Show the men what’s up the next time football come’s up in a conversation at the water cooler – throw the pom pom’s down and take charge, ladies!
Come hang out at Rockit Burger Bar and learn the essentials of the NFL with the Sports Diva’s Game Day Training Brunch! Guests are invited to enjoy brunch, mimosa’s and Skinny Red Wine in Rockit Burger Bar’s intimate upstairs lounge while hanging out with other Chicagoans who might also need a little football refreshing!
The ladies of Sport’s Diva’s will teach you everything football and in a way that makes sense – from names, to the game rules and lingo. You’ll learn all the football facts you need to know to intelligently mingle with fanatics during the brunch training – After the class with Sports Diva’s, guests are encouraged to migrate to the downstairs bar to show off their new skills and watch the Bears vs Titans game (12pm).
Tickets are $25 dollars for Game Day Brunch – the deal also gets you two free drink tickets!
To purchase tickets, learn more information or make reservations click here!
I hope your calendar is clear this Friday night. Why you ask? Because it will be raining cats and dogs of course! Ok, not literally. But it’s the Anti-Cruelty Society’s 12th Annual Fall Benefit, appropriately named: It’s Raining Cats & Dogs! What can you expect from this extraordinary event (and I can assure you, it will be extraordinary)? Here’s the inside scoop.
The Anti-Cruelty Society is Chicago’s oldest and largest private, open admission, unlimited stay humane society – helping to find “forever homes” for cats and dogs. Through various programs and services like low to no-cost adoptions, spay/neuter clinics, cruelty investigations, humane education, charity veterinary clinics, dog training classes, and so forth, the organization helps over 50,000 animals and humans every year.
While supporting this remarkable cause at Chicago’s famous Palmer House Hilton hotel, you’ll be noshing on fabulous food prepared by the city’s finest chefs. Some teasers? Amanda Downing of Rockit Bar & Grill and Rockit Burger Bar (who doesn’t love what has been named “the best burger” in town by Good Morning America & Citysearch?), Patricio Sandoval of Mercadito (authentic Mexican cuisine, yum!), Ryan Pitts of RL (that’s right, the man behind Ralph Lauren’s iconic restaurant is on-board), John Coletta of Quartino (you can finally enjoy this rustic Italian restaurant that is jam-packed every weekend WITHOUT the wait), and Jeffrey Sills of Sprout (no explanation needed) will all be in attendance – to name just a few. And in case you were wondering, complimentary cocktail bars will be stationed around the room.
NBC5’s Stefan Holt will be emceeing the evening which, in addition to the mouthwatering menu, will feature music from The Flat Cats, non-stop dancing, an old time photo booth, a cash raffle, a live & silent auction – including a safari trip to South Africa!, and adorable, ADOPTABLE cats & dogs serving of course as your host committee.
Individual tickets are $175 in advance or $200 at the door. Better yet, Billy Dec has a few on-hand that you can enter to win. Catch his regular “What’s on Dec” segment on Windy City Live tomorrow morning at 9:00am for all of the details.
So, is your calendar clear? I’m assuming it will be now. Enjoy!
Tags: adopt cat, adopt dog, Amanda Downing, animal welfare organization, Anti-Cruelty Society, authentic Mexican food, benefit, best burger, billy dec, cash raffle, charity, chicago events, Citysearch best burger, finest chef, forever homes, Good Moring America best burger, It’s Raining Cats and Dogs, Jeffrey Sills, John Coletta, live auction, local cause, Mercadito, NBC, NBC5, Palmer House Hilton, Patricio Sandoval, photo booth, Quartino, Ralph Lauren restaurant, RL, rockit bar & grill, Rockit Burger Bar, Ryan Pitts, silent auction, Sprout, Stefan Holt, The Flat Cats, top chef, What's on Dec, windy city live
Everyone grab a Chicago Social! There’s a 3 page, 9 photo huge spread on Rockit Ranch Productions’ 10 Year Anniversary – with really fun quotes and comment by the partners and friends! Scroll through the pictures for some of the great shots featuring the Stanley Cup, Barbara Streisand, David Beckham and more! – KatieRose Cronin
“The stretch of River North that fans out from Hubbard Street and runs west from the Mag Mile to the river is a far more happening place than it was in 2002. Back then, sparsely used parking lots and adult video stores abounded. True, there were some standout restaurants—Brasserie Jo and Rick Bayless’ mini-empire on Clark Street—but a lot of vacant buildings, too.
It could be argued that what set the neighborhood on its breakneck path toward being the dining and nightlife juggernaut it is today was the 2004 opening of Rockit Bar & Grill, the jacket-free place for a power-lunch/celebrity hangout/rock bar/Sunday brunch standby that was the brainchild of Rockit Ranch Productions. This month, the company celebrates its 10th anniversary as it prepares to launch its fifth establishment, a barbecue restaurant with Asian influences called Dragon Ranch that’s slated to open at 441 N. Clark St. later this summer.
Rockit Ranch Productions now employs more than 500 people, but in 2002, when the company was brought in as partners by Le Colonial’s Joe King to make a hit out of the velvety Gold Coast nightclub Le Passage, there was only the now-familiar trio: Billy Dec, the baseball cap-wearing celeb wrangler and ubiquitous face of the operation; Brad Young, the sharp-eyed money guy who quit his dad’s investment banking firm to found Rockit; and Arturo Gomez, the youngest of the three and a smooth, suited-up nightlife natural who veered into the business on his way to dental school and never looked back.
