Sunday, July 23, 2017

Foodie Fun: Shore Club Brings Upscale Dining to Chicago's North Avenue Beach

Shore Club will offer a one-of-a-kind beachside hospitality experience with unobstructed views of Lake Michigan.

Chicago residents and beachgoers will soon have a new upscale dining option opening in August, 2017, with the arrival of Shore Club, a venue that will evoke a coastal vacation-like mindset. Nestled between the bustling Lakeshore Trails on the edge of North Avenue Beach at 1603 North Lakeshore Drive, the new multi-million-dollar seasonal restaurant, bar, and breezy hangout will provide guests with a new, and one-of-a-kind, beach-front dining destination in the Windy City. Featuring floor to ceiling windows and sweeping panoramic views of Lake Michigan, Shore Club is a space unlike any other in Chicago. A fun and inviting atmosphere for all residents living in the surrounding neighborhoods, or for those traveling to Chicago, this new venue will feature three distinct spaces – The Patio at Shore Club, The Restaurant at Shore Club, and The Oasis at Shore Club.

“The concept of Shore Club began with a strong desire to create an elevated hospitality experience on North Avenue Beach,” said Robbie Schloss, one of the four local owners and partners, including Lisa Jaroscak, Nick Thayer and Bill La Macchia Jr. “We are excited to be able to offer a new dining option, one that we think will become the new “it” place for those looking to relax and enjoy on the beautiful Chicago beaches.”

Made up of three unique spaces, Shore Club aims to be a sought after destination for those looking to enjoy North Avenue Beach. The Patio at Shore Club will feature lunch and dinner service on a first-come-first-serve basis. The open-air patio is accessible to beach patrons and will be the hotspot for those looking to unwind with a quick bite and a cocktail after a long day on the beach. The informal and comfortable atmosphere will feature a rotating schedule of specialty workshops, cooking classes and local art exhibitions. The Restaurant at Shore Club offers an elevated food menu in a covered, open air environment. Boasting large glass windows and an attentive staff dressed in beach-inspired crisp whites with splashes of teal, The Restaurant at Shore Club will make visitors feel as if they are vacationing on a far-off coastal beach. Reservations are highly encouraged. Shore Club Brunch will also be offered every Sunday from 9am – 2pm at The Restaurant at Shore Club, and will feature a “country club” style experience with various food stations sure to satisfy those looking for a new go-to brunch spot. Tickets must be purchased in advance at

Sure to be Chicago’s newest ultimate summer spot, is the most exclusive space, The Oasis at Shore Club. Guests will have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the beach views from a sunbed, daybed or a signature cabana. The menu at The Oasis at Shore Club will offer a beautiful array of shared plates and large format options, perfect for groups looking for a one-day getaway. Guests can soak up the sun and indulge in some of the world’s finest champagnes, or enjoy a variety of different signature Club cocktails. Reservations are required for The Oasis at Shore Club.

Shore Club will feature a Mediterranean-inspired food menu created by Executive Chef Elizabeth Tokarczyk, in partnership with Inspired Catering, which will focus on seafood dishes.
The menu will offer savory sharable plates, like the house Charcuterie Board, and full entrees, one of which is the Shore CLUB, a large, over-the-top sandwich made with mesquite turkey, turkey bacon, avocado aioli, tomato jam, and a fried egg all on stacked multigrain toast cut table side by a server. Fresh seafood dishes such as Grilled Baby Octopus, Grilled Yuge Shrimp with coconut curry glaze, and a ‘Poke’ Tuna entree served in a bowl made of ice will be the stars of the menu. Lighter fares will also be available for guests to choose from, perfect for those just finishing a workout along the Lakeshore Trails, including the Strawberry Macaroon Salad, a Grilled Stone Fruit Salad, and Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps. With the option to add protein to any salad (chilled lobster, grilled shrimp, or sliced Thai grilled chicken), the Shore Club menu has something for every type of appetite.

Shore Club will offer a unique beverage program, with fun options such as Frosé All Day, a refreshing cocktail made with vodka, rosé and peach puree, the Chicago ’71, a smoking drink, inspired by the historic Chicago fire, made with gin, champagne, simple syrup and a fresh lemon twist, and the Life’s a Beach, made with tequila, prickly pear cactus, lemon and demerara. The Beach Party cocktail, sure to be one of the most-captured cocktail photos of the season, is made with cucumber-infused vodka, pineapple, lime, jalapeno and sparkling wine, and is also available in large format, served either a giant copper pineapple or a flamingo.

In honor of the 59th Annual Chicago Air & Water Show, Shore Club will be celebrating by providing spectators with front row beachside seats all weekend long. On Saturday, August 19th and Sunday, August 20th, guests can purchase tickets to gain entry to Shore Club’s patio with exclusive access to the restaurant. The signature Shore Club Brunch will be included from 9a.m.– 12p.m. as well as a premium open bar. A pre-show event will also be held on Friday, August 18th. VIP cabanas are available in The Oasis at Shore Club as an upgrade to the General Admission tickets. Tickets, which range from $125 to $750, are available for purchase at

Located on the Lake Michigan beachfront, Shore Club is the perfect location for weddings, charitable fundraisers and social events. Shore Club will be open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and for a weekly, ticketed Shore Club Brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended. To enter, guests must be 21 or over, or with their legal guardian at all times. Shirts and shoes are required.
For more information, please visit or call (708) 613-7132. A list of all upcoming events will be available at To book an event, email directly.

