Hey Nonny Brings Cabaret to Arlington Heights During Chicago Cabaret Week, March 20-30

February 18, 2020

Life is often a cabaret at Hey Nonny, Chicago’s best new music venue, but never more so than during Chicago Cabaret Week, March 20-30. This year Hey Nonny is a featured venue, which will bring the biggest and most dazzling theatrical shows to the suburbs from Broadway superstars to Arlington Heights native, Carly Stocking.

“We’ve been producing great cabaret shows since we opened,” said Hey Nonny Co-Owner Chris Dungan.  “Chicago Cabaret Week is when the rest of Chicago will find out how wonderfully cabaret shows work in Hey Nonny’s music venue room.”

Chicago Cabaret Week is the brainchild of the Chicago Cabaret Professionals and some of its related show producing organizations. “For fans of cabaret as well as those who have never been to a show, this is a great opportunity to experience some of the best artists in the country,” says Anne Burnell, President of Chicago Cabaret Professionals.

Hey Nonny’s Chicago Cabaret Week schedule includes:

Friday, March 20- performance by Aubrey Logan, American pop and jazz singer (and trombone player!)

Tuesday, March 24- Paramount Theater music director Tom Vendafreddo and Broadway veteran (Le Miz) Marya Grandy returns to Hey Nonny with an array of musical theater nuggets

Wednesday, March 25- brings Adam Heisler and Nick Cox of the band Seventh Heaven back to the Hey Nonny stage with their intimate takes on their (mostly) original songs.

Thursday, March 26- Blues Hall of Fame legend Joe Louis Walker will perform his slashing blues tunes

Friday, March 27- presents soulful singer-songwriter Toby Lightman

Saturday, March 28- two shows (at 7 pm and 9:30 pm) feature the wildly popular Cabaret Carly series. Cabaret Carly is a monthly cabaret show hosted by Arlington Heights native, Carly Stocking, with a changing cast of young Chicago musical comedy stars. Each Cafe Carly show is focused on a particular theme, with “Sweet Dreams” guiding the songs and bits for the March 28 shows.

Tickets for all of the Hey Nonny Cabaret Week shows are available at www.heynonny.com.

Hey Nonny will also be open for dinner for Cabaret guests interested in dining before the shows. Reservations are recommended.

About Hey Nonny
Hey Nonny is the new Chicago-favorite music venue and farm-to-table bistro, which opened in Fall 2018 in Arlington Heights. It’s already established a reputation as the best small music venue in the Midwest. Hey Nonny was awarded the 2020 “Emerging Business of the Year” award by the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce. For more information about Hey Nonny and its upcoming shows visit heynonny.com and on Facebook and Instagram @heynonnyah.

Hey Nonny to Host New Hot Dram! Whiskey Festival

January 6, 2020

On a cold night in January, Arlington Heights bistro Hey Nonny, located at 10 S. Vail Ave, will host its inaugural Hot Dram! Whiskey Festival. The Hot Dram! Whiskey Festival will offer patrons the chance to taste over 50 different whiskeys on Wednesday night, January 22, 2020.

“We have lots of guests who are really interested in whiskeys and would like to taste and compare,” said Hey Nonny co-owner Chris Dungan. “We thought it would be fun to set aside a night where the tastings could be interesting and organized.”

Whiskey types will be grouped in the Hey Nonny Bistro room, so that bourbons are in one area, rye whiskeys in another, non-bourbon American whiskeys in yet another area, and of Scotch whiskeys in their own location. “We’ve assembled an impressive collection of spirits that all fall under the “whiskey” label,” said Hey Nonny General Manager Garrett Supples. “Our community is going to love this. This festival will be an annual event at Hey Nonny.”

Technically, a “whiskey” is alcohol distilled from a grain-based sour mash. A real “whiskey” may not have flavorings. The tastes are governed strictly by the grains used, filtering and barrel aging process and length of the aging. A “dram” is a small taste of whiskey.

