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Wicker Park's FAME Combines Art and Mixology


Becker Entertainment’s Newest Venture to Elevate Wicker Park’s Food, Art and Mixology Experiences


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 Lee and 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 SammyD will 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.  Look for FAME to open later this month at 2015 W. Division Street.



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