About Shore Club
Shore Club offers an unparalleled hospitality experience on Chicago’s famous North Avenue Beach. Guests will enjoy unobstructed views of Lake Michigan while dining in the restaurant, sitting in the outdoor patio or relaxing in a cabana on the Oasis. Shore Club’s elevated food menu is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine and beautiful beaches around the world. The Restaurant at Shore Club features floor to ceiling glass windows in a covered, open air space that is one-of-a-kind in Chicago. For those wanting a more casual environment, the full menu is also available on our outdoor patio at a first-come, first-serve basis. Guests looking for a semi-private VIP experience can reserve a Cabana, Daybed or Sun Bed in The Oasis at Shore Club. The Oasis offers table-side service including a beautiful array of shared plates and of course high- end champagne.

Monday, July 17, 2017

PHOTO RECAP: ChiIL Mama's Adventures at Bristol Renaissance Faire Saturday 7/8/17

Bristol Renaissance Faire 2017 Opening Day

We've been avid fans and frequent visitors to Bristol Renaissance Faire for decades, since the early 90's. The faire has grown and changed greatly over the years, with an increase in shows and family friendly fare, and basic comforts like more modern plumbing. We can't rave enough about how much fun the faire is!

Check out Sir Dugan's Full Set of Photos Here
 More favorites are embedded below. 
Photo credit for most: Dugan Kenaz-Mara (16)

Disclosure: Thanks to Bristol Renaissance Faire for providing my family with complimentary tickets for review purposes. As always, all opinions, experiences, and photos are our own. 

This year was a bit different for us. Our kids are now 14 & 16, and well in the throes of their teen years. Hence, for the first time ever, they chose not to dress up. I'm hoping they come back to a love of costumes when they grow up a bit more. But fashion is a choice and dress up is certainly not mandatory for anyone. Chose your battles. Plenty of visitors to merry olde England are far more comfortable in 21st century summer shorts, and the plethora of freaks and geeks who love to dress up still make the people watching prime. 

Flashback to Bristol Ren Faire 2008 when my costumed kids were 
knighted by the queen & met Greenman.


(For 2017 my daughter went fairly 21st century, but she did consult Pinterest for a fun hairstyle and concede to a pirate(ish) skull n crossbones necklace/bones t-shirt tho I wouldn't go so far as to say she went in costume.  My son did bring Renaissance looking pants and shirt and a pouch of juggling balls, but decided at the last minute that the pants were too hot, so he just did the shirt & pouch.) 

Ren Hair Don't Care
(Can't complain about the teens' new lack of enthusiasm for 16th century garb too much. My 14yo did a fabulous job dutch braiding my hair in a circular crown!)

Despite my teens, I have not outgrown playing dress up, and happily came in Renaissance(ish) garb (tho sadly I have temporarily outgrown my beloved blue corset from 7 years ago). I brought 2 parasols and loaned one to my MIL, and they were a HUGE hit. We were complimented all day on them and stayed cool and comfortable, out of the direct sun. 

We caught many old favorites among the shows like Barely Balanced, Adam Crack, 

and Mooney, 

as well as two new acts. Cirque du Sewer (the trained rat & cat show) and Duende, an energetic, multiculti accordion outfit with a red hair woman lead and ballads from around the world. Duende is a high-energy dance band that marries melodies from the Balkan Regions with Latin flavors & American vivacity. This accordion-heavy band led by Amanda Kitchens will take you on a journey of passion through the music of other cultures. Whether you are looking to free-style or dance a traditional lesnoto, Duende is the band for you. Both shows end at Bristol Ren Faire July 30th. Don't miss this!! 

Speaking of old favorites, I've been dreaming of a Mile High Chocolate Crepe all winter. Literally every time we get one, someone says "WOW! What is THAT and where can I get one?!" They also have a couple other versions I've never tried (because chocolate... duh) that feature fruit instead. I also tried a root beer float at another stand, which hit the spot on a hot weekend. They make a sarsaparilla version as well. 

Of course we saw our old friends, The Swordsmen, and got our annual Doug & Doug shot. I think we have at least one a year since my husband Doug (Dug) did the audio for The Swordsmen DVD in 2007. I bump into David Woolley at theatre openings in Chicago throughout the year while reviewing shows, but we only get Doug Mumaw sightings at Bristol Renaissance Faire. Doug's are a rare bunch, though reputed to be concentrated in the arts and particularly on the ren faire circuit!

Flashback to Bristol Ren Faire 2008

When both Dougs had long brown curls and my kids were much shorter! Somehow David Woolley remains the same.

Another big change this year is the teens were old enough to go venturing out in the world to make their fortunes... or was that the hobbits and 3 little pigs?! At any rate, they were over hanging with the adults, so we sent the teens off and got some quality adult shopping, noshing and show time in. It was lovely! After a bit, my 16 year old son, who has a great eye and artistic bent, asked to borrow my pro camera and media credentials. I happily handed them over and he took off to shoot some amazing photos. His Fairy Garden shots are epic, and he captured the creativity of the crowds well too. 


(Check out more photo favorites at the bottom of this feature).

As always, we had a terrific time and can't wait to return. Bristol Renaissance Fair is one of the best in the nation and wins awards annually. Highly recommended. 

Click HERE for full information on admission prices, hours, ticket purchasing, ticket discounts, special themed dates and more.

Bristol Renaissance Faire is open for nine weekends. Located just west of I-94’s Russell Road exit, near Kenosha, Wis. Open rain or shine, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday, July 8 through Sep. 3, and Labor Day Monday, Sep. 4.  Tickets are $25.95 for adults and $11.50 for children, ages 5 to 12. Advance ticket discounts are available at RENFAIR.COM, and participating Walgreens stores.

Disclosure: Once again, thanks to Bristol Renaissance Faire for providing my family with complimentary tickets for review purposes. As always, all opinions, experiences, and photos are our own. 

 More of Sir Dugan's Fabulous Photos:




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