Rob Levitt only left Mado a month ago, but it looks like his new venture — a butcher shop called Butcher and Larder — plans to open very soon. This has been a fantastic transition. What was probably the most shocking aspect of him leaving was how sudden it all felt. The restaurant was still pulling in great reviews, and while the concept of Levitt manning a butcher shop totally made sense, we wondered why he didn’t just expand the restaurant concept. Most of those questions are answered in this amazing profile by Mike Sula in the Chicago Reader, which details why exactly he left, and what the main plans for the new butcher shop are. Though we highly recommend reading the whole article, we cherry picked the eight things that we found most surprising.
1. It will be Chicago’s first “all-local, humanely raised, whole-animal butchery.”
2. It plans to open next week.
3. It’s just Rob. His wife, Allie, decided to find a new restaurant job. He told the Reader, “I would rather just have Allie be my wife.”
4. According to an update on Twitter, The sausage grinder has a five horsepower motor.
5. The smoker was purchased on Craigslist.
6. He’s saving up for the rather expensive Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) food safety plan, which should allow him to legally sell dry-cured meats.
7. Rob traded for the red meat slicer, promising the Marion Street Cheese Market a properly butchered whey-fed hog.
8. It will host monthly dinners, like they used to at Mado.
Eager Cleaver [Chicago Reader]