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Dear Reader

04 /// Dear Reader


Contents 05 /// Chicago Festival Guide

23 /// International Mr. Leather

Publisher Lead Stylist + Writer Director of Operations + Writer Director of Graphics and Photography

Jenn Schnoes Jake Giles

Editor + Assistant Graphic Artist Editor + Writer

Dominic Garascia, LEED Jasen James Kevin Purvis, BS CSCS Leslie Shores

Writer Writer Writer Stylist

Nick Vandevelde Bret Grafton Dr. Joe Yates

Advertising IML Art Consultant + Partner

Nate Stoner

Intern + Graphics


Joey Grant Josh Shores Lisa Kimmey Christina Burton

Best of Chicago

Credits + Contributors

Chicago Festival Guide

07 /// Mint Male’s Best of Chicago



Thanks for your support! Joey Grant

Chicago Festival Guide

We have a new addition to our Mint Male family! The Mini Mint will be coming out every other month and will be an area or feature specific mini magazine. This month, we decided to take a tour of our favorite places around our very own city of Chicago! We made sure to give you a little taste of everything from food to venues, and even our favorite way to shape up for the summer. In May’s Mini, you’ll find just a few of the many great Chicago Festivals including food and music. A full feature Mint Male will appear in June along with our pride celebration, a sneak peek at our Pride Float and other new and exciting additions. Stay tuned and stay with us as we continue towards our goal of becoming the viable media source in the GLBTQA community.

Dear Reader

Dear Minters,

Best of Chicago IML


This month’s Mini-Mint Male Magazine was sponsored in full by Planned Property Management. Planned Property has been representing thousands of quality apartments throughout the Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and Gold Coast neighborhoods for well over twenty years.


2010/// QUICK FESTIVAL GUIDE By, Jake Giles


Perhaps the best part of a Chicago summer is the abundance of festivals. After months of being trapped inside, the city spills into the parks and streets to celebrate music, food, and fun. Here are seven of the major outdoor festivals that make sticking it out through the winter to enjoy the heat worth every snowflake.

When: June 25-June 26 Where: Halsted, between Addison & Grace, Halsted & Addison What: Months of fitness and fabulousness go into the largest gay gathering in the state, and one of the largest in the world. Expected attendance this year is set at a record 500,000. With music, food, and the gayest parade you’ll ever witness, this is one you can’t miss. And if you do, you’ll hear it from wherever you are or step on the beads in the street.



When: July 16-July 18 Where: Union Park What: Pitchfork brings their lovable indie snobbery to this three-day festival in the West Loop. The lineup this year includes St. Vincent, Modest Mouse, LCD Soundsystem, and many more. Although three-day passes are sold out, it’s with good reason: A less chaotic environment than Lolla, but the same quality of musicianship.

LOLLAPOLOOZA When: August 6-August 8 Where: Grant Park What: The full lineup has been announced, and yes, our Lady (Gaga, that is) will be headlining one of the days of this three-day festival. Music acts from all genres will hit the various stages throughout the day. Grab your lightest fitting clothes, keep hydrated, and rock out until the sun goes down. for full line-up.

NORTH HALSTED MARKET DAYS When: August 7-August 8 Where: N Halsted, Belmont & Addison, Halsted & Belmont What: The “other” gay festival that many queers argue is more enjoyable than Pride. Besides featuring local and national music acts, the festival boasts hundreds of arts and craft booths and delicious eats.


When: July 17 Where: Midwest Bank Amphitheater What: It’s back! Everyone’s favorite female festival is back and better than ever. Canadian songstress Sarah McLachlan is at the helm of this all-woman musician festival, which makes its stop in Chicago mid-July. Other than McLachlan, the Chicago lineup includes Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Heart, and more.


Best of Chicago

When: June 25-July 4 Where: Grant Park What: Ah, the festival we all love to hate but eventually find ourselves at and eating a fried Twinkie. The 30th anniversary of the Taste happens this year, with more local restaurants expected to participate than ever. Major music acts and the best worst food you can eat is perhaps the definition of summer.

