Sunday, February 22, 2015

Neighborhood Coffee

Want to walk to a coffee shop near Ray's?

Ipsento coffee specializes in sourcing and roasting seasonal and interesting coffees. It is also a very community oriented coffee shop. Try the Ipsento Latte! It is made with a blend of coconut and dairy milk, honey, and a pinch of cayenne. The shop offers coffee education workshops to teach drinkers how to make the perfect cup at home. For a list of the classes click --> here
2035 N. Western Ave. 
Chicago, IL

Red June Cafe uses only the finest ingredients for its food and coffee. They get their baked goods from Roeser's Bakery, and coffee beans from Julius Meini. There is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, and free Wi-Fi.
2020 N. Leavitt St.
Chicago, IL

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What's Happening Around Town This Week

This week the Chicago Auto Show is in full swing, the start of baseball season is in sight, and the Chinese New Year gives reason to party on a Thursday.

Chicago at large: 

The Chicago Auto Show continues it's run until Sunday the 22nd.  Highlights so far include a new police vehicle that will be sold in 80 countries, various hybrid crossover models, and a really cute little off-roader from Kia. 

Chinese New Year is this Thursday, and if you want to celebrate right, then head down to Chinatown on the Red line to catch the parade on Sunday, or just some grub on any old day.  If you're interested in a full list of festivities, there are certainly a lot of choices, check them out here.

Can't wait for baseball season? Whether you like to watch, go to games, or just use a game on tv to lull you into a boredom-nap, you may be interested to know that White Sox pitchers and catchers report this Friday.

Last but certainly not least - Walker Stalker Con, the comicon-esque walking dead festival is this Saturday and Sunday at Navy Pier.  Nothing like combining the tackiest tourist attraction in the city with a zombie-themed costume party....

In Bucktown:

If you're looking to capture the essence of summer fun in the depths of winter you may want to check out Double Door's Bags League tonight.  Cornhole, tailgate, doghouse - whatever you want to call it. Drink a few beers and throw bean bags across the room.  There's also a pun-slam (like a poetry slam, but with puns) happening at Double Door as well.  A whole night of good clean fun!

As some of you may know, our cat Maggie, has not been known for her friendly demeaner these past 18 years or so.  However, it seems that she has turned a corner and will now happily jump up on your lap for some pets!  It's actually striking us as very odd behavior, but next time you #stayatrays you can (probably) safely say hi to her!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Valentines Day

Still don't have plans for Valentines Day?

Cherub is an electronic-indie duo from Nashville who are playing just a few blocks away from Ray's at Concord Music Hall. Most of Cherub's songs inject humor into honest accounts of their lives. Their song "Doses and Mimosas" was a viral hit. 

Spend your Valentine's day drinking at the The Chop Shop in nearby Wicker Park is hosting the "Brew of Hearts" event. Local brewers like Begyle, Goose Island, Kimbell and Rude Hippo will gather there for an afternoon of delicious food and unique beers. There will be dj's, a photobooth, and many more treats. Find tickets --> here 

Gorilla Tango Theatre in Bucktown is celebrating Valentines with it's usual slate of burlesque shows. Starting at 9pm, A Nude Hope: A Star Wars Burlesque combines comedy, burlesque, disco & sic-fi to make a unique viewing experience for you and your loved one.

Friday, February 6, 2015

What's Going on During the Chicago Auto Show?

What's Going on During the Chicago Auto Show?

There's no denying that the Chicago Auto Show is an institution; it's been held over 100 times, it's one of the biggest draws to Chicago in the winter, and it can be really interesting.  But while you're here, take a few of our tips:

DO: Show up on the right dates - February 14th-22nd at McCormick Place (2301 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL)
DON'T: Pretend you're getting arrested when standing next to a police car on display.  it's been played out, trust us on this one.
DO: Look outside the neighborhood for hotels.  Yes, we at Ray's Bucktown B&B are not impartial, but downtown hotels know how close they are to one of the biggest tourism events of the season, and their rates will reflect that. Besides...Bucktown/Wicker Park is wayyyyy cooler than the loop - stay at Ray's!
DON'T: Hit on the auto show girls.  You know, the ones standing next to the cars, doing their job.
DO: Take advantage of the city!  Chicago has more than just the convention center - check out a museum, a restaurant! A lot of museums offer free or reduced admission in slower months during the winter.
DON'T: et the weather get you down.  There are a lot of cool things about winter in Chicago, and if you dress appropriately, seeing Lake Michigan frozen over is pretty cool.
DO: dress appropriately for above activity.  Redundancy is sometimes necessary.
DON'T: Forget to stamp your hand when you enter - if you make the decision to pass over the food court and get some real food for lunch, you'll need that stamp to get back in.

Need more info? Check out the event FAQs here.

But enough about the Biggest Auto Show in existence, what ELSE is going on around here?


Yes the Auto Show may be cool.  But you know who is even cooler?

Dr. Dre....which's DRE DAY!

yes, dre day is a thing.

The Double Door - one of the neighborhoods most well-known venues is holding an event in his honor on February 20th. check out more details here, and get tickets here.

At Ray's:

Back at the homefront we are gearing up for our 10th Anniversary! March 7th marks 10 years of putting butts in beds in Bucktown/Wicker Park and we couldn't be more excited to strive even harder to make your stay as great as it can be!

Bonus for you time, here is our pancake recipe:

1 cup wheat bran
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups whole-wheat flour
4 tablespoons baking powder
8 tablespoons cinnamon sugar (otherwise known as 1/2 a cup)
4 eggs
5 cups whole milk
1 cup (ish) melted butter.

Mix dry and liquid ingredients separately, then shisk together, let stand for 5 minutes of "fluff" time. (fluffing is very important)'

Pro tip: mix the butter in last, it will clump less (at least that's how we do it)

This makes  A LOT of pancake batter, feel free to cut it in half.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Bloomingdale Trail - The 606

The abandoned old train rail near Ray's is being converted into a nearly three-mile elevated trail, as well as five neighborhood parks. The project is call "The 606". This urban oasis will benefit Wicker Park, Bucktown (that's us!), Humboldt Park, & Logan Square.
The 606 brings together history, design, arts, trails for bikers, walkers & runners, event spaces and green open space. There are family days (children 3-12 years old) with fun, hands-on activities. For a list of fitness events click --> here
To ensure the safety of the trail there will be police on foot with body cameras, and bike patrols. The trail runs from Ashland and Bloomingdale avenues on the east, to Ridgeway and Bloomingdale avenues in Humboldt Park on the west. It will open at 6am and close at 11pm daily.