Hope for Lillie's Q post-fire

How Lillie's Q might go on

Photograph: Martha Williams

Photograph: Martha Williams

By now you've read that a basement fire has damaged Lillie's Q flagship location in Bucktown. The Chicago Tribune has video, if you feel like watching such a thing.

Almost 100 fans have left kind messages on Lillie's Q Facebook page, and it's fair to assume that many more people are grieving the loss of a restaurant that in 2010 surprised the city with its expert ribs

The official word from Lillie's Q so far is that, well, there is no word. A representative for the restaurant told me that both locations (the second is the recently opened annex in the French Market) are "closed indefinitely—there's no timetable for reopening either location right now. It is the plan to have them up and running as soon as humanly possible."

Which leaves people who want to help the restaurant—or maybe just get another taste of it—pretty helpless.

But it occurred to me that there is one way that Lillie's Q is still with us. We still have its sauces.

The restaurant bottles and sells six of its sauces at stores in six states. In Chicago the sauces can be found at The Goddess & Grocer, Publican Quality Meats and a good number of other stores (the complete list is here). You can also still buy the sauces online.

How long the sauces will last, I don't know. They were produced in the basement where the fire broke out. But they're here now, which is a small solace. And maybe the stock will last until Lillie's Q opens again....

Perhaps that's just wishful thinking on my part. But can you blame me? Today, Lillie's Q is where all my thoughts—and wishes—are directed.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)