Chicago Festival Guide

When: June 12-June 13 Where: Clark street in Andersonville What: Lesbians rejoice in this yearly street festival that is more eclectic than Pride with less than half the crowd. Now in its 45th year, Midsommerfest promises to be zanier than ever; enjoy entertainment on four stages, activities, and artist showcases.

Dear Reader






Just when you thought Chicago couldn’t offer any new sights, smells, sounds, and tastes, Mint Male has searched far and wide to bring you the best (and the tastiest!) of Chicago. Enjoy a smooth cup of artfully designed coffee, or dance the night away at the best party you’ll ever attend. Within these pages is your guide to the best Chicago summer of your life!

Contents Dear Reader Chicago Festival Guide

Phoebe’s Cupcakes 3327 North Broadway, Chicago, IL 773.868.4000


Phoebe’s Cupcakes: Phoebe Walters and Kate McNamara opened this cute little pastel blue shop about year ago. With weekly speciality cupcakes from peanutbutter brownie to salted caramel and blood orange dreamsicle, they offer it all. This duo has over 200 different cupcakes that rotate weekly. Phoebe’s also offers coffees, teas, wedding cupcakes and even dog treats. A friendly and knowledgeable staff is there help you choose a unique and artisticly styled cupcake just for you. What separates them apart from others is their delectable Italian butter cream frosting and perfectly designed cupcakes that pack a scrumptiously consistent flavor. Phoebe and Kate are both culinary school pastry chefs and partnered with Chad Mollman, this team will for sure raise the bar for cupcake standards not just in Chicago but nationwide.

Best of Chicago

Best Cupcakes


Contents Dear Reader Chicago Festival Guide Best of Chicago IML


Best Hotdog Hueys When that summer weather comes bustling in, what’s better than a Chicagostyle hot dog? Huey’s can be found in the heart of Andersonville (just west of Clark on Balmoral). The dogs, burgers and brats are always cooked to perfection and accompanied with a side a fries. Huey’s is also vegetarian friendly with the best veggie hot dog I’ve ever tasted. Come in, get in line, choose char or grilled, and shortly thereafter they”ll call your name over the speaker system to let you know your order is ready. I also suggest splurging on a side of cheese fries or a milkshake to complete this guilty summer pleasure.

1507 West Balmoral, Chicago, IL 773.293.4800

Contents Dear Reader Chicago Festival Guide

Intelligentsia 3123 North Broadway, Chicago, IL 773.348.2291


Mission statements are the core of most companies, but Intelligentsia truly upholds theirs. “To provide our customers, staff, and community with an unparalleled and complete coffee and tea experience in an environment steeped in understanding, knowledge, skill, service and mutual respect.” Our favorite location is at 3123 North Broadway where many of Mint Male’s initial meetings first took place. The environment is like no other coffee house, and it’s where the creative of our city come to meet and drink great coffee (it’s presented artfully as well!). The servers, who are quite attractive we might ad, serve up the perfect cup of coffee and are always well trained and friendly. They offer up their coffee and tea knowledge with the same artistic passion of the crowd they serve. These bustling cafes offer all types of drinks from lattes to iced coffees and local baked goods with great indie music playing in the background. Intelligentsia truly understands coffee and tea and how to serve it the way it should be. In 1995 Doug Zell and Emily Mange started their coffee roasting company and now boast locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. What makes them truly unique is their direct relationship with growers and the passion they share with their team. They strive to sell, cultivate and produce the best coffee you can find in the States. This is a company that brings art, education and dedication in towards a common goal and excels.