With little more than a printer and a bank account to make things legit, the Rockit team transformed (the now closed) Le Passage from a nonstarter of a spot into the place to be by nixing the froufrou French house music in favor of mainstream music and hip-hop, switching out the staff, changing marketing tactics and finding a sweet spot between glam factor and hometown hospitality. “Not all of the owners were from around here, and they didn’t know what Chicago wanted,” says Young. “We did.” King agrees: “They were the missing link we needed, and our sales improved significantly.” Lines became a given outside Le Passage’s red-carpeted alleyway, and the Rockit guys began scouting a location for their own venture.
Young took Dec to see an old lamp factory on Hubbard Street. The place was gutted, the windows were kicked out, and there were male prostitutes lingering on the sidewalk. “When you’re used to being anchored in the Gold Coast’s plushest little room, that space seemed like a huge risk,” says Dec. “We’d take our investors to see it, and they’d keep going outside to check on their cars.”
It wasn’t like the Rockit guys didn’t know what they were doing, though. Dec was a nightlife veteran, having started as a bouncer while in law school at Kent. He later opened several nightspots, including the 17,000-square-foot Circus on Weed Street, a project Young was involved with (Gomez also came into the picture about that time, after working as a bartender in Lincoln Park and then approaching Dec for a job). They had all witnessed the inner workings of the industry, and together they realized that the clientele who’d shocked them by lining up 4,000 deep on Circus’ opening night was getting older. They were going to need a more sophisticated place to play.
Rockit Bar & Grill, with its industrial-chic design by a then almost-famous Nate Berkus, was conceived as a hybrid, “a one-stop shop,” Gomez says. Patrons could have dinner downstairs (better-than-basic comfort food like burgers with truffle fries and giant salads became Rockit’s signature), and then simply walk upstairs to play pool, drink and party in the bar. (Rockit’s Wrigleyville outpost recently evolved into “Rockit Burger Bar” to reflect the neighborhood’s ordering patterns.)
When it became clear that the concept was working, the trio decided to keep the train moving by quickly opening up spot No. 2, The Underground, a few blocks away. Since staying out until Rockit’s weekend closing times of two or three in the morning wasn’t late enough for some revelers, it made sense to snap up a nearby space with a rare 4am license that happened to be for sale at the time. Bunker-themed The Underground—inspired by a club Young had visited in Jerusalem—was an immediate hit, bolstered in part by Dec’s knack for bringing seemingly every celebrity who happened to be in Chicago through the club’s inconspicuous metal doors. A recent example: the night Jamie Foxx grabbed the mic at The Underground and belted out a tune while the cast of Glee danced around him.
Next came Sunda, the Illinois Street restaurant that marked Rockit’s leap into fine-ish dining. The exotic-looking room and the sushi-leaning menu both aim high, but with the sound system turned up and a glossy crowd that likes to hit the bar for pre-dinner cocktails, the vibe is more party than proper—unless you’re Barbra Streisand and you require a bit of privacy, in which case you’ll enjoy a quiet meal upstairs, as the singer/actress and her husband James Brolin did last summer….
To enjoy the entire article, click here!
Tags: arturo gomez, Barbara Streisand, billy dec, brad young, chicago, circus, David Beckham, Doug Wexler, Dragon Ranch, glee, Gold Coast, James Brolin, jamie foxx, Jess De Guzman, Joe King, le passage, Nate Berkus, river north, rockit bar & grill, Rockit Burger Bar, rockit ranch productions, sunda, the underground, wrigleyville
Friday, June 1st promises to be a one-of-a-kind night at Lincoln Park Zoo. The zoo’s auxiliary board is hosting their signature fundraiser, Zoo-ologie, in the heart of the Zoo. All the proceeds raised during this unique event will go towards helping care for the animals, keep up exhibits, as well as continue education initiatives all while keeping the zoo free to the public. Lincoln Park Zoo is currently one of only three free zoos in the entire country – and we want it to stay that way! If you live anywhere near Chicago, chances are you’ve enjoyed the beautiful grounds of the LP Zoo at some point in your life. As a DePaul Alum, I walked through the zoo countless times on my way to and from the beach just because I could; not much is free these days, so you have to take advantage and enjoy those few things that are.
The Auxiliary Board for the Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the most popular fundraising groups in Chicago and certainly knows how to host a fun party! The lineup for the evening promises to be quite memorable. The VIP reception kicks off at 7pm, followed by cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 8pm. Some of the featured food stations will include: Sunda, Rockit Bar & Grill, Rockit Burger Bar, Tavern on Rush and “Top Chef” alum Sarah Grueneberg’s Café Spiaggia. AKIRA is the proud fashion sponsor for Zoo-ologie to make things event better!! A silent auction, raffle and dancing under the stars kicks off at 9pm and goes until midnight. Rock Candy will be on hand as the live entertainment from 9pm until midnight as well. As if that wasn’t enough, the (after) party continues at Underground from midnight until 5am.
Tickets to the event start at $110 for general admission and VIP tickets are available for $150. Be sure to get your tickets while they’re available for this awesome event that supports an even better cause! See you under the stars at Lincoln Park Zoo on June 1st!
Tags: akira, Alum, Café Spiaggia, chicago, dancing, DePaul, free, fundraiser, Lincoln Park Zoo, LP, party, proceeds, raffle, reception, Rock Candy, rockit bar & grill, Rockit Burger Bar, Sarah Grueneberg, silent auction, sunda, Tavern on Rush, top chef, underground, vip, Zoo-ologie