Friday the 28th before I was to head to Carols to see Pete Berwick’s Johnny Cash tribute band FOLSOM I made a stop at a new eatery under the Wilson Red Line station which has only been open a week. Lucy’s Uptown 4570 N Broadway Ave known and loved for serving one of the best fried chicken sandwiches in the city. If there’s one good thing to come out of the Popeye’s mayhem of 2019, it’s that fried chicken sandwiches are back in the public eye and the subject of much passionate debate. Lucy’s serves theirs on a brioche bun with coleslaw, pickles, and a slice of American cheese, with the option to dial the heat up or down. For those with fried chicken fatigue, however, there are five burgers to choose from, including an Impossible Burger, as well as a barbecue pork sandwich. Fries come in three varieties: “golden” (lightly salted), doused in cheddar sauce, or “porky” (smoked pork shoulder, bacon, cotija, pickled jalapeños).
Some of the best hot sauce I’ve ever had at a restaurant outside of Heaven on 7.
I had the huge chicken sandwich and fried pickle spears. Its maybe the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had with Popeye’s being a very close #2.
Carol’s Pub the legendary dive bar has been closed since 2016, and I was there the night in Sept of 2016 with my friends Victoria Rusalka Vladislav (Tori) and Jeff (Creepy) Brown with a lot of other people gathered outside that night to find it closed. But it’s doors are open once more — and its new owner has managed to keep most of its OG charm, minus a few inches of range hood grease. Carol’s Pub 4659 N. Clark St. is Chicago’s only true honky-tonk bar. The bar’s new owner is Ed Warm who also owns Joe’s on Weed Street, the multi-floor sports bar and country music venue in Lincoln Park.
I’d been eager to get back to my favorite Chicago watering hold but hadn’t really had a valid reason. I don’t really go out anymore and balancing the podcast at the morning of the weeks end successfully makes it almost impossible to go out late on a Saturday and as I learned from the weekend before is not really feasible. This was a Friday night and I’m usually beat from work but being that I hadn’t seen Pete or see him perform in 4 years gave me the reason I needed. From the moment I walked in and was greeted by the doorman who remembered me I was quickly reminded why I loved this place so much. The remodel was welcome and spacious. 300 paying customers were there to see a tribute act. Most of my readers and listeners know how I feel about the popular trend. Why do people flock to bars and nightclubs to see tribute bands perform while bands that write and perform their own original music often struggle to get a crowd? What is it about tribute bands that makes them so popular?. Why do so many promoters want to hire the best tribute bands for their live event? Sadly people are naturally drawn to music that they are familiar with. They already know the beat of each song that is played, making it easier to dance to. Should we be surprised, then, that groups of musicians who copy original bands are extremely popular. Bands that play original music, on the other hand, don’t have all of these advantages. People aren’t already familiar with their songs and, thus, don’t already have an emotional connection to them. Additionally, they don’t know the beat, so they are less likely to get up and hit the dance floor. As a result, bands that play original music often have a much harder time drawing a crowd. These facts I know from interviewing my friend Michael X Christian of the Marilyn Manson tribute act Misery Machine.
Pete and his band did what I would call a very well rehearsed Vegas Lounge act and you could see the dollar bills as the crowd bought it hook line and sinker. I saw a set and a half before leaving shortly after my friend Max Bravo who I met there went home. I was exhausted. At the same time found myself anxious to return again soon.
Saturday morning I woke early and went to do laundry. Between wash and dry I returned to Lucy’s to try out the Classic Burger. Double patty, American cheese, red onion, Dijonnaise and pickles on brioche. Made with fresh sirloin Angus steak served medium. I had them not add the Dijonnaise and I added hot sauce. Unlike the chicken there is nothing special about the burgers at $8.95 so I’ll opt out of it nest time and maybe give the BBQ pork a walk in the park.
Sunday morning I prepped for the podcast with Micheal Martin out of Detroit known best for his music as Acid Casualty. Angela Denk arrived at noon and Cassie about an hour later and the guest who got lost on another part of my street still made it earlier than our scheduled 2PM start time.
ACID CASUALTY is a producer and multi instrumentalist who creates a new and original dark and terrifying sound through focus on Analog and hardware based recording gear , live performances , live instrumentation and samples of his own creation. Acid Casualty learned bass guitar and piano by ear as a child and has been making music ever since. As a teenager he started to pick up recording and production. Some of his early influences include Black Sabbath , NIN , Marilyn Manson , Lords of Acid, Tool, Puscifer, How To Destroy Angels and Pink Floyd. He Mixes a number of influences and sounds from a wide variety of musical genre’s to attain a nightmarish end product.
After the podcast I fired up the grill and made cheese burgers for my guests. It was the first lighting of the BBQ this year.