#AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast – Notes for Episode 1 with Michael Bransford of Vincent


For our first episode of #AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast, we introduce you to Andersonville; a neighborhood full of rich history and an amazing collection of local and independent businesses owners.

Get to know the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce staff as they dive into their first interview with Michael Bransford, owner of local bistro Vincent. Michael’s story is a love story – one about falling for this Midwest neighborhood in the big city of Chicago after leaving New York City. Read more about Michael’s history here.

Vincent Mussels

Vincent is know for different types of mussels on the menu.


“I used to think the word community was kind of cheesy, but now, it’s what makes the world go ’round.”
– Michael Bransford

Listen to Episode 1 with Michael Bransford!

Vincent is located at 1475 W Balmoral in Andersonville

As we dove into the interview with Michael, he made a few references you may want to check out!

  • Who is Danny Meyer? Michael mentions working and training under him in New York City
  • Michael mentions that the restaurant opened to serve Dutch food and eventually was named after someone’s cat named Vincent, but also Vincent Van Gogh. Learn about this famous Dutch painter.
  • Michael has developed friendships neighboring businesses Defloured: A Gluten Free Bakery located next door (1477 W Balmoral) and Norcross and Scott (1476 W Berwyn). Together, these businesses support each other and often do cross-collaboration.
  • Vincent restaurant is closed Monday nights in order to host special pop-ups and projects for the community. They also host a charity badminton tournament every few years! If you are interested in hosting a community event at Vincent, please contact the team at: team@vincentchicago.com or 773-334-7168
  • Spring menu items to look forward to: Roasted chicken with spaetzle and fried kale – sign us up! View the entire menu
  • Michael would like to trade places with Matthew at Cowboys and Astronauts (1478 W Summerdale ) for a day, as he finds sorting product relaxing! Stay tuned for a podcast episode with Matthew soon! Michael also mentions the beautiful curated storefront of Martha Mae: Art Supplies & Beautiful Things (5407 N Clark).
Vincent Interior

The interior of Vincent restaurant

“I’m really happy where I ended up, and I don’t regret anything… I feel very blessed to live here, and I’m probably never leaving”
– Michael Bransford

Visit Vincent on these platforms:
Online: vincentchicago.com
Facebook: facebook.com/vincent.restaurant
Instagram: @vincentchicago

Hutch American Kitchen + Bar Opens in Andersonville


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The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce is excited to formally welcome Hutch American Kitchen + Bar to the neighborhood with a ribbon cutting on January 26, 2018. The Chamber hosts ribbon cuttings to welcome and promote new businesses in Andersonville. If you are own a neighborhood business and would like a ribbon cutting, please contact us at info@andersonville.org.

Chef Marc Wuenschel is an Arizona born & Texas Bred all American Chef with over 25 years of culinary experience, having held Top Chef positions with Hard Rock Café’s, Planet Hollywood, House of Blues and corporate experience with ESPN Zone, & Fox Sports Grill.  Chef Wuenschel was named VP of Culinary Operations for Restaurants America, which includes Bar Louie among others.

Chef Wuenchel’s passion for what he calls “Craveable Comfort” began with his original location Hutch Bistro which was conceived based on two ideas; people want to be comfortable where they eat and what they eat and drink has to be craveable. The popularity & demand for these American Craveable classics has only grown in the Chicago area with Chef Wuenschel’s three locations Hutch American Bistro (Original location), Hutch American Cafe, and Hutch American Kitchen & Bar.

Chef Wuenchel’s recipes are based on America’s classics like, our KC Strip and Pork Chop you will be impressed by both the size and especially the flavor that can only come from cuts of meat aged for 28 days and cooked to perfection with the bone left on.

Hutch represents just that, a warm and inviting place to truly enjoy yourself and food that is approachable, and most importantly delicious.

Read more about Hutch on their website here.

Gus Giordano Jazz Legacy Foundation Donates 300+ Coats to Students in Need

300+ Libby Elementary students from kindergarten to 8th grade received brand new coats donated by Gus Giordano Dance School and The Gus Giordano Jazz Legacy Foundation in a HUGELY successful holiday coat drive. 8th Graders from Libby Elementary helped Gus Giordano staff members unload coats from two cars packed to the brim. The following is a note from the principal:

“We at Arthur A. Libby Elementary and Middle School would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your donation of amazing winter coats. Due to your generous donation we were able to provide over 300 students with a warm winter coat.

The children were so excited to receive the coats and picked ones that fit their personal style. Please know how much you’ve helped them and how appreciative we are of your kindness. Thank you once again for your kindness, generosity, time and effort that you put into making our coat drive such a huge success.  We are eager to continue the partnership.

