100% ANIMAL FREE INDULGENCE
The Kāl'ish Manifesto
Please do not confuse us with an activist organization that promotes peace, love, happiness and all things butterflies - even though all of that is important to us. We are trying to create a dining experience that weighs less on our bodies and our environment than animal based alternatives, while being profitable and long lasting.
The pound for pound reality is that animal based ingredients (while they may be appealing to some) are more taxing on our bodies and the ecological health of our planet than plant based ingredients. Our challenge is to make our plant based foods delicious, crave worthy and worth the effort you put into getting here. If we fail to live up to the challenge - we will find a way to make it right.
While not all involved with Kāl'ish are vegan we understand that many of our guests are, and who hold deep beliefs for animal welfare, we honor you for that. It is our hope that for those of you whose convictions bring you to us that you will appreciate the effort & resources we have invested to serve you and introduce others to indulgent vegan foods.
AN ADVENTURE 20 YEARS IN THE MAKING
The Kāl'ish Family / Why Vegan?
Newly married and In the winter of '96 Gina & Andy needed an affordable apartment that would allow dogs, have parking and be close to the El and lake. Uptown proved to be the best fit. In order to pay for graduate school Andy worked as a private chef and Gina worked in social service. While noble in his intent, social work was not the right fit for Andy, Gina told him so. Gina agreed that she would keep her day job and give Andy a few years to find his culinary path. The first stop on that path was 1224 W. Wilson Ave. It was a fledgling Chinese restaurant whose owner needed a break. Over an egg roll Andy & Mr. Fung negotiated out the terms and a week later Gina & Andy had their first professional kitchen.
For a few years all was exciting, dangerous and delicious but when their son was born in 1999 the challenge of managing a growing enterprise and being parents proved to be a complicated recipe. Having the good fortune of passing the torch on to another young chef the 1224 space became a fashionable restaurant and Gina & Andy, with Rio in tow, retreated to their home and moved on to other, opportunities. Over the years the desire to open another restaurant on Wilson Ave. never faded - it was just a matter of finding the right space and time to strike. As it turned out, 15 years later and two blocks westward proved to be the right time & right place.
Of all the places and ways to make a living - opening a vegan restaurant in Uptown would not likely jump to the top of anyone's list. However, Gina & Andy have always had their own list. At various points in their lives they have both been vegan and felt that if there more options, closer to home, that it would be easier for them to consume more vegan foods. So they decided that they should be the ones to create the option. As the first of three restaurants, they will open, on the 1300 block of West Wilson Ave., they chose to take the biggest leap first.
Gina & Andy still live a couple blocks away and their little boy is now a senior at Senn H.S. While a lot has changed, a lot has stayed the same. Uptown is still a little dangerous (but in a badass kind of way), the neighbors are still independent & fierce and Wilson Ave. is on its way to being social & culinary gem.