Windy City Smokeout

July 13-15, 2018

Looking Back: Five Great Moments Over Five Great Years

Windy City Smokeout has been a Chicago summer staple for five years already. As we gear up for the fest’s sixth year, let’s hear some awesome memories from our Lettuce partners who have been there for the entire ride.

Kip Moore 2017 performance

R.J. Melman, President

One of my favorite memories was at the very first Smokeout in 2013 when it was held downtown right in the center of the city. Pat Green was closing out the festival and tripped on stage. He stayed laying down on stage, he was staring at the building next door, which happened to be a Nordstrom, and said into the mic “I’m laying here, in the Shadow of Nordstrom”. It made me laugh realizing, given our location, this was not a normal venue for a country music festival.

Jerrod Melman, Executive Partner

One of my favorite things about Smokeout is that it brings together pitmasters from all around the country so our guests can try all their different styles of BBQ. I’ll never forget the first time I tasted ribs from Pappy’s Smokehouse in St. Louis. They’re truly some of the best I’ve ever had.

Chris Meers, Divisional President

What I love about the Windy City Smokeout is that it’s the greatest collaboration of Lettuce Entertain You employees. Over the course of three days, we have partners working with owners, servers, managers, and back of house staff to provide Chicago with its largest country music, beer and BBQ fest – a real highlight of the summer.

Doug Psaltis, Chef / Partner

The most memorable part for me is the time spent with all the pitmasters in the later part of the night and early morning as everything comes together behind the scenes. It’s a euphoric feeling to watch that evening’s headliner performance – when everyone stops what they’re doing to enjoy the show – then the place empties out and everyone gets right back at it, smoking and grilling into the early morning hours in anticipation for the next day.

Ed Warm, Partner & Talent Curator

Luke Combs’ breakout set last year, and also from last year, Kip Moore being the consummate showman rocking out without his drummer and still putting on a stellar set.

BBQ meal on checkered table

We’re looking forward to making more great memories at this year’s Windy City Smokeout. Be sure to get your tickets if you haven’t already!

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