together, then turn them over to
Ruben. For example, in our bone-in
pork chop, at first we talked about
adding figs to the sauce, but since
we had dates in-house, we said,
“Let’s use them.” Then, Ruben
decided to add mustard, so
that’s how our date musztarda
We’d come home late at night, and
people would be waiting for us in
the studio. So, now, I am writing
songs independently and, best of
all, I get to decide when we have
gp: You need a tolerant wife.
tips for aspiring
People will always tell you
they know better, but stay
true to yourself.
Don’t listen to anyone. You
can do the impossible.
People can be vicious, but
don’t be offended. If their
advice is good, take it in.
Opening a restaurant is a
If you’re after money, go
work for a bank.
Get up early and go to
sleep late, and wait before
you have babies.
Focus on what you’re doing,
and stay true to your craft in
whatever you do.
connect with LOKaL
Follow them on
Find them on Facebook:
LOKaL Restaurant & Lounge
what about flavoring with spirits?
aw: The roasted vegetable medley
accompanying our bone-in pork
chop has honey wine, which we also
use in the caramel for our desserts.
Our rabbit is braised in honey wine,
then finished with a splash of cherry
vodka. And in our mussels, we use
beer, which also makes our potato
bread fluffier. We brine our pork chop
in beer, too, and our salmon is cured
in vodka flavored with bison grass.
The proportions vary on whatever is
left over from what we drink.
what do independent restaurants
need for success?
aw: You cannot be afraid to work
at your business. Both of us are
getting our master’s degrees at
Roosevelt University, Chicago. Gosia
is studying hospitality, I’m studying
business management. For us, it
is key to reach our demographic—
independent thinkers—using social
media. We currently have more than
3,000 followers on Twitter.
gp: You need a good partner and a
good relationship with your partner.
And you need to realize that nothing
in life is easy when you are not
backed by big investors.
with two small children and a
restaurant, how can you keep a
music career going?
aw: It’s almost impossible. It was
too difficult continuing with the band
after we opened the restaurant.
ethel hammer is a writer, lecturer and
cartoonist based in chicago.
opposite: LOKaL’s flounder with
sunchokes, asparagus and
above: LOKaL is a Pan-European
Polish concept, infused with
lots of influences from France,
Germany, Hungary, even
Russia—and did we mention
they have a DJ booth?