Remembering Bob

April 24, 2019 at 1:21 pm (Uncategorized)

I don’t think words can begin to convey the immense sense of loss that has been created by the untimely passing of Bob Bansberg.

To his wife Linda and his two children, Claire and Robert, we can try and understand, be compassionate, and extend our wishes of condolence. Though their pain and grief will dull with the passage of time, the hole seemingly ripped through their soul is so hard to heal.

The world today seems to be filled with people deserving of this fate, the list gets longer every day, the wheels of karmic justice seem to move so slowly except for when it comes to a rare gem of a human, like Bob Bansberg. He would never be on said list, for he was loved by many.

Bob was like a ray of sunlight, full of hope, and Joie de Vie. As far as I could tell Bob started every day with the view that something great is going to happen today and I am ready to experience it. Much like the popping of a cork on a bottle of wine, always optimistic that it will be some new gustatory delight.

It was Adam Seger who introduced Bob and I approximately 15 to 20 years ago. Adam was hosting a party at his house, Bob was so engaging from the start, and I immediately understood Adam’s sense of admiration for him. Bob became no stranger to events at the Twisted Spoke and Lush Wine & Spirits, I would bump into him at social events and industry events alike. He always stood out as if there was a hospitality halo surrounding him wherever he went, his glow filling the room.

I stopped by Ambria while Bob was there a handful of times with winemaker friends as they passed through Chicago. I could always count on Bob for being incredibly polite to them, though not once did he ever purchase their wine. A few years later I found myself in the wine making business while Bob was working at PM Prime. I am honored to say Bob was enthusiastic about putting my wine on their list.

I think the most time I spent with Bob was over the last 2 or 3 years after PM Prime closed. Bob was searching for something to do, and I told him that I could not pay him what he was worth, but I would love for him to work at Lush whenever he had the time or desire. This turned out to be most Mondays and Sundays, plus whenever he had a break from teaching.

Monday’s with Bob soon became tasting 100’s of wines, talking about past dinners, discussing inspirational vineyards, winemakers, chefs, food, and hospitality. When Bob was present, you could bet there were stories to be shared and many laughs to go around.

So many times I recall hearing him say, “The attack is good, but the money is in the finish.” With those very words of wisdom he walked out the door, “Thanks for another great Monday! See you next week.” It is with deep sorrow that I realize that next Monday will never be.

Permalink Leave a Comment

LUSH Staff Picks 2011: Newbies

December 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

All day, every day, the Lushes have been searching and exploring…challenging our palates to expand as we try new grapes, regions, producers, and styles. We have discovered what we adore, what we LOVE and what do not care for. And, we discovered that our tastes have evolved, twisted, turned, and ended up in new places, the same places, and places we never imagined we would go. As a staff, we have a very eclectic, bizarre, and sometimes frightening taste in all things fermented.

Set to task, dedicated to choosing our very most favoritest wines, we set a very strict set of criteria…we want outrageous quality for the cash, of course, but we also require craft winemaking, juice that speaks of where it comes from and that inexplicable, intangible, expression of something extraordinary.Our staff picks of the year are titillating, intellectual stimulating, and definitely remarkable…unforgettable, even. So, we are memorializing our favorites of the year in this year end rewind.

So, without further ado, the LUSH Wines of the Year, 2011. Ha. No, silly, you have to come to the tasting to get a sneak peek and a secret sip… Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

TimeOut Chicago EatOut Awards 2010

March 4, 2010 at 12:46 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Rock the vote…
LUSH has been nominated as one of the best wine shops in the city. Please excuse us while we fan ourselves and try to remain calm…eeeeee! So exciting. Please share your love and support of all things LUSH by voting. The TimeOut Chicago 2010 EatOut Awards are about indulging in the good and booze, with a close pulse on the city and what is brand spanking new or established and still performing wonders peddling deliciousness. Vote your most bestest favorite restaurant, chefs, bartender, blogger…and wine shop! We heart you!


TEXT ‘Wine 1’ to 46786.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Happy face!

November 23, 2009 at 7:13 pm (Uncategorized)

LUSH West Town has been licensed.  Hells yeah.  We’ll be stocking the shelves and opening shortly.  Stay tuned, my friends.  And, get thirsty.  Eeeeeeee!!!

Permalink Leave a Comment

She Should Have Come to Lush

July 24, 2009 at 12:55 pm (Uncategorized)

True Story.

