Friday, February 12, 2016

Troop goes to da Loop

When my old friend Sam, Trooper and I arrived at Sepia restaurant in downtown Chicago yesterday noon, Sam did not announce that Trooper was a service dog, nor did the hostess ask.

But Sam did request a well-lighted table because I am a lipreader.

The hostess immediately disappeared into the back.

I think she might have gone to ask the manager where he wanted to sit us,” Sam said later. “But they put us right up front, so I think they were making sure they did things right.”

They certainly did. Whether the extra effort was for a deaf patron, or his service dog, or both, we don’t know for sure.

But as soon as we were seated at an out-of-the-way but well-lighted table quite visible to other diners, a waiter brought an elegant glass bowl of water and placed it on the floor for Trooper. He immediately appreciated it.

These folks know how to welcome a service dog team. No sharp intakes of breath or narrow looks of suspicion, just broad smiles and a little extra effort.

Sepia, by the way, is at 123 N. Jefferson in the West Loop, two blocks from Ogilvie Transportation Center. Trooper and I had ridden in on the Metra train from Evanston.

The restaurant occupies an old print shop from the 1890s and its decor specializes in vintage Chicago memorabilia. If one runs out of conversation, one can amuse oneself just gazing around the place.

Its American cuisine, by the way, is moderately upscale and very, very good. The restaurant rates 4 1/2 stars on and 4 stars on Yelp.

I’ll give it a 5.

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