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Popular dining series ‘Check, Please!’ ends 20-year run on WTTW

Over time, the show hosted thousands of Chicagoans who gave their thoughts on the city’s eateries, including a Hyde Park state senator who went on to become the 44th president of the United States.

Producer David Manilow, standing, speaks with guests on the set of “Check, Please!” (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) ORG XMIT: CX404
WTTW-Chicago series “Check, Please!” has hosted thousands of Chicagoans — including Chicago Teachers Union boss Karen Lewis — eager to share their thoughts on the city’s restaurants scene since 2001.
AP

A popular public television series known for providing a platform for thousands of Chicago residents who critiqued the city’s restaurants has ended its 20-year run on WTTW-Channel 11.

Check, Please!” a WTTW-Channel 11 series, confirmed the news on Wednesday.

“Chicago is a restaurant town, and for many years, ‘Check, Please! has brought people from across our city and suburbs together to inspire exploration and discovery of the diversity of foods, flavors, and cuisines in our community,” said WTTW in a statement. “This upcoming season, as ‘Check, Please!’ leaves WTTW’s schedule, we look forward to bringing local documentaries, storytelling, and trusted and independent news to our audience.”

“Check, Please!” launched in 2001 with Amanda Puck as its host. Each episode featured three locals who visited eateries and later met up to give their thoughts.

“We’ve had more than 35,000 Chicagoans apply to be guests on the show; Cops, carpenters, economists, interior designers, magicians, grandmas and future presidents,” said series creator and producer David Manilow in a blog post. “I’d like to say our upcoming 20th milestone season will be our best one ever! However, WTTW/11 and I want to go in different directions and pursue other opportunities, so it’s just not to be.”

Sommelier Alpana Singh, who hosted the series for 10 seasons, left in 2012 to open her first restaurant, River North’s “The Boarding House.”

In 2018, Singh returned to replace her successor, Catherine De Orio, who hosted from 2013-2018.

In a 2001 episode, Barack Obama — then a state senator — was a guest on the show, where he gave his thoughts on Hyde Park’s Dixie Kitchen and Bait Shop.

“Check, Please!” follows other locally based shows who’ve met the death knell this year including WGN-Channel 9’s “Chicago’s Best,” WCIU-Channel 26’s “The Jam,” and WLS-Channel 7’s “Windy City Live.”