Neighbors call police, claiming Richard’s Bar was open
Police were again called in Tuesday to Richard’s Bar after a caller claimed the tavern was open for business, despite the statewide mandate that closed all bars though at least March 30, Block Club Chicago reported. Neighbors reportedly called police at about 9 p.m. after they said they saw around nine customers drinking inside the River West tavern. The bar claims it was open for carryouts; the state has loosened laws during the pandemic to allow bars to sell unopened beer and wine to-go. Though Richard’s qualifies as a packaged good store (a bar and retail hybrid). Police didn’t tell Block Club if Richard’s received a citation or warning. The bar is infamous for ignoring the indoor smoking ban. More recently, the bar was in the news for the fatal February stabbing of Kenneth “Kenny” Paterimos. After releasing the suspect, the alleged attacker now faces second-degree murder charges.
West Town Brewery burglarized, needs public’s help
Adding to a difficult time, the owners of Midwest Coast Brewing Company. woke up on Thursday to find their West Town brewery burglarized. A Facebook post didn’t say what was taken, but — given the COVID-19 challenges — owners wrote “waking up in the early hours this morning to discover the brewery broken into in the middle of all this is beyond emotionally draining.” Instead of focusing on unveiling an online ordering page where 20-percent of merchandise sales would go into a relief fund for staff, they need money to fix up the damage caused by the burglary. The brewery still has a site accepting donations for their employees.
Alinea staffer organizes meals for hospitality industry in West Loop
From noon to 5 p.m., Eleven Eleven in the West Loop will host family meal service for members of the hospitality industry who have seen their wages disappear due to pandemic closures. Organizers hope to feed 50, and want to make this a weekly occurrence to help people during the outbreak. Brad Fishman, who’s worked in Alinea’s front of the house for more than five years, has put the effort together. Fishman and friends will be cooking chicken wings, wagyu sliders, mushroom grilled cheese, and more. Regalis Foods has donated the food. Fishman tells Eater Chicago he needed to find a way to help during the crisis and that he “would rather give back than sit at home drinking IPAs and watching Netflix.”
Chicago distilleries pivot to hand sanitizer production
Hand sanitizer is extraordinarily difficult to find right now, even for medical professionals, and this week, the state has lifted laws to allow distilleries to produce alternatives. Koval Distillery announced plans to produce hand sanitizer in bulk for “the medical community, retirement homes, and those on the front lines in this war against COVID-19,” reps wrote in a Facebook post. Koval will offer the sanitizer to those in need free of charge, and supporters can help that effort by donating to a GoFundMe for the project. Logan Square’s Chicago Distilling is also working to produce high-proof alcohol that allows Chicagoans to make their own hand sanitizer, according to owner Jay DiPrizios. He plans to sell some sanitizer to the public and donate the rest to hospitals and nursing homes. Over in suburban Highwood, 28 Mile is doing the same. This reflects a national trend.
Chicago chef cruises on Food Network competition
And finally, Chicago chef Lamar Moore continued his successful run on Thursday night’s episode of Food Network’s Vegas Chef Prizefight. Moore (Swill Inn, Currency Exchange Cafe) took top honors in the first round, which gave him the chance to pick two chefs for his culinary team. Moore exchanged some playful barbs with Arizona chef Jeff Kraus. Moore laughed about Kraus’s inexperience using a wok. Kraus knocked the presentation of Moore’s tangerine tempura-fried chicken, bok choy fried rice. The teams competed for the attention of Dicky Fong, director of culinary operations for showy Chinese restaurant, Mr. Chow. Moore, now the only Chicago representative, is one of five chefs left who are vying for an executive chef’s job at the Flamingo Las Vegas. The episode also featured an adorable childhood photo montage of Moore.