Delicious DIRT. Exclusive FEED. Food Mafia

Dion Antic, Photo by Jeff Schear

Dion Antic is a 25 year veteran of the industry that brought Chicago a laundry list of great spots, most notably IGGY’S, Toast, Liquid Kitty and Fahrenheit.  With his return to Chicago he has opened Bagel on Damen and PORKCHOP.

The Return Of Late Night by Dion Antic


Porkchop Bar, Photo by Jeff Schear

When I first started in the restaurant business over twenty years ago, I was incredibly frustrated by the lack of places to eat late at night. I have traveled to every corner of the world and it puzzled me why Chicago has always struggled with the late kitchen. I’ve loved the fact that great grub was the norm in cities like Buenos Aires, Shanghai and Barcelona . WHY NOT CHICAGO? I swore to bring more options to this city.

#DeliciousDIRT = Wild Boar + Duck Sausage Lollipops w/ Creole Sauce @ Porkchop, Photo by Jeff Schear

When I finally scraped together enough money, I opened my first restaurant The Ugly Bar and Cafe. We stayed open late serving gourmet pizzas until the sun came up; the “ugly” lights would never be turned on at MY place (I was young and could say those things). I quickly realized the demand for late night dining. Soon followed the late night legend IGGY’S, with the idea that you didn’t need to compromise on the quality of your meals no matter what time you had them. I focused on serving real food even at 3:30 in the morning–the fancy martini that came along with it didn’t hurt.

Porkchop, Photo by Jeff Schear

Well.. it seems Chicago has finally caught on. With the new gastropub phenomenon, restaurants are keeping their kitchens open later and giving customers great food options to go along with their cocktails. WHY NOW? It seems to me that it’s a matter of demand. As customers refine their palettes concerning what they drink, whether it be hand-crafted cocktails or small batch bourbon, they naturally begin to want their food to be on the same level. And since we Chicagoans will always be drinking into the wee hours of the morning, better keep that kitchen open.

Bacon, Egg, + Leek Risotto = serious #DeliciousDIRT @ Porkchop, Photo by Jeff Schear

To the benefit of our city, Chicago has become a culinary mecca producing some of the best chef talent seen anywhere. It is refreshing to see the people behind such great places as Girl and the Goat, the Purple Pig and DMK Burger Bar showcasing their craft well into the night. Even though I won’t be staying up until the sun rises making pizzas anymore, I am thankful to have more late night options now.

Porkchop, Photo by Jeff Schear.

Recently, I brought another tempting option to the late night landscape.  PORKCHOP. Not only is the kitchen open until last call, but we are also combining the whiskey you are drinking with the meat you are eating. Stop by and try our chop grilled over Makers Mark whiskey barrels and cherry wood .  Definitely better than the McDonalds drive through.

Porkchop, Photo by Jeff Schear

Porkchop, Photo by Jeff Schear

Cocktail @ Porkchop, Photo by Jeff Schear

Baby Bird @ Porkchop, Photo by Jeff Schear

Porkchop, Photo by Jeff Schear

Dion Antic, owner, Porkchop, Bagel On Damen.


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