Carson’s Ribs Give Back

CHICAGO — A traditional “opening ribbon ceremony” is just not Carson’s Ribs’ style. In honor of its grand reopening and 33rd birthday, Carson’s Ribs is having a 33-day long cocktail party. Carson’s is showing the city its appreciation by offering free drinks and appetizers to customers at its River North downtown location.

Dean Carson, Carson’s director of operations, wants to inform the city of Carson’s good food and reasonable prices.

Dean Carson, taken by Kevin Gebhardt

“I’m inviting fellow Chicagoans to come in and wish me good luck. Why should it be at their expense?” says Carson.

The newly renovated Carson’s creates a neighborly, comfortable setting for customers including booths with leather seats, fireplaces and Plasma screen TVs. The entire renovation took about six weeks, remaining open during its stages of completion and closing completely for only about ten days.

“My only real goal was to make the restaurant better,” says Carson. “It’s kind of my goal on the daily basis.”

The 33-day long cocktail party began on November 18th and customers did not waste any time taking advantage of the special.

Some customers dine at Carson’s frequently and were patiently waiting on the re-opening.

Carmen Hoffman has been dining and Carsons since 1988 and even went there after her high school homecoming in 1989, and still dine at Carson’s about once every two weeks and even have a “usual table.”

“It’s a Chicago classic,” Hoffman says, while enjoying a full family share slab of ribs and salad.

Carmen’s son Jacob, 11, enjoys the ribs while his sister, Kelsea, 16, prefers chicken strips.

“They’re really good,” says Jacob as he wipes barbecue sauce from his face.

While other customers traveled from far and wide for Carson’s Ribs.

Traveling to Chicago for his birthday, Jose Maestre came all the way from Venezuela to try some of Chicago’s best ribs.

“Every time I visit a city in the United States, I try the ribs,” says Maestre who walked about 20 blocks from shopping on State Street for some of Carson’s famous ribs.

“Our server at the Cheesecake Factory said the best place is Carson’s for ribs,” says Maestre’s friend Isabel.

Dennis Kennedy, taken by Kevin Gebhardt

Even suburbanites Barb & Dennis Kennedy travel about 45 miles to Carson’s for food and service and their personal favorite server.

“We’ll drive this far because we know that we’re not going to have a bad experience,” says Barb Kennedy.

The Kennedys only come to Carson’s about four to five times a year, but they look forward to coming back soon to attend their free cocktail party.

“For free food, heck yeah we’ll be back,” says Dennis Kennedy. “Free is my favorite flavor.”

The free cocktail party will continue until December 18th. Customers are asked to RSVP with their desired date of attendance at 312-280-9200 or ericka@ribs.com. Dean Carson promises a fail-proof dining experience.

“Pick anything on my menu, not just ribs, and see how I stack up and be amazed,” Carson says.