© Michael Stryder
Kahan and MadiaIf there's one guy who was stalked by the meat-focused 2009 Best New Chefs at the F&W Classic in Aspen, it was '99 BNC Paul Kahan (yeah, Momofuku’s Dave Chang got stalked, too). Everyone, including Frank Bruni, loves, loves Kahan’s newest Chicago spot, Publican, which spotlights pork and beer (and, to a lesser extent, oysters). If you were paying attention to Time Out Chicago’s blog last October, you know that Kahan has yet another project in the works: He and his excellent partner, Donnie Madia, have taken charge of the former Pontiac in Wicker Park, notable for its huge outdoor patio bar. And if you were shamelessly eavesdropping one late night while Kahan talked to some of his BNC stalkers, you’d know that he he's decided on a concept for how to reinvent the place. Here’s what Kahan, who once upon a time worked at Chicago’s Topolobampo, had to say: “I'm gonna serve tacos and cheap American beer in an old gas station in Wicker Park.”