This Baby Just Turned One!

Whew! What a year! Big Jones turns one on April 8, 2009. A year ago, there were already murmurs and rumblings about the unwinding of the economy, but even then, we had no idea that 2008 would turn out to be such a fateful year for the American economy, and the restaurant business in Chicago.

It takes tough skin to be in the restaurant business even in the best of times. After our greatly successful opening, we, like almost every other operator in Chicago, have had to dig in and get leaner. All the while, we know that we’ve become a better restaurant, continue to listen and learn every day, and will only get better in the future.

We want to extend a big THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us in this first year, by dining with us, sharing your thoughts, telling your friends about us, even complaining to us when you knew we needed to hear it. I joke with occasional unhappy customer that I must be the only restaurant owner in Chicago who likes to hear complaints. Everyone loves compliments, but complaints are different. They can hurt. But, after a while (and I’ve been doing this for twenty-odd years!) I’ve learned that the person who takes the time to complain to me is doing me a favor. Because I love to hear complaints, in fact, actively seek them, we get fewer and fewer complaints all the time. That’s how we learn, and know where we need to improve. The compliments are always appreciated, constant, and, of course, welcome. THANK YOU to everyone who takes the time to let us know what you think!

We went from here

The venerable old Augie's, the day we signed the lease
The venerable old Augie's, the day we signed the lease

to here in a few month’s time

Just before dinner service, opening weekend
Just before dinner service, opening weekend

 

We took a trip to see our chickens

Chickens on Gunthorp Farm, May 2008
Chickens on Gunthorp Farm, May 2008
There was a lot of training, testing, tasting…
Pre-opening traing and tasting with the dining room staff
Pre-opening traing and tasting with the dining room staff
The summer was fun, with Kids’ Restaurant Week, and The Chefs’ Barbeque at the Green City Market
Hawking Gunthorp Farm Pork Belly with Chow-Chow
Hawking Gunthorp Farm Pork Belly with Chow-Chow
When the in-laws come for brunch, I recommend the Eggs New Orleans & Shrimp & Grits
Brunching with Glenny and Bill
Brunching with Glenny and Bill
Scored a few hits
Dane Tashima's photo of a Fried Green Tomato BLT
Dane Tashima's photo of a Fried Green Tomato BLT
Anthony La Penna's Capture of our Shrimp & Grits
Anthony La Penna's Capture of our Shrimp & Grits
A rather unprofessional photo of a soon-to-be-devoured King Cake, Mardi Gras
A rather unprofessional photo of a soon-to-be-devoured King Cake, Mardi Gras
And generally, had a lot of fun, and met many, many WONDERFUL people! That’s why we’re in this business, and plan to be around for a long time to come. Thanks again everyone!

One Response to “This Baby Just Turned One!”

  • I was there that first night one year ago and returned a year later. I have been back three times in two weeks. Your food is fantastic, a unique experience. My joy is Fried chicken Night, though tonight I was treated to the new fixed menu: $25 for a venerable feast!! And the cocktails… everything is so original and the flavors are fantastic. I am on Team Big Jones forever! See ya in a few days.