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Let's celebrate the Chicagoans who have made lockdown live a bit more comfortable

Written by
Time Out Chicago editors

As cities around the world start to emerge from lockdown, we’re taking a moment to look back and thank the Chicagoans who have made our homebound lives bearable over the last two-plus months—from chefs and bartenders to mask makers and sea otters.

Our editors have compiled a list of worthy nominees in the following categories: Food & Drink Heroes, Community Champions, Arts & Entertainment Saviors and Homebound Stars. And now we need your help to determine the winners.

Join us in celebrating the Chicagoans who have helped us feel more connected than ever before—even when we’re stuck at home. Raise a glass to these awe-inspiring nominees!

And the nominees are...

Food & Drink Heroes

Favorite Restaurant Reinvention

Bar Biscay - Bodega Biscay
Debonair Social Club - Disco Bodega
Luella's Southern Kitchen - Baye's Little Bakery
El Che Steakhouse - El Che Meat & Provisions
Stephanie Izard - Girl & the Goat-ceries

Most Wanted Takeout Deal

Weiners Circle’s “side of curbside abuse”
Alinea’s 15th anniversary dinner
Happy Camper’s Ice Baby
Brown Sugar Bakery's Mother's Day cakes
The Loyalist’s Dirty Burg meal

Rising Virtual Cooking Star

Brian Jupiter (Ina Mae Tavern, Frontier)
Jonathan Zaragoza (Birrieria Zaragoza)
Grant Achatz (Alinea)
Zoe Schor (Split-Rail)
Carlos Gaytan (Tzuco)

Community Champions

Best Local Mask Maker

Stock Mfg.
Pride Masks
Dearborn Denim
Chicago Midwestmade

All-Star Frontline Feeder

The Fifty/50
Mini Mott + Mott St.

Best Grassroots Support System

Cocktails For Hope
Comp Tab Relief Fund
Barrel Maker Printing
Virtual Boozy Brunch
Chicago Independent Media Alliance
Black-Owned Restaurant Relief Fund

Arts & Entertainment Saviors

Best Netflix Alternative

Virtual Cinema with the Music Box
Film Center from your Sofa (Gene Siskel Film Center)
The Neo-Futurist Theater’s “The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral”
Goodman Theatre’s “2666”
Millennium Park concert archives

Must-Watch Live Stream

Cole’s Virtual Comedy Open Mic
Body Sundays at the Promontory
Shedd Aquarium fish live stream
Hideout Online
The Quarantine Concerts

Coolest Virtual Exhibit

Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago (Museum of Contemporary Art)
El Greco: Ambition and Defiance (Art Institute of Chicago)
Roger Brown Estate, Hyperframe (Kavi Gupta)
Context 2020 (Filter Photo)
The Allure of Matter (Smart Museum of Art and Wrightwood 659)

Homebound Stars

Most Lovable Quarantine Critter

Yaku the sea otter (Shedd Aquarium)
Ozu the Japanese macaque (Lincoln Park Zoo)
Sasha the leopard cub (Brookfield Zoo)
Wellington the penguin (Shedd Aquarium)
Kashyyyk the African Painted Dog (Brookfield Zoo)

Ultimate Cheerer-Upper

Jim Bachor’s pothole mosaics
The Art Institute’s masked-up lions
Memes of Mayor Lori Lightfoot
CH Distillery’s Malört sanitizer
Oprah’s commencement speech for CPS

Best Illustration of Life These Days

Ryan Duggan
Laura Gomez
Ray Kelly

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