Chicago is a longtime Democratic stronghold that came through for the party once again last week: More than 82 percent of Chicago voters cast for the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ticket, according to the Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners. In true Chicago style, locals cheered the defeat of President Donald Trump with shots of Jeppson’s Malört, the city’s famed bitter liqueur, outside the riverside tower that bears his name.
Tremaine Atkinson, owner of CH Distillery — the company that makes Malört — texted Eater Chicago: “Very apropos. Malört is the comfort food of Chicago celebrations!”
From the downtown area to neighborhoods like Andersonville, Hyde Park, Little Village, and beyond, the city erupted into revelry with music, dancing, parades of beeping cars, and — naturally — drinking.
Only in Chicago: shots of Malort now being distributed outside Trump tower. pic.twitter.com/iTNHhL2tHe— Courtney Kueppers (@cmkueppers) November 7, 2020
The team at West Town Bakery, from Fifty/50 Restaurant Group, started selling 4-inch smash cakes bearing photos of Trump or Vice President Mike Pence last month. A hundred cake sales brought in $460 for the ACLU of Illinois, according to a spokesperson. Each sale donated $4.60 to the civil rights group in honor of Biden’s position as the 46th president.
Some local chefs and restaurant owners have shared their reaction to the results on social media: “Didn’t expect when I woke up this morning to have cried twice by mid-afternoon,” Zoe Schor, chef and co-owner of Split-Rail restaurant and downstairs bar Dorothy in West Town, wrote on Instagram. “This isn’t the end, and it’s not the beginning, but it’s a chance to take a breath and be grateful.”
Another Chicago restaurant owner and chef queried — with a sense of a relief and a smile — if it was okay to buy Goya products again. Others gave voice to their joy visually: Diana Dávila, chef and owner of Mi Tocaya Antojeria in Logan Square, posted a video clip of two glasses of Champagne sparkling in the sunshine, accompanied by a series of American flag emojis; chef and restaurateur Beverly Kim (Parachute, Wherewithall) danced with one of her children to Madonna’s “Holiday” in an Instagram video. “Time to celebrate!!” she wrote.
Many notable Chicago restaurant owners have not been shy about expressing opposition to Trump and his policies. Ten local hospitality leaders including Erick Williams (Virtue), Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe, Marisol, Superkhana International), and Julia Momose (Kumiko) in September joined more than 150 operators across the country who signed a letter endorsing Biden for president. Others expressed anger, fear, and dismay in October when Trump announced he was halting negotiations on a stimulus bill could have delivered crucial aid to a hospitality industry crushed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ownership at 5 Rabbit Brewery stopped selling its beers at Trump Tower Chicago following the then-candidate’s racist remarks about Mexicans five years ago, which resulted in a lot of drama, a documentary, and national coverage.
“It’s been four long years. Years that have tested those qualities that define us as humans: love, honesty, empathy, respect, humility, integrity, and sense of community,” 5 Rabbits ownership wrote on Instagram in Spanish and English. “Today marks a giant step forward, after a long time moving in the wrong direction.”
5 Rabbit co-founder Mila Ramirez in January told Eater Chicago that she wished the circumstances that led to the beer’s creation — Trump’s campaign and subsequent election — never existed. Now, she never has to brew it again.
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What a day! This my friends, is a victory beer! Que felicidad porque sentimos que finalmente el país puede empezar a sanar. Han sido cuatro largos años. Años que han puesto a prueba aquellas cualidades que nos definen como humanos: amor, honestidad, empatía, respeto, humildad, integridad, y sentido de comunidad. Hoy marca un gigantesco paso hacia adelante, después de mucho tiempo avanzando en la dirección equivocada. Hay muchísimo trabajo por delante y además necesitamos fortalecer nuestras raíces en este país y todo lo que aportamos como gran gente que somos; a first step in strengthening our role that significantly contributes to making America great. We love you and as long as you allow us to continue being part of your lives, we will fight for our communities and empower them to be part of the restructuring this country needs. Oh, and let’s not forget the beer! We will continue making delicious beer! Salud a todos, y al gran cambio que viene! #chingatupelo #hope #makeamericagreatagain #chingonasvote #poderlatino Gracias a nuestro querido amigo @thepanch8 who took this in front of the White House tonight!