The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Lincoln Square's Fountainhead Is Losing Chef Cleetus Friedman

By Anthony Todd in Food on Feb 17, 2016 5:22PM

Photo by Christina Noel.

In an unexpected chef shakeup, we got word Tuesday that Chef Cleetus Friedman, Chef at Fountainhead (and former owner of City Provisions) was departing his post, and will be replaced by the former chef at Browntrout.

Why is this so unexpected? Well, for one, Friedman seemed to be doing pretty well at Fountainhead. He'd revamped the menu entirely, opened Fountainhead Market (which has an amazing whiskey selection, but also a full line of his own products) and spent a long time developing The Northman, which after a big delay was finally set to open next month.

The reason given by the group was pretty vague: "Chef Cleetus Friedman has decided to depart in early March to pursue another project which will further his culinary and personal passion." Hopefully, this means he has another restaurant in the pipeline, and not that he's going to be without a job.

However, this news does have a silver lining. Sean Sanders used to be the chef at Browntrout in North Center, which closed late last year. He's a great chef, he's got solid local food credentials and should keep up Friedman's project to use as many locally-grown and homemade things as possible. He'll also have the chance to open Chicago's first cider bar, as Northman is set to open on March 8.