Category Archives: Movers and Shakers

Todrick Hall in Chicago August 7 and September 10

toderick hall chicago oz gay six flags

Todrick Hall  is a self-proclaimed queer, American singer, actor, dancer, director, choreographer, and wildly famous YouTuber!

He auditioned for the ninth season of American Idol, where he made it to the semi-finals. Since then, Hall has been performing on Broadway and YouTube.

As of January 31, 2016, Hall has exceeded 2 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. Videos on his channel have been played over 270 MILLION TIMES!

Videos of note include a flash mob thrown for Ariana Grande, a reinvention of the Wizard of Oz starring Pentatonix which was directed by and also stars Hall, and a Beyoncé themed flash mob performed in the middle of an actual Target store, which has garnered over 14 million views as of January 31, 2016, and which Beyoncé personally, publicly congratulated Hall on.


Todrick’s current  North American Tour titled “Straight Outta Oz” is in full swing!

” Straight Outta Oz,” follows the triple threat performer as he embarks on his most ambitious tour yet: a full-length musical with original score by Hall, inspired by The Wizard of Oz.

The tour kicked off last week in Vancouver, and will continue through August. He’ll make a stop in Chicago at Thalia Hall,  Sunday  August  7th, 2016.    GET  TICKETS  HERE – BEFORE THEY ARE GONE.


todrick-hall-gay six flags chicago

Awesomeness Films announced the start of production on their behind the scenes film following Todrick Hall’s upcoming tour  and will be filming in Chicago at Thalia Hall!

Directed by Katherine Wright (Call Me Kuchu), the film will go behind-the-scenes as Todrick mounts the musical, which tells the story of his life growing up in small-town Texas, his struggle to come to Hollywood and eventually succeed.


Check out the video style album STRAIGHT OUTTA  OZ  here!

Get it on iTunes  Here.


Then Todrick returns to Chicago Spetember 10th, for the 5th Annual OUT IN THE PARK  event  at  Six Flags Great America! There will be a meet and greet with fans  before the gates  open  at  7:30.  Then Todrick will kick off the evening at  8pm with a couple  live numbers!





WHAT A GORGEOUS BOOK! And for a coffee table art book, its very affordable at about $35! Why Drag?

224 pages of the biggest and most diverse queens across America and beyond, all answering the question, Why drag?

Everyone loves to gag over photographs of their favorite queens, and chances are, some of the photographs have been taken by talented drag queen photographer, Magnus Hastings. His popular Facebook page, Dragged Around the World, archives some of his best work.

This celebrated artist has been photographing drag queens for the past 10 years- and his artwork showcasing queens is taking the world by storm! LAST YEAR, Hastings’ first photo exhibition in New York, Why Drag?, ran during Pride, at the OUT HOTEL. The best part about this unique exhibition is that each queen he photographs explains why it is that they do drag (but you’ll have to the exhibit to see that!) – Now, you can get the book!

Magnus Hastings came up through the London Gay scene and quickly gained recognition as one of the forerunners of his type of the pop art photography. playing with campy ideas when it was not fashionable to do so and embracing drag queens as a subject and study. He says, a “child of drag,” prone to putting on his sister’s clothes and dancing around his childhood home. But he didn’t truly discover the drag world until much later, long after he himself had stopped dressing across gender lines.

He completely revamped the Gaydar franchise in 2009 and has been published worldwide in magazines such as Glamour (uk), GQ (uk), Cosmopolitan (Italy),People (usa) , US weekly (use), Attitude (uk) ,AXM (uk), Bent (uk), QX international (uk), Blue (australia), Boyz (uk), Nois (spain) to name a few.


In 2003, on a visit to Sydney, Hastings walked into the Arq nightclub and saw the drag queen Vanity Faire lip-syncing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz in a flawless Dorothy outfit. The experience changed his life.

“I started shooting drag because it’s my home and my world and it feels like my family,” Hastings said.

Watching that performance connected Hastings to a part of himself that he’d abandoned due to social pressures as a child but that he still longed to explore.


With Vanity’s guidance, Hastings began photographing the city’s vibrant drag scene and developing a polished, dynamic style of portraiture reflecting his subjects’ creativity and humor.


magnus hastings photographer

As he traveled the world, he continued capturing local queens with a focus on those who best represented the art’s diversity and daring, from the bearded to the “fishy,” or ultrafeminine.

His images attracted a larger audience when he started posting his photos to his Facebook group, “Dragged Around the World.”

Magnus now lives in Los Angeles with his Jack Russell named George and is heavily involved in photographing the drag scene.

Why Drag?‘ with photographs by Magnus Hastings and a foreword by Boy George, was published in May by Chronicle Books. BUY THE BOOK!

Why Drag?

detox drag queen magnus hastings

AIDS Foundation Gala May 16th


The BIGGEST Gala of the year  is just 2 weeks  away!

An incredible evening to remember and raise funds!

Plan to arrive at 6 pm! You will punch your way to prizes at our interactive and celebrated punch board (details coming soon) and enter chances to win a luxury vacation to Aruba or New York City in our raffle while sipping on spirits and nibbling on hors d’oeuvres

·         Amy Landecker, star in Amazon Prime’s series Transparent and former AFC staff member, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies

·         Tom Kehoe will receive the Community Impact Award; Ernie Rodriguez will receive the Lori Kaufman Volunteer Award

·         Paddles will raise during our live auction for luxury vacations to Hawaii, Las Vegas and Coronado Island

·         Paddles will raise again in honor of AFC’s innovative work in the community

·         DJKiss will get you grooving to the best beats in town—dancing until midnight!



ALSO Save these dates!

Team to End AIDS Endurance Training Program Registration

August 15, 2015—Dance for Life

September 26, 2015—AIDS Run & Walk Chicago

December 3, 2015—World of Chocolate

Spring Fashion Brunch May 3rd


This event sells out every year – and there are only a few seats  left!

The Chicago House  annual

Spring Brunch & Fashion Show 2015!
Sunday, May 3             Noon – 3:30 PM

Winter Garden Ballroom

Harold Washington Library | 400 S State Street


This year’s Brunch event is all about celebrating Chicago House’s 30 Years of Service and the last three decades of fashion. In fact, all guests are invited to come dressed in his or her favorite fashion moment or trend from the past 30 years. The fashion certainly won’t be limited to the runway this year! EVERYONE  dresses to impress!

Sip  cocktails  and mingle  and browse the fantastic silent auction items.

After a lavish brunch by Jewell Events Catering, guests will turn to the runway and feast their eyes on elite fashions from Chicago’s best boutiques and most forward-thinking designers! Intermingled with the amazing displays of fashion will be thrilling musical and dance performances.


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Chicago Soap Makers Expanding

real soaps chicago

Chicago soapmakers Real. Soaps is expanding into a studio to increase production and begin teaching classes on soap making and natural products.  But they need your help.

Shamus McClain started Real. Soaps because many “soaps” are not actually soap; they’re detergent, and the chemicals in them make them far less than natural – some are potentially dangerous.  Sadly, it is this way with a lot of products, so I learned how to make them myself with REAL ingredients.   I am self taught and since the beginning have been focused on taking what I have learned and sharing it with people so they can make smarter choices about the products they use.

What started as handmade, small-batch soap has grown over the past 3 years.  I now have an ever-expanding line of all natural products.  I continue to make every product in small batches with intention & care and with my own two hands.   Real. Soaps has gained popularity through word of mouth, friends and family, Etsy, working with local shops, farmer’s markets, craft fairs and pop-up shops.  I now stock over 20 stores here in Chicago and several out of state.

“Through 4 apartments I have been growing this company – and now Real. Soaps finally has a space to call its own!   I have been offered an opportunity to grow my business in the form of my own work space.  I will use this space to increase my own production and continue spreading the natural/green beauty message by teaching classes on how to make similar products on your own!  As a maker, this will be my work space and a retail space for my product. As a teacher, I will share my knowledge with my community. ”


GLAAD Hatter Brunch Chicago April 4th 2015

glaad hatter brunch chicago

IT’S BACK!  The festive and fun 2015 GLAAD Hatter Brunch Benefit!

GLAAD Hatter, presented by Ketel One Vodka and MillerCoors, is a celebration of national and local leaders advancing LGBT equality.

At GLAAD it’s personal and we want your hat to be a personal expression of yourself while enjoying a sumptuous brunch with specialty brunch cocktails.

