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.
Chef Joe Doren honed his craft working in acclaimed Chicago restaurants, including Blackbird, Longman & Eagle and Sixteen. Zagat noted his culinary talents and named Doren one of Chicago’s “30 under 30” in 2012. A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, Doren cites his designer wife Kim as the source of his inspiration. He strives to capture the lively vibe of Gideon Sweet in the cuisine, ensuring every guest can savor the dynamic atmosphere.
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.
Join Us For a PATIO GRILL PARTY WITH CHEF Jared Wentworth of MORDECAI, SUNDAY JUNE 24th 4pm-9pm!