Lin Brehmer Bio
Nothing much survives from Brehmer’s high school years except rumor and innuendo. He distinguished himself as the starting pitcher for the varsity baseball team from 1969 to 1972. He also spent winters in a Kelly-green Speedo as a member of the McBurney swim team. All pictures were destroyed by the government. College radio seduced him in the summer of 1974 at Colgate University. So did his future wife. After a collegiate experience of one part pocket billiards and two parts obscure literature seminars, Brehmer turned to WQBK-FM in Albany, New York for a job in January, 1977.
Dubbed the Reverend of Rock and Roll, Brehmer drew on the influence of Old Testament prophets and AC DC to fashion a radio program designed to break down rational consciousness. When this didn’t work, Brehmer accepted a job in 1984 at WXRT, Chicago. Brehmer spent ’84 to ’90 as the Music Director of WXRT. During that time he lived in the bleachers, learned to match wines with food and demonstrated a predilection for extolling rock bands that no one would ever listen to. Lin was named “Music Director of the Year” by trade magazine, The Friday Morning Quarterback, in 1987, 1988 and 1990. In 1990, the Hard Report’s readers chose Brehmer as the “Music Director of the Decade.” This last award made just as much sense as a Playgirl article in 1985 naming him as one of America’s Sexiest D.J.’s. C’mon! His picture is right in front of you!
In 1990, Brehmer accepted a job as the program director of KTCZ in Minneapolis because Chicago just wasn’t cold enough. In Minnesota, he learned to ski. And as a Chicago baseball fan, he enjoyed a whole new experience. The Minnesota Twins played in a tournament known as the World Series. Excited by the prospect of the Cubs or White Sox being allowed to participate in such an event, Brehmer moved back to Chicago almost immediately after the conclusion of the 1991 fall classic. Nursing bad knees, Brehmer failed to secure his dream job: vending cotton candy at sports arenas. Instead, he began an odyssey as the morning D.J. of WXRT that continues today. Lin Brehmer continues to find spiritual direction from Keith Richards. His motto is borrowed from the writings of Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Flesh fade and mortal trash fall to the residuary worm’, you and I might as well Rock and Roll.”
Restaurant guides are an enduring fascination for me. I keep a Zagat in my car at all times. What you and I need, however, is a guide to places to eat after a concert. There’s too much pressure trying to dine before a concert. If I have to emcee a concert, my stage fright prevents me from thinking about food until the concert is over. Then, of course, I am ravenous. A ravenous Lin Brehmer is not a pretty sight, not that a well-fed Lin is.
How does someone who wakes up every weekday morning at 4am find himself looking for dinner after 10pm? I blame rock music. Rock concert first. Dinner second.
Here’s where I go when it’s late.
Bottlefork 441 N. Clark St. Kevin Hickey was the acclaimed Executive Chef at The Four Seasons. A hard core White Sox fan from Bridgeport, Kevin has taken his mad skills to a new bar/restaurant in collaboration with Billy Dec. A 40 foot bar invites patrons to watch the creation of craft cocktails and to observe the open kitchen. The Rich Man Po’ Boy with Lobster + Foie + Crispy Oysters is unforgettable. Open for dinner Wednesday and Thursday until 11pm. Friday and Saturday until midnight.
GT Fish and Oyster 531 N. Wells St. GT stands for Giuseppi Tentori. Ex-Charlie Trotter’s, ex-Boka. One of my favorite Chicago chefs lends his vision to seafood. The Caesar salad employs fried oysters in place of croutons. The fried oyster slider uses a kimchee garnish. Mouthwatering crudo options, lobster rolls and roasted whole fish are served until midnight on weekends and until 11pm most other nights. It happens to be a favorite stop for lunch before I head out for the weekend. A glass of Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc and two dozen raw oysters on a Friday afternoon never hurt anybody.
Longman and Eagle 2657 N Kedzie Ave. It looks like a bar. It feels like a bar but as a One Michelin Star restaurant you can enjoy a dish described as Andouille-Spiced Sweetbreads, Langoustines, Zucchini, Scallion Puree, Puffed Rice, Gumbo until 1am. Their bourbon menu comes in a booklet. I’ll never forget the night that The Lumineers played the Logan Square Auditorium. After the show I wound up at Longman and Eagle with, among other people, my doctor. It was midnight. We each had a flight of 3 bourbons and a foie gras appetizer. I turned to him and said. What’s wrong with this picture? Ask for a table in the back. It’s a little quieter
River Roast 315 N. Lasalle St. Chef Hogie. Blues expert. Ex-Savarin, Ex-Keefers. A man who loves to show off his Charcuterie. John Hogan has teamed up with Spiaggia’s Tony Mantuano to provide a menu of roasted proteins. Whole Roasted (or Fried) Fish, Roasted Chicken, and The Roast Beef highlight a menu that includes inspired starters and can’t miss sides. Their deck is right on the River Walk so a mild evening outside would include breathtaking vistas of the riverfront skyline. Open until 11pm Friday and Saturday.