Whether impressive or understated, bridal or funeral, edible, perishable, sporty, floral, or with live birds in a cage — whatever hat you wear, you’ll fit right in. Prizes will be given away for “Best Hat” as well as “People’s Choice” for favorite hat. Enter to win raffle prizes from great companies throughout the Chicago area.


$150 for Two Tickets     or    $85 Individual Ticket  Purchase Tickets

A significant portion of your ticket supports GLAAD. GLAAD rewrites the script on LGBT equality. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialog that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love.

Saturday, April 4, 2015       11:00am2:00pm
Pasteur        5525 N. Broadway Ave. Chicago , IL

Brad Walsh in Chicago @ Scarlet Bar

brad walsh chicago

An “all-around Renaissance man” (Vogue Italia), singer/songwriter, producer, and visual artist Brad Walsh is “a chameleon extraordinaire” (


and an influential “modern-day St. Patrick” (Village Voice) whose music is “required listening” (



Brad’s 2011 album Right Now was praised as “an 11-track tour-de-force of body-moving pop music” (Vogue Italia), “a dark yet club-friendly disc that delves into uncharacteristically personal territory” (The Advocate), and “an album of intelligence that inspires new thoughts upon every listen” (

His remixes of songs by Adam Lambert (a #1 Billboard Hot Dance single), Sarah McLachlan, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Kanye West, Rihanna, and others have achieved over 13 million digital downloads to date.

His music has appeared in shows and commercials on television networks including Bravo, E!, Showtime, MTV, Logo, and CBS; and he composes original runway music as well as DJ sets for fashion shows at New York Fashion Week. Brad is recording a new full-length album for release in early 2015.

Also an accomplished photographer, Brad’s portrait and fashion images have appeared most notably in The New York Times, Women’s Wear Daily, Elle, InStyle, Marie Claire,, Nylon, Blackbook, Teen Vogue, and Spin; in promotion or advertisement for Victoria’s Secret, TreSemme, Gibson Guitars, Payless, and J Shoes; and on the covers of books from major trade publishers.


christian-siriano-brad walsh-marriage

Several of his portraits were purchased by GenArt to travel the country as a gallery tour called “Capture the Night,” and he was a featured artist with portrait sessions on

Brad has served as a judge for fashion events around the country, and he designed a jewelry capsule collection available at retailers in the USA, UK, and Japan.

Brad and Christian Siriano, The Project Runway champ  were  engaged in 2013.


Brad will be at SCARLET  providing the beats on Sunday January 25th  for LIQUID BRUNCH!

3320 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60657

Brad Walsh


Stain Resistant Ground Breaking Fashion

Borris Powell Nanotechnology stain resistant Photo by Ronald Leon Hale

It’s 2015 and the game of fashion is changing forever.

Nationally respected fashion designer, Borris Powell, who recently launched a brand new men’s line, has introduced nanotechnology to the fashion world.

“My luxury men’s and women’s lines will be stain resistant in 2015,” the designer says. “This technology is revolutionary and I’m ecstatic to be the spokesperson of it to the luxury fashion industry.”

Powell, who has partnered with ACT, the developer of the technology, drips wine on his jacket and the droplets fall right off. “The treatment of the clothing is nontoxic and environmentally safe. It sprays onto the clothing and with heat application can be ready in thirty minutes. It’s undetectable, resistant to water, oil, and dirt, breathable, and safe. You can’t even tell it’s there. The suit feels exactly the same.” It can be applied to everything and anything in Powell’s line—whether it be one of his Emmy, Oscars, or Grammy’s gowns, or his one-of-a-kind dapper suits. The only fabrics it cannot be applied to are Lycra and Spandex. “What’s worse than having a stain on your favorite blazer or vest? This isn’t a problem anymore. A gentleman always looks his best.”

“2015 is going to be so big,” he chimes in. “This is just the beginning.” The designer is known for his stunning looks and homage to the classic. His men’s line, which premiered in late 2014 and features up-and-coming Film Director Kyle Thomas as the face of the line, focuses on the gentleman. “Technology has changed the way we do everything: communicate, date, and present ourselves to the world. It’s time that technology become a part of our fashion,” Thomas states. Recently, Powell announced his role as the Creative Director of Fashion for the new series SEX + LOVE, with Thomas being the creator of the show. “Fashion is integral to how Millennials present their images to the world. People want that sense of glamour and romance,” Thomas states. Powell grins widely. “The gentleman is back and that’s what my newest campaign integrating nanotechnology shows.”

 Photography by Ronald Leon Hale. Make-up by Kimberly Thomas-Schaffer. Location Odyssey Cruises in downtown Chicago.

For more information on Borris Powell,
For more information on SEX + LOVE,

Board Certified Hair Restoration Surgeon

best-hair-less-techniquesMinimally Invasive Hair Restoration
With (FUE) Follicular Unit Extraction And Surgical Robotic Technology


International lecturer and teacher, Dr. William Yates, M.D., Board Certified Hair Restoration Surgeon, breaks through the old stereotypes of hair loss and hair transplant and brings Chicago’s North Shore the very latest cutting edge technological advancements in the field, offering patients an array of state-of-the-art facial and hair restoration services. He is a world-renowned expert in Follicular Unit Extraction.

He is so passionate and confident the Follicular Unit Extraction technique is superior to traditional methods; he only performs this highly skilled technique for hair transplantation.

Dr. Yates specialized skills make him one of the elite surgeons to educate and train other physicians to perform this specialized technique both locally and internationally.

ARTAS-hair replacement machine

What is FUE?

While performed under local anesthesia, the hair or follicular units are individually harvested or punched from the back of the scalp or donor area in the hands of Dr. Yates using whatever instrument is best for his patient to obtain optimal results. He utilizes the most advanced ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant System or various manual, hand-held instruments to delicately punch out each individual hair follicle.

The camera system and algorithms in place with the robot or Dr. Yates skilled eyes and hands, choose the most robust hairs to remove for transplantation. With the traditional strip method for hair transplantation, not only do you have to take all hairs (even weak hair), the patient also incurs a painful cut, stitches and scar that they have to live with and conceal the rest of their lives.


Dr. Yates utilizes state of the art biological solutions such as Hypothermosol and ATPv (adenosine triphosphate) to store, protect and ensure optimal survival of these valuable grafts while awaiting transplant into the balding areas of the scalp for both men and women.

The finishing touch is completed by Dr. Yates artistic ability to create a natural hairline and hair density in his patient’s areas of thinning throughout the scalp. He uses micro-incisions to create sites to place each individual follicular unit, which will grow into a natural, undetectable pattern over the next year.

The results – – Phenomenal, Natural, Permanent Hair that patients can style anyway they desire without a scar in the back of the scalp. It’s cutting edge methodology like this that separates Dr. Yates’ concierge practice from the cookie cutter competition, who still rely on the antiquated guesswork with a scalpel from when they started 30 years ago.


“It’s permanent and not many people can do it right,” says Dr. Yates. “This is the investment that lasts.”

If someone is unable to shave the back of his or her scalp for FUE, he also has an answer for this. Dr. Yates is able to creatively trim the hair so that the donor area is completely concealed and you can return to work immediately without any visible signs of a procedure.
Dr. Yates is also very skilled at restoring facial hair such as beards, mustaches, goatees and eyebrows.

He also performs recovery and repair work on patients who have had multiple, visible scars; old-fashioned and undesirable plug procedures; and creative body hair (beard, chest, back hair) harvesting for transplantation for individuals who are “tapped out” of donor hair in the back of their scalp.


dr yates illinois hair doctor

State of the Art

        Non-Surgical Options…


PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)
This therapy has been FDA approved and utilized for over 30 years for advanced wound healing. Now, we are seeing exciting results with PRP for hair growth. A patient’s blood is drawn and spun in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets to a specific concentration effective for hair growth. The platelets are then activated and injected back into the scalp at the level of the hair follicles. This process stimulates the body’s own growth factors and stem cells to slow hair loss, reverse miniaturized hair to produce a strong, visible hair again, and if used at the time of a hair transplant, it encourages faster graft growth. This has been very effective for both men and women.

Stromal Vascular Fraction or Stem Cell Therapy with Fat Transfer
Adult stem cells are most concentrated in our bodies in bone marrow and even more so in fat tissue or adipose. Dr. Yates is able to harvest these fat cells and concentrate and purify them in a centrifuge system. He then combines the fat cells with PRP to inject into the scalp to stimulate hair growth and stabilize further hair loss. This process offers even more benefits than just PRP alone by replacing the lost layer of subcutaneous fat in the scalp where the hair follicle thrives.

