The Barstool Fund - Que Rico (Chicago, IL)

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Que Rico is a casual fine dining restaurant located in the Chicago neighborhood of Lakeview offering eclectic Mexican cuisine and warm hospitality.


Reader Email

Dear Barstool!  Please read might be a little long but very worth the read (I think).

First of all my name is Courtney Connolly, my husband and I are originally from Boston and we are good friends with Dave’s HS buddy Todd Klein. We live in Chicago and have a house around the corner from Dave on Nantucket.

Anyhow, I writing on behalf of my friend Patty Prosen who owns a small Mexican restaurant in Chicago called Que Rico (2841 North Southport Ave). I bet Big Cat has gone there as it’s in Lakeview. They have one of the best margaritas in the city.

Patty, the owner, is a single mom of 2 and has owned Que Rico for 25 yrs. She employs probably 6 full time staff. Patty is the soul of Que Rico. If u go there she treats u like family. The first place I would go after having each of my 3 kids was Que Rico for a margarita. My kids grew up going there. Literally everyone who has gone there loves it. Which is basically how she has survived for so long during the lock down bc her customer support is like nothing I have ever seen.

When March lock downs happened she tried to apply for the PPE and the money was all gone by the time they looked at her application. To this day she has not received $1 of any bail out money! The only thing she got from the government was a visit by the health department 2 months ago saying her outdoor tables were too close, they shut down her outdoor patio (peak fall gorgeous outdoor dining weather for Chicago) and she had to go to court the day before Thanksgiving to fight the fines (she won).

On top of owning Que Rico she also works full time at Marino’s Grocery managing the cheese department because 2 years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer and needed insurance. Literally, u can’t make this shit up. The good news is she is cancer free!

Anyhow, through out all this nonsense she just keeps kicking ass. This most recent shut down of indoor dining worries her bc she just wants to be able to continue to pay her staff and taking away holiday indoor dining/celebration is killing her. She worries that this might be the nail in Que Rico’s coffin.

I have called many lawyers and the restaurant association in Illinois on her behalf and there doesn’t seem to be anything to help businesses like hers.

The amount of love I have for Patty and Que Rico is hard to describe. We talk about moving out of Chicago and my one point to my husband is what am I going to do if I can’t go to Que Rico? She is the best and just loves what she does!

There are many stories like Patty’s and my heart aches for all of them. Selfishly though, If I could ask for one thing for Christmas it would be that the lady who does so much for other people and brings so many people so much joy by going to Que Rico gets a break and a little financial help to get her though these tough times. And I guarantee u she will pass 100% of that money directly to her staff.

Thanks for reading about Patty, I hope u all have a great holiday and thank u so much for doing this for people like Patty.

Courtney Connolly