Becker Entertainment is redefining Chicago’s Division Street scene with their newest venture, FAME; an art-centric bar bringing nationally acclaimed artists’ work to one of the city’s most culturally relevant areas, debuting July 2013. Wicker Park’s newest nightlife destination will provide guests with a unique experience, presenting craft cocktails and innovative bar food in a space designed by acclaimed interior designer, Antonio Ballatore of HGTV fame.
FAME will serve as a canvas for Chicago’s authentic artistic talent as well as nationally renowned virtuosos, to display their artwork on a seasonal basis. Ballatore’s vision emerged as he began to create a space similar to that of an artist’s studio where art takes center stage to design; seemingly different than his signature approach. Much of Ballatore’s inspiration for the design stemmed from street art and the influence it has on pop culture. From the lighting program to the eclectic floor plan, to meticulously aged walls and custom metal and woodwork, Ballatore ensured that every facet of the design established the art as the focal point.
“As an artist, it was extremely important for me to make certain that the space evoked integrity and soul while showcasing the true passion behind each artist,” said Antonio Ballatore.
The opening art exhibition of FAME nods to its namesake and examines Celebrity: in the art world, in pop culture and as an unparalleled force in culture. AIKO, one of the most respected artists within the graffiti and street art scene, anchors FAME’s inaugural exhibit. A celebrity in her own right, AIKO is recognized in the contemporary art world as among the most important artists to emerge in the new millennium. AIKO’s permanent work at FAME is a street-art inspired mural featured as a wallpaper-type treatment woven between framed pieces of art. Her work is complemented by acclaimed artists Kenneth Cappello, Curtis Kulig, Lani Leeand Erik DeBat, in addition to local Chicago artists. Cappello and Kulig are avant-garde artists with works tied to prominent celebrities, leading magazines and commissions by global luxury brands
“Antonio and AIKO epitomize the experience we seek to create at FAME,” said Stephen Westman, Principal of Becker Entertainment. “While the space is artistically driven and inspiring, the elevated yet approachable craft cocktails and creative small plates are equally pleasing to the palate. Each aspect of FAME’s design, cocktail program and food was created through an artistic lens.”
FAME is proud to introduce Chef Sam Demarco’s modern and casual American cuisine to Chicago. With more than 30 years of experience in kitchens around the world, Chef SammyDwill bring his fun culinary twists to the Windy City for the first time with “Sammy D’Lites”, a casual and nostalgic take on small plates. His sharable plates inspired by local flavors will provide unique twists on traditionally casual dishes. Menu highlights include: Tuna “Nachos” featuring pokey style diced tuna, plantain chips, roast pineapple salsa and sriracha mayo; FBBBLT (FAME’s Bao Bun BLT) Greek Gyro – griddled mini bao bun, lamb bacon, gyro meat, lettuce, tomato, harissa mayo, tzatziki dip; and vegetarian options including the Avocado Toasty – toasted whole grain bread, sliced avocado, tomato, cumin and yogurt.
A Mixology Stage will bring the chef-based cocktail to the forefront where guests can appreciate the art of the cocktail; the space is convertible and can also serve as a DJ booth. Classic drinks and enticing specialty cocktails will be designed using super premium liquors, created in small batches, infused and aged in-house on a nightly basis. Guests can sip on signature FAME infused cocktails including the Pineapple Rum Punch, blended with infused rum; Cucumber Martini with infused cucumber gin; and lastly, for a classic cocktail with a twist, the Bacon Manhattan with infused bacon bourbon.
FAME’s caliber of both national and local artists will deem it a premiere Chicago bar, bringing a new wave of artistry to the Wicker Park neighborhood. Please visit: www.chicagofame.com
2015 W. Division at Damen
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ABOUT BECKER ENTERTAINMENT
Becker Entertainment is a hospitality and entertainment development and management company specializing in branding, marketing, public relations and operations. Founded in 2010 and championed by Chicago nightlife and entertainment gurus Terry Meghie, Carrie Meghie and Stephen Westman, Becker currently oversees the brand management and development of four entertainment and restaurant venues in Chicago (FAME, Mr. Brown’s Lounge, Angels & Kings Chicago and Chuck’s Manufacturing). Becker Entertainment strives to produce exceptional and unique experiences through its tight-knit team of talented and driven individuals.
ABOUT ANTONIO BALLATORE
Antonio Ballatore started his lifelong love for art and design growing up in a house full of his parent’s creative work. Since then, he has pulled unusual inspiration for every project he has taken on. From playing in punk rock and metal bands in New York to his early set design work with acclaimed photographers Annie Leibovitz and David LaChapelle, he has always found excitement in pushing the boundaries of traditional design. After winning season 4 of HGTV’s “Design Star” Antonio landed his own show on the same network called, “The Antonio Treatment.” His out-of-the-box approach to design has brought incredible results to his residential and commercial work. His magazine set work credentials include GQ, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone. He has also created ads for top companies including Proctor and Gamble, Visa, Converse, Jose Cuervo and Neiman Marcus. He continues to work out of his own design studio in Los Angeles where he focuses on commercial and event design.
ABOUT CHEF SAMMYD
Sam DeMarco, better known as Chef SammyD, was born and raised in Brooklyn with his three great grandmothers, fueling his passion for the culinary arts. Throughout the start of his career, Chef SammyD worked in kitchens throughout New York City. At the age of 29, he opened his first place in the East Village called First, where he reigned for over a decade as the Chef to Chefs and the King of Casual and Late Night Cocktail Cuisine. Chef SammyD has been asked to replicate his gastronomic creations in numerous projects including District, Fireside, SammyD’s AC, First Las Vegas, The Merrywell and more. In addition, SammyD will soon make his Travel Network premiere as he co-stars on a foodie road show.