Always Andersonville Monthly is a podcast produced by the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce with Transistor Radio; it brings together the month's interviews from the weekly Always Andersonville podcast.  



Part One’s guests are:

Six members of Steep Theatre in their newly opened Boxcar venue. Steep is the quintessential storefront theater and is committed to producing new and under-produced plays that tell the stories of ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Their current sold out production Red Rex is about a small theater company embarking on an explosive new play with the hope of finally breaking it big and has already been named one of Chicago Tribune's top 10 Chicago shows for 2019. Located at 1115 W. Berwyn, you can find this intimate theater just two doors down from the Berwyn El Station.

Co-owner Julia Zhu and Chef Fred Ramos of Bar Roma. Bar Roma specializes in house-made pastas, a variety of meatballs, and other Roman inspired dishes. They also feature a daily happy hour from 5-6:30PM which offers half-priced appetizers and meatballs. You can find this Zagat rated “Must Try” Italian restaurant at 5101 N Clark.

In Part Two, guests are:

Terry Opalek and Michael Frontier. Terry and Michael founded Terry’s Toffee in 2002 and sold the business in 2015. Currently they co-facilitate a variety of workshops using their many years of life and business experiences to help others connect with their place and purpose on this planet. Both Terry and Michael are also certified reiki masters.

Martin Cournane of Munster Restaurant Group. Martin is the co-owner of Lady Gregory’s and Octavio Cantina & Kitchen in Andersonville, as well as LG’s Bar in Old Town and Wildein Lakeview. Lady Gregory’s, an Irish Gastro Pub located at 5260 N. Clark, serves up a delicious menu and proudly boasts over 300 whiskeys.  Located just up the street at 5310 N. Clark, Octavio is a love letter to Mexico and serves modern Mexican food from the heart.

Show notes for Steep Theatre

Show notes for Bar Roma

Show notes for Terry and Michael

Show notes for Martin Cournane

This months guests are:
Al Liu, vice president of coffee at Colectivo. The Milwaukee-based coffee company recently opened its largest location in Chicago at 5245 N. Clark in Andersonville. Colectivo provides house-made coffee, tea, seasonal drinks, breakfast items and more to patrons and is well-known for its bold designs and customized approaches to its cafes.

Jes Scheinpflug and Kate Harrington-Rosen, co-founders of the Praxis Group. Praxis redefines group and organizational cultures so that people feel empowered to bring their full selves to the table and offers support to businesses in creating  more inclusive environments.

Brenda Webb, executive director of Chicago Filmmakers. Chicago Filmmakers is a nonprofit media arts organization that fosters the creation, appreciation and understanding of film and video as media for artistic and personal expression. In 2018, Chicago Filmmakers moved from its second-floor home in Andersonville to 5720 N. Ridge Avenue, a historic 1920s firehouse they fully renovated with classrooms, a screening room, office space, and projection facilities. This episode was recorded on-location at the firehouse! 

Laura Austin, Brenda Webb, Sara Dinges and Andy Miles outside Chicago Filmmakers’ new home

Laura Austin, Brenda Webb, Sara Dinges and Andy Miles outside Chicago Filmmakers’ new home

Grant Kessler, a Chicago Market owner and sits on the board of directors. Established in 2013, Chicago Market will be a big, bright, beautiful community-owned grocery store which exists to rebuild the connection between food producers and consumers. While Chicago Market is not open yet, it will be coming to the Wilson CTA Station in Uptown in the 13,000-square-foot, restored historic Gerber Building.

Amy Giordano, owner of Gus Giordano Dance School on 5230 North Clark St. They offer a variety of classes, from summer camps, to classes for children as young as two, and even adult classes. Amy also runs the Gus Giordano Jazz Legacy Foundation, which aims to create the same culture, uplifting spirit and dedication to spreading the joy of jazz that her parents, Gus and Peg, gave to thousands of people. The foundation funds scholarships to dancers of all ages, sponsors performances and masterclasses to schools in the Chicagoland area.

Show notes for Al Liu

Show notes for Praxis Group

Show notes for Brenda Webb

Show notes for Grant Kessler

Show notes for Amy Giordano

Amanda Norcross with Joelle and Laura

Amanda Norcross with Joelle and Laura

Lee and Miguel Cano, owners of The Coffee Studio located at 5628 N. Clark. The Coffee Studio is a modern, independent espresso bar focused on expertly crafting delicious drinks and their mission is to create authentic, warm, comfortable experiences that make high-quality coffees and teas more approachable and accessible for everyone.

Amanda Norcross co-owner and shopkeeper of Norcross & Scott, located at 1476 W. Berwyn. Inside the shop, you’ll find a an array of home goods, furniture and art including wire baskets from Bend Goods and slip cast porcelain objects by local artist and resident Laura Novy. Norcross and Scott also specializes in full service residential interior design, striving to create spaces which are well edited, thoughtfully designed, beautiful and functional.