“Just the Scotches are an amazing collection,” said Head Bartender Zac Bizub. “We’ll have all the usual suspects, but also some obscure favorites, including Craigellachie, Auchentoshan, Monkey Shoulder, and that really smooth Macallan 15.”  In addition, the Hot Dram! Whiskey Festival will feature twenty bourbons, and nearly a dozen rye whiskeys.

Hey Nonny’s Hot Dram! Whiskey Festival will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. and is priced at $50 per person, which includes the tastings and hors d’oeurves.

Hey Nonny is the new Chicago-favorite music venue and Midwest bistro, which opened in 2018 in Arlington Heights. It has already established a national reputation as the best small music venue in the Chicago area. For more information visit heynonny.com or on Facebook and Instagram @heynonnyah.

Hey Nonny Announces Winter Blues Summit

December 18, 2019

Chicago’s Only Indoor Winter Blues Festival featuring Renowned Blues Talent
on Four Stages, January 31-February 2.

A galaxy of Chicago’s biggest blues stars will perform Friday, January 31 through Sunday, February 2 at Hey Nonny at 10 S. Vail in Arlington Heights for the inaugural Hey Nonny Winter Blues Summit.  Leading the headliners is a unique performance by blues legends, brothers Jimmy and Syl Johnson. The Winter Blues Summit will take place on four stages all within an indoor walk from Hey Nonny.

“Just about every Chicago blues great will be appearing at the Winter Blues Summit,” said Hey Nonny co-owner Chip Brooks.  “This will be the coolest indoor blues festival in the world – you park right next door and then once you’re inside, you don’t have to go back outside all day.”  There is a large municipal parking garage with free parking right immediately south of Hey Nonny.

Joining Jimmy and Syl Johnson on the Blues Summit stages will be the Kinsey Report, Toronzo Cannon, Li’l Ed and the Blues Imperials, Joanna Connor, John Primer, and more than a dozen Chicago blues greats.  “The Summit’s largest stage will be in the Metropolis Grand Ballroom, right upstairs from Hey Nonny,” said co-owner Chris Dungan. “That room will hold up to 400 for the Winter Blues Summit.  We’ll also have shows in the Ballroom’s Campbell-Vail Room, and in the cozy Big Shot Piano Lounge right downstairs from us.”  With four stages, there will be non-stop action for blues fans, beginning with the kick-off show by the Corey Dennison Band at 6 p.m. on Friday, January 31.

The Winter Blues Summit will also feature a panel discussion on Saturday, February 1 at 4:30 p.m. by some of Chicago’s greatest sidemen, including Bob Stroger, Rico McFarland, Donald Kinsey, Marty Sammon, and Billy Flynn. All of which together have toured and recorded with every major blues star from Buddy Guy to Otis Rush to James Cotton to Albert King, Pinetop Perkins to Kim Wilson and, in Kinsey’s case, Bob Marley. Joining the panelists will be filmmaker Scott D. Rosenbaum, who will follow the panel discussion with an exclusive screening of his award-winning film Sidemen: Long Road To Glory.

The Winter Blues Summit is also unique in that a 3-day pass includes not one, but two Blues Brunches. Both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Hey Nonny and the Metropolis Ballroom will offer pass holders an eye-opening Blues Brunch with live music to get the day going. While beverages are not included, special Blues Bloody Mary’s and other specialty drinks will be available at the brunches.

On Sunday the Winter Blues Summit will close out with an early afternoon session by Li’l Ed and the Blues Imperials in the Metropolis Ballroom. “We’ll be done with everything by 2:30 in the afternoon,” said Brooks.  “It is Super Bowl Sunday and we want patrons to be able to go to their football parties.”

Tickets for the full 3-day Winter Blues Summit include the sidemen panel discussion, screening Long Road to Glory and two Blues Brunches — are $175 each.  But, through Christmas Eve, the 3-day Winter Blues Summit pass will be on sale for $159. One-day passes are also available. All tickets – and the full Winter Blues Summit line-up — are available at www.HeyNonny.com.

