If any of us wondered if celebrities would still visit Chicago after “The Oprah Winfrey Show” ended in May, we now have our answer.
Chicago is still a popular destination for film projects — which this year included “Man of Steel” and “Contagion” — and television projects — including OWN's “The Rosie Show,” Starz' “Boss,” Showtime's “Shameless” and NBC's now-canceled “Playboy Club.” And the city continues to host stars who are promoting a film (as Tom Hanks did for “Larry Crowne”) or a store (as Miley Cyrus did for Topshop/Topman and Cee Lo Green did for Macy's).
Are there as many A-list sightings as there were when “Oprah” was still on the air? No. But there are still plenty of stars out and about to keep the autograph hounds and paparazzi (yes, Chicago has paparazzi) busy. Here is a look at where those stars hungout in Chicago in the year-end edition of the About Last Night rankings, which ranks the city's most popular celeb hangouts based on star power and number of sightings.
20. Sofia (72 E. Oak Street)
19. The Fifty/50 (2047 W. Division St.)
Celebs: Danica Patrick, Curtis Granderson, Prince Fielder, Theo Epstein, Pierre Thomas, Jake Peavy, John Danks, Edwin Jackson, Brent Morel, Tom and Todd Ricketts, Chris Zorich, CJ Watson, Troy Brouwer, Dustin Byfuglien, Brian Campbell, Jordan Hendry, Rene Bourque, Marcus Thames, Rickie Weeks, Jerry Hairston, Nyjer Morgan, Crystal McCahill, Ben Eager
Star moment: When Prince Fielder and his Milwaukee Brewers teammates watched football at The Fifty/50 in September, the staff initially brought his table chicken wings, a skirt steak sandwich and the O-Face burger. Fielder didn't touch any of it, so the staff brought out another burger and ribs. Once again Fielder, who is listed at 275 pounds, passed. That's when one bartender, who is a die hard baseball fan, pointed out to the manager that Prince is a vegetarian. “Poor guy was sitting there and not saying anything about being a vegetarian and not eating,” said Fifty/50 co-owner Scott Weiner by email.
18. N9ne Steakhouse (440 W. Randolph St.)
Celebs: President Barack Obama, Derrick Rose, Dennis Rodman, Emeril Lagasse, Muse, Jonathan Toews, Lance Briggs, Warren Moon, Bobby Valentine, Sig Hansen, Gary Fencik, Viktor Stalberg, Denis Savard, Danieal Manning, Skrillex, Justin Verlander, Brandon Inge
17. Mastro's Steakhouse (520 N. Dearborn St.)
Celebs: Kelsey Grammer, Common, Jay Cutler, Kristin Cavallari, Donovan McNabb, Matt Forte, Patrick Kane, Carlos Boozer, Juwan Howard, Michael Finley, Michael Wilbon, Rahm Emanuel, Greg Olsen, Shaun Livingston, Michael Frolik, Corey Crawford, Kendall Gill
Star moment: Rahm Emanuel wasn't the only Chicago mayor in the building when he dined at Mastro's in June. Kelsey Grammer, who plays a fictional Chicago mayor on Starz' “Boss,” also happened to be dining in the River North steakhouse that night. “Kelsey went over to his private party and the two chatted for a long time as Rahm gave Kelsey tips on how to play (the role),” said Mastro's director of marketing/PR Liz Gantz by email.
Celebs: Michael Jordan, Kanye West, Ron Howard, Aretha Franklin, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Tyrese Gibson, Devin Hester, Julius Peppers, Michael Clarke Duncan, Mike Shinoda, Chester Bennington, Omarosa, Carlos Zambrano, Greg Mathis, Tavis Smiley, Brian Campbell, Robbie Gould, Johnny Knox
15. Angels & Kings (230 N. Michigan Ave.)
Celebs: Tyrese Gibson, David Arquette, T-Pain, Pete Wentz, Cee Lo Green, Questlove, Sasha Grey, Patrick Stump, Sisqo, K-Ci & Jojo, Bell Biv Devoe, Lance Briggs, Debbie Gibson, Brody Jenner, Keith Sweat, Bill Bellamy, Scott Ian, Joe Trohman, Tank, Hollywood Undead, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Star moment: If you like singing along to Biz Markie's “Just A Friend” — and really, who doesn't it? — you likely would have enjoyed the night K-Ci & JoJo, Bell Biv DeVoe and Sisqo visited Angels & Kings in April. The group led patrons in a singalong of the classic rap song at the end of the night.