Best of Chicago

Best Coffee


Contents Dear Reader Chicago Festival Guide Best of Chicago IML


Best Drink Tweet + Big Chick’s Bloody Mary Tweet, accompanied by the bar Big Chicks, offers unlimited reasons to visit. They have delectable food with a menu that would make any person happy. They have a full bar with a weekly themed party and the ever popular FKA event on every first Thursday. Besides all these wonderful attractions, they carry the best ever hangover cocktail, the Bloody Mary. Their Bloody Mary can be served traditionally, with Pepper Vodka or various combinations of sarichi and wasabi mixes as well. Pair any of these with their famous brunch menu and you have a combo for the perfect Sunday. It’s served up in a tiki glass with carrot, celery and green olive garnishes that also makes this drink a great appetizers. Big Chicks is always staffed with friendly and eclectic servers and if you ever need a good paddling, just ask the bartender (please note: he is not joking): it’s for real, as is their delicious Bloody Mary. 5020 North Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 773.728.5576

Contents Dear Reader Chicago Festival Guide

El Nuevo Mexicano 2914 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 773.528.2131


El Nuevo has been in the Lakeview neighborhood since 1983, and can be found at 2914 North Clark Street. This quaint neighborhood spot has tasty Mexican food and refreshing margaritas accompanied by a warm and bright decor. The family owned business has been kept lively and consistent with the help of Maria Rodriguez. The restaurant was passed down to her by her uncle and she’s kept his traditions alive, while also adding her own colorful art to the walls. The service at this local hot spot is extremely friendly which leaves the customer never feeling neglected. Along with their excellent wait staff, El Nuevo’s cuisine is fresh with a fair, moderate price tag. Their specials can’t be beat, nor can any seafood dish they offer. Their traditional Mexican dishes are excellent to say the least. We suggest the pomegranate margarita. What many people don’t realize is that they also have a great patio in back, along with a recent addition for more seating. You can have a romantic evening, dinner with friends, or a great “parents in town” venue all under one roof!

Best of Chicago

Best Mexican Cuisine


Contents Dear Reader Chicago Festival Guide 3360 South State Street, Chicago, IL 312.567.3230


Crown Hall, an architectural icon located on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology, is arguably one of Chicago’s finest and most famous buildings. Designed by Mies Van der Rohe in 1956, it became a masterpiece of modern architecture upon completion. Van der Rohe designed the building while he was director of IIT’s architecture department, and the building completes his modern campus vision. The building stands out not only for its modern simplicity, graceful proportions, and innovative use of steel and glass, but also because it represents one of the most important paradigm shifts in contemporary architecture -- from dark cloistered masonry buildings to airy, open steel and glass structures. On a sunny day sitting in Crown’s multi-use space, you feel like you are floating in a canopy of trees. Crown Hall represents the spirit of Chicago: openness, forward thinking, and technological innovation.

Best of Chicago

Crown Hall

By, Dominic Garascia

Best Architecture


Contents Dear Reader Chicago Festival Guide Best of Chicago IML


Best Local Shop Greenheart Shop Greenheart empowers consumers by giving them the opportunity to make a positive impact on the planet and mankind with their purchases. At Greenheart, they have variety of items available on any budget, and some are surprisingly affordable considering their origin and high quality. The store has an abundance of jewelry, clothing, food, home decor and much more. Did we mention Greenheart is non-profit? They exist so that we can have somewhere to go and buy these items that are so important to our economy and to social justice. The point is, whether you’re buying a product for yourself or another, you’re also recycling, giving to the underprivileged, and supporting social enterprises all at the same time! Greenheart was founded in October 2007 under a parent non-profit called Center for Cultural Interchange. CCI is an international education exchange organization dedicated to the promotion of academic development, cultural understanding, environmental consciousness, and world peace. For more information, check out our December Issue with a full spread on Greenheart and their products. 1911 W. Division St, Chicago, IL 312.264.1625