Scalp Micro-Pigmentation (SMP)
With SMP, pigment is used on the scalp to create the appearance of real hair follicles recreating hairlines, adding the appearance of density to thinning areas and covering unsightly scars. This advanced solution for hair loss replicates real shaven hair follicles on the scalp. The appearance is so realistic that it actually looks like you have hair. We know how the hair should look when pigmented, because that’s all we do everyday – HAIR! If someone has limited donor hair and has been told they were not a good candidate for a hair transplant procedure, they now have a great option! This is perfect for those who wear a very closely cropped hairstyle!

Hair Styling for Thinning Hair

Since hair loss affects so many people and everyone’s self-esteem, Dr. Yates even offers an onsite Licensed Cosmetologist with over 17 years of experience. She studied in Italy, Spain, Greece, Germany, New York, Miami and Chicago. She specializes in styling and educating patients to look their best if they suffer with hair loss.


Someone doesn’t have to be bald to feel the confidence shaking reality of hair loss. For many, it can appear as a lack of volume and expanding thinness. Slowly, their scalp becomes more apparent through the diminishing volume of their hair. Dr. Yates can stop that hair loss in its tracks and reduce the appearance of thinning hair for men and women using the most advanced treatments available in the industry.



When hair transplantation is done correctly by a proficient surgeon, the results look so natural that nobody would know you had a procedure. To achieve the best, natural, and attractive results, you need a meticulous surgeon with proven results.

The team at Yates Hair Science Group delivers the best care and quality everyday and are recognized leaders in the field.

565 Lakeview Parkway Suite 108
Vernon Hills, IL 60061

50 E Washington, Suite 200,Chicago, IL 60602
PHONE: 312-261-0872 or visit them online at

Chicago House Celebrity Luncheon Oct. 15th



Chicago House is elated to announce its 6th Annual Speaker Series Luncheon, a conversation about Gender, Race, and Economic Disparity under the LGBTQ umbrella on October 15th, 2014 at the Hilton Grand Ballroom on 720 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL. The Panel Discussion and Moderated Q&A will begin at 12:30 PM with our esteemed speakers, Laverne Cox, an Emmy nominated transgender actress and LGBT activist, Jason Collins, a 13-year basketball veteran and the first openly gay NBA player, and Dustin Lance Black, social activist and Academy Award winning screenwriter for MILK. This year’s moderator is Gautam Raghavan, former LGBTQ advisor to President Obama and Vice President of Policy at the Gill Foundation. These three icons follow in the footsteps of previous speakers Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Whoopi Goldberg and Kenneth Cole, who have all shed light on the work of Chicago House relative to their efforts around the world.

The 6th Annual Speaker Series Luncheon marks a critical fundraising event for Chicago House’s desperately-needed services, and is an opportunity for a larger conversation on our nation’s growing inequality and disparity of wealth. Individuals who identify as LGBTQ are significantly more likely of being disadvantaged socio-economically. LGBTQ persons, despite having more education than the national average, make less money than their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts, particularly if they are African American. Chicago House seeks to respond to these alarming statistics by highlighting not only the great need, but also the moral imperative that the LGBTQ community has to care for its own members living in poverty.

As we approach our 30th anniversary, Chicago House looks to its origins focusing on HIV/AIDS, poverty, and LGBTQ persons. With the nation’s first and largest employment program for those with HIV/AIDS and our recently opened Translife Center, Chicago House continues its commitment to engage in action and conversations building towards a movement of inclusivity and economic advancement for those marginalized in the LGBTQ community. This is a conversation the entire community should be having; this is the next big issue we face.

Together, we stand at crossroads of progress in HIV/AIDS stigma, civil equality, and economic disparity. With your continued support, we may celebrate our victories and the lives of individuals and families that Chicago House serves.

We encourage you to be present for what we are sure will be a revolutionary event. To purchase tickets or to become a sponsor, contact Lori Byars at  773-248-5200 x209. Additional information is also available at

Chicago House Speakers Series Oct. 15th

chicago house

Please join us for the Inspirational Event of the season!

The Chicago House

6th Anniversary Speaker Series Luncheon

Wednesday, October 15th from 11:30am – 2:00pm

Hilton Chicago | Grand Ballroom | 720 S. Michigan Avenue


Laverne Cox (Orange Is The New Black Actress)

Jason Collins (NBA Player)

Dustin Lance Black (MILK Screenwriter)

Buy Tickets at

Spearheading a much-needed conversation about race, gender identity, class and solidarity, they will all be joined with remarks by Chicago House CEO Stan Sloan during this much anticipated and inspirational afternoon!


Led by Co-Chairs Chicago House Trustee Todd Hamilton of Bolder Capital and the founders of Global Act, a nonprofit agency committed to accelerating “understanding, ideas, partnerships, and activities to solve pressing issues,” guests will enjoy a three-course lunch in the Chicago Hilton’s beautiful Grand Ballroom. The event, now in its sixth year, expects nearly 1,000 attendees, and will kick off with a VIP reception, followed by a lunch presentation and panel discussion featuring Cox, Collins and Black.

“This event is the follow up answer to the question of, ‘How can you possibly rival Hillary Clinton as your speaker last September?’” says CEO Rev. Stan Sloan. “Our answer is to have a conversation that the whole nation should be having about poverty, gender identity, race and solidarity. It is very exciting for us to feature the insights and perspectives of Laverne Cox as a black transgender woman as well as other nationally known voices like Jason Collins and Dustin Lance Black!”

Buy Tickets at

Chicagos Borris Powell and Kyle Thomas Partner for Fashion



This summer, a momentous partnership will shake LGBT entertainment and fashion.

Nationally respected fashion designer, Borris Powell, on the cusp of launching a brand new men’s line, has chosen rising star film director/producer, Kyle Thomas, as the face of his anticipated “Freedom” line.

The line, which is slated to launch in Fall 2014, features a distinctly gentlemanly style, which is a core value both artists identify within their brands. “One chooses to be a gentleman. It takes style, sophistication, manners, and confidence to pull that off. And my new line harbors exactly that, with clean lines and quality craftsmanship. I want men to wear my clothes and feel the gentleman within them come alive,” Powell says, of his new line. “We’ve been producing several editorials and we can’t wait to release them.”

Kyle Thomas, who is producing and directing the highly anticipated upcoming show, SEX + LOVE, is honored to partner with Powell. “There’s a huge shift in culture with marriage being granted to LGBT individuals, and Borris and I have had long conversations about how there’s a desire within gay culture to focus less on the raw sexuality of past decades and to now be courted by a gentleman. Being a gentleman is inherently classic. We grew up on Disney films. It doesn’t matter whether you’re straight or gay, being a gentleman is sexy,” Thomas states.

“Borris saw the first cuts of SEX + LOVE and instantly related with the characters, themes, and struggles inherent in the story. The series documents how technology has created a broken road to romance for many of us. In a world with so many different viewpoints on love and sex, and with a cornucopia of options at your fingertips via social media, how does one find what one is looking for?” Thomas says of the series. “SEX + LOVE captures that struggle, that comedy, and that heartbreak.”

With both of their careers reaching new levels of success and many exciting things in development for the coming months and year, the two believe their partnership in film and fashion will be able to touch a wider audience. “It’s about the art and the way that we can make people feel. We want to give people that sense of glamour and romance, whether it be for three hours when she’s in my gown or he’s in my suit,” Powell said. “Or for the brief time to watch an episode,” Thomas added. “We all want that romance and fantasy, and those things exist here and now. You just have to believe in them once again.”


For more information on Borris Powell, visit:
For more information on SEX + LOVE, visit:

 Tickets  for FREEDOM  show  at Block 37


Taverna 750 Unveils New Summer Drinks by Suzy Wong


Taverna 750

Announces New

Celebrity Mixologist

Taverna 750 is  known for their Italian inspired shared plates and martinis, is taking their cocktails to the next level.

Now Taverna 750 will partner with Arnold Myint with inspiration from his alter ego Suzy Wong, to fuse the spirit of cocktails and nightlife with dining.


Taverna 750 is already known for their house made cellos, a traditional Italian liqueur that is used throughout the majority of their cocktails that are exclusive and unique to the restaurant. (FYI, in case you still have not been there – All martinis are served with a sidecar, an extra portion kept on ice, or an extra refill, which makes them fun for sharing for a girls or boys night out or date night).

