New Lightfoot proposal raises tipped workers’s sub-minimum wage
Mayor Lori Lightfoot proffered a compromise Wednesday regarding Chicago’s minimum wage that proposes a $15-an-hour wage by 2021, the Sun-Times reported, but tipped workers are only guaranteed 60 percent of that. Members of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus stated the plan does not go far enough to address the poverty rate among tipped workers. In October, the Mayor told reporters that she was opposed to including tipped workers in the minimum wage increase due to concerns about the impact on restaurants, especially small and independently-owned businesses.
City shutters Hyde Park burger spot for two-year license lapse
The city of Chicago has shut down local restaurateur Rico Nance’s Hyde Park burger spot Mikkey’s Retro Grill for operating without a license for almost two years, Block Club reported. City officials say the restaurant’s most recent license lapsed in March 2018, but by his own admission, Nance has continued to serve customers in the meantime despite a cease-and-desist order. Nance’s and the city’s accounts of what transpired diverge on several points — city officials say the restaurant owes $8,000 in fines, while Nance contends that he paid his debt but now will have to pay double due to a record-keeping error. The city denies his claim of a system error.
Chicago-based cafe chain Protein Bar & Kitchen to franchise and redesign
Chicago-based cafe chain Protein Bar & Kitchen will begin franchising the brand and open new restaurants for the first time in nearly four years, CEO Jeff Drake told the Tribune. An early adopter of health trends including CBD coffees and shakes and plant-based Beyond Meat offerings, the company also plans to launch a brand-owned suburban Deerfield location in early 2020. The new space, designed to serve as a prototype, will be smaller and “more efficient.” Protein Bar & Kitchen currently operates 19 restaurants total with 13 Chicago-area locations.
Mediterranean stalwart Reza’s will open in former Evanston icon Pete Miller’s
And finally, the team behind Andersonville Mediterranean stalwart Reza’s is making plans for a new suburban location in the former Pete Miller’s Steak & Seafood at 1557 Sherman Avenue in Evanston, owner Ryan Toulabi told the Daily Northwestern. Originally founded in 1983, Reza’s operates another suburban Oak Brook location. Pete Miller’s closed in August after 25 years in downtown Evanston. Toulabi said he’s still in the planning stages, but hopes to open within a few months. Reza’s also had locations in Lincoln Park and River North.