Sound engineer Andy Miles with Scott Martin

Sound engineer Andy Miles with Scott Martin

Scott Martin owner of SVEA Restaurant at 5236 N. Clark and Simon’s Tavern at 5210 N. Clark. Since the Depression, Simon's has anchored Clark Street just north of Foster and Scott has been an anchor of this community. His love for this neighborhood is effusive. You can see Scott walking his dog, greeting patrons at the restaurant and bar, waving hello off the rooftop connected to his apartment above Tilly’s or dressed up as a Viking multiple times a year, most famously during Midsommarfest.    

Alderman Patrick O’Connor. Elected in 1983, Alderman O’Connor has represented the residents of the north side of Chicago since the age of 28. As a lifelong Chicagoan, he has worked tirelessly over the years to serve the community and better the lives of his constituents. On the 40th Ward website it reads, “There’s no more local government than an aldermanic public servant, you are in and among your constituents. You live there, you grew up there, you see the people you serve every day and you feel honored to do your best for everyone.”

Show notes for Lee and Miguel Cano

Show notes for Amanda Norcross

Show notes for Scott Martin

Show notes for Alderman O’Connor

In our first ever on-location episode, Laura and Sara visit with artist and shopkeeper Jean Cate (pictured below)Jean is the owner of Martha Mae: Arts Supplies and Beautiful Thingsan Andersonville brick & mortar gallery and online shop offering a curated selection of art, art supplies and beautiful useful things, where creativity is a way of life, located at 5407 N. Clark.

In the show’s second segment, Laura and Sara are joined by Dr. Kapil Kella, owner of Lakeshore Dental Studio, a modern dental office which offers a welcoming family friendly environment, leading-edge technology, and easy scheduling located at 5505 N Clark.


In a special bonus episode release to help bring awareness to September's National Suicide Prevention Month, Laura and Sara are in conversation with Iggy Ladden, therapist and co founder of the Chicago Therapy Collective. CTC mobilizes to create safe, just, and inclusive Chicago neighborhoods for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming (T/GNC) individuals and communities.

And finally, we hear from Mark Robertson and Mike Sullivan, founders of Root Collective and owners of The SoFo Tap at 4923 N Clark and newly opened Meeting House Tavern located at 5025 N Clark. Both establishments offer a relaxed atmosphere, comfortable decor and an array of events and nightlife geared to appeal to various demographics of the LGBTQ community.

Larry Vodak and Sara Dinges

Larry Vodak and Sara Dinges

Joey Cranford, co-owner and CEO of Chicago Magic Lounge where the main attraction is the magic and can be experienced at three different spaces throughout the venue: at the front bar, in the 120 seat main cabaret-style theatre, and the more intimate 43 seat 654 Club. Chicago Magic Lounge is located at 5050 N. Clark Street in Andersonville and is open for magic, signature cocktails, and small bites seven days a week.

Larry Vodak, owner and shopkeeper of Scout, an urban furniture shop and design business located at 5221 N. Clark.  At Scout you will find vintage, reclaimed, re-purposed furniture and industrial accessories.  

Terese Lang McDonald, owner of Candyality located at 5225 N. Clark.  Candyality carries thousands of bulk items and sweet treats including gummies, sours, taffy, and more. If you want to view paradise, close your eyes, make a wish and enter into a world of pure imagination. Just look for the sweet corner candy shop next to the blue Dala horse in Andersonville.

Bob Goins, owner of Classes on Clark.  Bob teaches guitar to people of all ages, and is currently located in the beautiful space above Brimfield at 5219 N. Clark. During this episode, Bob even plays a lovely rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to demonstrate fingerstyle guitar for our listeners!

Alma Gutierrez, founder and owner of Cassona Home Furnishings and Accessories, located at 5241 N Clark. Cassona has been serving the Andersonville community by offering affordable and high quality furniture since 1999.  Shoppers can discover smaller scale items such as vases and picture frames, as well as larger scale items like sofas and tables.

View show notes for Joey Cranford

View show notes for Larry Vodak

View show notes for Terese Lang McDonald

View show notes for Bob Goins

View show notes for Alma Gutierrez

Edgewater Candles' Mark Towns and Stephen Pearlman

Edgewater Candles' Mark Towns and Stephen Pearlman

Harry Osterman, alderman of the 48th Ward, which includes the communities of Edgewater, Andersonville and Uptown’s Argyle Street. Alderman Osterman is a lifelong resident of the 48th Ward and prior to becoming alderman in 2011, Harry served in Springfield for 11 years as state representative of the 14th District. He is known for boots-on-ground public service, focusing on improving public safety, local neighborhood schools and supporting small businesses.

