- Michael Gebert
- The celebrichef and his friend Perry
The Trib‘s Phil Vettel reports that Graham Elliot announced—at Lollapalooza—that Grahamwich, the MasterChef star’s River North sandwich shop, closed as of yesterday. This shines light on two interesting aspects of the food scene circa 2013, the first being that somehow it’s perfectly normal that we receive food-world news in the middle of a music festival.
At Woodstock the news was that there was some bad acid out there, man, but 40 years later, it would be bad arugula that would get the same attention. What’s onstage (or in the case of no-shows Death Grips, not onstage) may be all rebellious anticapitalist rage against the machine, but you enjoy it while dining on the finest in hipster high-low fusion cuisine—Bar Toma, Franks N Dawgs, the Salsa Truck. The Lolla food beat on Twitter was nearly as active as coverage of the music itself.
Grahamwich grew out of the same high-low-fusion impulse, but what people will pay for in the free-flowing environment of a music festival doesn’t work for office dwellers who eat lunch five days a week. When it opened, Grahamwich was a place where your $11 sandwich could be accompanied by a (huge) $3 bag of house-made chips or truffle-scented popcorn and a $3 house-made soda. Between a $20 lunch, a diet-busting portion of chips, and your cubicle colleagues shouting “OK, who made the whole office smell like truffles?” there was just a lot about Grahamwich that didn’t really fit the office worker lifestyle.