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David Lissner
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Liberté, égalité, fraternité! Bastille Day Chicageaux-style

French flag

On July 14, 1789, revolutionary troops stormed the Bastille, a medieval fortress and prison in Paris, bringing down harsh rule of France’s Bourbon monarchy. The first Fete de la Federation, on July 14, 1790, celebrated the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in France. France — and Francophiles — have been toasting the day ever since. Here are a few July 14 events around Chicago:

Georges “Kiki” Cuisance

Georges “Kiki” Cuisance (Photo by Peggy VaGenius).

  • Kiki’s Bistro, River North, 1–10 p.m., free admission.

    Oo-la-la! Celebrating 20 years of French cuisine in River North, Georges “Kiki” Cuisance, proprietor of Kiki’s, will be honored on Bastille Day when Franklin Street is renamed “Rue de Kiki” at 1 p.m. The honorary street naming kicks off an all-day outdoor celebration featuring music by Claudia Hommel. Reservations are required for indoor and terrace dining, but the outdoor Bastille Day festival is open to all, with food and beverages for sale for outdoor revelers.

  • Chicago French Market, West Loop, 4–6 p.m., free admission.

    While French cabaret singer Greta Pope enlivens the market, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, offers free wine and cheese samples. A more substantial French cheese plate and baguette runs $9.07. Canady le Chocolatier will be hosting a chocolate tasting, too.

  • Deca, Streeterville, all day.

    Celebrate with French fries tomorrow, National French Fries Day, and on Bastille Day with house-made fries, complimentary with the purchase of a cocktail. Choices are truffle/duck fat fries with smoked sea salt or fries made with lemon salt, fresh oregano and grated parmesan reggiano.

  • Duchamp, Bucktown, 6–9 p.m., Tickets: $55.

    Chef Michael Taus serves French fare, St-Germain and Belvedere Vodka cocktails on the patio.

  • Le Titi de Paris, Arlington Heights, lunch $36, dinner, $56.

    Chef Michael Maddox serves a special three-course prix-fixe lunch and five-course dinner menu in addition to his regular menu, while Glassworks performs from 6 to 9 p.m. Reservations required.