S.K.Y.

S.K.Y.

It was a Saturday night in Chicago, around 8:45 P.M., and my mom and I were sitting in the car eagerly anticipating our first dinner together in over three months. I had landed at O’Hare just over two hours earlier, and in true James Malnati fashion, had a dinner reservation lined up before I would even make it home. Even after having what seemed like the last piece of luggage to land on the carousel and driving all the way to Pilsen, we still arrived at S.K.Y. (pronounced as a series of three letters and not the full word according to our waiter) almost an hour before our reservation. This gave us time to talk about the slight uneasiness I felt about eating there, even with its rave reviews. Though I was excited for the meal, in my mind S.K.Y. remained tethered to the controversy regarding Pilsen’s gentrification, with its prices seeming unattainable for many of the neighborhood’s residents. Also, I was unsure if the restaurant would make an effort to hire members of the community or instead act as a catalyst for the erasure of the neighborhood’s cultural identity.

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