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Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation at Navy Pier IMAX

Posted on July 29th, 2015 by

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Ethan Hunt and the crew are back at it again for the fifth installment of the “Mission: Impossible” series that’s been so successful dating back almost 20 years to the release of the first film in 1996. With counter-terrorism and highly classified, undercover missions being the main course for this bunch, it’s no surprise that this new edition will feature a revamped plotline in which Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise, once again is the subject of a worldwide manhunt.

This time his international agency, the IMF, is dissolved by the government for being too chaotic and dangerous, and a new group of spies and secret agents is after him. This new team, the syndicate, is specially trained and highly motivated to destroy the former IMF and its agents to allow them to use a series of escalating terrorist attacks to create a new world order, a rogue nation. You won’t want to miss out as Hunt and his crew escape danger and certain death while attempting to uncover the syndicate and their dubious exploits.

The film will open at IMAX Navy Pier this Thursday July 30. Navy Pier is located at 600 E Grand Ave. and to get more information on the IMAX showings of “Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation” go to navypier.com/navy-pier-imax-theatre.

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History is Served at the Berghoff

Posted on July 28th, 2015 by

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Take a trip back in time through some of Chicago’s most historic moments with a tour of the Berghoff restaurant this Saturday. Part of the History is Served series, attendees will be taken on a behind the scenes tour of the Berghoff’s historic building, which dates back to the restaurant’s opening in 1898.

Founded by German immigrant German Berghoff as a place to showcase his signature beer, the tour details the bar’s roots at the 1893 World’s Fair, where Berghoff served his beer to a worldly clientele. Also showcased is the early days as a men’s only saloon, its survival during prohibition, and the bar receiving Chicago’s first liquor license after Prohibition.

One of the traits Chicago is known for is its world class architecture. With this tour, tourists and locals alike will be treated to a close up look at the historic building and beautiful artwork.

For those just looking to get an idea of what running a modern day restaurant entails, there will be plenty of that too as the daily operations and food preparation will also be showcased.

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Those who attend will also get to enjoy three classic Berghoff food items: mini bratwurst, Reuben, and apple strudel. They can enjoy it with a stein of seasonal Berghoff draft beer and famous Berghoff root beer.

The tour takes place Saturday, Aug. 1. Tickets are $35. The tours will last about an hour with starting times at 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. The Berghoff is located at 17 W. State St. in the Loop. Discounted parking is offered at InterPark (17 E. Adams St.) and it is easily accessible via the Monroe Red and Blue line stops and the Adams/Wabash station. For tickets, visit eventbrite.com/e/berghoff-history-is-served-tasting-tour-saturday-august-1st-tickets-16861846236?aff=erelexporg.

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The Fests Don’t End in Chicago this Weekend

Posted on July 28th, 2015 by

Those looking to avoid the craziness of Lollapalooza but still have a good time this weekend have many options as several neighborhoods take to the streets for their summer parties.

Edge Fest

This premier North Side street fest has an edge to it. Not only does it have all the features of a great Chicago street festival, but it has a diverse array of activities as vibrant as the community around it.

With the lakefront mere blocks away, the festival keeps with its roots by featuring more than 40 local water artists showcasing their work. Dog owners can get in on the fun as well with a dog costume contest for the ages.

Unique to this fest, attendees can be the entertainment as there is a stage solely dedicated to karaoke, which only adds to this party’s authenticity and charm.

Music from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s will be showcased as will several of the neighborhood’s local restaurants. There is a suggested donation of $5 all in support of the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce.

The fest takes place from noon – 10 p.m. on Saturday and noon – 9 p.m. on Sunday on Broadway starting at Thorndale Ave. Public transportation is the best option with the Red Line’s Thorndale stop steps away and the Broadway 36 bus leading right to the fest. For more information, visit starevents.com/festivals/edge-fest.

Fiesta del Sol

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Billed the largest Latino music festival in the Midwest, Fiesta del Sol is sure to fire up family fun as the Pilsen neighborhood celebrates its continued sense of community.

Starting in 1972 as a way to celebrate a community effort to land a neighborhood high school, this fest has grown into an annual staple that receives attention at the national level.

Completely alcohol-free, the festival will have kid-friendly activities, a soccer tournament, live music, and food from several local vendors.

The event, which attracts more than one million attendees over the course of four days, also can be viewed as a service to the community, with a civil rights and immigrant’s booth offering free legal advice to immigrants and making sure they know their legal rights.

The event takes place at 1400 W. Cermak Rd. from 5 – 10 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit fiestadelsol.org.

Taste of Latin America

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As the name suggests, Latin American cuisine will be on the menu of this festival that straddles Logan Square’s western border.

