All posts by andygraham

FriGay the 13th: A horror podcast from an LGBTQ perspective

By Andy Graham
Medill Reports

Andrew Huff and Matty Zaradich were frightened by the political rhetoric they heard directed at the LGBTQ community. So, they decided to combat the horrific things they heard with some horror of their own.

Since early 2018, Huff and Zaradich have used their podcast, “FriGay the 13th,” to talk about their favorite horror films and their experiences as gay men living in Chicago.

Operating out of their modest set-up in Huff’s Ravenswood home, the duo record alongside Andrew’s husband Michael and their dog Sonoma. The podcasts offer listeners a tongue-in-cheek look at horrors both real and fictional.
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How the owners of Bonus Round Game Café put the pieces of their dream into play

By Andy Graham
Medill Reports

For many Chicagoans, work and play are two separate concepts. They power through their workday so that they can return to their homes and unwind. However, for the owners of Bonus Round Game Café in Lakeview, work and play go hand in hand.

Husband and wife team Drew Lovell and Courtney Hartley came up with the idea for Bonus Round Game Café on North Clark Street in 2016, as a way of combining their joint passion for board games with Lovell’s dream of running his own business.

A year after its grand opening in early 2018, the café is now a full-service restaurant that offers an array of sandwiches, coffee and alcohol, along with some 300 board games that line shelves in the dining area. Its staff members boast in-depth knowledge of the games and are happy to offer to teach those unfamiliar with the rules.

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‘I Heart Halal’ celebrates Islam in Chicago

By Andy Graham
Medill Reports

Organizers for this year’s inaugural “I Heart Halal” festival at Navy Pier were surprised at the turnout. Roughly 17,000 people — more than triple the number expected — attended the weekend-long celebration of Halal culture.

The events ranged from culinary contests to fashion shows.

Photo at top: Attendees try samples of Halal cuisine at this year’s biggest, Chicago-based, Islamic festival. (Andy Graham/MEDILL)