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Small Suburban Chicago Brewery Buys California Beer Behemoth Ballast Point

Plus, the founder of a 48-year-old cult Rogers Park sub shop has died, and more intel

A can of Ballast Point beer on a wooden table beside a plate of food.
Suburban Hillside brewery Kings & Convicts bought Ballast Point.
Ballast Point [Official Photo]

Suburban Chicago brewery buys California beer favorite Ballast Point

California-based beer favorite Ballast Point Brewing Co. is now in the hands of a Chicago-area brewer. Representatives wrote in an announcement that suburban Highwood brewery Kings & Convicts Brewing Co. bought the business from Constellation Brands — the owner of the American rights to Corona, Modelo, and more — this month. The deal includes Ballast Point’s Fulton Market brewpub, as well as four California locations and a tasting room. Kings & Convicts owners hope to quell the fears of Ballast Point’s many devotees by hanging on to all of its current employees. Representatives did not disclose how much Kings & Convicts paid. A rep told Eater: “There are no plans to change operations with Ballast Point and Fulton Market. Kings & Convicts will continue producing Ballast Point and Kings & Convicts is well positioned to optimize the brand and build upon the homebrew roots that have made Ballast an iconic craft pioneer.”

Founder of cult Rogers Park sandwich shop Capt’n Nemo’s has died

Lou Ragusi, founder of cult Rogers Park submarine sandwich shop Capt’n Nemo’s, died last month at age 88 from pancreatic cancer, the Sun-Times reported. First opened in 1971, Capt’n Nemo’s developed a dedicated following for its hefty subs, such as the “Seafarer” (tuna salad, muenster, boiled eggs, lettuce, tomato, onion, “Secret Sauce,” mayo) as well as chili and hearty soups — navy bean, split pea, and more. Ragusi’s son Steve now runs the business at 7367 N. Clark Street and an outpost in suburban Winnetka. A Lakeview location on Ashland Avenue shuttered last year. The sandwiches were also once available inside Wrigley Field.

CPD supt. Johnson’s firing spotlights boozy institution Ceres Cafe

Ceres Cafe, the bar and restaurant institution in the Chicago Board of Trade building that’s notorious for its heavy liquor pours, has found itself at the center of political uproar this week. Former Chicago Police Department superintendent Eddie Johnson apparently spent three hours imbibing at the bar on October 17 before he was discovered asleep inside his running police vehicle at 12:30 a.m., the Tribune reported. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has since accused Johnson of lying about what happened at the Financial District mainstay, known for its clientele of traders taking boozy lunches and “four finger” pours of liquor. He initially claimed that he forgot to take his blood pressure medication, but when news broke Monday that he was fired, the city inspector general’s office revealed that it possessed a video of Johnson drinking with a woman at Ceres Cafe on the evening in question.

Logan Square sports bar Park & Field to hold an outdoor Christmas market

Vintage-y Logan Square sports bar and restaurant Park & Field will throw its own take on a Christmas market from noon to 5 p.m. on December 14 and 15 with gooey raclette sandwiches, seasonal belly-warmers such as mulled wine, spiked cider, and hot chocolate. The outdoor event on its large front patio will also feature small business vendors, so patrons can pick up treats for furry friends at For Dog’s Sake, vinyl tunes from Record Breakers, and more. Park & Field staff will also serve brunch inside the restaurant at 3509 W. Fullerton Avenue until 2:30 p.m., when the regular menu becomes available. Reservations are available on OpenTable.

Publican group’s Paul Kahan to host launch dinner for new cookbook

And finally, acclaimed One Off Hospitality Group chefs Paul Kahan and Perry Hendrix will host a family-style dinner Monday at their Randolph Street destination Avec to celebrate the release of Kahan’s second cookbook, Cooking for the Good Times: Super Delicious, Super Simple. At $195 per ticket, the meal will feature some of the restaurant’s most popular and well-known menu items, including chorizo-stuffed medjool dates and “deluxe” focaccia with taleggio cheese. Kahan and Hendrix will also regale diners with back-of-house tales about the restaurant and its dishes. Tickets are available via Tock.

Ceres Cafe

141 West Jackson Boulevard, , IL 60604 (312) 427-3443 Visit Website


615 West Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60661 (312) 377-2002 Visit Website

Capt'n Nemo's

7367 North Clark Street, , IL 60626 (773) 973-0570 Visit Website

Ballast Point Brewing Chicago

212 North Green Street, , IL 60607 (312) 243-9570 Visit Website