Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-08-07
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



DINING Barton G., the place to be
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Barton G. The Restaurant recently opened its Chicago location, with all of the pomp and circumstance that one expects from Miami-based visionary Barton G. Weiss. The new 12,000-square-foot space at 415 N. Dearborn St. is on two floors of the former Sullivan's Steakhouse.

Upon entering, guests will spot monkeys as an homage to the animals Weiss owns. He's spared no expense in decor and materials used in every corner to create a visual experience. Instagram-worthy dishes include the BBQ of Bones, the Orange Salmon and the Kobe Meatloaf in Terracotta.

Many may recognize the entrepreneur from his television appearances on Bravo's Top Chef as a guest judge or the show Behind the Bash. He is also an author of the book The Big Dish: Recipes to Dazzle and Amaze from America's Most Spectacular Restaurant. He was a former professional ice skater and has dressed clients such as Chita Rivera and Cher. He has created over 20,000 events for a range of companies over the years such as BMW, NBC and the NFL.

Windy City Times: Did you originally start with a catering company?

Barton G. Weiss: I started with an event production company. I did large-scale events like Super Bowl, PGA golf championships and releases for BMW.

That's what the company was, then we got into off premise catering. That led me to my first restaurant 17 years ago.

WCT: That was in Miami?

BGW: Yes. I moved to Miami 25 years ago. That's where it all started.

WCT: How was working with Cher? She was just in Chicago for a concert.

BGW: I saw her in Vegas about a month ago. She is just like she is on stage. She's immaculate.

Bob Mackie designed about 99 percent of wardrobe but for the one percent she brought in other people to create on the road for her, so that is how I am involved.

WCT: What brought this new restaurant to Chicago?

BGW: I have family that lived here and wanted me to come here. I didn't know anything about Chicago, so did a quick study and the first building I found was this one. When I walked in I knew the dark wood had to go.

I walked in and fell in love. It's a great space with so many possibilities to it. I decided to give it a try.

Chicago is an eating city, and [is] very sophisticated. It has a young crowd with partygoers, so it has my name written on it.

WCT: With so many restaurants in Chicago, what do you bring that's different?

BGW: What I am bringing is something unique and individual. People have tried to emulate what I do, but nobody has been successful.

Many restaurants have opened and closed unfortunately because it's not just looking at a plate and seeing a fabulous creation. There's a lot going on behind it. Because of my theatrics and experience from the past I was able to pull together a team that have been with me around 20 years. I have longevity and I was able to teach them the art of being social. With that, they were able to learn what it takes to run a Barton G.

This is experiential dining. It is not something that I have witnessed in Chicago. Everyone is taking pictures and posting to Instagram. It is one of the most instagrammed restaurants in the United States.

It is from the sublime to the ridiculous, but I feel I bring a different angle to Chicago. It is something people haven't experienced here. I think it will go over well.

The menu is very different. We have steaks, but we are not a steakhouse. That is not the emphasis of this restaurant.

WCT: I saw the BBQ of Bones on your menu.

BGW: It's a real indoor barbecue that can be roasted on the table. We have a lot of different kinds of meats here. We have everything from pork to deer. It is American cuisine gone nouveau.

WCT: What goes into a restaurant opening that would surprise people?

BGW: A big team of people that specialize in different areas and a lot of hard work. I spent weeks eating at different restaurants and seeing what the competition was. We design all of the restaurants in house, so that takes time. We can seat 500 people, but that means 1500 plates for a three course meal.

I have to tell you, all of the staff are local. I don't bring in people from other locations. I did to open though. There's about 15 of them here. After the restaurant opens they go back home to their respective restaurants. There's a ton of talent here that's untapped.

WCT: Are you doing brunch?

BGW: Yes, lunch, dinner and brunch. We do special events on the second floor, where we can seat 20 to 200 people. We have designed panels that drop down and are sound proof. I can create six different meeting rooms.

WCT: Is there a place you would like to tackle next?

BGW: We are looking right now at Boston, Orlando and maybe Saudi Arabia. We just finished Super Bowl and we are working on PGA Championship and U.S. Open Championship in Pebble Beach. I don't get involved every day as I created it, but when they need help I am there!

Visit .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

SAVOR Chiya Chai 2019-08-20 - What could beat an iced chai on the riverwalk? Four flavorful kinds of chai on the riverwalk, maybe. All this and more ...

Gay News

SAVOR Lesbian chef curates 'Play'-ful menu in Gold Coast 2019-08-20 - Located on the Division Street strip in Gold Coast are longtime establishments like The Original Mother's and Butch McGuire's. The typical frat boy-ish ...

Gay News

DINING Travelle dinner, National Bao Day, Winestyr Fest, ladies' night 2019-08-20 - —On Wed., Aug. 21, Travelle at The Langham Chef Jeff Vucko will collaborate with Granor Farm Chef ( and Ruffage author ) Abra ...

Gay News

SAVOR, GT Fish & Oyster 2019-08-20 - Led by Michelin-starred Giuseppe Tentorri, the River North spot GT Fish & Oyster ( 531 N. Wells St.; ) offers a diverse ...

Gay News

Drag-and-dining venue Lips to open Aug. 22 2019-08-16 - Lips, a drag-and-dining venue, will have a grand opening Thursday, Aug. 22, at 2229 S. Michigan Ave. Just some of the drag performers ...

Gay News

Chicago Meal Pack of 9/11 Day 2019-08-14 - The first-ever Chicago Meal Pack of 9/11 Day—co-hosted by Serve Illinois and the Greater Chicago Food Depository—will take place Wed., Sept. 11, 7 ...

Gay News

DINING Julia Child, donut-topped milkshakes, Le Diner en Blanc 2019-08-13 - —In honor of iconic chef Julia Child, Chef Greg Biggers of Margeaux Brasserie, 11 E. Walton St., has curated a special pre-fixe menu ...

Gay News

UPDATE: Hamburger Mary's business for sale; co-owner cites high rent 2019-08-10 - The popular Andersonville restaurant Hamburger Mary's is for sale—and high rent is the culprit. SVN Chicago Commercial presented the exclusive listing for this ...

Gay News

Pastoral marking 15th anniversary Aug. 16-18 2019-08-08 - Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine will celebrate its 15th anniversary with several events over Aug. 16-18. On Saturday, Aug. 17, Pastoral will ...

Gay News

Shark-fin controversy surfaces in Illinois 2019-08-06 - In 2013, Illinois became a leader in shark conservation by banning shark-fin products—but, according to an Animal Welfare Institute ( AWI ) report, ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.