Arnold Myint is a Nashville native, who is Executive Chef and Owner of three popular restaurants in Nashville; {blvd}, PM, and Suzy Wong’s House of Yum. His establishments have been recognized locally on numerous occasions as “the best of” and he continues to grow his brand on the national level as reflected in publications such as GQ Magazine,, and as a contestant on the popular Emmy award winning television program Top Chef. Arnold’s mixology approach is mirrored by his colorful life and alter ego, Suzy Wong.

Arnold’s Suzy Wong, is a domestic diva, event hostess, philanthropist, and savvy mixologist who is known as “The Cocktail Queen” and currently produces a web series; “Serve Fabulous” She was Miss Gay Tennessee America 2012 and Miss Gay Mid America 2013. She placed in the top ten, sixth over all contestants, last fall as Miss Gay America St. Louis, MO. Arnold is currently working on a new endeavor and creating his own wine label “SHOW PONY”. He has teamed up with some of the best drag queens throughout the country to market and campaign the new series of wine, which will debut in Chicago at Taverna 750. Drag queens including RAJA, season 3 Winner of RuPauls’s Drag Race, and Chicago’s very own, TRANNIKA REX, who you can see monthly hosting Trannika’s Most Wanted at the popular nightclub, Scarlet. Taverna 750 will use the energy of Arnold’s approach to their drink program to continue to grow the popularity of their nightlife approach to dinner service and their popular weekend Martini Brunch.

Taverna 750 will host a launch party of the new wine SHOW PONY along with Arnold’s newest cocktail creations for the restaurant on July 5th, along with RAJA and Trannika Rex in attendance.


Cucumber Caparinha

Cachaca, Limoncello, Cucumber Juice, Rosemary Syrup, Lemon Juice, Mint Leaves


Raspberry Spritzer

Hennessy, Raspberry Syrup, Orangecello, Chandon Brut


Lavender Martini

Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin, Canteloupe, Brovo Lavender Liqueur, Orangecello, Lemon Juice, Lemon/Lime Soda, Chandon Brut


Mezcal Punch

Monte Alban Mezcal, Bacardi White Rum, 3Olives Vanilla Vodka, Grapefruitcello, Grapefruit Juice, Simple Syrup, Lemon/Lime Soda, Grapefruit Zest


Pistachio Sour

Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey, Pistachio Liqueur, Amaretto, Apricot Syrup, Orange Peel


Bay Leaf Martini

Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey, Lemon Bay Leaf Syrup, Limoncello, Lemon Juice, Orange Bitters, Lemon/Lime Soda


Celery Gin Rocks

Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin, Celery Syrup, Green Chartreuse, Fresh Squeezed Lemon, Pink Peppercorn Rim


Sloe Gin Gimlet

Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin, Lemon Bay Leaf Syrup, Fresh Squeezed Lemon, Sloe Gin, Bay Leaf Sugar Rim


Tequila Spice

Maestro Dobel Tequila, Chili Cherry Lime Syrup, Orangecello, Fresh Squeezed Orange, Fresh Squeezed Lime


Cherry Coke

Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey, Cherry Heering, Celloed Cherry Juice, Raspberry Syrup, Ginger Beer, Coke


750 W. Cornelia
Chicago, IL 60657


Gay House Music Legend from Chicago Dies

frankie knuckles chicago house music

Frankie Knuckles

one of the major founding forces of house music, passed away yesterday at the age of 59. He died unexpectedly at his Chicago home on Monday.

When he was just 18, he got a job as a DJ at a major destination for gay men — the Continental Baths in Manhattan. That’s also where Bette Midler and Barry Manilow got their starts. In an interview with the BBC two years ago, Knuckles described it as a world unto itself.

“It was more than just a bath house,” he said. “There was a boutique. There was an Olympic-sized swimming pool. There was a theater room. There was a salon.”

“A lot of people would check in on Friday night and they wouldn’t check out until Monday morning,” Knuckles said. “They were on their way to work.”

Knuckles’ signature sets were not about explosive non-stop energy. He structured them, he once said, like stories with internal logic and a certain moody momentum.

In the late Seventies, the DJ moved to Chicago at the behest of Robert Williams, who had opened the late night club the Warehouse and needed a resident. Frankie didn’t just rise to the occasion, he created a way of playing music from disparate genres and making it seem cohesive — it became known as house music; and Knuckles became legendary through his edits, his grace and his style.

House spread from Chicago and Detroit to Ibiza and Berlin, and helped sweep in the drug-fueled rave culture in the U.K. in the ’90s. But Knuckles was never interested in hedonism. He saw the dance floor as a sacred space. The beat united everybody there. For Frankie Knuckles, the beat was a creed. Knuckles was inducted into Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1996.


Remembering Vernita Gray

vernita gray grey chicago

Vernita Gray, who passed away last night after a tenacious battle with cancer, served Chicago’s LGBTQ community with distinction for over 40 years as was one of its early leaders and strongest advocates. She organized a gay and lesbian hotline in 1969 and hosted support groups from her home. She was instrumental in forming the first Lesbian Caucus of the nascent Gay Liberation organization and the first Chicago lesbian newspaper – Lavender Women.

ville, Center on Halsted’s community newszine, had a chance to sit down with Vernita this past winter about the future of the LGBTQ movement.



“In 1969, I didn’t really have a clue about a career, what I wanted to do with my life. As an African-American woman coming out as a lesbian, I knew I wanted to be free and wanted to be afforded all the opportunities in our culture to be who I really was. I knew that I did not want to be a closeted lesbian,” Gray told the Times’ Tracy Baim as part of the Chicago Gay History project in 2007. “I knew that I wanted to be gay and wanted to enjoy my life with other gay people.”

It wasn’t long before Gray immersed herself in activism. That same year she helped develop a telephone hotline, and started organizing support groups for gay and lesbian Chicagoans at both local colleges and in her own home, according to her biography on the website of the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, into which she was inducted in 1992.

Candi Cayne Midnight Cabaret at Taverna 750 November 9th

 Join Taverna 750 and Nolet’s Gin on November 9th for a Midnight Cabaret Show with Candis Cayne benefiting the Gibbs Family Foundation.

Candis Cayne is one of the United States’ most popular and sought-after
transgender actresses being seen in shows like Dirty Sexy Money,
Nip/tuck, and Million Dollar Listing.. Candis first made a name for
herself at the famed NYC gay hot-spot “Boy Bar”, where her performances
drew rave reviews. A classically trained dancer, Candis has thrilled
audiences from coast-to-coast with her amazing gift for dance, choreography and glamour.

With Specials Guest Traver Rains, famed fashion designer, co-creator of the haute couture line Heatherette, and current owner of the T-Rains fashion line.

The Gibbs Family Foundation promotes healthy living and prevention
strategies for complex illnesses and rare diseases. The Gibbs Family
Foundation provides funding opportunities to organizations committed to
promoting health awareness, lifestyle modifications, and prevention
programs to improve health.

$10 Cover at the Door or reserve a private bottle service table with Timothy Rocklewitz at for details.

Edge Alliance The YOU Ball November 16th

The YOU! Ball is EdgeAlliance’s celebration of the individuals and
organizations whose contributions make our work possible. Last Year’s
YOU! Ball marked EdgeAlliance’s 20th anniversary. Join them on November
16, 2013 to celebrate the second annual YOU! Ball.

EdgeAlliance  will host its 21st
Annual Gala, The YOU! Ball 
on Saturday,
November 16th, 2013 at 7:00 PM at Venue One in the West
Loop of Chicago. The party will benefit the nonprofit with funds going towards supportive
housing programs that will provide the children, families and adults at the campus
with a greater quality of independence.

Chefs from some of Chicago’s finest restaurants which include the
Signature Room at the 95th, Hearty Restaurant, Crew Bar + Grill
& Swirlz Cupcakes will create food stations featuring their signature
specialties! Event Sponsors include: CS Modern Luxury, Exit Strategy Realty,
Guaranteed Rate, and ROC Realty Group.

“As we enter our 22nd year of service, we invite everyone to join us
for a spectacular evening in urban chic attire while helping to raise money
that will positively impact the quality of life for hundreds of at-risk
families and individuals,” said EdgeAlliance Board Member and YOU! Ball
Event Co-Chair Kevin Rocio.

