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Closings Mon Jan 28 2013
While I gave everything I had every day of the week to all of my staff, vendors, and guests, in the end I found that sustainability - an undying commitment to what that means - wasn't sustainable. While it looked great from the outside, on the inside we faced many challenges. The praise that hangs on my wall and the Internet speaks to my passion, and that will never change.
I could have bought different milk. Different eggs. I could have used non eco-friendly parchment paper. I could sent everything to landfill. I could have used an inferior product. I could have had a Sysco truck deliver my food and have one person work a deep fryer and microwave. I consciously chose to do things one way. Maybe I was stubborn. I was committed to doing what I believed to be the right thing.
Real food takes not just passion, but labor. And these numbers add up. The fact is, I put the same level of ingredients and labor into a sandwich, chips and pickle that my colleagues are putting into a $25 entree. Perhaps we, as a community, are not prepared to take on the challenge of a $15 - $20 lunch ticket, but I know I tried to do it the best way, true to my ideals and focused on creating the best product possible.
We've covered City Provisions frequently over the years, from the first rumblings about its opening to the soft opening to its special farm dinners. The deli brought gourmet ingredients, nearly all from within 250 miles of Chicago and many made in-house, to Ravenswood. City Provisions was also one of the stops on Gapers Block's first Microbrewery Crawl, providing a snack for attendees as well as samples of two of Friedman's collaborations with local breweries.
Unfortunately, frequent press (and plenty of visits from me -- it's right around the corner from the Gapers Block office) didn't make up for the fact that Ravenswood and Wilson is not the most active neighborhood in town, and the lack of foot traffic was one of the reasons Friedman gave in his email for the closure.
According to the email, Friedman plans to continue collaborations with local restaurants (and probably breweries too), and the farm dinner series is set to begin its 2013 season in May. I for one look forward to the next chapter from the City Provisions team.