All posts by jacobholland2020

Love me tendr: How Stephen Council brought fried chicken to NU campus culture

By Jake Holland
Medill Reports

Stephen Council is no stranger to fried chicken. The 19-year-old Medill sophomore grew up in southern Virginia, where his father would sometimes make it, juice and grease dripping right off the bone. It wasn’t until a cold December night last year, however, that Council toyed around with the idea of cooking up his own.

He was studying for finals with his friend and Communication sophomore Erin Zhang, and it was approaching midnight in Northwestern’s Main Library. They bemoaned the lack of late-night dining options — Fran’s and Lisa’s, sure, and Burger King off campus, but not much else.

Rather than study, Council and Zhang hopped on a Google Doc and hammered out a business plan. In a couple of hours, they had everything — the concept, the name, the sauces. Later that month, the two went home and experimented with sauces and chicken styles. By the time the New Year rolled around, everything was set. tendr was born.

“We bought that fryer for $30, and we’ve probably fried $1,300 worth of chicken in it,” Council says, smiling. “It was almost like we had to make it worth it. We thought, ‘Why not do this?’”

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New Grounds in Town: Newport Coffee brings taste of Stockholm to the North Shore

By Jake Holland
Medill Reports

Coffee has been big in Chicago since the ’90s, but the North Shore, says Mikael Bengtsson, can now hold its own. “It’s bubbling up here,” says the engineer-turned-barista, who this summer opened Newport Coffee with his wife, Lotta. The Evanston cafe, 622 Davis St., serves high-end coffee (a standard latte will run you about $5) and pastries with a Swedish flair. Bengtsson’s second location — the first is in Bannockburn — held its soft launch July 1, with plans for the official launch slated for later this fall. I sat down with Bengtsson to talk about caffeine, the shop’s aesthetic and his vision for the brand.

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