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Chicagoist Hard Hat Tour: City Provisions Deli

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jul 9, 2010 4:00PM

When we took our trek with City Provisions to River Valley Mushroom Ranch for a farm dinner last summer, owner Cleetus Friedman was eager to show us the plans for a modest deli he had planned for his space.

Visiting City Provisions last week, it appeared that those plans expanded considerably in the past twelve months. "Originally, I wanted to just throw in a couple of deli cases and get going," Friedman said, "but what we wound up building is only going to help us as a growing company moving forward."

Indeed, the deli project, now complete and ready to open to the public, now encompasses all of Friedman's former catering space. The project also allowed Friedman to expand his kitchen. "Now we'll be able to prepare for catered events, farm dinners and make the prepared foods for the deli all in one spot," Friedman said.

City Provisions' deli stock will focus on local and sustainable food. Meats will be provided by Heartland Meats, Dietzler Farms, Grunthorp farms, and others. Bread (until they can start baking in house) comes from LaBriola and Crumb. They'll also stock pasta from Pasta Puttana, ice creams and sorbets from Ruth and Phil's and Nice Cream co., and local cheeses from Capriole, Priaire Fruits Farms, Roth Kase and others. In an effort to educate customers about the deli's farm-to-table aesthetic, Friedman plans on having a map showing where City Provisions is sourcing its product.

Butchering will be done in house, with plans on having house-made briskets and corned beef.. given the proximity of city Provisions to the Ravenswood Metra line, plans are also in the works to have prepared picnic baskets for neighbors looking to bring a spread to Ravinia via train. The picnik bags are made from reclaimed bulk coffee bags and will cost $165. those sacks will also serve as reusable shopping bags. Friedman even allowed himself some space to hold his winter dinner series in the deli with some elbow room to spare.

Friedman anticipates City Provisions to have a soft opening of the deli as soon as they pass a city health inspection, with an official grand opening in August.

City Provisions, 1816 W. Wilson, 773-293-2489.