And You Thought Cops Only Knew From Donuts

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An upcoming book from Lake Claremont Press is going to raise a few eyebrows on the Chicago food writers’ circuit. The Beat Cop’s Guide to Chicago Eats proves that contrary to the popular stereotype, cops enjoy a wide variety of foods and they know the best places to eat.

Any restaurant reviewer can name the top places downtown and in trendy neighborhoods, but can they tell you where to get an honest-to-goodness satisfying meal for ten dollars or less in every corner of Chicago? According to Lake Claremont publisher Sharon Woodhouse, the authors of this book can.

Frances Archer: Do cops really eat at all the places listed in The Beat Cop’s Guide to Chicago Eats?

Sharon Woodhouse: Absolutely. One of the authors is a 15-year veteran, and he’s not Officer Friendly–he was in the narcotics division on the city’s West Side. He included his own favorites in addition to his colleagues’ favorites restaurants.

FA: What kinds of places do cops like?

SW: They like restaurants where they can eat in half an hour and for under $10. And of course they want good food. Some like ethnic, some like salads. They may try more adventurous restaurants off-duty, so some of those places also were listed.


Because cops cover the entire city, the authors were able to include restaurants from each of the Chicago Police Department’s areas. The area designations also serve to organize the book, helping readers find places to eat by location. People who enjoy exploring unfamiliar neighborhoods can choose a destination and end up at good place to eat.

FA: Explain the promotion you’re doing.

SW: To help with printing expenses and minimize the risks of publishing a book, we’re involved in a Kickstarter fundraising campaign. is a website that allows people to group together and support creative endeavors they like.

To participate in Lake Claremont’s Kickstarter effort, you can pre-purchase copies of The Beat Cop’s Guide to Chicago Eats at special prices and receive extra “rewards” for doing so. We are hoping to meet our goal of $5,000 towards the book’s first printing.

FA: What does it cost to buy the book?

SW: For an $18 donation on our Kickstarter site, you get the book for less than it will cost once the book is published. Nothing is charged to the donor’s credit card until our goal of $5,000 is reached. That insures that if you commit, you will receive the book. We have until December 5 at 1:39 p.m. to reach our goal.

FA: Why are you trying to raise funds this way?

SW: One of the authors brought up the idea. We’re always looking for new, creative and sustainable ways to defray publishing costs. Advance sales helps secure the cost of printing and reduces our financial risk.

For us, it’s the difference between receiving payment upfront or waiting for payment 90 to 100 days after books ship, which are wholesalers’ pay terms in the publishing industry.

FA: Could you finance other books this way?

SW: Depends on the book. This particular book will attract advance sales for a couple reasons. It’s coming out on the heels of a similar book we published, The Street and San Man’s Guide to Chicago Eats, which sold very well.

FA: To everyone out there who likes discovering and helping preserve what’s unique about Chicago, check out the Kickstarter campaign for The Beat Cop’s Guide to Chicago Eats and purchase your copy now. It’s very fast and easy if you already have an Amazon account. You’ll be given the option to charge your donation to the credit card you have on file with Amazon.

Regular readers of this blog know I’ve interviewed Sharon Woodhouse before and she’s provided me with review copies of Lake Claremont Press books. If you’re interested in checking out  some of the other Chicago books she’s published, you’ll find them on the Lake Claremont Press website.

Read more Chicago Book Review.

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One Response to And You Thought Cops Only Knew From Donuts

  1. Sharon Woodhouse November 8, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    Thanks, Frances! The authors are already collecting information and suggestions on places they missed for this edition for round 2, so if you are a cop or just happen to know of spots in your neighborhood where squad cars line up out front, drop them a line on their site:

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