Jojo's Milk Bar ( 23 W. Hubbard St.; www.jojosmilkbar.com/ ) is known for its eye-catching shakesbut, lately, it's been in the news for an entirely different reason.
Christina Tosithe mind behind the national chain Milk Barhas filed a trademark-infringement lawsuit against Jojo's, according to several media outlets. ( The next hearing was slated to be held May 7. ) When asked about it, co-owner Robbie Schloss ( who named the spot after his daughter ) told Windy City Times, "She has lawsuits against [other places, like] Burger King, too. … When milk bars started in the 1900s, they were tributes to diners. Every country has them, like Australia and Poland. That's where we got our inspiration. A milk bar is just a category."
But let's go from nomenclature back to the space itselfwhere, upon entry, one sees a wall mural with three seemingly unconnected figures ( actor Bill Murray, Queen Elizabeth II and late rapper Notorious B.I.G. ) sporting milk mustaches. Regarding the queen, Schloss said, "I probably have more respect for her than any other woman. But there are all of these interesting stories about her, [particularly] about her pouring her milk first when she has tea." ( My British dining partner said he hadn't heard these stories. )
As for Jojo's shakes, I'll say this: They're all thatand then some. I had the Girl Scouta towering confection that comes with a Thin Mint cookie, Andes Graham cracker, marshmallow and gummy bears. My friend had, fittingly, the Cherry Poppins, which features cherry, chocolate Pop Rocks, dark chocolate meringue and a cherry-chocolate cookie. ( For an extra fee, you can have a selected liqueur or spirit added to your shake. ) By the way, I loved seeing talkative kids at this family-friendly place suddenly stop chatting and dropping their jaws when they saw their shakes.
There are also milk bars themselvesthink popsicles with flavors like cherry chocolate, blueberry lavender, snickerdoodle and chai.
However, one must balance that sugary drink with foodand, fortunately, Jojo's has you covered with everything from The Italian Stallion salad ( with pepperoncini, mozzarella, black olives and more ) to sandwiches such as delicious Charleston Wrap ( fried chicken strips, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, mozzarella and honey mustard ) and The New Yorker ( corned beef, Swiss, Cole slaw and special sauce on challah ).
If Jojo's has one drawback, it's the prices of some items. I know it's a River North spot and the rent is ( probably ) high, but be warned: Sandwiches ( which are standard-sized ) are $14 eachand that's without fries, which are an extra $4. ( There are also $16 entree items, such as lasagna and chicken pot piebut we didn't try those. ) The shakes are also $14 each, but I think those are actually worth the cost.
Jojo's is a place that should be tried at least once. You'll fall in love with the shakeseven if you don't necessarily love the prices.
Andersonville Wine Walk on May 19
The 13th annual Andersonville Wine Walkfeaturing 28 local businesseswill take place Sunday, May 19, 3-6 p.m.
There will be two routesCork and Bottlewith 14 businesses on each path. Particpating businesses will include Early to Bed, FRIO Gelato, Norcross and Scott, Candyality, Rattleback Records and The Guesthouse Hotel, among others. The check-in for the Wine Walk will begin at 1 p.m. at the Swedish American Museum's new storefront, 5217 N. Clark St.
Tickets are $35 per person in advance and $40 on the week of the event; visit Andersonville.org or https://nightout.com/events/2019-andersonville-wine-walk/tickets.
Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.