Kind regards,

Rochonda R Knox-Principal”

Gus Giordano Dance School extends a special thank you to the staff from Women and Children First. The staff was thrilled with the project and gave funds to purchase about 10 of the coats. It was so wonderful to have the support of a fellow business owner in Andersonville.

Check out pics below!

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Holiday Worship Services in Andersonville


Ebenezer Lutheran Church 
Christmas Eve at 4PM and 10PM
Christmas Day at 10AM

First Free Church
Christmas Eve at 10AM and 6PM Candlelight Service

North Shore Baptist Church
Christmas Eve at 10:30AM

Philadelphia Church
Sunday service at 10:30AM

St. Gregory the Great Church
Christmas Eve at 4:30PM and Midnight Mass (Carols beginning at 9:30pm) at 10PM
Christmas Day 8:30AM and 10:30AM

Urban Village Church Edgewater
Christmas Eve at 9:30AM and 11:15AM

The Wooden Spoon & The Coffee Studio Celebrate Milestone Anniversaries

spoon  coffee studio 10 years

The Wooden Spoon

Family owned and operated “the Spoon,” as regulars call it, has been a leading source for kitchen products and cooking classes in Chicago since 2002. On Thursday, The Wooden Spoon celebrates their 15 year anniversary with 15% off* cooking classes and 15% off full price retail! The Wooden Spoon is open six days a week from Tuesday-Sunday with classes throughout the week. Sign up for their many different cooking classes, consider their unique party venue for your next event, and make a new addition to your kitchenware.

*Not valid for gift certificates, sale items, private parties, or previous purchases.

The Coffee Studio

On Friday, The Coffee Studio celebrates 10 years in Andersonville! The first 250 customers will receive limited edition anniversary totes with mystery Andersonville gifts from: Women & Children First BookstoreWinifred GraceTransit TeesTransistor ChicagoToys Et Cetera AndersonvilleThe Wooden SpoonRoostPresence, Inc.Norcross and ScottMilk HandmadeMartha Mae: Art Supplies & Beautiful ThingsLittle Bad WolfJohnny SprocketsIn Fine SpiritsHopleafFoursidedEarly to BedDefloured: A Gluten Free BakeryCowboys and AstronautsCity Olive, and Be Yoga Andersonville. The Coffee Studio is also offering 10% off regular prices on coffee/tea retail items and gifts and is taking donations for Friends of Peirce.

We are so happy to be celebrating these two local businesses and the huge impact they have on the Andersonville community. Congrats!

Gift Guides 2017: Gifts for the Closet Nerd


Nerd: A single minded expert in a particular technical field. Have a nerd in your life? We have you covered. From coffee, to coloring, to board games and books, please check out our collection of gifts for your particularly minded friend. You won’t find pocket-protectors on this list!

Transit Tees Mugs

One for coffee, one for tea, one for hot cocoa: Transit Tees has your winter beverages covered – or at least contained.

Alleycat Comics Raiders of the North Sea Board Game

Is Monopoly the last board game you remember playing? Well, it’s time for an upgrade. Visit Alleycat Comics for this boxed treasure and so many more!

Transistor_Golden Girls Coloring Book

Say thank you for being a friend with this Golden Girls Coloring book from Transistor. Blanche’s colorful language not included.

Cowboys & Astronauts Ultimate Book of Card Games and Playing Cards

Don’t be a drag, just be a Queen. Find a friend and ditch the game of solitaire! This Ultimate Book of Card Games from Cowboys and Astronauts will keep you entertained for hours.

TrueNorth Chemex Coffe Maker

Drip coffee is so bean there done that. This Chemex Coffee Maker from TrueNorth Café will not only change the way you take your coffee, but it also looks stylish on your island.

Salt Lamp 4

Increase your energy and get better sleep with this Himalayan Salt Lamp from On the Rocks: Gems, Jewels and More. Plug it in and watch the magic happen.

Martha Mae Pencil Sharpener

You may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but this fine gadget from Martha Mae will keep your pencil on point! It’s never a dull moment in Andersonville.

Women & Children First Gift Card

Give the gift of reading. Just do it. Books from Women and Children First are awesome and they will make you a more interesting person. You can be anything! Take a look, it’s in a book, a Reading Rainbow.

CBD Kratom_Mr. Nice Guy Socks

No time for a pedicure? Warm your feet and hide your toes with these socks from CBD Kratom.

Please bring your gifts to our wrapping events at George’s Ice Cream and Sweets on 12/8 and 12/22 during Andersonville Late Nights. All the wrapping paper, tape and scissors will be available!

