We’ll gladly jockey for free food—just don’t spill my Agripolitan!
GREEN Last night, green was blue—as in the organic blueberries muddled with lemonade and organically produced Rain vodka, then poured into a chilled martini glass. Uncommon Ground, the eco-fashionable Edgewater restaurant with a certified-organic rooftop garden, was calling it The Agripolitan—$6 a pop, with all proceeds benefiting Chicago Rarities Orchard Project, a nonprofit group dedicated to developing community orchards in vacant Chicago lots. The scene was one of Uncommon Ground’s monthly eco-mixers, which basically are themed happy hours that bring together people interested in green issues, local environmental groups, and free appetizers sporting products from area farms. My friend Toni and I dropped in to mingle and knock back a few Agripolitans—anything to support a good cause—and we discovered the eco-mixer was a wildly popular idea.
Around 75 earnest and hip people were crammed into half of the restaurant, where they chatted up reps from various groups, such as the Chicago Honey Co-op, NeighborSpace, and WeFarm America. Not everyone had the lingo down, based on a few conversations I overheard. (“So you’re into aquaponics?” “That’s hydroponics.") But the crowd was enthusiastic and friendly. Slow-food appetizers of polenta topped with barbecue pork and crostini with roasted duck leg disappeared quickly, CSA shares were compared, and soon the bar was packed with spillover urban agriculturists. The event happens one Thursday every month; the next one is May 13th from 6 to 8 p.m. Just be prepared to throw a few elbows—all in the spirit of being environmentally friendly, of course.
GO: May 13 at 6 pm. Free. Uncommon Ground, 1401 W Devon, 773-465-9801.
Photograph: Courtesy Uncommon Ground