Candle creators Mark Towns and Stephen Pearlman (pictured), the duo behind our local favorite, Edgewater Candles. With scents like Cedar Lavender, Tobacco Tonka, and the ever-popular Fraser Fir during the winter months, these soy wax candles will warm up any office, home or studio. You can currently find Edgewater Candles stocked at Foursided in Andersonville (5061 N. Clark), at many markets around Chicago, and at the Andersonville Farmers Market this season.

Hallie Borden, owner of Milk Handmade and Honey Bridal, located next door to each other at 5137 and 5135 N. Clark.  Since 2012 Milk Handmade has been a destination women’s boutique that specializes in merchandise from local and independent designers and features not only apparel but one-of-a-kind jewelry, accessories, soaps and candles.

Chef Jennifer Kim and general manager Tegan Brace

Chef Jennifer Kim and general manager Tegan Brace

Ted Fournier, owner of Orange Shoe Personal Fitness Andersonville, located at 5609 N Clark Street. Orange Shoe is known for its amazing customer service and family-style vibe with options for cardio, strength and cross training, as well as kettle bell and yoga, and even nutrition counseling! Ted has quite the story to tell about overcoming a life-changing injury with the powerful remedy of proper physical therapy and training.

Chef Jennifer Kim and general manager Tegan Brace (pictured) of Passerotto, which opened its doors in May at 5420 N Clark. The Chicago Tribune called Passerotto “a culinary love letter to growing up Korean-American” and having grown up eating spaghetti with kimchi with her brother, Chef Jennifer brings fun Korean fare to Andersonville.

View show notes for Harry Osterman

View show notes for Mark Towns and Stephen Pearlman

View show notes for Hallie Borden

View show notes for Ted Fournier 

View show notes for Jennifer Kim and Tegan Brace


(PART ONE) Maybelline Pereda, the owner and founder of Cescas Margarita Bar and Grill, a Mexican restaurant located in the heart of Andersonville at 5403 N Clark; Rivendell’s Theatre's  artistic director Tara Mallen and ensemble members Krystel McNeil and Tuckie White, who discuss Rivendell's production of "The Cake," which had its Midwest premier at the Andersonville theater, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue.

Pictured: hosts Laura Austin & Joelle Scillia with guest Julieanne Ehr

Pictured: hosts Laura Austin & Joelle Scillia with guest Julieanne Ehr

(PART TWO) Searah Deysach, the owner of  Early to Bed, Chicago’s only women-oriented, trans-friendly, boy-friendly, queer, and all gender positive sex shop located at 5044 N Clark; freelance photographer Mike Rivera, who discusses his pathway to photography and what it was like to photograph over 20 Andersonville businesses for the very special publication of the newly redesigned 2018-19 edition of the Andersonville Neighborhood Guide; and Julieanne Ehre, founder and director of Pivot Arts and the Pivot Arts Festival. With a focus on creative producing, Pivot Arts bridges the gap between theater, dance, and contemporary performances and has showcased in Andersonville several times.  

View show notes for part 1 (Maybelline)

View show notes for part 2 (Tara, Krystel, Tuckie)

View show notes for part 3 (Searah)

View show notes for part 4 (Mike)

View show notes for part 5 (Julieanne)


This month's edition includes interviews with four guests: Rick Verkler, the general manager of The Guesthouse Hotel (4872 N Clark); Sonat Birnecker Hart, co-owner, president, and founder of Andersonville’s KOVAL Distillery (5121 N Ravenswood); Matthew Buccilla (pictured), co-owner of Andersonville's newly established modern men's lifestyle and supplies store, Cowboys and Astronauts (1478 W Summerdale Ave); and Karin Moen Abercrombie, executive director for the Swedish American Museum (located at 5211 N Clark), which has been an Andersonville institution since 1976!  Interviews are conducted by Laura Austin, Joelle Scillia, and Sara Dinges.

View show notes for part 1 (Karin)

View show notes for part 2 (Matthew)

View show notes for part 3 (Sonat)

View show notes for part 4 (Rick)

Co-host Laura Austin and episode guest Georgia Jones

Co-host Laura Austin and episode guest Georgia Jones

On this inaugural episode, Laura Austin and Sara Dinges talk to Michael Bransford, owner of local bistro Vincent. Michael's story is a love story -- one about falling for this Midwest neighborhood in the big city of Chicago after leaving New York City.  And then Joelle Scillia and Laura talk to Georgia Jones, owner of Chicago Mindful Psychotherapy located at 5537 N Clark. Georgia tells us all about her pathway to mindfulness, learning to incorporate mindful activities into everyday life, and wanting to promote a family-friendly practice in Andersonville, the neighborhood she's called home for over 18 years. 

View show notes for Part 1

View show notes for Part 2

For more information about program guests and their businesses, please visit Always Andersonville: The Podcast.  Click here to learn more about the show's hosts.

Always Andersonville: The Podcast and Always Andersonville Monthly are recorded and edited by Andy Miles in Studio C at Transistor.  Learn more about Studio C here