New neighborhood bars that open in not-so-new neighborhoods have a choice to make: Stitch themselves into the fabric or blaze a new path. In a neighborhood as established as Little Italy, it’s not surprising Jay’s on Taylor (1421 W. Taylor St., 312-666-6663) toes the line—so much so that I almost expected the bar, which opened mid-April, to seem a little more weathered and old-school than shiny and sleek... Read more

A new play retells Czech history filtered through rock songs of the times Read more
List Price: $699,900
The Property: Like a camouflaged animal that hides in plain sight, this wild and irreverent West Chicago residence appears from the street to be nothing more than a big ranch house on a huge lot. But hiding inside that conservative shell is one of the zaniest homes I have ever visited... Read more

Do you like antiques but don’t fancy living in a period piece? Wondering how to mix antiques with modern/transitional items? To the rescue: three talented local designers we tapped to do room vignettes at the International Antiques Fair at the Merchandise Mart. We challenged Gregory Jagmin of Jagmin Interiors, Julia Edelmann of Buckingham Interiors + Design, and Hillery Estes of Estes Interiors to design a foyer, a study, and a dining room on the spot at The Fair. Starting with a base of some modern furniture and accessories culled from The Mart's top showrooms, they shopped the Fair to create a mix that works for modern interiors. To see what they’ve come up with, visit the fair May 1–4 (preview night is tonight). And pick up a copy of our May/June issue, on newsstands now, to see a cool cottagey summer home Julia designed!

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Bahena Goes to the Well
Geno Bahena, who launched Real Tenochtitlán (2451 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-227-1050), plans to open Los Moles (3140 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-935-9620), an 80-seat Mexican restaurant, on May 4th. The specialty will be—surprise!—mole. “Three moles every day: Red, green, and black,” says Bahena, who will split his time between Real Tenochtitlán and Los Moles, and has been at so many restaurants we won’t bother to... Read more
The Five
Don’t-miss events for 04.29.09 through 05.05.09

1. The Lieutenant of Inishmore @ Northlight
2. La Tragédie de Carmen @ Harris
3. Harry Potter @ MSI Read more
There are a couple of opportunities to catch Martha Stewart live this Friday, May 1, beginning with her 10 a.m. keynote speaker presentation at the Mart’s International Antiques Fair, where she’ll wax poetic on incorporating storied furniture and accessories into modern milieux. From there, the craftiest ex-con in the world hoofs it over to the State Street Macy’s to do a 1:00 p.m. book signing... Read more

Coverings, the huge tile love-in held last week at McCormick Place, is like a big ol’ candy store. I’ve never used a smidge beyond white hex or subway tile in all my decorating life so a few hours of tile peeping at the show turned into a 9 to 5 adventure. Tile has looked like everything but tile for a few years now, but it’s turned from looking like leather and wood flooring into pony, plush fabric (great as hotel headboards!), faux wallpaper, even stone. I fell for the cerused look of random width planked porcelains in grays. In fact I loved grey everything this show. It felt warm, modern, cool, new… especially for the floor. Tau and Inalco presented ink-jet printing on tile that made porcelain look exactly like marble (the photo above shows Tau in a grained Zebrano wood effect). A quick digital scan of a slab of stone is the newest slight of hand in the biz!  Sparkle grout also caught my fancy—not sure where you’d use it, but a little glimmer in the grooves is way cool. As super-big as tile has been getting, ultra thin (4mm) options can be laid over old tile and floor, is less costly, and more green to ship. Micro mini tile from Frammenti (soon available at Luminaire looks like custom mosaics. Couldn’t get to Coverings? Check out The Art of Tile, a book by Jen Renzi, which includes more than 2,000 tiles and is a great resource.

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Prospective buyers who tour a house listed for sale at $899,900 in Naperville’s Ashwood Park subdivision may think the sellers have just stepped out for a moment. After all, there is food in the refrigerator, dishes in the cabinets, and clothes in the closets. The place looks lived in—albeit very neatly lived in... Read more
Less is More, She Says
Three months after moving from New York to Chicago last November, Texas native Jana Zacek opened her first-ever boutique in Wicker Park. Featuring mostly black, white, and gray dresses and tops with pops of color, Mulberry & Me (2019 W. Division St.; 773-952-7551) has items for work and play. “Being stylish isn’t about having a closet full of clothes. It’s about being able to use the same items in different ways,” Zacek says. Whether you need something for work or... Read more