Take your father to some of Chicago’s hoods

From the Saturday, June 18, editions of The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Ill.) and The Times (Ottawa, Ill.) …

Take your father to some of Chicago’s hoods


June 18, 2011

I’m haven’t yet enjoyed the experience of fatherhood, but for 35 years, I have been a son.

So, I’d like to think I know a little bit about what dads like.

For example, I know that mine likes baseball. And so for this year’s Father’s Day gift, I’m taking him to Sunday night’s Cubs-Yankees game at Wrigley Field.

Perhaps the Cubs will even be in a gift-giving mood and deliver a win.

Since Father’s Day is, well, tomorrow, I also know that it’s probably a tad late to be conjuring up gift ideas for yours. (At least, I hope it is). But if you do need a last-minute idea, or simply want to treat the dad – or dads – in your life to something special in Chicago later on this summer, here a few novel options to consider …

For the meat-loving Dad …

I’ve found that most fathers tend to be carnivorous, and if your dad fits that bill – like, really fits it – then The Frontier restaurant in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood is where he can go full boar.


Located at 1072 N. Milwaukee Avenue, The Frontier opened earlier this year, offering a unique array of meaty fare amidst a backwoods Wisconsin cabin atmosphere.

On the menu, you’ll find duck tacos, venison cheesesteak sandwiches, elk shepherd’s pie and bison steaks. But, if you really want to make a night of it for your dad – and about a dozen family or friends – you can call the restaurant five days in advance and arrange for its “Whole Animal Service.” That means that they’ll spit-roast an entire pig, lamb, goat or wild boar and let you feast like a king.

In this case, Henry VIII.

For more information, visit www.thefrontierchicago.com.

For the music-loving Dad …

On December 4, 1956, the stars aligned and rock legends Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins all rolled in to the famed Sun Records in Memphis at the same to time to hold their first – and only – recording session together.

For the past couple of years in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, that star-studded jam session has been brought back to life through “The Million Dollar Quartet” musical at the Apollo Theater (2450 N. Lincoln Avenue).

Featuring hits such as “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Great Balls of Fire” and “Folsom Prison Blues,” the show is certain to satisfy the musically inclined father, both young and old.

For more information, visit www.milliondollarquartetlive.com.

For the beer-loving Dad …

In the Midwest, Milwaukee and St. Louis might be better known for their breweries, but thanks to Goose Island Half Acre the Windy City can hold its own when it comes to suds.

Both Goose Island Brewery (1800 N. Clybourn Avenue) and Half Acre Beer Company (4257 N. Lincoln Avenue) offer tours, offering a spirited experience for your dad.

Reservations are recommended for the Goose Island tour and required for the Half Acre Beer Company tour. For more information, visit www.gooseisland.com or www.halfacrebeer.com.

… And for the spa-loving Dad?

If your dad is tired of meat, music and beer, you can instead consider treating him to a day at the spa.

Yeah, really.

Located at 5151 N. Clark Street, Chicago’s SIR spa bills itself as the place “Where Men Get Their Go” and offers an array of men’s grooming and spa services, such as fully appointed lockers, rain showers, a relaxation lounge and a grooming club room.

I don’t really know what any of those things are, but if you’d like to find out visit, www.sirspa.com. Date packages to include moms are also available.

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