The YOU! Ball is the agency’s major annual fundraiser
which encompasses silent and live auctions featuring getaway vacations,
entertainment and sports memorabilia, elegant dining, wine tastings, golf
outings and more. “These additional funds will help support the critical
programs and services we provide,” said Kevin, “so our guests will be doing a
world of good by having an evening of fun.”

EdgeAlliance’s philosophy of housing is simple: it should be safe,
affordable, well-built and attractive. The developments should offer both
respite and permanent supportive housing options. They should be located in
areas where people are hurting. The housing should welcome diverse population
including children, teens, young adults, people in midlife, and senior
citizens. The property area itself should contain lots of green spaces and
garden space, and it should be a major part of community.

The ticket price for the party is $125.00
or $175.00 for VIP admission.BUY ONLINE NOW

For more than 21 years EdgeAlliance
has been a haven for individuals and families with special needs and medically
complex conditions. The private nonprofit’s mission is to a
ssists its members in developing and
operating quality housing and providing life enriching services to vulnerable
individuals and families.

Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame To Induct 14 Individuals and 2 Organizations

Fourteen individuals and two
organizations will be inducted Nov. 12 into t
he Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of
Fame, the country’s only known government-sponsored hall of fame that honors
members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.


The inductees were selected by a
committee composed of former inductees, which reviewed nominations submitted by
members of the public. The names were released by Friends of the Chicago Gay
and Lesbian Hall of Fame, a section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


The chosen nominees will be
inducted at the Hall of Fame’s annual ceremony, which will take place from 5:30
p.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday,
Nov. 12,
at the Chicago History
Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago. A reception begins at 5:30 p.m., and the
program is scheduled for 6 p.m
. The event is free and open to the


Mary F. Morten, a respected
Chicago women’s- and LGBT-rights activist and a former LGBT mayoral liaison
under Mayor Richard M. Daley, was recently elected as the new
co-chairperson of Friends of the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. 
“I’m excited to step into this role as co-chair,” she said, “and I look forward
to supporting an institution that has consistently recognized the best and the
brightest from our communities and our allies. This year’s inductees are no


“We welcome the 2013 inductees’ addition,” said Israel
Wright, executive director of the Friends organization. “It continues to show
how the important contributions from our LGBT communities and from our friends
pave the way for the future. It is humbling to recognize each inductee’s
special efforts to create change in ways that affect us all so greatly.”


of Fame inductees fall into one of three categories: “individual,” “organization,”
or “friend of the community.” Nominees represent all of Chicago’s
sexual-minority communities, including LGBT Chicagoans, past, present, living,
and dead, as well as those who have supported or assisted them.

Those honored in 2013 are:



B. Alcaraz,
42, for almost 20 years of work on behalf of
women’s reproductive freedom, the interests of African American lesbian and
bisexual women, adolescent health, and other social concerns. She was a founder
of Affinity Community Services, a South Side social-justice group, and is the
Chicago Abortion Fund’s executive director.


L. Alexander,
63, for his contributions to Chicago cultural and
other nonprofit institutions, including LGBT- and HIV/AIDS-related
organizations, through board service, advice, and leadership and through
directing philanthropic support. He is co-trustee of The Elizabeth Morse
Charitable Trust and the Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust.


L. Bennett,
48, for his leadership in the nonprofit
community and a career as a comedic writer and performer.  He has fought
for social justice in the United Methodist Church and through other groups.   He has written and performed in 14
sketch- comedy revues and appears and emcees at radio and staged events.
 He is the Midwest regional director for Lambda Legal.  


41, for 16 years of social-service activism,
organizing, and leadership in LGBT Latina/o and HIV/AIDS organizations locally
and nationally, as well as in the Chicago leather community. He is director of
programs and services for Vida/SIDA, a Latina/o AIDS  service organization in Chicago.


J. Claps,
52, for public service in political and government
roles as an openly gay man and for advancing LGBT rights goals. He began on
Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s staff in 1987, worked in federal and
Democratic National Committee positions during the Clinton administration, and
since 2003 has been director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights.


Johnson, Jr.
(1947–2006), for 23 years as a well-known and
well-regarded North Halsted Street bar owner who led the Northalsted Merchants
Association and other neighborhood groups, instituted and promoted local
festivals, sponsored sports leagues and events, and lent and recruited support
for a wide array of LGBT nonprofit organizations and pro-LGBT politicians.


A. Newell II,
64, for his community service in Chicago from 1976
to 2001. He led the financial revival and growth of Gay Horizons (an early
precursor of today’s Center on Halsted); documented local events, assembling
what is now a Chicago History Museum collection of some 5,000 photos; led the
city’s first LGBT PAC; and was an officer in neighborhood groups.


55, for her community involvement since 1986 as a bartender in numerous
venues, where she has built a loyal customer base, won mixology awards, and
volunteered and raised funds for numerous organizations, while also devoting
countless hours to organizations rescuing and rehoming lost, neglected, and
discarded pet animals, both locally and after Hurricane Katrina.


53, for more than three decades as
a journalist, editor, biographer, lecturer, teacher, and internationally active
arts critic and interviewer in print and electronic media, besides media
advocacy since 1979 for LGBT and HIV/AIDS concerns. A lifelong Chicagoan, he is
critic-at-large for WFMT Fine Arts Radio and contributing critic to the Chicago


46, for generous donor support and board service to
LGBT and non-LGBT organizations, including Lambda Legal, Housing Opportunities
for Women, GayCo Productions, Opportunity Education, and Democratic Party
entities. She has backed ecotourism and, as a part owner of the Chicago Cubs,
is the first openly LGBT owner of a Major League Baseball team.


(1917–1985), a native Chicagoan, for his
contributions to the early days of television and in particular for his
creation of unforgettable puppet characters such as Kukla and Ollie. He
enriched the lives of children and adults through the Kukla, Fran and Ollie
show with co-host Fran Allison, as well as through other performances over five
decades beginning in 1936.


58, for 31 years of producing and directing Chicago and LGBT theater as
well as developing new stage and screen plays, especially through the former
Bailiwick Repertory’s Pride Series and now through Pride Films and Plays. He
has won numerous awards, has directed in cities around the world, and has
helped to enrich LGBT lives and advance social equality.




Lambda Legal, for
the 20 years of groundbreaking, precedent-setting work done by its Midwest
Regional Office since its 1993 establishment in Chicago, involving such local
issues as equal parade participation, HIV and fertility-treatment insurance
coverage, real-estate discrimination, adoption rights, and student organizing
rights, plus participation in critical national litigation.


POW-WOW (once
formally known as Performers or Writers for Women on Women’s Issues, Inc.), for
10 years of offering an open and affirming space for women, especially those of
color, to create and present artistic performances and writing, as well as
helping women and girls re-entering society to develop artistic careers and
providing socially relevant, arts-based literacy programs.

“Friend of
the Community” Category


Neil Steinberg, 53, for 26 years as a Chicago
writer or columnist who has repeatedly portrayed LGBT lives and
social-justice issues while insightfully commenting on them. His work has
contributed to better public understanding and has often been produced when
issues were more unpopular than now, such as human-rights laws in the 1980s and
marriage rights in 1996.


Brenda Webb, 60,
executive director of Chicago Filmmakers, for her 32 years of perseverance as
organizer of Reeling, the Chicago LGBT international film festival. Reeling is
said to be the world’s second-oldest such festival and has become a major
cultural event for Chicago’s LGBT communities and the city’s general arts and
culture scene.


The Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame was established in
1991 under the auspices of what was then the Chicago Commission on Human
Relations’ Advisory Council on Gay and Lesbian (later, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual
and Transgender) Issues, a municipal government agency. At the end of 2011, the
advisory council ceased to exist after a commission restructuring, and the
Friends organization succeeded it as caretaker of the Hall of Fame in
partnership with city government.


Beginning with the first ceremony in 1991, former Mayor
Richard M. Daley personally participated in the Hall of Fame’s induction
ceremonies. Current Mayor Rahm Emanuel has continued to do so.


The Hall of Fame’s purpose is to recognize the achievements
of LGBT Chicagoans, their contributions to the development of the city, and the
help they have received from others. In 2013, it holds its 23rd annual
induction ceremony and continues to represent an official recognition by
Chicago’s government of the city’s LGBT residents and their allies.


