Pete Gugni, beverage director of the Bedford, the Wicker Park barstaurant that Mark Steuer (Hot Chocolate, the Gage) is opening on Friday, is also behind Defaced Barware, a line of handcrafted bar tools. Gugni, a former jeweler, says it started when he made his girlfriend a spoon and took off from there, with orders coming in from as far away as Singapore and Scotland. People still place them, he says, “but I haven’t had much time lately.”
Gabe Klein, Rahm Emanuel’s pick for commissioner of the Department of Transportation, is one of the founders of On the Fly (ontheflydc.com), a D.C.-based fleet of eco-friendly electric “Smartkarts” and “Smartkafes” serving healthy food and ethnic fare. On the Fly was started in 2008, after the D.C. Council changed its licensing laws in order to allow for mobile food vending. Alderman Scott Waguespack’s proposed food-truck ordinance remains in committee in Chicago.
Jim Graziano of the deli and grocery J.P. Graziano (901 W. Randolph, 312-666-4587) opened an outdoor patio just in time for the crappy April weather. But once it’s nice again he’ll be offering a salad and an antipasto plate in addition to his famous subs, sourcing ingredients from Green City Market vendors. Later on in the season, he says, he’ll have a few items made by Rob Levitt of the Butcher & Larder.
The Butcher & Larder (1026 N. Milwaukee, 773-687-8280) is also the site of a bake sale to benefit Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit dedicated to ending child hunger. Organized by local food blogger Michael Stashwick, it will feature more than 50 kinds of goods and a raffle with loads of prizes. It’s on Saturday, May 7, from 10 AM until it sells out (the store closes at 7 PM). —Kate Schmidt