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Surf's Up for Chef Shangri-La's Fong Fest

Go!Tsunami–This is a band, not a group of north side chefs

Just like a great tiki drink, a good music festival starts from the bottom up.

The 2nd Annual Fong Music Fest pays tribute to master chef Paul J. Fong, who in 1976 opened the beautiful Chef Shangri-La at the corner of Des Plaines Avenue and 26th in North Riverside.

This year’s “Fong Fest” kicks of at 1 p.m. Sept. 14 in the outdoor parking lot of the “Chef” as regulars call it.

Fong had been the former chef at the now-razed Shangri-La restaurant (222 N. State). Fong died in May of 2012. Long time tiki anthropologists Dave and Coalbe Vlasta helped create the tribute to Fong.

Bang-a-gong, get it on. Tickets are just $5 at the door.

Here is the sked: 1 p.m. Michael St. Angle is The Elvis Entertainer

2 p.m. Alewife, a very hip instrumental music combo with Exotica-Latin ambiance.


3 p.m. The Real Gone, straight-ahead ‘50s and ‘60s rock influenced by Dick Dale.

4 p.m. Hillbilly Idle, rockabilly and surf meets punk.

5 p.m. The Heavies, power rock and surf.

6 p.m. The Amazing Heeby Jeebies, “Garagaebilly” band features former Riptone member Earl “Wolfdaddy” Carter.

7 p.m. The Dyes, the Bloodshot artists with diverse influences such as the Flat Duo Jets and Wanda Jackson. (Bloodshot employee Pete Klockau created the fest poster.)

8 p.m. Go! Tsunami; this rock and surf instrumental band wears hockey masks and coveralls when they perform. Who knows? You might see Corey Crawford,

9 p.m. The FUZZrites; ‘60s style garage rock.

The go-go dance troupe The Janes will be shaking it up throughout the day. The great Lucky Buddah pale lager in bottles can be found for $4.95 each at “The Chef.” (The beer bottle is shaped like a buddah.)

FongHeads are encouraged to bring their own canopies/pop-up tents, lawn chairs and blankets. A Polynesian marketplace will feature tiki carvings, vintage collectives, Hawaiian wear and CDs. Proceeds from raffle tix benefit the small animal shelter CatNap from the Heart in LaGrange. (Winners must be present to win, isn’t that how life rolls.)

Sun-Times photo

Paul Fong opened Chef Shangri-La with his wife Susan “The Fierce Hawaiian Tiger” Fong. They married in 1972 and opened their first Chicago restaurant, the Cantonese Chef in Chinatown.

When they both were too ill to run Chef Shangri-La, daughter Betty stepped in with her husband Duane Hlavka.

Betty and Duane added the “Chef’s” thatched tiki huts and vintage Witco carvings. The expanded the menu with a contemporary Asian-fusion spin. They bought contemporary dinnerware for the 275-seat restaurant, which is open during “Fong Fest.

Don’t miss the menu’s new spicy fish tacos with fried rice ($7.25) or the Volcano Beef (tender beef marinated in Chinese spices and sauteed with white onions; $14.95).

This all-day festival is guaranteed to stir the tropical soul.