Gift Guides 2017: Gifts for the Kid or the Kid at Heart


Tired of stepping on Legos? Here are gifts for the young and young at heart because we all know Adulting is hard.  

Alleycat Comics Rainbow Batman Figurine Set

Guess who’s back in a coat of many colors? Batman. Purchase this PRIDE-ful set of Rainbow Batman Figurines from Alleycat Comics. Holy Awesome Present.

Swedish American Museum How to be a Viking

It’s not easy being a kid! Toughen ’em up like the Swedes with this book on How to Be a Viking from the Swedish American Museum. Their first assignment can be to conquer cleaning their room!

Martha Mae_Duck Foot Pencil Sharpener

This Duck Foot Pencil Sharpener from Martha Mae: Art Supplies and Beautiful Things not only looks cute, but it is functional too. Accepts regular and colored pencils. Don’t try to sharpen your duck’s foot.

Toys Et Cetera Coding Game

Coding is where it’s at. With STEM programs popping up across the nation, your little coder will certainly enjoy this game from Toys Et Cetera, helping them secure a scholarship later and save you on tuition come college time.

Cowboys & Astronauts Guthrie robots

Guthrie can be transformed into a dozen positions. Don’t you wish you were that flexible? But seriously, this wooden toy from Cowboys and Astronauts will look as good on top of a shelf as it does in your child’s hands.

Transistor_Coloring Placemats 2

We can’t promise these coloring placements from Transistor will make your kids better eaters, but they will keep them occupied while you fry those green tomatoes.

Hamburger Mary's _Bite Me Onsie

Good thing newborns can’t read. This snap suit from Hamburger Mary‘s will help keep a smile on faces of anyone performing 2AM diaper duty.

Women & Children First Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Getaway

Jeff Kinney knows Wimpy kids and this is the 12th installment of this very popular series. You can’t go wrong with this purchase from Women & Children First.

Please bring your gifts to our wrapping events at George’s Ice Cream and Sweets on 12/8 and 12/22 during Andersonville Late Nights. All the wrapping paper, tape and scissors will be available!

Gift Guides 2017: Self Care is the Best Care


You don’t have to be a narcissist to care about yourself. Just don’t stare at your reflection until you die. Relax and recharge with the items on this list. You deserve it!  

Robert Jeffrey anti-aging hair elixir

Face it, aging is inevitable. Age a little more gracefully with this anti-aging hair treatment from Robert Jeffrey Hair Studio. It won’t help your wrinkles. You’ll have to see Revive Med Spa for that.

Prevent Chronic Pain gift cert 2017

Give the gift of well-being this Holiday season with 10% off gift certificate from Prevent Chronic Pain. It’s nicer than a bottle of Tylenol. Offer good until December 20.

EC Winter Woodsmoke WHITE

Don’t let Laura blow out this candle! You’ll love the woodsy scent from Edgewater Candles as you manage your Seasonal Affective Disorder. Pick one up locally at Foursided.

CBD Kratom Pain Relief Cream

Colorado grown, but Chicago bound, this pain relief cream from CBD Kratom can treat all of your aches and pains from a hard days work.

Butterfield Alpaca Ranch Hat & Gloves

Stay warm this winter with Butterfield Alpaca Ranch‘s Blue Meadow Hat & matching Glittens, a bright, beautiful floral design created by Fair Trade Artisans in Peru. This humanely raised and harvested fiber is one of the most luxurious and sought-after resources in the textile industry, and Andersonville is in luck, as Butterfield Alpaca Ranch is popping up in Philadelphia Church’s community center every weekend until Christmas!

Big City Optical_Eye Care Package

Some say the eyes are the window to the soul, and Big City Optical wants to make sure that window stays fresh and open! Swing by their new Andersonville location for this steal of a deal on eyewear gift setes.

Andersonville Cryotherapy Gift Card

Reduce pain, inflammation and increase metabolism and energy. There are many benefits to cryotherapy. Give a gift of health to a loved one this season from Andersonville Cyrotherapy and Athletic Recovery Center.

Akira Scarf

Every Chicagoan needs an oversized warm winter scarf to survive the polar votex, and AKIRA‘s signature blanket scarf is just ticket!


Feeling a little rough? Get glowing and wash away those dead skin cells with this skin care set from Revive MedSpa!

Please bring your gifts to our wrapping events at George’s Ice Cream and Sweets on 12/8 and 12/22 during Andersonville Late Nights. All the wrapping paper, tape and scissors will be available!

Gift Guides 2017: Ditch Day Andersonville


Ferris Bueller had the right idea when he decided to take the day off. You won’t need any voodoo economics to purchase the items on this ditch day gift guide. Unlock the puzzle to your own escape room into Andersonville!

