Since moving to Wicker Park in 1993, Peter Garfield has been a driving force in the neighborhood’s dining and drinking scene. Thanks to his charisma and desire to establish new concepts, Garfield has been one of the names behind some of the area’s defining institutions. In 2007, Garfield collaborated with Toby Maloney, Jason Cott, Donnie Madia and Terry Alexander to open the Violet Hour, bringing a unique, upscale cocktail bar not only to Wicker Park, but also to Chicago. In 2015, The Violet Hour achieved the James Beard Outstanding Bar Program award, solidifying it as one of the most influential bars in our nation.
Garfield, Alexander and Madia’s next project came together when a mutual friend referred the team to the landlord of the iconic Pontiac Café space. Seeking to preserve the slice of classic Wicker Park that Pontiac Café represented, Garfield and his Violet Hour partners teamed up with Chef Paul Kahan to create a singular bar destination: Big Star, where people could enjoy a lively environment, eat delicious tacos and listen to some great music. Big Star has since expanded to the United Center and most recently across the street from Wrigley Field. Garfield could not be more excited and describes this as a dream come true. A lifelong Cub fan, Garfield and his father bonded over baseball, and even though he passed away in 2006, Garfield knows his dad is proud of his latest venture.
With Big Star’s growing popularity, Garfield and his partners came upon the opportunity to expand the to-go area and build a commissary kitchen in Wicker Park. With this expansion, the opportunity for a new space arose. Thus, Dove’s Luncheonette was born, right next door. This Southern-inspired diner offers a cozy, familial gathering spot with some of the best comfort food around.
Garfield lives in Chicago with his wife Natalie, a veteran educator in Chicago Public Schools, and their dog Sidney.