14. Cuvee (308 W. Erie St.)
Celebs: LeBron James, Gerard Butler, Jenny McCarthy, Dennis Quaid, Tony Parker, Aziz Ansari, Chris Bosh, Vinny Guadagnino, LMFAO, Patrick Kane, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Wilmer Valderrama, Mark Salling, Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs, Greg Olsen, Richard Jefferson, Mario Chalmers
13. Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab (60 E. Grand Ave.)
Celebs: Adrian Petersen, Scottie Pippen, Marshall Faulk, Greg Oden, Jay Cutler, Kristin Cavallari, Emmy Rossum, Kate Gosselin, Kerry Wood, Devin Hester, Lovie Smith, Johnny Knox, Michael Wilbon, Kirk Herbstreit, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Joe Dumars, Patrick Kane, Troy Brouwer, Kirk Hinrich, Randy Wells, Kellen Davis, Tom Thibodeau, Joel Quenneville.
Star moment: Joe's general manager John Aldape would probably rather not shake Adrian Peterson's hand next time Peterson dines at the River North restaurant, and not because he plays for the rival Minnesota Vikings. “Peterson stopped in for dinner at Joe's (in October) and on his way out, he shook all of our hands,” Aldape said by email. “After he left, we were all wincing in pain. No joke, my hand hurt for about a week. It wasn't until afterward that I heard his crippling handshake is infamous. Lesson learned.”
12. Public House (400 N. State St.)
Celebs: Vince Vaughn, Zac Efron, Joe Jonas, Jenny McCarthy, Jay Cutler, Kristing Cavallari, Tony Parker, Marisa Miller, Giuliana and Bill Rancic, Nick Lachey, Brian Urlacher, Joakim Noah, Ty Pennington, Plain White T's, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Scott Van Pelt, Jill Zarin, Lance Briggs, Peter Billingsley, Colin Egglesfield, Richard Dent, Jillian Harris, Ryan Dempster, Joel Quenneville
11. Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse (33 W. Kinzie St.)
Celebs: Alex Rodriguez, Rosie O'Donnell, George Foreman, Erin Andrews, Bobby Knight, Emmy Rossum, Kirk Herbstreit, Kerry Wood, Theo Epstein, Jeff Garlin, Patrick Kane, Lee DeWyze, Tiffany, James Denton, Jonathan Toews, Ernie Banks, Dale Sveum, Randy Wells, Gabe Carimi, Richard Dent, Tom and Todd Ricketts, Digger Phelps, Jim Calhoun, James Russell, J'Marcus Webb
Star moment: Media members didn't know Dale Sveum was going to have a secret dinner with Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer at Harry Caray's the night before he was officially introduced as the team's new manager in November, but a few could have seen it with their own eyes if they'd just turned around. “There were many members of the press just inside the door for Marv Levy's book signing, which was talking place in the bar,” said Harry Caray's Restaurant Group president and managing partner Grant DePorter. “If any of the press turned around, they would have seen Theo, Dale and Jed standing just a few feet behind them.”
10. Cubs game, Wrigley Field (1060 W. Addison St.)
Celebs: Kevin Costner, Vince Vaughn, Eddie Vedder, Kelsey Grammer, Nick Jonas, Larry King, Seth Meyers, Joel McHale, George Lopez, Nick Lachey, Hope Solo, Billy Corgan, Jimmie Johnson, Julianne Hough, CM Punk, Scott McCreery, Vanessa Minillo, Michael Rapaport, James Denton, Phife Dawg, Kenny Wormald, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Adam Burish, Joel Quenneville, Will Butler, Marika Anthony-Shaw,
Star moment: Bill Wennington was one out away from singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at the Cubs game in May, but the game was called due to rain. The Bulls center-turned-radio commentator, however, would make the best of the situation afterward. “(Wennington) went back to the PNC Club (suite), where he was urged to belt out the song anyway,” said Cubs special events/entertainment coordinator Katie Marta by email. “Bill led the way, the fans in the PNC Club joined in, and ‘Take Me Out To The Ball Game' was indeed sung that night, despite the rain.”
