Cleetus Friedman Takes Over the Kitchen at Fountainhead

In Beer News by Karl

Really, everything you need to know is in the title, but the official press release follows. This is a perfect fit, and while we’ve always enjoyed the frites and monkey bread (and hope at least the latter remains on the menu still) the food always paled in comparison to the great beer here.

Today, that changes. You can remind yourself of how the place was on day one, with our original Fountainhead post here.

Even though it was a beer-geek destination from the day it opened, a talented new beer director and great chef definitely boosts the Fountainhead’s profile to the top tier of beer in Chicago. We can’t wait to see what Chef Friedman does with the rooftop menu, and look forward to future beer collaboration releases.




Chicago, IL—(March 21, 2013)—Fountainhead, a well-known craft beer and whisk(e)y bar in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood, is excited to announce the addition of Chef Cleetus Friedman as its new executive chef. In keeping with Chef Friedman’s focus on seasonality, he will revamp the current menu to place more emphasis on local, sustainable food. Each menu item will be designed to complement the stellar craft beer, wine, whiskey and spirits selection at Fountainhead. Chef Friedman will revamp Fountainhead’s various menus including: main floor, roof deck garden, brunch, and will aim to begin slowly rolling out these changes later this Spring. Chef Friedman will also focus on implementing other menu changes at a later date.

“Fountainhead is a perfect fit for me,” says Chef Friedman. “This is an opportunity for me to do all the things I am passionate about with food and beverage under one roof! I have been a fan and a regular customer since Fountainhead opened. I am thrilled that I will get to put my stamp on the menu and do what I do best–pair good food and good drink. Plus, I stay in Ravenswood!”

Chef Cleetus Friedman is well-known around Chicago as a chef who has worked to revolutionize the local food scene in the city. Most easily recognizable as the face and owner of the recently-closed catering company and delicatessen, City Provisions, Chef Friedman has always been and will continue to be dedicated to educating diners on what it means to be sustainable, local and healthy.

“We are thrilled to bring Chef Cleetus Friedman’s fantastic food vision to pair with our world-class beverage program,” says Aaron Zacharias, managing partner of Fountainhead. “Cleetus is everything that Fountainhead stands for. We couldn’t be happier to be working with someone who shares our manic passion for the world of food and drinks.”

Adds co-owner, Darby Putman: “We are thrilled to have Chef Friedman as part of our team and cannot wait to see what he brings to our food program. We feel it is important that we take our time with the implementation and execution of Chef Friedman’s menus so that guests and staff can have the best experience possible.”

Chef Cleetus Friedman is joining Fountainhead’s the stellar management team including front of house manager Chris Kafcas and beer director Mike Maloney. Chef Friedman’s new menu will begin to roll out at Fountainhead later this spring.

About Fountainhead:

Located at the intersection of the Ravenswood, Lincoln Square and North Center neighborhoods, Fountainhead offers an “old world” yet innovative drinking and dining experience. Fountainhead has a comprehensive yet distinctive selection of beers, wines, whiskies and spirits with special emphasis on local and regional distilleries and craft beers. Those less familiar with Fountainhead’s broad beverage menu can rely on an educated, approachable staff to make recommendations.

With décor in the form of handcrafted mahogany woodwork, seating alcove with a fireplace and a fully landscaped rooftop garden reflects a comfortable, old world theme. The unique, asymmetrical bar creates seating areas with individual ambiences. Fountainhead’s Barrel Room is perfect for a small private gathering but will be available for public use when not reserved.

With co-owner/manager Aaron Zacharias of The Bar on Buena at the helm, and partners Scott Morgan, Darby Putman and Dave Putman bringing along their unique skill sets, Fountainhead is the destination for the beverage aficionado on the prowl for their favorite or rare libation, as well as for the casual customer seeking a new yet uncomplicated hangout. Join the Fountainhead mailing list here, connect on Facebook or Twitter.


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About the Author



Karl has written about food, travel and beer for Chicago Magazine, Thrillist, Time Out Chicago, AskMen and more. His book, Beer Lovers Chicago, is now available via Amazon and other booksellers.If you're buying, he's likely having a porter or a pale ale.

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