A friend of mine made a trip recently to a wine store in her neighborhood. Knowing a thing or two about wine but being short on time, she deferred her selection to the seemingly helpful lady present behind the counter. Her needs: two bottles for dinner; one red, perhaps an Argentinean malbec and one white, preferably an unoaked chardonnay. The advice she received: check the price tags. Anything over $17 should be unoaked.

I can’t make this stuff up, folks. Of all the bad advice I have experienced in my time of wine, this takes the cake. I wonder what her criteria for selecting a pet is? Anything over $25 should get you a pony?

Permalink Leave a Comment

LUSH Summer Patio Series 2009

May 31, 2009 at 4:40 pm (Uncategorized)


DINNERS WITH LUSH: A series of gourmet parties on our patio…
Holla. Shout from the rooftops and tell all your friends; Lush in University Village has a rocking patio that is just itching to be used every single day of sunshine and warm(er) temps.  And, what better way to utilize the short Chicago summer than to sip away the afternoon and EAT outside!  The Lushies have been whipping up a full schedule of food and wine events, so please join us for a lovely evening, or jump in on them all!  Resos are required and all reservations are non-refundable.  Serious.

PATIO SERIES @ LUSH, 1257 South Halsted, Chicago, IL 60607
Each event is open to 25 people.  Groups are welcome and encouraged. We will be taking resos soon.  Reservations are required and the cost is non-refundable. We expect to serve 4 courses, family style, and pour you 2-4 glasses of wine.  Yes, that translates to MORE than you could possibly want to eat or drink.  The cost will fluctuate depending upon the event (we’re aiming for $40-100 for most).  More details to come.  Call 312.738.1900 to reserve a seat.  You may also email  EAT, DRINK, be MERRY and CELEBRATE with us! Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

Dark Lord Day

May 12, 2009 at 10:53 am (Beer, Current Events, Our Favorite Things, Special Events, Uncategorized, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

by Mr. Brent Shumard, Lush beer nerd

Dark Lord Day…the name has ominous overtones and conjures up images of people summoning evil things from the nether-regions of the universe to serve their dastardly purposes…but it shouldn’t.

Say those three words to a beer geek and expect to hear a gasp, a smile, and possibly a couple of stories if they’ve managed to make it there. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

Dear Spring:

April 11, 2009 at 4:04 pm (BYOB, Our Favorite Things, Uncategorized, What we are eating, What we are thinking, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

[Three weeks ago] Are you there, Spring? It’s me, Erin. I have some questions for you, if you’ve got just a— no wait! Come back! I hate you.

[Now] Okay, you little tease. I’ve got one wary eye on the sky and another on Tom Skilling, but it seems like you might actually be here for good. Now, I know I’m usually a hater–and can you blame me? Spring, you’re a little too windy and rainy and allergy-y for my taste– but you do have some things going for you. I will list them in alphabetical order: asparagus, bunnies, Dark Lord Day, IPA, gruner veltliner, less curl-up-and-sleep thought patterns, Lush patio-friendly weather, ramps, sailing, saison beer releases, and sunshine.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 2 Comments

LUSH Interview: 10 Questions with Efrain Cuevas

April 7, 2009 at 4:18 pm (Interviews, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Clandestino Dining
All over Chicagoland

BIO: Efrain Cuevas is one of LUSH on Halsted’s neighbors, and lives right down the street from LUSH Lady Erin, which makes him even more awesome. We first met him slangin’ BBQ with the Honky Tonk crew over the summer in various spots, and have been dying to get in on his Clandestino dinner parties ever since. Originally from Aurora, IL, Efrain has a strong background in all things food. His Mexican family’s cooking inspired him from an early age, and experience tending to–and even slaughtering–farm animals for food was part of his childhood, and it influences his cooking today. Playful and fun, but grounded in a deep respect for farmers and the sourcing of food, Efrain’s style is in tune with the current local food movement. LUSH is so happy to have collaborated with him recently, and we look forward to rockin’ it out with him this summer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

ReCap: Whiskey Week Night #2 and #3

April 3, 2009 at 9:50 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

April 1st, 2009

Whiskey Fest, hosted by the Hyatt Regency, is an annual whiskey throwdown of the best traditional and innovative distillers in the world.  A few brewmasters join in on the fun with intense barrel aged brews, and a collection of local distillers are on display, as well.

One gigantic conference hall.  400 distillers. Oodles of whiskey. 4 hours.  Go!

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 1 Comment

Next page »