In its third year, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Columbian dishes will be featured along with live music, crafts and family fun. For more information, visit chicagoevents.com/event.cfm?eid=251.

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UPDATE: Lollapalooza Aftershows

Posted on July 28th, 2015 by

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Editorial Note: We have updated the information on the shows at the Roof on theWit. To access the shows you must the restaurant reservation department between at theWit between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 312-467-0200. The official Lollapalooza website says that it is a $20 cover, but that is no longer the situation. We apologize for any inconvenience.

In this day and age it is no longer enough to simply party all day watching a collection of the world’s best and brightest musical talents while they perform their hearts out for thousands of their devout followers. To ensure the party continues once Lollapalooza shuts its doors for the day, most of the bigger acts have secured additional shows to perform at local music halls and bars at night for their most hardcore supporters to get one more listen while they’re still in Chicago. This  also becomes a great opportunity for those who didn’t get one of those coveted tickets to the main festival because these after shows are open to the public.  Here is a roundup of the top Official Lollapalooza Aftershows you can still get a ticket to that you won’t want to miss.

Friday, July 31


Tyler the Creator will be playing a show to follow up his main set and will perform at Concord Musichall. The doors open at 10 p.m. and this will be an 18 and up concert featuring Badbadnotgood and Taco, tickets are $30 plus processing.

Also on Friday night will be Peking Duk performing on the ROOF on theWit starting at 10 p.m. for a 21 and up only crowd.

Saturday, August 1


The Saturday night lineup kicks off with MSTRKRFT with Nick Bassett, Servanté, and Hiroko Yamamura at Sound-Bar. Doors open at 10 p.m. for a 21 and up crowd and tickets need to be bought in advance online if you want to be in attendance.

Also on Saturday night will be Galantis featuring Jack Novak on the ROOF on theWit. This is yet another 21 and up  show.

Sunday August 2


For those who will still be carrying on after the extravagant weekend festivities, Nero will play his after-show Sunday night at 10 p.m. at the Mid. Featuring JackLNDN, this will also be an event for 21 and older fans and tickets must be bought in advance for this event as well.

Finally, The Chainsmokers will have their turn at the ROOF on theWit starting at 10 p.m. for a 21 and up crowd.

For more information on these after shows and others, or how you can get your tickets, visit http://do312.com/lollaaftershows.

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Merchant’s Market: The New One-Stop Snack Shop

Posted on July 23rd, 2015 by

At long last, those who are on-the-go in the area surrounding the iconic Merchandise Mart will have a convenient, yet quality-oriented one-stop-shop for snacks and treats in the form of the newly opened Merchant’s Market. Located on the 15th floor of the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North, this grab’n’go style snack bar offers an easy option for food, drink, and travel accessories to hotel guests, building tenants, as well as locals.
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Featuring everything from made-to-order Lavazza (Italy’s favorite coffee) and freshly baked Home Run Inn Pizzas to Terry’s Toffee and Bee’s Knees Food Co. snacks, there are exquisite options to please any palate. Also offered are in-house prepared signature sandwiches, paninis, salads, soups, and carry out items like beverages, chips, ice cream, beer, and wine. Even if all that isn’t enough to convince you that it’s worth checking out, the colorful candy carousel welcomes guests as they enter the market, offering candy, nuts, granola and more.

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While this market is primarily a quick shop for those busy days, don’t be afraid to cozy up to the window counter dining space where there are spectacular views of the Chicago River and skyline. Adjacent to the Merchandise Mart and merely blocks from the Magnificent Mile shopping center, the Merchant’s Market is perfect whether you’re on-the-go or taking a breather from a hectic work schedule.

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Open 7 days a week, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., the market is at your convenience so stop by to see for yourself. For more information on the Merchant’s Market, go to http://www.martplaza.com/dining

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An American in Paris

Posted on July 22nd, 2015 by

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Take a culinary and culturally-infused trip through Europe with Eataly Chicago as they celebrate the 116th birthday of Oak Park native and world-renowned writer Ernest Hemingway.

The restaurant, which is dedicated to Hemingway, will take guests back to 1920s Italy, Spain, and Paris with A Moveable Feast, a special night showcasing the various cuisines of those different locations that inspired many of Papa’s works.

Hemingway, whose actual birthday was Tuesday, was one of the most famous writers of his era, winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for Fiction and a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.

The belated birthday celebration all starts in Baffo, Eataly’s fine-dining restaurant, where guests will enjoy Venetian-inspired appetizers and cocktails. Venice is where “Hemingway wiled away the hours walking along the canals, writing short stories, and enjoying Bellini at Harry Cipriani’s notorious bar.”