9. Rockit Bar & Grill (22 W. Hubbard St.)
Celebs: Danica Patrick, LeAnn Rimes, Henry Cavill, Jay Cutler, Tony Parker, Topher Grace, Emmy Rossum, Dave Schwimmer, Jeremy Piven, Amy Smart, Benji Madden, Zack Snyder, Joey Fatone, Fred Armisen, Mark Salling, Lance Briggs, Luol Deng, Lee DeWyze, Eddie Cibrian, Gordon Beckham, Jim Breuer, Dave Attell, Jim Norton, Demetri Martin, Billy Zane, Adam Richman, Mayer Hawthorne
Star moment: “Man v. Food” host Adam Richman liked his order of Rockit Pockits in March so much, he named them his favorite drunk food in an interview with Maxim magazine, saying, “They're like sexual chocolate.” Rockit co-owner Arturo Gomez probably wasn't too surprised: He recalls Richman “sat in front of me and ate all of them while making love sounds.”
8. Chicago Cut Steakhouse (300 N. LaSalle St.)
Celebs: Kanye West, Derek Jeter, Charles Barkley, Dennis Rodman, John Cusack, Ryan Seacrest, Julianne Hough, Lupe Fiasco, Trey Songz, Ndamukong Suh, Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs, Steve Smith, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Joe Buck, Richard Dent, Tom Thibodeau, Israel Idonije, Gabe Carimi, Sister Sledge, Corey Crawfod, Tomas Kopecky, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Austin Winkler
7. Enclave (220 W. Chicago Ave.)
Celebs: Tom Hanks, Charlie Sheen, Dwyane Wade, R Kelly, Ke$ha, T-Pain, Pauly D, Vinny Guadagnino, Tommy Lee, Lil Jon, Rita Wilson, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight, Baron Davis, Shawn Marion, Mark Salling, Far East Movement, Jay Sean, Asher Roth, Estelle, Udonis Haslem, Michael Finley, Scott Disick, Simon Rex, Israel Idonije, Taj Gibson, Chet Haze
Star moment: Celebrities get up and dance at Enclave all the time. After all, they're there to party. But it's not every day a two-time Oscar-winner gets down at the River North club. “Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson hung out in our elevated VIP area while their son (stage name: Chet Haze) made his singing debut on our stage (in June),” Enclave general manager Tom Ritchie said by email. “At one point, glow-sticks were passed up to them, too. It was a real sight to see the Academy Award winning actor and his equally talented wife dancing and singing all the words to their son's songs.”
6. Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse (1028 N. Rush St.)
Celebs: Albert Pujols, Amy Adams, Henry Cavill, Rosie O'Donnell, Scottie Pippen, Chris Bosh, Lupe Fiasco, Dennis Quaid, Terry Bradshaw, Jimmy Johnson, Matthew Stafford, Brian Urlacher, Deron Williams, Ndamukong Suh, Avril Lavigne, Eve, Taylor Momsen, Lovie Smith, Dave Winfield, Mario Van Peebles, Michael Kenneth Williams, Luol Deng, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews
5. Japonais (600 W. Chicago Ave.)
Celebs: Matt Damon, Zac Efron, Kelsey Grammer, Joe Jonas, Jonah Hill, Jay Cutler, Kristin Cavallari, Dennis Rodman, Pharrell Williams, Nicole Richie, Joel Madden, Ryne Sandberg, Chris Meloni, Siena Miller, Guy Fieri, Joakim Noah, Charles Woodson, Wes Welker, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa, Tony Siragusa, Shawn Marion, Gerard Way, Hill Harper
