Kerry and Sarah Wood have done it again! And this time it was with the help of Grammy award-winning country artist Chris Young andUS99.5 radio host, clickLisa Dent.
The First Annual Woody’s Western Roundup went down at Joe’s on Weed St., capsule a perfect setting for a country-themed fundraiser. As soon as you saw the venue, hospital you knew it was going to be a great time. From a Bulleit Whiskey trailer out front to the cowboy hats worn by attendees to the smokey, delicious smell of pulled pork sandwiches, everything was spot on.
The overall event was a huge success for the Woods, who put on these types of events “to improve the lives of Chicago’s kids by raising funds and awareness for their children’s programs, such as Pitch In.” I’m going to break down the highlights of the night. Ones that made all of us in the crowd smile and will also be making Chicago children smile as well.
Before Chris Young came out to perform, Lisa Dent hosted a live auction for a fun-filled, all-expense-paid weekend in Nashville (valued at $2,000). Bidders in the crowd easily surpassed the $2k price and right around $3,500, Wood decided to add Cubs Opening Day tickets. Bidding continued. As it got into the upper $4,000s, Wood added a 30-minute, one-on-one pitching lesson. That’s when a generous, animated gentleman behind me yelled out $5500. How amazing is that!
Lisa Dent and the Woods on stage
Chris Young was certainly a crowd-pleaser
Chris Young. I don’t know if any of you have ever seen him perform live, but you should. Not only were his hit songs, like “Who I am when I’m with You” even better than on the radio, but he is also the most energetic and genuinely happy performer I’ve seen on a stage in a while. Doesn’t hurt that he stopped in the middle of his set to announce that he’d be donating a whopping $25k to the Wood Family Foundation.
The food and drink vendors were amazing. I left happy, full and a bit tipsy – not bad for a Wednesday night! Restaurants like Bub City, Chop Shop, Taco Joint and Blue Door Farm Stand provided delicious, filling bites to eat. And guests were able to wash down the yummy food with Tito’s Vodka and Bulleit Whiskey mixed drinks and/or Bud Light and Stella Artois beers. Can’t beat that.
Delicious food from Bub City
As I said about Woody’s Wiffle Ball Classic, a fundraising event the Woods put on with some amazing celebrities at Wrigley Field, I hope this fundraiser continues for many years to come. And I also hope I get invited back :). An incredible night for an incredible cause — deserving of a standing ovation for the Woods and everyone else involved.
We received a lot of feedback from our Hot Spots for Hawk Hunting piece, healing with quite a few of you asking for tips on where other Chicago athletes hang. Believe us when we say, medical we were getting to it. As if we would only identify Hawks hot spots and stop there. We may be a little Blackhawk obsessed, online but we aren’t biased to one team here in Chicago.
With MLB season in full swing, Bears mini-camps starting up, the NBA Playoffs beginning on Saturday and the NHL Playoffs on May 1st, our city is buzzing with sports energy and athletes out on the town!
Let’s face it, athletes are the celebrities of Chicago and it’s no coincidence that many Chicago athletes hang at the hottest bars, clubs and restaurants in Chicago. There is no better promotion for a Chicago establishment than having Chicago athletes on site. With new bars and restaurants opening up each month in Chicago, a sure-fire way to get a crowd through the door is to have an A-list athlete sitting at your bar.
Below are our some of my recommendations for this second edition of where to get cozy with athletes all over the city.
PUBLIC HOUSE: 400 N. State Street
ATHLETES SPOTTED: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Jay Cutler, Jay Tony Parker, Brian Urlacher, Joakim Noah, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Lance Briggs, Joel Quenneville
WHY GO: A sports bar with your own beer tap at your table and surprisingly really good food? If that doesn’t get you hightailing to Public House maybe the thought of running into your favorite Blackhawks or Bear will.
