The Publican crew takes over the Pontiac
Yesterday evening, Chicagoist reported that Pontiac would serve up its final beer next weekend, which immediately made me wonder who would take over the supreme location. A call to Pontiac owner Buddy Eggert confirmed that, yes, Pontiac has been sold (a going-away party of sorts will take place the 17th through 19th, with live band karaoke on Friday, redneck bingo on Sunday and "surprise guests" on Saturday). With a bit of prying I was also able to confirm my lurking suspicions that Donnie Madia and crew have bought the property. Yes, that Donnie Madia, he of Avec, Blackbird and the Publican (which, by the way, passed inspections today and will open this Thursday).
Blackbird co-owner Rick Diarmit is Eggert’s nephew, so I reached out to Diarmit about just what’s going on with Uncle Buddy’s place. He confirmed that Madia and Terry Alexander have purchased the Pontiac, but that he himself is not involved. So will it be a swank cocktail club, a small plates spot, a sparse fine dining den, a Belgian beer hall or a completely different home run for the team? Alexander himself had little to say, deflecting the inquiry with “Right now, we’re really just focused on the Publican.”
Madia was similarly operating in an "Uh, what? What day is this? Who am I?" mode, so since the crew is running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to get the place open, let’s cut them a little slack and start pestering about The Pontiac Project in a month or two. For now, talk amongst yourselves. If any of you can call what the concept will be, we have a free subscription with your name on it once we get confirmation of the plans.