Those selected for the “individual” category are or were
members of Chicago’s LGBT communities and have made single far-reaching or
significant long-term contributions to the quality of life of those communities
or of the city as a whole. Those in the “organization” category are LGBT
businesses and nonprofit groups that have done likewise. “Friends of the
community” are non-LGBT-identified individuals and organizations that have
contributed to the quality of life of the city’s LGBT communities.

Ramsey Jay Prince, Chicago’s event, interior and floral designer, opens boutique and studio in Lakeview

Chicago’s top interior designer and event planner sets up permanent shop in Lakeview!
Ramsey Jay Prince, Chicago ’s premier event, interior and floral designer known for his over the top designs, will open his first boutique and studio in Lakeview.
 J Prince Studio will become the outpost for Prince’s design and event firm where clients can meet with Prince and his team, plan their dream event or space and have their events come to life while viewing inspiring vignettes. In addition, the 675 square foot boutique will offer Prince’s handmade florals, hair hide and leather messenger bags, exotic textiles, floor coverings, lighting, furniture designs, and a round up of custom furniture and decorative accessories. 
Also featuring couture pieces from Chicago ’s indie designers like Boris Powell Handbags and Purses, knits from LV Jordan and jewelry from Prince’s new collection. The boutique is a beautiful mélange of Prince’s trademark, luxurious style with carefully selected one of a kind vintage and salvaged pieces with seasonal couture items also for sale. 
This is the urban Fashionista’s one stop shop for their home, fashions, and gifts. 
Ramsey Prince, a Baltimore native, moved to Chicago six years ago to bring his innovative designs and unique style to Chicagoans. Ramsey has been designing and planning events for more 20 years and has a natural ability to create, design and produce experiential events that leave a lasting impression. With a diverse background that spans from intimate garden parties to large scale weddings, Ramsey is able to translate his client’s ideas and vision into reality.
 Boutique and Studio Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-7pm 
                                               Sunday + Monday,  by Appointment Only 
                                                   3744 N Broadway Chicago , IL 60613 
312-547-0958 For more information on Ramsey Jay Prince designs, please visit

Billionaire Philanthropist James Pritzker Comes Out as Transgender

 Col. James Pritzker, a member of a prominent and wealthy Chicago
family and funder of a study on transgender people in the military, has
come out as transgender, Crain’s Chicago Business reports.

Crain’s quotes an email sent to employees of the Pritzker
Military Library and Pritzker’s company Tawani Enterprises, saying, “As
of Aug. 16, 2013, J.N. Pritzker will undergo an official legal name
change, will now be known as Jennifer Natalya Pritzker. This change will
reflect the beliefs of her true identity that she has held privately
and will now share publicly. Pritzker now identifies herself as a woman
for all business and personal undertakings.” The business journal adds
that “a spokeswoman declined to answer questions about Col. Pritzker’s
sexuality or possible hormone therapy.”

Pritzker has a net worth of $1.5 billion, according to Forbes,
and has donated to many philanthropic efforts, including preservation
and restoration of historic buildings. Her family has a long history in
business. Pritzker’s father, the late Robert Pritzker, founded the
Marmon Group, a holding company for a variety of businesses, and her
uncles, the late Jay Pritzker and Donald Pritzker, founded Hyatt Hotels.
Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker is her cousin.

We are truly everywhere!

Out Gay Country Singer Steve Grand Comes Clean

Hey, Sex Sells. 

And the male body is a beautiful thing and NOTHING to be ashamed of.  
Last week we told you about our discovery, Steve Grand from Chicago who is the first openly gay male country singer. His first video is out and he is on his way. 

An awesome voice – and quite an awesome body!
Steve released his self-funded and deeply emotional music video “All-American Boy” on July 3 and already it’s been viewed 611,000 times on YouTube!
In his debut track, he sings about having a crush on his best guy friend, immediately striking a nerve with his new fans who could finally relate to a song written by someone like them.
 Back in 2010, Grand posed for DNA Magazine in a series of photos shot by Tom Cullis, under his model name of Steve Chatham.
He recently spoke to The Backlot about his modeling past: “I wasn’t sure how people would respond to the video; things on the internet never go away. I knew that my modeling pictures that I did previously — which I am absolutely not ashamed of! I don’t regret them or think they’re a bad thing; the human body is something to be celebrated.”
um…it’s not going to hurt your career!


Studio Paris T PARTY Returns June 16th

Studio Paris presents another Sunday afternoon T Dance. 
Since opening its doors, Studio Paris has redefined nightlife in
Chicago. Blending the allure of an exclusive cocktail lounge with the
vibrant energy of a premier nightclub, it’s become one of the most
sought-out hot spots and event spaces. Boasting a state-of-the-art
Funktion One sound system and an unrivaled audio-visual experience,
Studio Paris has hosted some of the biggest names in electronic music:
Tiesto. DeadMau5. Avicii. Kaskade. Calvin Harris.
 On any given night a mix
of celebrities, top athletes and influencers from the world of fashion
and entertainment can be found partying beneath the room’s signature  AMAZING retractable glass roof, making Studio Paris unlike any other venue in
The Sunday afternoon T happens several times a year.  With a mix of Men & Women of Power
& Intrigue. This Event is brought to you by “Key Host” Charles May, who  creates an atmosphere filled with like minded
people to set the bar high in a comfortable environment with the latest
in Design and Music! 

 A Sunday Fun-day
afternoon spent with the Entrepreneurs, Fashion Designers, Club owners,
Shop Owners, Designers in the Floral Business, Chefs, Salon Owners, The
City’s Leading Hair stylists, Restaurant Owners, Artist, DJ’s, and all
those that Contribute to this Amazing Gay Community in our Beautiful
City of Chicago. Networking is one of the key’s to great Success! You
Never Know who you might Meet! 

Come join us and share in a growing
effort to empower us All!! 
Having fun Is just the beginning!   3pm – 8pm 


Leading the helm of Paris Club’s kitchen is Executive Chef Alex
.  Ageneau spent his youth in France and at the age of eighteen
set out on a whirlwind culinary tour working for some of the world’s top
chefs in France, London, Los Angeles and Chicago.  Taking cues from his
French heritage, Ageneau brings a sense of whimsy to some of his
favorite traditional dishes. It truly is like a fabulous step into Paris  France, without getting on a plane!

Affordable and so delicious! $11- $20. Eggs Benedict, Norwegian
Benedict, Eggs Florentine, Parisian Crepes, Chocolate French Toast and
on and on! So many choices.  Flavors and tastes are amazing  and 
service is always  impeccable.

While I love the Lobster soft scrambled eggs – black truffled – a
variation I believe of the  dinner Lobster Crostini  – get one and share
it. It’s delicious – and rich.

While brunches are made for Bloody Marys – I still like my afternoon
white wine. I was pleasantly surprised at all of the affordable options.
There are not many 4 or 5 star restaurants that you can order a really
great glass of wine for $8-$12.

Brunch is available  10am – 4pm.

Benjamin Newby Shakes up Spring Drinking at Taverna 750

Benjamin Newby, a big name in the Chicago restaurant scene, he is one of Chicago’s most celebrated and recognizable operators and mixologists. When it comes to mixology, Ben’s cocktails embody his heartfelt, experience-led concepts. He is known for creating innovative drinks enjoyed by both the connoisseur and the person looking for a great libation.

It’s that eye for creativity and balance in his cocktails that has earned Newby numerous accolades. The UK transplant has lived in Chicago for the past eight years, and currently the Brand Architect for Hennessy Black.
 His latest creations shine at Taverna 750. He developed a  spring cocktail menu and did some tweaking on existing cocktails, to create perfection.  He has launched six seasonal creations available through the end of summer and will roll out a patio beverage menu when the weather FINALLY warms up – that could be any day now!

They are all good. Trust me, I tasted them all!  But I have to say I really like  the tequila-based “Smoky Paloma” is paired with Taverna’s  housemade grapefruitcello, bottled overnight, and served in a smoking glass over a vanilla-bourbon ice cube the size of a softball with a sidecar in a fishbowl of ice, of course.  Can you say FABULOUS?!

“Pisco 750” is a little sweet + a little sour, mixing housemade pistachio liqueur with egg white and frozen pineapple. Very refreshing.

Also you should check outSan Remo, made with Hennessy Black, Wild Strawberry Tea Syrup, Squeezed Lemon, Apertif, Topped with Wild Strawberry Tea Foam–  the foam topping is awesome!

