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At Work With John Manion

Our latest installment of At Work features a luminary of the Chicago restaurant scene, John Manion. A trailblazing chef bringing Brazilian and Argentinian flavors to Chicago, while also serving as a pioneer in the now-scorching hot Fulton Market district. John's story is interesting, his experiences well rounded, and his answers insightful and entertaining. It was truly a pleasure speaking with him, and we hope you enjoy.

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AT WORK WITH LOST LAKE

At Stock we use time-tested methods of production and appreciate the fine details that make a garment built to last. For our At Work series, we focus on like-minded businesses and individuals who don’t do things the expedient way, but the right way. For our newest installment, we’re featuring the sublime Lost Lake. Drawing from 80 years of cocktail history, the Logan Square oasis delivers an authentic tiki experience in a setting fit for a Hemingway novel. For those of us who clamor for tropical vibes but are too impatient--or broke--to fly out to Maui, fear not. This place serves up libations good enough to make you belie​ve you ​are the old man in the sea.

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At Work With Metric Coffee

At Stock we use time-tested methods of production and appreciate the fine details that make a garment built to last. For our At Work series, we focus on like-minded companies and individuals who don’t do things the expedient way, but the right way. This time, we’re featuring a business down the street from our store, Metric Coffee. Started in 2013, the company quickly gained acclaim for their delicious coffee--Chicago Magazine’s “Best Espresso” in 2017--and shop, which ZAGAT, Eater and Roast Magazine have featured.  We sat down with owners Darko and Xavier to hear more about where they’ve been and where they’re headed.

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AT WORK WITH AARON FIRESTEIN

Steven: Long story short or short story long, what's the timeline on how you got to where you are now? Aaron: We've been around since 2011, so about four years now. It kind of all started when I would draw on canvas shoes in college. Then, through word of mouth or on Facebook I had people start asking me to make shoes for them. After graduating college in 2008, I bought a one-way ticket to Argentina because I really wanted to learn Spanish and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. While volunteering for an organization that worked with street kids in the slums, I met my then future business partner, Raaja, who I sold a pair of hand-designed...

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AT WORK WITH ALAN GAGNÉ

Steven: You have a pretty good set up, how did you get to where you are right now? Alan: Well the story goes, I had always wanted to go to law school, but before spending hundreds of thousands on a degree, I decided to get a job in the field as a paralegal. Did the whole corporate 9-5 grind and sure it paid well, but it wasn't fulfilling. I had been living in Lakeview at the time and while the shop was under construction, I noticed some Stumptown Coffee and Bowery Lane Bicycles signs in the window. I was pretty familiar with both so I began riding by often and getting to know Mike the owner. Long story short, I left the...

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AT WORK WITH WADE MCELROY

Steven: Tell us a little about your career path and how you got to where you are now. Wade: I moved to New York in 2008 after college at ASU. I started working for a start up doing sales and I fucking hated it. In 2009 I began working as a captain on the floor at the Standard Grill in the new Standard Hotel NYC. I worked my way up to the bar until I left to bartend and eventually take over the bar program at Rye House. From there I left to be on the opening team of a restaurant called The Dutch. I spent my time there until I was sick of paying New York rent prices and up and...

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