Contents Dear Reader Chicago Festival Guide Best of Chicago IML


Best Dance Party Stardust Stardust (hosted by Scott Cramer of Outdanced, Mini Shaina of Beatnix, Jenae Williams of Dirty Girls, Bobby Pins of Soundbar & Rew of Debonair, and Intern Jayme of Depaul and the last Thursdays of the month Co-Conspired with and Cult: Zain Curtis of Teen Witch, Matt-Matt of Baby Bamboo, Andrew Hensley of U Nast) is a weekly dance party. This Thursday event brings out a little bit of everyone from the community. The party is usually blanketed with a crowd of hipsters, queers, and sprinkled with every random type of Chicagoan you can imagine. They have a new theme, music, and performance every week and have welcomed Mint Male on numerous occasions to join them in these exciting events. Get there by 10pm and you can expect to be handed a glass of champagne and as of late, some free Colt 45. Stardust is widely known for their amazing guest performers and DJ sets with such names as; Sammy Jo (Scissor Sisters), Amanda Lepor, Cazwell, Crystal Castles (DJ set), Cut Copy (DJ set), and many more. There’s always an interesting event going on and at a fantastic venue to meet interesting types from all ends of the scene. 954 West Belmont, Chicago, IL 773.348.4975

Contents Dear Reader Chicago Festival Guide

Scarlet 3320 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 773.348.1053


Scarlet at 3320 North Halsted Street was voted “Best Chicago Gay Bar” by Mint Male’s readers. The bar was destroyed by fire and water damage about a year ago, but worry you not as they quickly bounced back with a hot new look and almost daily events. From “Frat Thursdays” to “First Ward Fridays” and “Party Foul,” the bar offers every gay a place to come out and play (not to mention a quite attractive bar staff that can be found in themed gear from pantless to superhero). Mint Male decided to celebrate their victory by throwing a cover party and Mint Male model search on Friday May 7th, 2010. The bar dates back their name and and theme to the 20’s and 30’s when members of the GLBT community used scarlet colored accessories to show their affiliation. The bar has a historic and modern feel with warm colors, exposed brick and velvety seating.

Best of Chicago

Best Nightclub


Contents Dear Reader Chicago Festival Guide

A Nearly New Shop

3826 North Broadway, Chicago, IL 773.525.0692


This shop, by far, is the greatest used bike store in the city, owned and operated by Ron Ashley. What started out as a thrift store, carrying various pieces of furniture, vintage clothes and some bikes has turned into Chicago’s premiere used bicycle expo. In the beginning, the bikes sold fast and the furniture and clothing seemed to remain. “When 10 people were waiting outside for bikes, I knew it was time to become a bike store” said Ron. He knew how to change tires, tighten loose parts, replace reflectors and hire on people who knew more about the mechanics of bikes. “I was never hard headed” he referred to learning from any age on how to refurbish bikes. Now 11 years later he has hired on three full time mechanics, who also help with sales. They specialize in bikes from 1950 to the late 80’s and their preferred brand is Schwinn. You can find a bike within any budget that doubles as a fashion statement. They refurbish the bikes to be in smooth working order and also let you choose the tape color. When you head to Nearly New, you’re on your way to a more affordable and greener way to get around in the city. Don’t forget to pick up a helmet and headlight for your new wheels.

Best of Chicago

Best Used Bike Store


Contents Dear Reader Chicago Festival Guide Best of Chicago IML


Best Fitness Class CORE FUSION® SPORT Exhale Spa offers many services, from nails to facials, and just about anything you might need to help you relax. If you’re looking to tone up your arms, shoulders, and butt while also working on your core, take the Core Fusion® Sport class. John Nelson, one of the instructors of this high intensity class, teaches it with incredible energy and drive. He makes you want to finish and doesn’t make you feel like a fool if you’re not quite perfect. It takes a little time to get used to the fast paced routine, but once you do, the sweat comes pouring down. This class is especially great for men and uses the medicine ball which helps center your core and works out your pectoral muscles and arms. John also makes sure to introduce himself and make you feel welcomed before he kicks your ass. The class pace speeds up, as does the difficulty and repetitions until you feel like you’re about to collapse. The temperature seems to coordinate with the level of difficulty to elevate your pulse and then cool your body off when you finish in a tranquil yoga-like end. After it’s all said and done, you feel like your stress has disappeared and your body feels fantastic. The next day, those of us who participated claimed we weren’t sore, but started to feel it more and more as the day progressed. I, Joey, highly recommend this class, and that’s coming from someone who has never wanted to take a class this intense before. 945 North State Street, Chicago, IL 312.753.4000

