Cleetus Friedman had a big day yesterday: He was revealed to be one of 17 finalists for the host position of Check, Please!
It also happened to be the first day of his new job as chef of the Fountainhead.
Since shuttering City Provisions, the sustainably-minded deli and catering company, Friedman has been talking to lots of people about lots of jobs. Most of them were chef jobs; some of them were consulting requests; some people wanted to do City Provisions again. "I had the gamut, and I really wanted to hold out for the right fit," Friedman says.
Fountainhead appears to be that fit. It's a natural choice for Friedman in multiple ways. First of all, it's in Ravenswood, the same neighborhood City Provisions was in. Second, it's a beer joint, and Friedman is a bonafide beer freak (at City Provisions, he collaborated with several local breweries on custom brews). Finally, brunch is involved. "I love brunch!" Friedman exclaimed to me. "And they want brunch to take off. So I'm going to take my brunch here."
The specifics of the menu are yet to be determined. Friedman told me that he plans to collect feedback from his followers (Twitter and otherwise) as to what he should put on the menu. Certain signatures of his are, he assumes, forgone conclusions. "My turkey sandwich—that's gotta be on there," he says. He plans on offering many items in varying sizes, so that a dish can feed one person or four. He also hopes to continue cooking sustainably, as much as he can. In other words, it sounds like what Friedman plans for the Fountainhead will have a lot of City Provisions elements to it—and a lot of people will probably find that a very good thing.