At some Chicago restaurants, it's often love at first bite—among the workers, anyway.
Timothy O'Tooles on the Gold Coast boasts four employee couples and two married couples. An assistant general manager and a former waitress are expected to marry in September, according to the restaurant's publicist.
MK, a Near North Side restaurant, has served as matchmaker for 12 employees who met there and later married. One couple—a sous chef and office manager—are currently engaged, a publicist for the restaurant said.
For Kate and Evan Bush, there were many forks in their road to the aisle.
The couple started working together at MK in 2006. She was a hostess, he was a bartender. Six months later, after Kate's roommate moved out, she invited Evan to move in.
They lived together platonically for a couple of years in a Wicker Park place for three. The trio decided to move out. Evan, 31, moved into a place in the Ukrainian Village. Kate, 30, moved into a place two blocks away.
Two days later, he helped her paint her new apartment. In between coats, they kissed and sparked a relationship. They dated for six months and then broke up.
Evan left MK and focused on his hobby of building furniture. Months passed and he focused on something else—getting Kate back.
He went over to her place in January 2009 and rekindled their relationship. He returned to MK that Valentine's Day and moved into Kate's place in March.
He proposed in April 2012 and they married in August.
They continue to work together at MK and live in Kate's place in Ukrainian Village. Their paint is still on the walls.
Evan jokes about the difficulties of being married to someone you work with, especially in the pressure cooker atmosphere of a restaurant.
"It's a pain in the ass," he said. "It's hard to keep your home life at home and your work life at work."
Kate said one upside to their situation is that they get the same time off for vacations. She says it's interesting working with so many other couples.
"We all go to them for marital advice," Kate said.
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