Mardi Gras Starts This Weekend With Music, Food and Hurricanes!

The fun starts at Shanahan's Creole Restaurant and Irish Bar this weekend and continues through next week at FitzGerald's Nightclub.

Stir up a sezerac and bust out the king cake—Mardi Gras is almost here.

While the local celebration doesn't heat up as much as it does in good ol' New Orleans, there's still going to be plenty of celebrating going on around town.


Festivities kick off this weekend at Shanahan's Creole Restaurant and Irish Bar, 7353 Madison St. in Forest Park. Shanahan's will have a special Mardi Gras menu up from Feb. 8-12. The Mardi Gras menu includes, jambalaya; shrimp creole; crawfish etouffee; red beans and rice; gumbos; shrimp, oyster or catfish po'boys—even alligator picante, which is alligator and shrimp in a spicy tomato sauce served over rice.

The Southern Comfort girls will be in house on Feb. 12—also known as Fat Tuesday.

Shanahan's hurricanes and Southern Comfort Hurricanes will be served up for $8.

Shanahan's will also have live music on Saturday, Feb. 9, featuring the Szurko Trio.


FitzGerald's Nightclub, 6615 Roosevelt Rd. in Berwyn, starts their Mardi Gras celebration off on Monday, Feb. 11—also known as Lundi Gras.

On Monday night, they'll hold their 19th Annual Jambalaya Cook-Off. The cook-off features 10 contestants, five celebrity judges and a free tasting of all the entries. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the tasting begins at 7:30 p.m., followed by music from Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound at 8 p.m., and again after the judging is completed and the winner crowned at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15.

The celebration continues on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. with a benefit for a local guitar player. Tickets are a $15 minimum donation.

Musical acts for Fat Tuesday are as follows:

Roy Rubenstein's Chicago Hot from 6-8 p.m. in the club, with a final set at 8:15 in the SideBar): The evening begins with traditional jazz that says New Orleans through and through. With Roy Rubenstein on trombone, Sarah Spencer on tenor saxophone, John Skillman on clarinet, John Kuncl on banjo, Art Hovey on bass and Mike Albiniak on drums. The repertoire includes standards, as well as little-known numbers.

Brother John at 8 p.m.: John Kattke, a.k.a. Brother John, is a vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist. His back-up band usually consists of drums, bass, trumpet and tenor sax. Repertoire ranges from classic rock, New Orleans, Latin, R&B, blues, swing and instrumental jazz, etc.

Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials at 9:30 p.m.: Mixing smoking slide guitar boogie and raw-boned Chicago shuffles with the deepest slow-burners, Lil' Ed and his blistering Blues Imperials — bassist "Pookie" Young, guitarist Mike Garrett and drummer Kelly Littleton — deliver the blues, from gloriously riotous and rollicking to intensely emotional and moving. As a special treat on this special night, Lil’ Ed welcomes guest Ronnie Baker Brooks, son of blues great Lonnie Brooks.  Ronnie's unique mix of Chicago blues, funk and rock has packed the house at FitzGerald's on many a Saturday night!

Both nights will feature Louisiana food by "Festival" Tom Cimms—on Monday, look for the One Man Gumbo Stand, and on Fat Tuesday look for a larger menu including gumbo, jambalaya and classic NOLA po’ boys.


Know more events going on around town? Add them in comments below, or email the editor at OakPark@patch.com for give us the details.

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