Black Wednesday Re-Union at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar with Platinum Events




Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar and Platinum Events cordially invites you to the 2nd Annual Black Wednesday Re-Union on November 21, 2012 starting at 9:30pm-1:30am!

Complimentary passed Black Rice Sushi All Evening + Music by DJ Flaco!  Specialty Cocktails, 3 Floyds Zombie Dust Beer and Wine Available at Cash Bar! RSVP 







Pumpkin Mochi is Back on the Menu!


Pumpkin Mochi is Back on the Menu Tonight
…and Even Better than Before! 
There are only a handful of good things that come with the cooling of the weather. Accessorizing with jackets, roaring fires, and Pumpkin Mochi Cake at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar.

Last year’s hit went into hibernation for the warmer months, and now has come back even more delicious. Chef Chao has outdone himself…and the results are crave-able. Think hollowed out Pumpkin Cake, filled with rich, cream cheese ice cream, smothered in caramel sauce and garnished with pumpkin seed brittle. The result is sweet, rich, savory, crunchy, cinnamon-y…and just plain good. Make a Reservation

#NameThatCocktail Contest @EatatUnion

CONGRATULATIONS to our #NameThatCocktail Finalists!  The finalists are invited for an exclusive Fall Cocktail Tasting on Friday, September 28, 2012 at 5pm! The winner of our #NameThatCocktail contest will be announced at our tasting on Friday, and they will receive a $50 Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar Gift Certificate, and they will enjoy their Cocktail complimentary all Fall.


Voodoo Harvest:  Josh Kowalczyk

Aki Crisp: Renae Godish

Golden Lantern: Peter Kuehnel

Harvest Moon: Catherine Brickell

**We had two entries with same Cocktail Name**

The Headless Horseman: Calogero (Dj Swank) Oliveri

The Headless Horseman: Jan Zasowski


If you’ve been keeping up with us online, then you probably have a pretty good idea that we’ve been hard at work and having a ton of fun working on our Fall cocktail program. Now, we want you to join in on all the fun. That’s right, for the entire Fall season, we’re offering an exclusive opportunity to win a spot on Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar’s Fall cocktail menu. But, we didn’t think that was enough, so we threw in a $50 Gift Card and your ability to enjoy your drink FOR FREE during the entire FALL SEASON at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar.

We’ve posted a picture and recipe of one of our new Fall cocktails that still remains nameless.  Help us #NameThatCocktail and you can win a seat at an exclusive preview of our new Fall cocktail program at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar.  We will be selecting the 5 best names and then announcing the winner at the preview.


El Dorado 5yr Rum
Spiced pumpkin syrup
Kronan Swedish Punsch
Egg White
Cherry Bark Bitters





The best part is: it’s ridiculously simple to enter. Tell us about your name, a little story behind it, and a way for us to contact you, and you’re entered. ALL ENTRIES DUE BY September 21. ONLY ONE NAME SUBMISSION PER PERSON. 

We’ll also be showcasing different photos and cocktail recipes for our Union Crowd on Twitter using the hashtag #NameThatCocktail.

Cocktail Name*:
Story or inspiration behind your name*:
Your Name*:
Phone Number*:
Email Address*:
Twitter Handle:


Contest Rules
In order to qualify for the Grand Prize in our #NameThatCocktailcontest, the top 5 applicants must be available to attend the sneak peak tasting at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar.  Submissions will be judged on originality and name creativity. We will be taking submissions from September 17, 2012 until September 21, 2012. Please note: We will only be accepeting One Name per applicant.


By entering into the “#NameThatCocktail” Contest (the “Contest”), any and all ideas a participant provides in any way as part of the Contest, including but not limited to inventions, discoveries, developments, names, artwork, recipes, techniques, sources of information, ideas or innovations are hereby and irrevocably the property of Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar and may be used in its operations for an infinite duration in any way Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar deems appropriate.

A Sake Tasting for Insiders…Meet Japan’s Mr. Sho Nagai, President of Mizbasho Sake Brewery



And you thought you knew sake…

Meet Mr. Sho Nagai, President of Japan’s Mizbasho Sake Brewery, for an Exclusive Tasting Event on Monday, September 10, 2012 at 7 p.m. 

It doesn’t get much cooler than this in sake circles…the “insider” street cred involved with drinking sake with Mr. Nagai is comparable to shooting some hoops with Michael Jordan, or trying on shoes as Mr. Choo himself helps you…

In other words…it’s going to be fun. So don’t miss it!

We’re going to be gathering at UpBar on Monday night at 7 p.m.   Join us as we taste a variety of sakes from the Mizbasho Sake Brewery, including a 3-year aged sake and a series of sparkling sake.  

chaoChef Chao will be passing a variety of hors d’oeuvres, each perfectly paired to compliment the starring sakes. 

This special evening will be $40 per person, (not inclusive of tax and tip,) and your space can be reserved by calling  312-662-4888 or email us

We’ll see you on Monday, Sake Cheers! 




Check, Please! Visits Us on Wednesday 8.15.12





We are super psyched to have learned that one of our dedicated guests have recommended Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar for a turn on Chicago’s favorite food show: Check, Please!  

