No one ever saw this coming: Heidi and Spencer showed up at Alinea sans reservation. Politely rejected, the duo made a scene before stomping off. When they eventually returned (reservations in hand), they charmed and delighted everyone with their graciousness. (We assume.)
The Best Chicago Moments of 2009
Last year we sent a man to the White House. This year, we dragged a governor from office. But 2009 wasn't all shattered Olympic dreams and parking meter fiascos—some other craziness also went down.
After a certain tart-mouth former First Lady joined "I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here," she said she did it for the money. But when the F-word-spewing Lady Macbeth turned into a calm big sister, it proved the old axiom that if you want people to like you, hang out with Z-listers.
Chef Andre Christopher claimed that Grocery Bistro, a seemingly innocuous little dining spot in West Loop, stiffed him for nine weeks of wages. So his parents employed a tool known to parents everywhere: the leisure van. They parked it across the street for weeks, with a poster urging patrons to boycott.
Within 24 hours of the tragic death of the most beloved entertainer the world has ever known, quick-thinking Gary, Indiana, mayor Rudy Clay asked the question everyone was wondering: "How can we make a buck off of this?" His answer: turning Jackson's boyhood home into a Graceland-like tourist attraction.
After a hot dog stand called Felony Franks—home of the Misdemeanor Wiener—opened in a, let's say, not-yet-gentrified part of the West Side, neighbors and activists didn't exactly relish the name. Or that the owner was only hiring ex-cons. But the place stuck around, and the owner's even been asked about franchising the concept. Cereal Killers, anyone?
Chicago's great history of raids on bootleggers got a new chapter when state inspectors confiscated 80 pounds of illegal bacon from Frontera Grill. According to reports, authorities saw his name in a Reader article about a pair of underground charcuterie makers from Wisconsin. Just goes to show you: Don't mess with the pigs.