The Winter Blues Summit sponsors include the Chicago Blues Guide, Illinois Entertainer, Victoria Amplifiers, WDCB radio, Chicago Organ Company, and Bluesin Chicago.com. Wingate by Wyndham in Arlington Heights is the official hotel sponsor of the event offering a special room rate of $79 for ticket holders. Attendees can call 847-434-0300 and ask for room rate for the Blues Summit. The Winter Blues Summit is co-produced by Hey Nonny and Straight Arrow Productions.

Brothers Jimmy and Sylvester “Syl” Johnson were born and grew up in Holly Springs, Mississippi, but moved to Chicago in the 1950’s, where they quickly became part of the exploding Chicago electric blues scene with pioneers Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Little Walter.  Through those early years, Jimmy Johnson played with Freddy King, Albert King, Magic Sam, Otis Rush and Eddy Clearwater.  Syl Johnson also played with Magic Sam (his neighbor), as well as Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells, and Howlin’ Wolf.  He went on to release the hit records “Different Strokes” and “is it Because I’m Black” on the Twinight record label. He also recorded “Take Me To The River” and “We Did It” for the Hi records label.  In the 1990’s, Syl Johnson became one of the most sampled artists in the hip-hop world by artists such as Wu Tang Clan, the Geto Boys and Public Enemy. Jimmy Johnson is 91 and Syl Johnson is 83, and the two eminent brothers have not appeared together in years. The Hey Nonny Winter Blues Summit will re-unite them backed by one of the finest collection of blues players going today the Big Time Friends.

Donald Kinsey will be fronting his Kinsey Report band at the Hey Nonny Winter Blues Summit.  Kinsey is the son of famed Chicago blues star, Big Daddy Kinsey. While Donald Kinsey is steeped in Chicago blues, and has played and toured with blues stars such as Albert King, he achieved even greater fame as a member of Bob Marley’s band, the Wailers. Kinsey has also toured with Peter Tosh and Roy Buchanan.

Li’l Ed Williams was born and raised in Chicago, and brought to the blues by his famous uncle, J.B. Hutto.  Ed’s swirling, snarling slide guitar playing, searing singing, and ebullient spirit have, with his band, the Blues Imperials, graced the stages of blues clubs all over Chicago, as well as festivals all over the world (and Hey Nonny’s stage last New Year’s Eve).  Li’l Ed and the Blues Imperials have twice been named the Blues Music Awards Band of the Year.  Li’l Ed records for Alligator Records.

Toronzo Cannon was born and bred in Chicago, growing up in on the south side near the Robert Taylor Homes and the famous Theresa’s Lounge.  After coming up playing guitar with Wayne Baker Brooks, L.V. Banks and Joanna Connor, Cannon formed his own band in 2001 and since then, has toured the world with his blazing Chicago blues style.  During the day, when not touring, Cannon drives a C.T.A. bus.  His 2016 album The Chicago Way was nominated for a Blues Music Award as 2017 Album of the Year.  Cannon records for Chicago’s Alligator Records.

Joanna Connor was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, but has called Chicago home for her entire musical career. She is a virtuosa guitarist.  Since she formed her own band in 1987 at age 25, Connor has been tearing up the Chicago blues scene, appearing regularly at Kingston Mines, as well as touring the country.  She records for M.C. Records.

Hey Nonny is the new Chicago-favorite music venue and Midwestern bistro, which opened in 2018 in Arlington Heights. It has already established a national reputation as the best small music venue in the Chicago area.   

Straight Arrow Productions is a long-time producer of Chicago music events, recordings and national tours. Formed in 1982 as a festival production company Straight Arrow has expanded into all avenues of music production including Artist Management and Talent Coordination.