You can often find these guys seated at the bar or at the surrounding high top tables nonchalantly trying to blend in with the afterwork crowd. A number of athletes (see above) have been spotted here on the weekends watching some of the bigger games of their Chicago sports brethren.
WHAT TO WEAR: Heels, jeans and your tastefully fitted Chicago sports team logo shirt.
JOES SEAFOOD, PRIME STEAK, & STONE CRAB: 60 E Grand Ave.
ATHLETES SPOTTED: Brian Urlacher, Jay Cutler, Patrick Kane, Theo Epstein, Donald Driver, Scottie Pippen, Jay Cutler, Kerry Wood, Devin Hester, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Patrick Kane, Troy Brouwer, Kirk Hinrich, Tom Thibodeau, Joel Quenneville
WHY GO: Who doesn’t like a good surf and turf? A dinner at Joe’s is going to set you back a little, but it’s worth it. The iconic steak and seafood joint is a mecca for ALL Chicago athletes and visiting teams. The food is spot on and we love the fact that you could be shucking oysters next to Mayor Emanuel or Theo Epstein on the same night.
WHAT TO WEAR: Dress to impress. Joe’s is a classic old-school steak house. If you want to get noticed we recommend class and sass here.
UNDERGROUND: 56 W. Illinois St.
ATHLETES SPOTTED: Patrick Kane, Carlos Boozer, Nate Robinson, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Jonathan Toews, Dave Bolland, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, James Russell, Jeff Samardzija, Ryan Dempster
WHY GO: Unfortunately, Underground is going through a face lift and will re-open this coming summer. You will have to wait a bit to hit this athlete’s late night hot spot. This place is where the Blackhawks took the Stanley Cup in 2010 and owner Billy Dec is known for tweeting pictures posing with many of Chicago’s finest athletes.
WHAT TO WEAR: Go BIG or go home. You’ll need to break through the clutter of the hundreds of other done-up women fighting to get within eye shot of the jocks.
BUB CITY: 435 N. Clark St.
ATHLETES SPOTTED: Gordon Beckham, Jake Peavy, Tyler Flowers, Chris Sale
WHY GO: Clearly our White Sox love them some BBQ and country music. Bub City is the new brain child of RJ and Jarrod Melman (Hub/Sub 51, Studio Paris, etc). Not only is this place crawling with southern cuties but you can spot the White Sox and others here on an off night. If you’re lucky enough you just might see one of them get up on stage and perform. We had the chance to see Jake Peavy get up on stage with Tyler Reeve earlier this month. A pitcher who can play guitar and sing? Yes, please!
WHAT TO WEAR: The thing I like about Bub City, is that it is a total wildcard. You can show up in jeans and t-shirt or rock a fabulous outfit with the intention of keeping things Melman and heading around the corner to Studio Paris or Sub 51 afterwards.
WRIGLEY FIELD: 1060 W. Addison St.
ATHLETES SPOTTED:Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook, Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Lance Briggs, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Jimmy Butler, Adam Burish, Joel Quenneville
WHY GO: Do we even need to provide a reason? For Sox fans, perhaps, but without getting into the whole Cubs vs. Sox debate, every Chicago women needs to get to Wrigley at least once a season.
Summers in Chicago are meant for beer gardens and baseball and Wrigley Field is a must for even the non-Cub fans. Thanks to the Cubs’ 101 loss season last year, tickets have never been cheaper and you can’t find a better tourist attraction for when friends come to visit. The added benefit is that the place is crawling with athletes and celebrities. You never know who is going to throw out the first pitch or sing the 7th inning stretch.
WHAT TO WEAR: Needless to say this is no muss no fuss. The art of underdressing for an effortless look is key for baseball games. Bust out those sandals, shorts and top off your look with a hot vintage Cubs tee.
Clark Street Sports, $34.99
Again, there are just too many spots to name in one post so be sure to check back next month for my 3rd edition of Athlete Hot Spots. Did I miss a place – that is, a place you want to share? Please, do tell.