After working together twenty years ago in the kitchen as mentor and protégé, we became great friends and have always wanted to do a project together. Now we’ve come full circle – opening something we love that we hope you will too.
We took everything we learned in a fine dining environment and stripped it down to what matters most. Our shared vision is celebrating great food, drinks and friendship. Come share in the fun as we combine forces.
Matthias + Graham
Chef + Proprietor
Matthias Merges is the chef and proprietor of Folkart Restaurant Management, a craft-driven hospitality group focused on operational excellence, state of the art design and a deep-seated commitment to locally sourced ingredients. Founded in 2010, the conceptually diverse organization includes Hyde Park neighborhood eatery A10, award-winning cocktail bar Billy Sunday, Wrigleyville beer pub Lucky Dorr, and craft brew house Old Irving Brewing.
A longtime contributor to Chicago’s culinary and hospitality community, Merges is deeply passionate about giving back and leveraging the industry’s resources for philanthropy. He is the co-founder of Pilot Light, a locally-based charity that connects chefs and teachers, using food to support effective classroom teaching and learning.
Chef + Proprietor
Graham Elliot is an award-winning chef, restaurateur, television personality and cookbook author. During his early career, Elliot was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs,” received multiple James Beard Foundation nominations and earned two Michelin stars at his eponymous restaurant.
After 10 seasons with the MasterChef and the MasterChef Jr. franchise, Chef Elliot joined Bravo’s Emmy award-winning cooking competition Top Chef as a full-time judge. As an avid music lover, Elliot also acts as the Culinary Director of the Lollapalooza music festival, a position he’s held for the past decade.
A renowned beverage expert with a passion for rare and vintage spirits, Bachman began his career at Charlie Trotter’s iconic restaurant, working closely under Chef Matthias Merges. Their friendship led to Bachman’s role in Yusho and Billy Sunday, developing award-winning cocktail programs and elevating Billy Sunday to national acclaim. Bachman took on the role of Beverage Director for Folkart Restaurant Management, before leaving in 2015 to launch Sole Agent, a brokerage firm focused on rare and defunct spirits. As a valued member of the Folkart family, he joined the Gideon Sweet team to shape the bar program, lending his creative expertise to a first-of-its-kind cocktail program.
Part of the Folkart Restaurant Management team since its inception, Timothy Koenig initially led Yusho as General Manager and Beverage Coordinator. The position fortified his passion for the realm of wine, sake and spirits, inspiring Koenig to earn his certification as an Advanced Sake Professional from the Sake Education Council in Tokyo. His passion for unique world beverages is matched only by his dedication to facilitating an environment of teamwork and uncompromising hospitality.
Executive Pastry Chef
A pedigreed pastry chef with experience in highly acclaimed restaurants across Chicago, Mari Katsumura is known for her progressive American style, founded upon classical technique and the use of artisanal ingredients.
Most recently, Katsumura opened Lakeview’s Entente with Chef Brian Fisher, which was awarded a Michelin star this year. Previously she worked in a number of well-regarded kitchens, including Acadia, Blackbird, Grace, The Pump Room, Boka and Frontera Grill.
A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Katsumura also studied at The French Pastry School in Chicago.
Our Kitchen Is Now Open Until 1am Thursday, Friday & Saturday!