And the desert drink for me!   “Italian Cream Soda” with Orange Vodka, Lazzaroni Amaretto, Passion Fruit Syrup,  Orange Liqueur, Orange Juice, Topped with Averna Infused Whipped Cream and a cherry. Decadent!
Taverna 750’s original cocktail menu was more martini-centered and tweaked by Charles Joly, who now runs The Aviary. Newby is also rolling out new cocktails also at the  neighboring Scarlet, around the corner on Halsted. 
The best of old school Italian with a contemporary flair.
750 W Cornelia Ave  
(773) 904-7466
Benjamin Newby
Twitter: @benjaminnewby   &    Facebook: benjamin.newby

Pamper Yourself with Great Personal Services in Boystown

In the last few months, some new personal service businesses
have popped up in Boystown, joining the ranks of long time style makers like
Tim Weber  of Restorations Salons .

We have been a fan of Tims Restoration salon since it’s
first opening in 1993, in Lincoln Park. (2151 N. Sheffield)  Tim steadily grew his business and
later opened 2 more locations, one in Andersonville (5349 N. Clark) and the newest spot in
Lakeview (3255 N. NBroadway).

What makes 
restoration different? or special? “Restoration Salons’ pride themselves on having experienced
professional stylists, a comfortable relaxed atmosphere, and the focus is on
hair and our goal is to restore
,” says Tim.

 Do guys in Chicago follow the trends?  or do their own thing, when it comes to

 “Trends can be tricky, by the time some of them catch on, its
time to move on… Some heads can pull off trends and some should never try
them… I usually try to make the client look there best; whether it is a trend
or timeless!”

How to choose a good salon or stylist?

“I  always say that a client needs to find 3 things: A salon that they like (the atmosphere,location,style) a stylist that they love (enjoy talking too, and happy to see them) and a stylist that can achieve a great cut/color. If you can find all three you will be happy for a long long time! Our staff is always ready with a friendly smile. We ensure you a great service and a high quality experience, that will leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and restored!”

The new girl on the block is Kinley Preston, owner of the new VANITE‘  Paul Mitchell Focus Salon at  3161 N. Halsted. There are only 5 Focus Salons in the entire Chicagoland area and this is the 3rd such salon, in the city. 

So what is a “focus salon”? Kinley explained, “We carry the entire Paul Mitchell product line, including the pet products. The staff is Paul Mitchell trained and educated. 

We are happy to be a flourishing Local
Independent Business and active
in giving to our community. 
As a “Paul Mitchell Focus
Salon” we have the opportunity
to receive advanced training
from Premier National Award
Winning Stylists several times
each year. We are committed to
keeping up to date and pleased
to deliver these techniques with
the latest ideas to you! 
Cut and Coloring is our
specialty. We don’t settle for
average and neither should you! 
We offer you more than just a
cut.. get an experience! We think we offer a better quality service for the same price as some of our competitors.

Kinley’s new salon is sleek and elegant. I was pampered with a shampoo and cut recently. The comfort experience begins with the chairs and shampoo bowls. Both from Japan. Both providing comfort and allowing the guest to fully relax and enjoy the 5 minute scalp massage in the dimly lit, LED glowing room!

Kinley herself was a graduate of the Paul Mitchell School but chose to be an owner and manager, instead of a stylist.  A great side story –  FYI – John Paul Jones DeJoria, the mastermind behind Paul Mitchell, was born the second son of an Italian immigrant father and a Greek immigrant mother in Los Angeles. His parents divorced by the time he was two years old, and at nine he began selling Christmas cards and newspapers with his older brother to support his family. When his single mother proved unable to support both children, they were sent to an East Los Angeles foster home.

DeJoria spent much of his youth in a street gang in East Los Angeles, but changed when he was told that he would “never succeed at anything in life” by a math teacher at John Marshall High School. He graduated in 1962 and spent two years in the United States Navy, after which he floated through a series of jobs ranging from janitor to insurance salesman.

DeJoria entered the world of hair care as an employee of Redken Laboratories. He was fired from this position and in 1980, he formed John Paul Mitchell Systems with hairdresser Paul Mitchell and a loan for $700. In 1989, Paul Mitchell died and was replaced by his son, Angus as company co-owner. As of 2011, John Paul Mitchell Systems had revenues of $900 million annually.

So DeJoria understands personal struggles and hurdles. And he in fact, played a key role in Kinley’s life and was instrumental helping making her salon, a reality. “Three years ago, I was destitute. Living in my car. He really took a personal interest in my story, at a time when I was going through a lot. I wrote a business plan, and the company loved it.”

Now Kinleys salon is a reality and she is very involved with the community and sits on various boards from the local Chamber of Commerce to the Joffrey Ballet Auxiliary board.

The world is all about pure, natural  and organic these days. People are willing to pay a little more, for better products and services. 

There has been a global shift taking place in the food, water and health sectors, as we face consequences of environmental damage due to pollution, global warming, agricultural trends and pesticide usage. 

Enter Vincent Dinh of Savon Spa. (3635 North Halsted Street) “Growing up in Vietnam, everything we ate was organic.” explains Vincent. “There were no chemicals used. Poop was used to fertilize! With that experience growing up and then moving to America, it was like culture shock. OMG, the cucumbers are so big here! And no taste. My food was growing up was small, beqautiful and SO MUCH TASTE.

At Savon Spa, Amy, Vincent and their staff strive to give clients a luxurious, purifying organic spa experience in an elegant setting reminiscent of old world Paris. In fact,  much of the furniture inside the spa is eco-friendly reclaimed and/or refurbished.

Indulgent, Earth-friendly, organic products, hand-made organic soaps, scrubs, masks, lotions and treatments.  In atmosphere of serenity, warmth, and beauty, Savon Spa offers a soothing array of services. From  various massages (60 minute deep tissue $110), advanced facials (24k gold mask or placenta treatment $200), body treatments (Hungarian mud wraps $80), manicure, pedicure, waxing for men and women and non-surgical skin rejuvenation services by cutting-edge aestheticism Dr. Randa Sawan. “We offer a great no lift, non-yellowing nail treatment. There is no chemicals and no odor. And it’s stronger than acrylic or gel nails,” explained Vincent.

Every experience can be customized to the guests’ desires to provide the perfect escape from the city, whether it’s for a quick massage or an entire day devoted to absolute bliss. 

Savon Spa even offers “Beauty on the Go”, a mobile spa, designed to pamper you at home, in the office, or wherever your travels lead you.

Savon Spa is committed to giving you a perfect, joyful spa day every time you come in. “I have always had expensive taste.  And when I was a computer consultant I was able to travel the world a lot and stay at 5 star hotels and spas. Our goal here is offer a high end experience and make it more affordable. You’ll leave Savon Spa with brighter, softer skin and a brighter, softer soul.”

SHY TOWN GIRLS Series of Books By Local Authors

A  group of four women authors
in Chicago were looking to share their  best tips on
the collaborative publishing process with you! 

Four Shy Girls

Four Big Dreams

One Awesome City

Novel 1 in the Shy-Town Girls 4- Book Series


When beautiful, but shy 24-year-old, Bobbie Bertucci, arrives at her
new digs, an elegant brownstone in Chicago’s historic Gold Coast
neighborhood, she has no idea what her new life will be like. Between
balancing her job as a modeling agent and escaping a bad relationship,
she’s hit rock bottom.

But things change when she moves into the same building as her close
friend Meryl. Additionally, her two new twenty-something roommates, Ivy
and Ella, help bring Bobbie out of her shell. Barbara, landlady and
mother-hen of the house, watches out for the girls while sharing sage

Bobbie, Meryl, Ivy, and Ella, all variations of shy girls, brave the
city of Chicago together, forming a powerful bond of friendship. Their
nighttime roof deck conversations over glasses of wine instigate
laughter and even some tears.

Bobbie takes a bold step to redesign her life completely to ensure
she doesn’t fall into the romantic trap she fell into before. But
there’s a new suitor in the picture, and she will have to decide between
an old flame or a new one, taking a risk, something hard for any
girl–even harder for a shy girl.

We’re passionate about
writing and creating a technique that you can learn to use yourself or
with other writing partners.

Listen to a recent interview
with all four authors to learn how we got started on down this writing
path. We hope you’ll gain some valuable insights on writing, publishing
and marketing your own books and products. You’ll get to know each
author individually as we’ll write from our own perspectives and share
our own experiences.

Feel free to contact us for collaboration and speaking opportunities, to talk to your book club or just a drop us a line to say hello!

Sign up now to get free updates on that latest publishing techniques and best practices for writing!”