CIRCUIT MOM’S TWELVE YEAR BROMANCE What has your role played in past IML years and how long have you been involved in it? “My 12 year bromance with International Mr. Leather has been anything but bad. The more intimate events from a decade ago have grown into extravagant events at spectacular Chicago venues like Excalibur and House of Blues. I think our production work has help transform these events into bigger and better parties for the IML audience year after year. I came into the dance floor and club scene as promoter, producer, DJ and performer in 1997, and have been fortunate enough to work across the U.S. and Canada. In my 7 years as a featured DJ for IML, I feel I have developed a synergy of tribal, house, anthems, vocals and classics that keep everyone’s hands in the air and the dance floor packed. Working with IML and the leather community has opened many a dance floor opportunity for me. I will be at the helm as producer/DJ for IML’s House Of Blues “Victory Party” on Sunday, May 30 and have designed an amazing “Black and Blue Ball” closing party on Monday, May Interview by, Joey Grant + Josh Shores

31 with the brilliant pairing of Chicago’s red hot DJ Phil DaBeatz and Grammy nominated NYC DJ/Producer Sin Morera to bring the local and international leather audience to an explosive ending celebrating the last of Chicago’s massive gay dance events and IML’s 32nd year. As a party producer and DJ- IML has the best two nights in Chicago club land every year. The leather community is superb at creating an electricity about themselves and I feed off that excitement every year. I have amazing people around me that team up to help make the two parties sexy, fun and a little dirty. Budgets have been tight for everyone the last few years, so the challenge is to make the sound and energy over the top. This year, we will have some pretty twisted visuals and funked up production work to coincide with the “SPACE ODYSSEY” theme IML has adopted for their 32nd Anniversary. Also, it’s an opportunity to DJ for an international audience which is both daunting and invigorating”.

Dear Reader Chicago Festival Guide Best of Chicago IML

What is this years IML theme? 2010-A Leather Odyssey. They are incorporating imagery and ideas from the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s as well as kitschy sci-fi movies and television shows like “Buck Rogers”, “Barbarella”, “Flash Gordon” and the original “Star Trek”.

What is your favorite IML memory? “There are a couple, actually. The first year I DJ’d “The Black And Blue Ball” closing event at Excalibur, I was so nervous that about 30 minutes into my set, I “tossed my cookies” up in the trash can in the DJ booth. Not that anyone saw me, but it was still pretty embarrassing and funny at the same time. But, my top favorite memory of IML would be my last song I chose to play in 2006. I always try to choose a different track every year that will leave people with a great, shining, very personal final moment to the weekend. On U2’s “Rattle and Hum” album from 1988, they have a live concert version of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” complete gospel choir doing the backup vocals. It’s both haunting and uplifting at the same time. We still had a packed dance floor and I started the track and we raised the lights slightly to let everyone know the event was over. Not one person left the dance floor. It was like they were absorbing every lyric and I just stood there in the booth and watched everyone breathe in life. The audience cheered for the song at the end and moved me to tears. I will never forget that moment and the power that music can have on the world.”


Where does the persona Circuit Mom come from? “Circuit MOM started as a nickname on a dance floor in Atlanta in 1996 because of my nurturing nature. It evolved into a stage persona after being in a staff drag show at a bar I worked in. I have a theatrical background, but really wanted to do some aggressive Were you always involved within and creative shows for the dance floor the leather community or did crowd because you are not limited to IML introduce you to it? “I think a script or the same old music time back in my early days I was a little after time. I did my fair share of bar intimidated by the whole concept drag appearances, but had always of the leather community, but after envisioned big productions and effects my first full fledged event for a for larger audiences. Luckily, with hard leather audience, I was hooked! work and amazingly creative people IML definitely introduced me to a around me, I have been able to live my phenomenal group of people in our dream for many years. Circuit MOM LGBT community that welcomes encompasses many, many people-it’s everyone. not just one person, rather a creative family”.


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Mint Male's new line of mini guides that focus on one topic. This month is the 'Best of Chicago'. Best places to eat, workout, shop, and hav...