Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Welcome Tas

Looks like the south end of Rogers Park is getting hot.

This great area is getting yet another attractive restaurant, Tas Restaurant and Wine Bar, which will offer Turkish-Italian-Greek-American food, with an accompanying list of wines complimenting the varied menu, as well as a full bar, at moderate prices. The restaurant will occupy the space currently occupied by Cafe Suron, and the new owners plan to refresh the decor of the beautiful space at 1146 W. Pratt, in the beautiful vintage apartment building on the northeast corner of Pratt and Sheridan.

The three owner/managers, Aykut Sinanoglu, Serdar Dede, and Tarik Amanet, bring many decades of combined and varied experience in food service, business management, and a great personal love of good food, to their new enterprise. Aykut brings, for example, his father's cherished cheesecake recipe, which he says has never before been offered to the public.

The small group of neighbors in attendance at the meeting had no objection to granting an "incidental" liquor license, that is for restaurants whose sales are mostly food, to the new restaurant. Concerns about parking were addressed- the owners plan to offer valet parking and are currently searching for a place to park guests' cars.

The owners expect to open in March, and plan to open 7 days a week. Dinner will be served Monday-Thursday 5 PM to 10 PM. Friday Dinner 5PM to 11PM. Saturday Lunch-Brunch 11AM-2:30PM, Saturday Dinner 2:30 PM to 11PM. Sunday Lunch-Brunch 11AM -2:30PM , and Sunday Dinner 2:30PM-9PM>

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Community Meeting: TAS Liquor License

There will be a community meeting sponsored by Alderman Moore's office to discuss the proposal by Tas, a new restaurant, to offer liquor to its dining patrons at:
1146 W. Pratt Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60626
Monday, January 7 at 7 PM

There was a flier taped to the gate of my building announcing the meeting, but there is no announcement on Ald. Moore's website, nor was there any e-mail notification. So perhaps Mr. Moore would like to post it on his site and send out e-mail notices.

This new restaurant sounds exciting and like a big plus for our neighborhood. A liquor license for such an establishment seems harmless, and really necessary for its business prospects. You can't help but notice that restaurants that don't serve liquor, but only "setups", tend to have a short life span. The Room, South, Speakeasy, and Suron are all gone.

So I have only one nagging question: will a liquor license tied to food sales lead to package liquor licenses for nearby convenience stores down the road? Most nearby residents would be happy to see this restaurant granted a license, and most of us are OK with Sam's place. But no one wants any more packaged liquor in the neighborhood , so we will want assurances that this license will not open the doors to package liquor and that any new liquor licenses granted will require that most sales be in food.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Multiple Ironies

I shouldn’t have taken the bait that Craig tossed out in some of his more bizarre recent rants on the Hellhole, regarding an attack by a scuzzy local resident on a young soldier, by vandalizing his car. His ravings are seconded on The Rogers Park Bench, and both bloggers are using the random crime of a sleazy and somewhat skewed local lawyer to discredit all opposition to an increasingly unpopular and costly war, and to attack the local AlderCreature, while unwittingly exposing the multiple ironies of the "conservative" position regarding the Iraqi War and our armed forces.

It seems like a rather disreputable local lawyer, Jay Grobner, vandalized the automobile belonging to U. S. Marine Sergeant Mike McNulty, by way of expressing his opposition to the Iraqi War and his antipathy to the military.

By employing an inscrutably tangled chain of rationalization involving connecting unrelated coincidences, as well as the usual ad hominem attacks, our intrepid local bloggers have arrived at the conclusion that our little AlderCreature, Joe Moore, must bear direct responsibility for the crime. It seems that since Joe is opposed to the Iraqi War, and since Joe is also "in control" of the ward in which Grobner resides, that means that Joe is personally responsible for the attack on Sgt. McNulty.

It seems to me that our little alderman offers ample enough opportunities to all comers simply by way of his day-to-day ineptitude, corruption, and neglect of his duties, without resorting to incredibly twisted, irrational, and childish arguments that wouldn't make it in a grade-school debate contest.

You could just as easily say that since Tim McVeigh was a supporter of Second Amendment rights, a declared "patriot", and was a highly decorated veteran of the U. S. Army, that anyone who supports the military and/or Second Amendment rights is an anti-government terrorist who supports blowing up government buildings containing hundreds of innocent people. Tim McVeigh was also a racist whose favorite novel was The Turner Diaries. Does that mean that anyone who favors gun ownership and supports the police and military is a racist stockpiling weaponry and explosives while eagerly awaiting "the Day of the Rope?"

You could also say that since Hillary Clinton, the pet punching bag of the Right Wing, is a supporter of the war and is also a supporter of resolutions that may lead to more war, that anyone who supports the war must also support her in her other, rather strange, beliefs.

You don’t have to be a supporter of this war to support our servicemen, or to be sickened by an act of malicious vandalism perpetrated on a person by virtue of his beliefs and/or station in life.

However, if you truly support our servicemen and care what becomes of them after they return from the field with crippling injuries and permanent disabilities, you might want to review, and revise, your own opinion and treatment of a population that seems one of fave bette noirs of the local middle class, the homeless denizens of North Coast neighborhoods who sleep in the parks and panhandle on the streets.

According to the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients, fully 23% of all homeless people, and 33% of homeless men, are military combat veterans. I have personally met many of these guys in my travels through American cities, and it has ever been a source of bile to me that it is possible for a wounded veteran to be left to fend for himself on the streets no matter how disabling his injuries and war-related illness. If ever a group of people deserved to be given permanent government assistance, this is it. There should be no possibility that a man (or woman), who was disabled while fighting for this country, will end up living on the streets.

Yet it is the very people who claim to be the most loyal of our military’s supporters, namely our Republican Right Wing, who are least disposed to offer these hapless people the support they are entitled to when they arrive home wounded and permanently disabled. We love our soldiers when they're in their dress uniforms, and full of eagerness and dedication, but when they return from the battlefield with multiple crippling injuries, including missing limbs, disease, and serious mental health issues, we tell them to fuck off and go crawl into a hole to die.

So rather than continue to support a suicidal war that is bankrupting us and killing thousands of young, lower-class American men bereft of any other opportunity in life but membership in the military, let's show real support for our soldiers by insisting that our officials provide our disabled vets with the financial support and medical care that they deserve. This isn't "welfare", folks- these people earned our support.