The Coffee Studio swell traveler and tumbler

Any great adventure needs great coffee. Start the day at The Coffee Studio and pick up a Swell Traveler Tumbler filled to the brim by this local coffee shop gem.


Before you officially start exploring, perhaps brush up on your Andersonville landmarks – over 70 locations are artfully depicted in this 17 x 19 Andersonville art print, available from the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce.

Orange Shoe Girl Strong T-Shirt 2

Whether it’s strength of character, strength of conviction, a strong will, a strong mind, physical strength, or all of the above; own it! This Girl Strong t-shirt from Orange Shoe Personal Fitness will help set your mind straight for a day of Andersonville adventuring!

Certificate Final_1

The best way to spend a day out of the office is eating your way through two cultural cuisines right in your own backyard! The Chicago Food Ways gift certificate will give you access to the Saigon to Stockholm tour, exploring both the Asian and Swedish influences that border Uptown and Andersonville.

Revive Spa Gift Card

Let’s face it. Any day warrants a ditch day if there is a massage involved. Treat yourself with a session at Andersonville’s Revive Massage Therapy & Spa.

Hip Hop Image 1

Ever thought you’d be the next Ginger Rogers? Fancy yourself with jazz shoes and moves? Gus Giordano Dance School wants you to take the leap with a gift certificate to classes. It’s never too late to start! GUS Gift Certificate special: Purchase a $25 certificate for only $20! Certificate can be used for Summer Camps, Summer Intensives and Gus Merchandise. Limit 2 per person.

Steep Theatre Gift Certificate 2

After you spend the day exploring all that Andersonville has to offer, spend your evening getting to know our local theatre scene with at trip to Steep Theatre‘s latest production.

Vincent Gift Card

Cap off the evening and grab the best Hendricks martini with Brian the bartender at the bistro around the corner, better known as Andersonville’s Vincent Restaurant.

The Guesthouse Gift Certificate

And if you really want to play hookey for more than a day, consider an overnight at Andersonville’s The Guesthouse Hotel. Word on the street is that they even serve an afternoon tea!

Please bring your gifts to our wrapping events at George’s Ice Cream and Sweets on 12/8 and 12/22 during Andersonville Late Nights. All the wrapping paper, tape and scissors will be available!

Gift Guides 2017: With Love From Andersonville


Celebrate the neighborhood and all things Andersonville with this collection of gifts from a selection of our favorite local retailers. Every kiss may begin with Kay, but the best district in the City begins with AND.

Swedish American_Andersonville Dala Horse

The Dala Horse is a symbol of Sweden, and this one comes adorned with its very own Andersonville Water Tower! Carved from wood and hand-painted, these traditional souvenir from the Swedish American Museum can brighten the stocking adult or child alike.

Milk Handmade_City on FIre Unisex Perfume

Do you want every day to feel like you’re sitting around a bonfire? You will smell so much like the real thing that folks might try to roast their chestnuts on you. Yes, we jest, but this City on Fire unisex perfume is something you can find out our very own Milk Handmade.

Transistor Water Tower print

Nothing says Andersonville quite like the water tower. Bring home your very own one of a kind art piece from Transistor Chicago.

Winifred Grace Andersonville Candle

The perfect blend of floral and musk, the Andersonville candle from Winifred Grace is a visual and olfactory delight!

City Olive_Spice and Chocolate Basket

In the mind to gift locally, but not sure what to give? City Olive has combined many of our favorite things in one handy gift basket! Did someone say date night indoor picnic? It’s chilly out there!

Norcross and Scott_

Come on baby light my fire! Light your eternal flame for years to come with these match sets at Norcross and Scott.

ABK_Sensations Wine Decanter by Maxwell Williams

Both sleek and purposeful, this Maxwell Williams Sensations Wine Decanter from Andersonville Kitchen and Bath is sure to ignite many conversations around the table.

Early to Bed jimmyjanecandles_2017_etb

After a long day, unwind with this unique gift; both candle and massage oil, Early to Bed’s Jimmy Jane candles are perfect for a cozy night in for your special someone.

Sparkles Jewlery_Marrakesh travel jewelry case for $49

Need a new home for all your precious jewels, or just looking to take them along when you travel this holiday season? Sparkles Fine Jewelry has a gorgeous Marrakesh travel case that’s perfect for your many treasures.

Please bring your gifts to our wrapping events at George’s Ice Cream and Sweets on 12/8 and 12/22 during Andersonville Late Nights. All the wrapping paper, tape and scissors will be available!