Passero to Open in Larger Space in Arlington Heights on Dec. 12 Offering Hand-Rolled Pizzas & Pastas, Sprawling Bar and Nightly Specials

December 12, 2019

Owner/Chef Matt Peota is thrilled to announce that Passero, his popular trattoria-inspired American restaurant, will open this Thursday at 3 S. Evergreen in downtown Arlington Heights. Passero, which opened at 5 W. Campbell in October 2017, has moved down the street to take over the old California Pizza Kitchen space. The restaurant boasts a 100-seat dining room with an adjacent Chef’s Table, hand tossed pizzas and pastas crafted by new chef Joe Dellacroce and Peota, beautiful bar and focus on local artistry.

“Myself and my wife Rikki are elated to open our new, larger Passero which we have poured our hearts and creativity into for months. Passero translates to “sparrow” in Italian, and like the sparrow, this neighborhood eatery symbolizes joy, innovation and hard work,” comments Peota. “Chef Joe Dellacroce has joined our team and we have worked closely to develop an incredible winter menu. We hope the residents of Arlington Heights and surrounding areas will continue to enjoy Passero’s staples plus our new dishes.”

Chef Dellacroce is formerly the Executive Chef at Lettuce Entertain You’s famed Italian restaurant Antico Posto. These two pizza masterminds created a perfectly crispy, charred brick oven crust using organic Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes and house made, hand stretched mozzarella. The pizza dough is cold fermented 36 hours and cooked at 800 degrees in the unique gas and wood fired oven. Pizza toppings include local and sourced uniquely ingredients from Italy, plus homemade sausages and meatballs.

Chef-inspired pizzas include:
Spicy Sicilian local fennel sausage + fontina cheese + pickled cherry bomb peppers + garlic
‘Shroomin wild mushrooms + mascarpone-truffle cream + fresh mozzarella + lemon + arugula
And a Sunday Brunch Carbonara Pizza Beeler’s bacon + fingerling potatoes + fontina cheese + farm fresh egg + chives

The chefs will continue to make their own pasta, as at the former Passero space, using local durum and semolina flours plus a few new additions like the Chestnut Gnocchi made from freshly mulled chestnuts with delicata squash, brown butter, and sage.

Diners can enjoy a selection of antipasti from Burrata + Brussels to General Tso’s Tempura Cauliflower, salads, house made Wisconsin Beer Cheddar soup and lunch sandwiches like the Braised Short Rib Melt.

Passero will also launch never-before Nightly Features, in the coming month, including: Monday- Slagel Farm Double Cheeseburger; Tuesday- Homemade Buratta Ravioli; Wednesday- Pork Milanese; Thursday- Wood Roasted Chicken + Waffles; Friday- Seafood Diavola; Saturday- Prime NY Strip Steak; Sunday- Braciole with Hand-rolled Cavatelli.

Bar & Chef’s Table
The bar at Passero is a stand out with a carefully procured wine list and ever changing cocktails developed by Beverage Manager, Jaime Rovira. Cocktail favorites include:
Comfortably Numb flor de cana rum + branca mentha + cinnamon + chocolate bitters
Late Taverna Nights templeton rye whiskey + tuaca + carpano antica formula + angostura bitters

Guests can sit at the 16-seat marble bar and face the open kitchen to watch all the Passero magic. An eight-person chef’s table, perfectly lit by a birdcage chandelier, has the perfect view of the pizza oven and close proximity to the chefs in action. The chef’s table can be requested by reservation.

The restaurant’s modern rustic atmosphere is paired with a lively mix of oldies and indie rock music and adorned with local pieces from nearby artists. St. Charles’ artist Julie Helland, has beautified the restaurant with over 500 hand-painted sparrows, fitting wholly with the restaurant’s name. Passero’s dining tables and wood logs at the host stand were also made locally.

More Information
Passero enthusiasts can look forward to upcoming pizza and cocktail classes and wine and beer dinners with the first Pizza-Making Class kicking off on January 26. The restaurant will also offer brunch on Sundays and beginning in March with live Reggae music. An enclosed patio is also set to open this Spring.

Passero’s new location is open to the public beginning Thursday, December 12 for lunch and dinner. Sunday brunch will begin Sunday, December 15. Hours include Monday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant or on Open Table. For more information, visit eatpassero.com and on Facebook and Instagram at @passeroah.