The next stop on the event is the restaurant’s microbrewery, Birreria, where Spanish hops and tapas will be enjoyed. Hemingway, a bull riding aficionado, fell in love with Spain for this reason.

After going back to Italy for the primo piatto paired with wine, the last leg of the trip takes attendees to the place where A Moveable Feast was inspired and where Hemingway perfected his craft as a writer: Paris.

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Taking place in Eataly’s newest private event space Il Salone, this will have Parisian and French-inspired entrees, deserts, and wines to end the tour on a happy note. Be sure to dress in your best Hemingway-inspired 20s fare as the most festive will receive a prize.

The event takes place this Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and is only $85, a $40 discount from the original asking price! For tickets, visit http://www.eataly.com/us_en/classes-and-events/chicago/a-moveable-feast-an-eataly-dine-around-celebrating-ernest-hemingway-s-birthday.

Eataly is located in the Shops and North Bridge at 43 E. Ohio Street. It is easily accessible via the Grand Red Line and several bus lines while being literally steps off the Magnificent Mile. For more information, visit http://www.eataly.com/us_en/stores/chicago/

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Wipeout doing a 5K

Posted on July 21st, 2015 by

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Come down to U.S. Cellular Field this Saturday for the ultimate 5K– an obstacle course-infused run inspired by the hit ABC show Wipeout. Contestants must dodge the sweeper and wrecking ball as well as climb some monkey bars all before sliding down to the finish line.

Usually, wiping out while running is embarrassing and potentially dangerous. In the Wipeout Run, however, it is a fun and necessary part of the event.

The run traces its roots back to 2011 in San Diego where an obstacle course was created and took participants by storm. More than 200,000 runners have since participated in the event in locations all across the country.

Registration costs $71 prior to Friday and $81 at the gate. The proceeds will benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which supports people with physical disabilities so they can pursue active lifestyles.

With registration, participants will get a t-shirt, bib and safety pins, silicone wristbands, a temporary tattoo, a bag check, and of course, course access!

Runners have the option of going in one of two waves, the Early Bird (7:30 a.m.-10 a.m.) and the Need Sleep (11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.). Located at 333 W. 35th St., U.S. Cellular Field has plenty of parking and is easily accessible via the Sox-35th Red Line stop.

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Medicinal Marijuana takes center stage at Navy Pier this weekend

Posted on July 21st, 2015 by

Now I know what you might be thinking and, no, it’s not that. The My Compassion Cannabis Conference being held at Navy Pier this weekend is the premier medical forum and exposition on medicinal marijuana, educating attendees on the many practical uses of its different active ingredients in healthcare today.

Now in its second year, this event will be held in the Aon Grand Ballroom this weekend and is a ticketed event which is open to the public. It will feature the leading practitioners, patients, and providers in the Illinois Cannabis industry as well as numerous keynote speakers including doctors, attorneys, patients, and business professionals. These experts in every aspect of the field will educate visitors about the latest advances in how cannabis can be used in healthcare, the most important issues facing Illinois patients as well as testimonials on how it has changed many lives already.

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Whether you’re a self-proclaimed expert, or admittedly a newbie looking to learn more, the conference welcomes all comers looking to build relationships in order to learn more about getting involved and staying properly informed on the cannabis industry. Since the legalization of medicinal marijuana in Illinois in 2011, the advocates of its use to become more widespread have come out in droves leading to this wildly popular and seriously successful conference. If it’s something you want to learn more about or how you can become involved in some way be sure not to miss this event.

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My Compassion Cannabis Conference will be held at Navy Pier July 23-25, to learn more about the event or how you can get tickets, go to https://mycompassioncannacon.com/

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Best places to fest this weekend

Posted on July 21st, 2015 by

Festival season is in full swing as neighborhoods across the city close their streets and open their hearts in the name of music, food, and fun. Here’s what’s going on this weekend around Chicago.

Jeff Fest

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On the edge of the city, Jefferson Park is known for its suburban peace of mind and kid-friendly streets. This will be on full display this weekend, July 17-19 at the Northwest Side neighborhood’s annual party, Jeff Fest.

With musical acts of different varieties all three days, there is sure to be something for everyone. Friday will feature 80s music from Metallica and ZZ Top tribute bands, while Parrotheads will want to show up Sunday for Pirates Over 40, the ultimate Jimmy Buffett tribute band.

Staying true to the neighborhood’s family-friendly reputation, a kid’s zone will be open from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday offering a variety of fun activities.

The festival goes from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. It is being held in Jefferson Memorial Park at 4822 N. Long Ave. While some parking is available, the use of public transit is encouraged as the park is easily accessible via the Jefferson Park Blue Line stop, Jefferson Park Metra stop, and the Lawrence 81 bus.

