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Lakeview Nightclub Berlin Temporarily Closes Day After Customer Dies

Plus, McDonald’s CEO worries about Chicago crime

The exterior of a black-and-grey nightclub with a sign that reads “Berlin.”
Berlin opened in 1983.

Berlin Nightclub, the 39-year-old dance and drag club in Lakeview, temporarily closed on Sunday following the death of a woman who was found unresponsive at the venue the previous morning, owners announced on Twitter.

Police are investigating the death of the woman, 27, who was discovered before 5 a.m. on Saturday at the club and subsequently transported to nearby Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center where she was pronounced dead, according to the Tribune.

Founded in 1983, Berlin has long served as a destination for LGBTQ locals and visitors for drag shows, dance parties, and theme nights. “Berlin Nightclub is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own last night,” co-owners wrote in part on Saturday. “Out of respect for this lost life, we will be holding a night of closure this evening... Please keep an eye on our page for mutual aid support in the coming days.”

McDonald’s draws political ire

McDonald’s has become a lightning rod in local politics over the last few weeks. After McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski bemoaned the departures of several high-profile companies including Boening, Caterpillar, and Citadel, Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged Kempczinski to “face facts” and “educate himself before he spoke.” In remarks at the Economic Club of Chicago in September, Kempczinski questioned how public safety led to the companies leaving Illinois: “Everywhere I go, I’m confronted by the same question these days — what’s going on in Chicago? While it may wound our civic pride to hear it, there is a general sense out there that our city is in crisis.” Kempczinski and Lightfoot are text buddies if Chicagoans recall a thread from November 2021 when the CEO apologized for insensitive remarks after Chicago police fatally shot a 13-year-old boy.

In a bizarre twist last week, Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Kathy Salvi decided to invoke the fast-food chain while alluding to Lightfoot’s comments. Last week on Twitter, Salvi posted a video of herself standing in a McDonald’s parking lot extolling the virtues of the brand’s menu and deriding incumbent Democrat Sen. Tammy Duckworth for failing to defend McDonald’s from Lightfoot. The strange communiqué was received with gleeful confusion by Twitter users, who seized the opportunity to ask serious questions: “Are you willing to hold Officer Big Mac accountable for his failures?” one queried. “As Senator for the Great State of McDonald’s, Mayor McCheese and I will keep you safe from the Hamburglar,” indie news collective the People’s Fabric intoned.

Ex-Food & Wine editor pops up with Beverly Kim

The Abundance Setting, chef Beverly Kim’s (Parachute) nonprofit dedicated to supporting mothers working in the hospitality industry, will this week partner with Dana Cowin, former editor-in-chief of Food & Wine, for the launch of her new zine Speaking Broadly from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, October 5 at Kim’s restaurant Wherewithall in Avondale. The event will include “one-on-one mentoring moments” with Cowin and a reception featuring small plates from local chefs such as Tigist Reda of Demera, Carrie Nahabedian of Brindille, and Maya-Camille Broussard of Justice of the Pies. Tickets ($100) are available online.

Levy acquires a stake in Boka

James Beard Award-winning Boka Restaurant Group, known for restaurants like Girl & the Goat and Momotaro, has sold a minority stake to another familiar Chicago name: Levy. Now known as the food-service provider for venues including Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Field, and United Center, the company’s originated in 1978 with D.B. Kaplan’s Delicatessen at Water Tower Place. They also owned Spiaggia, the acclaimed downtown Italian restaurant with chef Tony Mantuano. Boka had no further comment on the deal, but a Levy rep stresses that nothing will change in Boka’s operations. Down the road, perhaps Boka could open a full-service restaurant at Wrigley? Boka has already found success with Hoxton hotels, opening restaurants in Chicago and New York — they’re also heading to LA. Hoxton also has international plans, but Boka so far hasn’t been linked to those. Locally, Boka has a Lakeview project and one in River North with chef Daniel Rose, a suburban native who’s behind a few Michelin-starred French restaurants. Rose and Boka also have plans for LA.

Water Tower Place

835 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 440-3166 Visit Website


954 West Belmont Avenue, , IL 60657 (773) 348-4975 Visit Website


1729 North Halsted Street, , IL 60614 (312) 337-6070 Visit Website

Berlin Nightclub

954 W Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657 773 348 4975

United Center

1901 West Madison Street, , IL 60612


3472 North Elston Avenue, , IL 60618 (773) 692-2192 Visit Website

Justice of the Pies

8655 South Blackstone Avenue, , IL 60619 Visit Website

Guaranteed Rate Field

333 West 35th Street, , IL 60616 (312) 674-1000 Visit Website

Boka Restaurant Group

820 West Lake Street, , IL 60607 (312) 238-9896 Visit Website


4801 North Broadway Street, Chicago, IL 60640 Visit Website


534 North Clark Street, , IL 60654 (312) 595-1616 Visit Website

Wrigley Field

, Chicago, IL 60613