Black Friday (November 23) and folks wake up super early after Thanksgiving to procure bottles. This year, there’s no regular coffee variant, but there’s a coffee barleywine among the eight beers. Original, Reserve (aged in 12-year-old Elijah Craig barrel proofs barrels), and Proprietor’s (made with dark chocolate and two types of cocoa nibs) return from last year. Besides coffee barleywine, Wheatwine (aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels), and Midnight Orange Stout (made with Spanish orange peels and Mexican mocha) make their debuts. Meanwhile, old faves Vanilla stout and Bramble rye stout (made with raspberry and blackberry juice and puree) make their returns.

Goose Island’s 2018 Bourbon County Brand Stout lineup.
Goose Island Brewing [Official Photo]

— Don’t fall over, Replay Lincoln Park is doing a pop-up inside its Office pop-up next week, according to a release. On Friday, August 17, the arcade bar is hosting “The Dundies,” the award show featured in a 2003 episode of the TV show written by Mindy Kailing. The episode takes place at a neighborhood Chili’s, so Replay is going there with plenty of flair and margaritas. “The Dundies” name comes from Dunder Mifflin, the fictional paper company from the show. Of course, West Loop bar MONEYGUN did a Fridays pop-up last year and received a sweet box of swag from the chain. The Replay pop-up will feature Chili’s swag for customers.

— Earlier this summer, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises introduced Chicago to Tokyo’s Wagyumafia sandwich, but the Melman crew and partner/chef Doug Psaltis aren’t done. RPM Steak is offering its version of the sandwich for two days: Today and Saturday. RPM’s katsu sando is 4 ounces of Miyazaki Japanese wagyu tenderloin covered with panko and fried. It’s then sandwiched between Hokkaido milk bread and truffle katsu sauce, according to a release. This decadent pleasure will set customers back $145, according to a spokesperson. That’s $36.25 per ounce.

Formento’s, the Italian restaurant in the West Loop with chef Todd Stein, has a new bar menu. It’s available at 6:30 p.m. daily. Items include calamari, meatballs, and chicken parmesan or eggplant sliders. They will also service Sicilian-style pizza slices from Nonna, their neighboring sandwich shop. The menu will rotate.

Replay Lincoln Park

2833 North Sheffield Avenue, , IL 60657 (773) 665-5660 Visit Website

RPM Steak

66 West Kinzie Street, , IL 60654 (312) 284-4990 Visit Website


925 West Randolph Street, , IL 60607 (312) 690-7295 Visit Website

Lettuce Entertain You

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


652 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60661 (817) 877-3388

Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods

1415 North Wood Street, , IL 60622 (773) 360-8320 Visit Website