There must be something about Chicago basketball players and candy.
Foxtrot, the startup that behaves like a virtual corner store with retail locations scattered across the city, is collaborating with Chicago Bulls All-Star Zach LaVine on a new line of gummies. Zach LaVine Slam Dunk Gummy Mix is filled with G-rated sweet-and-sour gummies with fun shapes like sneakers, skulls, and gumdrops. The bag parrots a phrase from Bulls’ announcer Stacey King (inspired by that classic Gatorade commercial): “I want to be like Zach.”
The candy goes on sale on Tuesday, January 17 online or at Foxtrot locations in Wicker Park, West Loop, Gold Coast, Southport, and East Lakeview. There’s even a promotion to score a bag of candy signed by LaVine.
LaVine, known for his ridiculous shot-making and bounce (he’s a Slam Dunk Contest Champion), isn’t the first Chicago All-Star guard with a candy connection. Derrick Rose loved Skittles so much that the company sent him a vending machine in 2010. Another strange coincidence is both guards have recovered from torn ACLs. LaVine has looked spry in recent games as the Bulls battle for a playoff spot.
Maple & Ash owners split after settlement
The legal battle between partners in the parent company of Gold Coast steakhouse Maple & Ash and Italian cafe Etta has ended with a settlement that effectively splits the baby. Proceedings have been underway since March 2022 when What if Syndicate’s David Pisor claimed fellow co-founder Jim Lasky was freezing him out from the company and filed a lawsuit. Other lawsuits followed with allegations of secret bank accounts and more being flung in court. Sources intimated the allegations had a chance to get nasty in public if proceedings continued.
A settlement, reported by Crain’s, has led Pisor and Lasky to split. Lasky will join chef Danny Grant in retaining ownership of Maple & Ash, along with Monarch and Kessaku, brands What If Syndicate operates outside of Chicago. Pisor and Dan Perretta (he left Alinea Group in 2021) will create a new company, Etta Collective, that will encompass Etta and Cafe Sophie in Chicago, as well as Celestina in California. A spokesperson tells Eater the split has already happened, but there’s no indication when Cafe Sophie may return. It opened briefly before the legal proceedings began. Remember: it closed due to a “design flaw.”
City’s mistake forces Logan Square restaurant to close
A storm of bad weather and city incompetence has forced a popular Logan Square restaurant to close indefinitely. Table, Donkey & Stick’s Matt Sussman doesn’t know when he’ll reopen after city crews from the water department accidentally cut a water line while repairing a sewer line, according to Block Club Chicago. Now without water service, the restaurant has been closed since December 20. TDS was forced to cancel lucrative New Year’s Eve reservations, all while preparing for winter, a downtime for Chicago restaurants. Even though the city workers caused the water outage, officials tell Block Club that the building’s owner is responsible to fix damage to its property (even if that damage was, again, caused by the city’s mistake) which would restore water service. The building’s landlord had no comment to Block Club. There’s a GoFundMe to help support workers who are going without paychecks.
Tribune beer reporter departs
Chicago’s food media continues to shrink. Last week, the Tribune saw reporter Josh Noel leave the paper after 18 years. Noel made a name for himself covering the city’s beer scene, giving unmatched attention to local breweries including Goose Island Beer Co. As the Tribune employs two critics in a small department, Noel, a formally trained journalist, also helped cover lawsuits and other stories during the pandemic. He’s moving over to Molson Coors where former Crain’s food writer Peter Frost has continued his career after traditional journalism. Noel teased a new book in a blog post announcing his plans. There’s no indication on how the Trib will cover beer in the future. “No one cares about beer anymore,” one local brewery owner tells Eater Chicago.
Another high-profile departure happened in late December when Time Out Chicago’s Emma Krupp left the publication to move to California. The pub, which also hypes a Fulton Market food hall, has gone through Krupp, Morgan Olson, and Zach Long as editors since 2021.