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Street smarts for your eat smarts. When the Beat Cop pauses from taking a bite out of crime, he grabs a bite at joints all over town.

When the Beat Cop pauses from taking a bite out of crime, he takes a bite out of donuts, polish sausage, fried chicken, enchiladas, and omelettes...


Lake Claremont Press's 2004 award-winner, The Streets & San Man's Guide to Chicago Eats, delivered tongue-in-cheek style and food-in-mouth expertise by a certified expert of the City of Chicago's Department of Lunch: streets & sanitation department electrician Dennis Foley.

Now, Sgt. David J. Haynes of the Chicago Police Department, and his partner-in-crime, bloggist Christopher Garlington, want to take on Foley's street-level guide to the best mom-and-pop food bargains in Chicago with their follow-up: The Beat Cop’s Guide to Chicago Eats. "We're funnier, better-looking, and have the street smarts, girth, and weaponry to meet him in any alley, taqueria, or rib joint."

He's no chef, food writer, or restaurateur. A former marine, Sgt. Haynes has spent the past 15 years dodging bullets and chasing down gang bangers on Chicago’s West Side, running Chicago's first ever Homeland Security Task Force, and supervising squads in Chicago’s 19th District at Belmont and Western. During those years, one of his most daunting tasks—and indeed one of the most important ones—was to get lunch.

Laugh if you want to. Getting lunch for 20 hungry cops who have been riding around in the freezing Chicago winter or blistering summer heat requires a remarkable degree of diplomacy, grit, and street savvy. Seriously, these folks are armed! They’re out there putting their lives on the line hour by hour; and when their stomachs are growling, they’re not calling for a Big Mac. They want real food—good food—the kind of food that makes them forget about the mean streets of Chi-Town for half an hour. They want Italian beefs, stuffed pizza, and catfish nuggets; they want ribs, red hots, and pulled pork sandwiches.

Navigating this volatile terrain has become second nature to Sgt. Haynes. His knowledge of local eateries comes hard-earned from years on the beat and years of fierce debate with other cops. Haynes’s understanding of the best places to get lunch in Chicago makes for an unprecedented blue-collar guide to the best food in the Windy City. You know we’re not talking white tablecloths and Perrier.

The cafes and counters in this book are the places where locals go to get a sandwich. They’re the places that cater church suppers. Go to one of these joints and you’ll sit shoulder to shoulder with pipe fitters, bricklayers, yardmen, sanitation removal engineers, pimps, organized crime leaders, and cabbies.

And cops. Because first and foremost, this book is about where cops eat. On any given day at any of these restaurants, you’ll find yourself eating with some of the 11,000 men and women who help keep our city safe. This book is dedicated to them.

"The idea,” says Haynes, “is to get in, get a good meal, and get out before your lunch break ends for under ten bucks.” Peppered with outrageous stories from working cops, Chicago cop lore, and even a few recipes, The Beat Cop’ s Guide takes you on a gustatory journey through all five CPD areas, including some of the toughest neighborhoods in the nation.

The Beat Cop’s Guide to Chicago Eats comes at a time when Chicagoans really need it. The economy is in a slump like never before. Times are tough. Money is tight. The Beat Cop doesn't just direct you to a great meal for eight bucks--he's secured you your very own police discount. The book will retail at $15.95 and includes $34 in coupons. It's almost as lucrative as being buddies with your alderman.

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As for Lake Claremont Press, we are an independent publisher in Chicago specializing in books on the Chicago area and its history, by authors with specific Chicago passions and organizations with Chicago-centric missions. We've published over 50 books and garnered almost 30 small press awards since our founding in 1994, always with a staff of only one to three people and some terrific freelance editorial and design pros.

With every book we try something new--to give our readers something different and appealing; to broaden our horizons and keep things interesting; or simply because circumstances dictate. We switch up formats, sizes, paper stocks, cover styles, editorial approaches, author voices. We customize marketing campaigns or re-invent them from scratch. We find co-publishers, sell like crazy in advance, enter into creative partnerships. This time, we're on Kickstarter raising $5K for the first printing of the book by basically selling the book in advance. The book's written and edited and the design's being polished as you read this.

About the Beat Cop and the Streets & San Man: These Chicago city workers are the perfect people to dispense humorous advice about eating affordably across the city, and it's very easy for the reader to make fun of these notorious eaters while taking their insider advice to heart. But they're not just cheap gimmicks or quirky little guidebooks. These books embody some key elements of Lake Claremont Press's reason for being in that they help readers better navigate and enjoy the city around them, nudge them into unfamiliar areas of Chicago, encourage a sense of place, promote the local economy/local businesses, and cultivate a sense of civic identity and history.


Ready for lunch? Order your copy(ies) of The Beat Cop's Guide to Chicago Eats now.


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  • Pledge $2 or more
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    2 backers

    Special mention on The Beat Cop's Guide to Chicago blog and a free ketchup packet the next time we see you.

  • Pledge $6 or more
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    1 backer

    Five random restaurant entries from the book emailed to you, a blog mention, and a chance to have The Beat Cop's Guide authors take you and a friend to lunch at a place in their book.

  • Pledge $18 or more
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    49 backers

    Autographed copy of the book (tax and shipping included), a blog mention, and a chance to have The Beat Cop's Guide authors take you and a friend to lunch at a place in their book.

  • Pledge $45 or more
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    24 backers

    Three autographed copies of the book (tax and shipping included), a $5 gift certificate to Huck Finn Donuts, a blog mention, and a chance to have The Beat Cop's Guide authors take you and a friend to lunch at a place in their book.

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    6 backers

    An autographed copy of the book (tax and shipping included), blog mention, a chance to have The Beat Cop's Guide authors take you and a friend to lunch at a place in their book, and ten other Lake Claremont Press books of your choice (currently in print and in stock).

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    For libraries, clubs, and others with programming needs! One of The Beat Cop's Guide authors will give a public program at your library (or other venue) and give two copies of their book to your collection.

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    2 backers

    For the fast food joints, bookstores, and other re-sellers out there! 24 copies of the book (shipping included) to keep or re-sell, a counter-top display, and a booksigning event with the authors at your establishment.

  • Pledge $360 or more
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    1 backer

    For the eateries, gift shops, and other re-sellers out there! 48 copies of the book (shipping included) to re-sell or keep, a counter-top display, a 2' x 3' window poster of the cover, and a booksigning event with the authors at your establishment.

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    3 backers

    For the restaurants, organizations, and other re-sellers out there! 72 copies of the book (shipping included) to re-sell, give away, or keep, a counter-top display, a 2' x 3' window poster of the cover, AND a live broadcast of the Dave & Chris radio show from your establishment that includes two dozen free donuts for your patrons and a booksigning with the authors.

Funding period

- (40 days)