Daily admission for children under the ages of 12 and seniors is free and $5 for everyone else.
For more information, visit http://www.jeffersonpark.net/jeff-fest-arts-and-music-festival/.

Wicker Park Fest

Further down Milwaukee Avenue, check out “the best neighborhood street fest in Chicago,” Wicker Park Fest. Known as one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods, Wicker Park is an epicenter of culture and entertainment.

This will be on full display with the musical acts on three different stages and an arts section where artists from around the country will display their work. Kids will also have their own section dedicated to face painting, crafts, and a bounce house.

Food will be provided by several local vendors such as Cheesie’s Pub and Grill and Dimo’s Pizza.

The fest takes place Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. both days on Milwaukee Ave. from North Ave. to Paulina St. A $5 donation is requested at the gate on behalf of the Wicker Park-Bucktown Chamber of Commerce.

Public transit is encouraged as the areas is full of options. One can take either get off at the Damen or Division Blue Line stops or take the Milwaukee 56, North 72, Damen 50, or Division 70 bus. For more information, visit http://www.wickerparkbucktown.com/fest.

Taste of Lincoln Avenue

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Going toward the lake, Taste of Lincoln Avenue gives the best Lincoln Park has to offer with food, music, and family fun.

Be entertained by music on three different stages, food from several local vendors, and be reassured that the kids are alright as they pay in the designated kid’s zone. All-day admittance is $10, which will go to benefit the Wrightwood Neighbors association.

The festival will take place along Lincoln Avenue from Fullerton Avenue to Wrightwood Avenue from noon to 10 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday. Public transportation is encouraged with the festival being accessible via the Fullerton and Diversey ‘L’ stops or the Halsted 8 bus. For more information, visit http://www.tasteoflincolnchicago.com/.

Chicago Hot Sauce Fest

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Summer not hot enough? Then check out Chicago Hot Sauce Fest as they set fire to your taste buds this Saturday and Sunday in Avondale. Several different hot sauce vendors and entertainment options will be present. Watch out for the ghost pepper challenge (not for the faint of heart!).

The fest takes place at the corner of Belmont and Elston avenues from noon to 10:30 the first day, and noon to 10 p.m. the second. It can be reached via the 77 Belmont or 52 Kedzie/California buses. For more information, visit http://www.chicagohotsaucefest.com/index.html.

Randolph Street Market Fest

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Buy some unique antiques at this one-of-a-kind monthly street festival featuring shopping to go along with food and entertainment.

While regular admission starts at $8, one has the opportunity to get a leg up on everyone else through a $20 early buying ticket.

The fest takes place this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with early buyers being let in at 8 a.m. For more information, visit http://www.randolphstreetmarket.com/.

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Chase the White Wale at Moby Dick at the Lookingglass

Posted on July 15th, 2015 by

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When you’re adapting a 600-plus page literary classic a lot can go wrong, but the Lookingglass Theatre’s production of “Moby Dick” does everything right.

Experience the thrill, drama, suspense, mania, and, surprisingly, laughter aboard the Pequod as Ishmael, Queequeg, Starbuck, Stubb, Cabaco, and Mungun search for the monstrous Moby Dick. As with most Lookingglass productions the first thing that grabs you as you sit in your chair is the set. The ship deck and whale ribs that are also used as masts on the ship entice the eye. For the first half of the play it’s easy to pay more attention to the actors climbing and swinging across the masts. In addition, there is a peek-behind-the-scenes feel in instances where you see ensemble members use hammers to make whale noises as well as thunder noises with metal sheets.

All these elements begin to truly transform the audience from feeling they are in a theater to feeling that they are on the Pequod. However, the final touch in the transformation is when Captain Ahab, excellently played by Christopher Donahue, makes his appearance. His mannerisms, the twitch in his neck, the power in his face, and the mania in his eyes not only transports you mentally to the Pequod but makes you feel as doomed as Starbuck feels that you’ll surely meet your death trying to find and kill Moby Dick. Anthony Fleming III also does a masterful job as Queequeg where the comic relief he provides early in the play creates a connection with the audience early where later you end up admiring his work ethic and bravery as well as feel his pain.

When you put all these amazing actors together and pair them with the magic of the Lookingglass by the end you are no longer an audience member in the theater but a silent member of the Pequod who cries, laughs, and frightens as you head to your potential doom.

“Moby Dick” will run until Aug. 28 at the Lookingglass Theatre located at 821 N. Michigan Ave. For tickets, showtimes, and more information visit lookingglasstheatre.org/event_page/moby-dick.

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