Lollapalooza 2012: Lobster Corndogs, Truffles, and a Storm Evacuation
Lollapalooza hit Chicago last weekend with the requisite painted crowds, mud, and music last weekend, and more than 40 food vendors packed up boxes and bags to feed the crowds at Grant Park.
The music festival's food lineup, curated by Graham Elliot every year, involved plenty of well-known Chicago names, including Kuma's Corner, Edzo's Burger Shop, Franks 'n' Dawgs, and Grahamwich, naturally. While Elliot rolled out lobster corndogs, Edzo's ground up their meat fresh each day and called in 17,000 pounds of potatoes.
A severe storm interrupted festivities Saturday, however, forcing attendees to evacuate for more than two hours. Graham Elliot, who was working the Grahamwich station, was closing down the tent when we ran into him, and said he would be locked in the area. "We’ve never experienced something like this, so we’re not sure what we’re going to do," he said.
The park reopened at 6 p.m., with a couple set times pushed back, and Elliot was there to witness the scene. "What was really funny, is usually at the beginning of the day people fly to the front of the stage so they get dibs on that spot. This was a do-over, so everyone was bum-rushing to be up front at Red Hot Chili Peppers, so it was exciting to see two waves happen yesterday," he told us Sunday.
Even so, closing down for two hours is never great for business. "There were a lot of things we had to throw away last night," Alexander Brunacci from Franks 'n' Dawgs told us. Grahamwich, in the meantime, is just hoping to break even. "Every year we tell restaurants that this isn’t a huge money-making venture, it’s to be part of the city, part of the music scene, enjoy it, hang outside and hope to break even. Our biggest thing is to come out and have fun," Elliot said.
And afterwards? At least for the Edzo's team, some rest. "We planned a week of restaurant closed and all staff on paid vacation after Lollapalooza," Eddie Lakin of Edzo's told us. "So we’re all going to be here for three days for 15 hours and then we’re going to chill out, recharge our batteries and then get back to work."
Additional reporting by Molly Collins