Getting Into Face with JoJo Baby and Sal-E

Legendary club kid, doll maker, makeup artist, costumer, and penis-sculpture enthusiast JoJo Baby costars with his clubbing companion, Sal-E, in Bernard Colbert’s lush new  12″ x 12″ coffee-table book Getting into Face: 52 Mondays Featuring Jojo Baby and Sal-e

Bernard’s lifelong passion is to capture high energy, emotionally charged portraits of interesting people.

For 17 years, Bernard has been perfecting his craft, working in the field of commercial and advertising photography.

‘In the vibrant community where I live and work, I find what I have
always been searching for- a sublime energy. Nightlife activity blends
with the arts and diversity of self expression abounds. Here, I can
freely pursue my dream: to document and celebrate that spark within,
which defines the unique nature of our human experience.’

GETTING INTO FACE is a visual feast in the tradition of 1990s club kids. See
performance artists JoJo Baby and Sal-E use their bodies as canvases to
become inspired and whimsical conceptual characters, executed with
expert skill using original, theatrical makeup and costumes. In more
than 100 portraits, photographer Bernard Colbert rigorously captures
these two performance artists in genius moments as psychedelic Hindi
gods, comic book villains, fantastical creatures, astronauts, and much,
much more.

 Colbert’s stunning portraits document these delightful
transformations over a five-year period and are the same body of work
featured in the Clive Barker documentary titled JoJo Baby. Through
Colbert’s collaboration with JoJo and Sal, viewers can experience a
front row seat to an ongoing show which has been entertaining club goers
in Chicago for two decades. This is a portfolio for the visually
adventuress and fans of true creative vision.

Every Monday night, JoJo Baby with friend Sal-E have gone to work as
hosts of Chicago’s largest and longest running house-music dance party,
the Boom Boom Room, which is currently on hiatus from its usual location
at Green Dolphin St., 2220 N. Ashland Ave., while the building
undergoes renovation. It took the duo hours to prepare, and Colbert was
there every week to capture the endlessly entertaining process. He said
he usually only had 10 to 15 minutes to photograph them before they went
on stage.

“Sometimes they would show up and I would look at what they were
wearing and try and quickly comprehend what they were up to, because
sometimes it’s high concept and it’s not obvious right away,” Colbert
said. “It’s interesting right away, but it’s like, ‘What the heck is
going on?’ So I scramble and try and make it happen.”

Colbert, who took courses in commercial photography at Columbia from
1989–1991, said he loves portrait photography and has been drawn to
performers such as models, musicians and athletes—people who are both
interesting and like being photographed.

The combination of unplanned imagination and spontaneity kept Colbert
continually inspired. He said the most successful images captured an
indescribable magic that would often occur.

“It was something that would elevate it from an interesting time to
really high art, and it’s something that fascinates me,” Colbert said.
“It feels elusive, but when you find that you can do it time and time
again, it’s really fun to keep trying to do it.”

The book will also be available at local
bookstores in Chicago and
Getting into Face: 52 Mondays Featuring Jojo Baby and Sal-e

Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame Event Nov. 12

Twelve individuals and three
organizations will be inducted Nov. 12
into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of
Fame, the country’s only known government-sponsored hall of fame that honors
members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.


The inductees were selected by a
committee composed of former inductees, which reviewed nominations submitted by
members of the public. The names were released by Friends of the Chicago Gay
and Lesbian Hall of Fame, a section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


The chosen nominees will be
inducted at the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame’s annual ceremony, which
will take place from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12, at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark
St., Chicago. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m., and the program is scheduled
for 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. 


“It makes us proud that, even 21
years after our first ceremony, there are still important figures from the past
and a constantly growing list of current Chicagoans whose accomplishments and
community contributions merit being honored by the Hall of Fame,” said Israel Wright, executive director of Friends of the
Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.


“We are grateful that individual
Chicagoans have stepped forward to assist us, through Friends of the Chicago
Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, in maintaining a needed and historically
significant institution,” said Gary Chichester, a co-chairperson of the Friends



Harvey Fierstein Interviewed by Chris Jones Oct 16th at Music Box

On Tuesday, Oct. 16, the Chicago Tribune presents 

Press Pass: Chris Jones 
with Harvey Fierstein. 
Tribune theater critic Chris Jones will moderate a discussion with Fierstein about his life, work and longtime support for gay civil rights. 
Harvey is the author of the newly premiered “Kinky Boots”, “Torch Song Trilogy,” “La Cage Aux Folles,” and “Newsies” and, as an actor, has appeared in Woody Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway” and many other movies. 
An audience Q&A will follow. This is a very rare chance to see Fierstein!!
 When: Oct. 16, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
 Where: Music Box Theatre 3733 N. Southport Ave, Chicago 
Tickets are $20.  GET TICKETS  ONLINE  NOW!
PS   We just heard Harvey Fierstien and Cyndi Lauper will make an appearance 
Oct 17th at Sidetrack,  at about 10PM!

Ride for AIDS Chicago $10,000 Matching Challenge

From Robert Garofalo: 

Preparing for the Ride for AIDS Chicago has been an extremely
challenging and rewarding endeavor for me and for the more than 250
other Riders who have been preparing for this two-day, 200 mile bike

 I think we’re ready. It’s the support of friends, family and
complete strangers that make this adventure worth it for me and the
entire team.

A good friend has offered to match dollar for dollar, up to $10,000,
every contribution posted on my page starting July 10, 2012.
contribution today will be doubled! Please show your support for me, my
fellow riders and for the people who receive services at TPAN.

100% of donations directly support services at TPAN. For 25 years TPAN
has empowered people living with HIV through peer-led programming,
support services, information dissemination, and advocacy. For friends
who rely on them, these services are vital.
The Ride for AIDS Chicago has already surpassed last year’s recording
breaking $535,000. We have a goal of raising $600,000. Please join us
in this challenge!

**I know many of you are being directed to my page due to the generosity
of other riders. KNOW that we are all raising monies toward the same
goal and please make note of who you are honoring with a donation. I
have met some of the most remarkable, generous and talented people as
part of this ride and I know TOGETHER we can reach this challenge

Please make a donation now.

The Abbey of West Hollywood Buys Property on Halsted in Chicago Boystown

I have been told by a very reliable source – that the owners of the  world famous ABBEY in West Hollywood have purchased the Pink Parking lot at 3514 N Halsted St. for something like $10 million plus!  And they will be bringing something quite fantastic to Chicago’s Boystown!!

The Abbey Food and Bar  has been voted #1  gay bar  in North America and the World, time and time again, by many magazines and sites including  Best Gay Cities, Best Gay Travel Guide and  Logo’s Trip Out Awards.

David Cooley is the master at the art of work and
play. Over the past 20+ years, his creation, The Abbey Food and Bar,
has grown from a small, West Hollywood coffeehouse to one of the most
popular hotspots in the country. Locals, tourists and celebrities
alike all flock to The Abbey for its famous Martinis as well as its
stunning, open-air ambiance and truly relaxed elegance.

“Over the past 22 years, The Abbey
has been a place that accepts everyone, gay, straight, lesbian,
transgender, bisexual and everything in between. We love our straight
girlfriends and they are welcome here, just not for bachelorette

It has long been a policy at The Abbey
to deny admission to groups in costume, including bachelorette regalia.
Bachelorette parties had previously been allowed inside if they removed
their costumes.

The Abbey’s 
recent  Bachelorette Ban comes on the heels of a ban on gay marriage in North
Carolina and a number of other states across the south. The Abbey
encourages other gay-owned and operated establishments to institute
their own bans as a sign of solidarity until marriage is legal
everywhere for everyone.

The girls are completely unaware that the people around them are
legally prohibited from getting married,” said David Cooley, founder of
The Abbey. “We love our straight girlfriends…just not for bachelorette
parties anymore.”

Founded in 2002, Los Angeles-based sbe
brings exquisite balance to the worlds of hospitality, real estate
development and entertainment. As a privately-held company founded and
helmed by Chairman and CEO Sam Nazarian, sbe acquires, develops and
manages exceptional projects through its divisions – Hotels,
Restaurants, Nightlife and Real Estate.

With a mission to
redefine the standards of excellence in hospitality, sbe has harnessed
the creativity and innovation of the best minds in the business,
including design visionary Philippe Starck, with whom the company has an
exclusive agreement for the creation of hotels, restaurants and lounges
in North America.