Wings, wings and more wings…Chicago is definitely known for its Buffalo wings and has some of the best ones nationwide. This was recently ascertained in a Daily Meal ranking, which found the Windy City to be home to America’s top 25 wing establishments. Three of those included in the list were: Superior and Wabash (no. 15), Buffalo Joe’s (19) and Bird’s Nest (20).
For Chicagoans looking for more of a nighttime activity, whereby cocktails and food are served, there is Point & Feather, run by restaurateur Adolfo Garcia. So much more than an eatery, there are 12 dart boards in the restaurant but it is not set up as an arcade or an official dart bar just “a really cool hangout that has darts machines blending in with elements of design.” Vis-à-vis the food, the main elements are typically American and plate-sharing-encouraged. Items include: short rib, burger, white fish, pork belly and cocktails go under names such as Queen of Thorns, Espadin Dreams and Twilight in Amsterdam.
Of course, for those looking for something that just spells out ‘Chicago,’ Schaller’s Pump is the city’s oldest restaurant and bar. Established back in 1881 it has become quite the local legend, telling classic political and historical stories about Chicago and the White Sox. Old-school food with no-frills booze, it’s a must-see for tourists and a “Cheers” type bar for locals.
Energage just published results for this year’s ranking of Best Workplaces in the Chicago area. Using employee surveys as well as assessments of work-life balance, company leadership and more, Baird & Warner took top place. According to Energage’s CEO Doug Claffey: “Our mission is making the world a better place to work together. With the Energage platform, companies finally have a way to turn the potential of engagement into real action.”
And then there are collaborative efforts that occur within companies. For example, design and development company Adage Technologies recently started using the Scrum methodology (used in software development projects) to make collaboration go faster. But, to ensure staff satisfaction is not lost the process, regular meetings for employees are held in which they can discuss their thoughts on how to move forward. And Cars.com has been working toward tech team restructuring in order to cultivate more cross-functional collaboration which has worked well for company culture, increasing deployment rates in the team.
Other companies are focusing on getting healthy within the workplace: SPINS (a consumer insights and data analytics company) has an in-office gym featuring meditation, cooking demos and volunteer opportunities. And then Dose provides its employees with fitness initiatives resulting in greater staff cohesion and more.
All Chicagoan firms should take a look at what is making these (and others on the list) stand out from the rest in an attempt to bolster their own rankings on employee culture.
In line with the 2008 city deal, next year Chicago is slated to pay $20 million to the private firm which is hired to lease the city’s parking meters. The money will not be connected to the additional revenues that come from the meters.
As it stands, Chicago Parking Meters suffer losses due to meters being removed or taken out of commission. Even though the Mayor instigated changes a few years ago in an attempt to improve the situation for city tax payers (including free Sunday parking in some areas), there will still be a 16.3 percent increase from last year due to a “poorly managed” deal.
Meter parking rates have not increased in the city in the last five years.
Illinois-based Acquilon Energy Services has created an Energy Settlement Network using the power of Internet technology and big-data analytics to facilitate the process for firms to trade commodities such as natural gas, oil and power. Given that there has been an increase in renewable power and smart-grid technologies, more powerful mechanisms are needed to record, evaluate and affirm the exchange of energy.
Meanwhile, Kentech Consulting was awarded a contract worth $1.975 m by Baltimore’s Board of Estimates. It will use the money for its speedy process of police recruit background checks (10 times faster than city workers). This has caused a bit of a stir in Baltimore whose officials believe contracts such as these should be awarded locally.
And then there is Between States – a show in which 50 designers come together to “imagine the future of the city’s 50 aldermanic wards.” A joint venture of the Chicago Architecture Biennial and the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the 50 participating firms are being requested to look at Chicago’s underutilized spaces and figure out a future. The event will run until January 7, 2018.