Every guest endorsement makes us proud…this one, especially so!

Want to apart of the filming magic?  Make your reservation for Wednesday between 6pm – 8:30pm and you’ll be “on location” at one of our biggest shoots of the year!



Taste of the Nation Chicago – Tweet To Taste Contest



We are pleased to be apart of Taste of the Nation Chicago this year on August 8, 2012!

The city’s hottest chefs, mixologists and sommeliers will join together under one roof, united around the same cause – the fight to end childhood hunger.

At this year’s Taste of the Nation® Chicago, more than 1,500 guests will have the opportunity to taste and try the best of the Windy City’s food and spirits, all while brushing shoulders with the masters who make them. We’re excited to meet all of you!

Taste of the Nation Chicago has created an interactive Tweet to Taste Contest!

Read below on  how you enter a chance to win Tickets to this amazing event!

Winners will be chosen on August 7, 2012 by Taste of the Nation Chicago Committee!


We are looking forward to having you stop in to snap your photo to enter! Follow us on Instagram and mention us in your upload!


Summertime gets even cooler at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar


This is what we’ve learned of late. Chao loves to make ice cream. Really. Loves it.

“It’s just relaxing to pour cream and egg and sugar into a mixer and watch it all come together…” explains Chao. “Okaaaay,” we say. So, long story short, Chao got Mike to buy him a massive ice cream maker for the kitchen at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar. What comes next? Milkshakes. Obviously.


homemade blueberry
ice cream
whole milk
a small dash of
lemon juice
whipped cream


vanilla bean &
espresso ice creams
dollop of
mascarpone cheese
whole milk
whipped cream
cocoa powder

This June, the first of many (new flavors every month!) milkshakes to come at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar, are launched—available both in house and to-go—for those of you who need a hot day pick-me-up as you stroll through River North. Check out the Blueberry Milkshake, made with homemade blueberry ice cream, whole milk, a small dash of lemon juice, and topped with homemade whipped cream.

And, then there is the indulgent/amazing/life altering Tiramisu Milkshake, made with vanilla bean and espresso ice creams, a dollop of mascarpone cheese, and whole milk. Topped with homemade whipped cream and cocoa powder. It’s severely delicious.

Milkshakes are available every day at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar, from open until close. Feel free to stop by and order one on-the-go, if you can’t stay for lunch or dinner. They’re $7 a pop. Do it!


Chao How-To: Fish Carving!

Chao Makes Short Work Of Hard Work

We know you like to know what we do around here, especially Chao’s handiwork in the kitchen! We brought you Chao Lays Down An Oyster Shucking, and now we bring you Chao carving fish–one BIG, one little.

First, how to turn a whole salmon into small plates:

Now, Chao gets to the minutiae with this wonderfully flavorful, little fish, the sayori:

We take this same kind of care with everything we do here at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar. Come for a visit; stay as long as you’d like!

One Year Later…

I suppose when we set out to create Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar back in the Spring of 2010, we knew that it would be one of the great journeys of our lives, which is why we were compelled to blog about it.

I was still spending my days in a suit and tie, and Chao was working 16-hour days at a West Loop restaurant – but one of the first things that we did was set up @mikeandchaochow… I think that we knew we were going to have some stories to tell. It took us one year to go from sitting on my Madison Street couch – dreaming up the barbeque bar and other details of our sushi restaurant – to opening our doors in May of 2011. And now it’s one year after that.

Owning a restaurant has exceeded every one of my expectations. Our guests are so much fun—they order crazy things, allow us to experiment and re-invent ourselves, and they keep coming back for more! It doesn’t hurt that Chao is a master at upping the ante. (Really, I am luckiest one of all. I eat his food almost every day.)

I feel like a band that has just wrapped up the world tour. The band knows it’s going out on the road again, soon. But for now, it’s time to reflect… and release a Greatest Hits
album. And so that’s exactly what we’re going to do.


This month, we’re celebrating the Greatest Hits of 2011-2012. Every night from May 14-19, we’re featuring one of our favorite items of the year, along with a special drink pairing.


$5 Truffled Tuna
$5 Glasses of Sauvignon Blanc

$1 Oysters all day
50% off bottles of Sparkling Sake

$3 Alligator Skewers
$5 Hand-Crafted Yamato Sling Cocktails

$8 Old City Market Sushi Rolls (Full 8 piece)
$5 Glasses of Snowflake Sake

$3 Duck Wings
$5 Hand-Crafted Skinny Geisha Cocktails

$1 Fried Oysters all night
$5 Hand-Crafted Night Scene Cocktails
BONUS TRACK: $4 Pumpkin Mochi Cheesecake


And THEN, we’re throwing a party…

We’re celebrating in a really big way with out partners at Zagat on Sunday, May 20, 2012 with a 5-course menu and an open bar for $75 per guest. Every course will feature one of our greatest hits paired with a “2012 remix” by Chef Chao. Make your reservations here.


And lastly, thank you for everything. Thanks for following us online, for reading our blog, and for coming back to our little restaurant, again and again, with your insatiable appetites.