4. Hub 51 (51 W. Hubbard St.)
Celebs: LeBron James, Jessica Simpson, Channing Tatum, Dwyane Wade, Rosie O'Donnell, Scottie Pippen, Jay Cutler, Brian Urlacher, Matt Ryan, Cedric the Entertainer, Jason Sudeikis, Gabrielle Union, Shannon Elizabeth, Kerry Wood, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, Ty Pennington, Darren Criss, Bethenny Frankel, Jason Derulo, Sherri Shepherd, Julius Peppers, Shawne Merriman, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi, Bill and Giuliana Rancic, A.J. Pierzynski, Jenna Dewan-Tatum
Star moment: When LeBron James and Dwyane Wade ask to party in your downstairs club at the last minute, its hard to say no — even if your club is closed. “(They) were in town when the Heat played the Bulls (in February),” said Melman, who also co-owns Hub 51, by email. “After their dinner at Hub 51, they asked if they could head downstairs and check out Sub 51. It was a Wednesday, the night before their game, and we decided to make an exception and open the club. It wasn't long before word spread and it was packed. Not surprisingly, the Bulls won the next day.”
3. The Underground (56 W. Illinois St.)
Celebs: Lindsay Lohan, Enrique Iglesias, Jamie Foxx, Josh Brolin, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, David Arquette, Kirstie Alley, Joe Jonas, Lea Michele, Ludacris, Cee Lo Green, Nas, Josh Groban, Bruno Mars, Kellan Lutz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Ronnie Magro, Chris Colfer, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Joey Fatone, Pauly Shore, Kid Cudi, Taye Diggs, Larenz Tate, Anthony Anderson, Jeremih, David Banner, Plain White T's, Amber Heard, Macy Gray.
Star moment: There is some strategy behind seating celebrities. They don't want to sit just anywhere. And that's why the Underground staff had its work cut out for it the night Lindsay Lohan, Bruno Mars, Nas and Cee Lo Green visited in August. “My partners and I ran in back to a seating chart to try to figure out who we should sit next to who and who would hate to be next to who,” said Dec, whose group also owns Underground. “It turned into a giant panic attack of confusion, like a high school cafeteria meets a wedding table placement meets an award show seating chart … We felt really uneasy about our choices as you could tell everyone's posses were checking out the other, evaluating who got the best seats and who got the worst.” All was forgiven when Mars grabbed the mic and triggered a singalong.
2. Paris Club (59. W. Hubbard St.)
Celebs: Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Simpson, Zac Efron, Gerard Butler, Dwyane Wade, Rosie O'Donnell, LeAnn Rimes, Jennifer Hudson, John Cusack, Jeremy Piven, David Arquette, Ne-Yo, Jason Sudeikis, Jay Cutler, Brian Urlacher, Joel McHale, Jenny McCarthy, Gloria Estefan, Henry Cavill, Emmy Rossum, John C. Reilly, Warren Sapp, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, Kelly Osbourne, Jeff Garlin, Kid Cudi
Star moment: One of the keys to attracting a celebrity clientele is knowing how to keep its secrets. That's what one Paris Club server managed when talk show host Rosie O'Donnell visited the restaurant in October. “While celebrating her first show at Paris Club a few months ago, (O'Donnell's) server overheard her call girlfriend Michelle Rounds her fiancé,” Paris Club co-owner R.J. Melman said by email about O'Donnell, who didn't publicly reveal her engagement until December. “Realizing her secret was out, Rosie exchanged a glance with her server, who simply responded with ‘I didn't hear anything.'”
1. Sunda (110 W. Illinois St.)
Celebs: LeBron James, Barbra Streisand, Jamie Foxx, Channing Tatum, Gerard Butler, Dwyane Wade, David Arquette, Joe Jonas, Lea Michele, Josh Groban, Jay Cutler, Kristin Cavallari, Jeremy Piven, William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, Emilio Estevez, Adrian Grenier, Nicole Richie, Joel Madden, Marisa Miller, Hope Solo, Shawn and Marlon Wayans, David Schwimmer, Virginia Madsen, Vanilla Ice
Star moment: It's not easy going up to a celebrity at a restaurant. You don't want to interrupt dinner, and it's awkward finding the right moment to approach the table. Even celebrities themselves have a hard time approaching another star's table, as was the case when Jamie Foxx and the cast of “Glee” dined at Sunda in June. “Neither said hi to the other, but each talked a lot about how they were fans of the other,” Sunda co-owner Billy Dec recalled in an email. “They wanted to say hi but didn't want to interrupt. I ended up feeling like a matchmaker.”