The 21st Show

Senator Duckworth; Restaurant Health Reviews; New Illinois Public Radio Show ‘Statewide’


Alex Brandon/AP

On the 21st: We caught up with Senator Tammy Duckworth on immigration, foreign affairs and of course, her daughter. Plus, Yelp's newest feature includes restaurant violations and overall health scores, and what this means for restaurant reviews moving forward. And, a new Illinois Public Radio program is making its debut tomorrow.

There’s been a lot going on in the country and in the world these past few months - whether it’s immigration, gun control, or a new nominee to the Supreme Court.

It’s also been a while since we spoke with Senator Duckworth. I spoke with her yesterday afternoon and this was the first time she’s come on the show since giving birth to her daughter Maile earlier this year. Like many moms, Senator Duckworth worked steadily throughout her maternity leave. So I started by asking how her daughter was doing.


Looking to try a new place to eat this weekend? How often do you scroll through reviews on google or Yelp to help you pick something to try?

And what if while searching, you also saw a list of demerits and health code violations next to that 5 star review about fettuccine alfredo?

At the end of July, Yelp announced that some businesses in Chicago are starting to roll out health scores on their review pages. So far, Yelp has began using quote “hygiene scores” for businesses in other big cities like New York, California, Texas, and Washington D.C. The company says that eventually, three quarters of the country will have access to health scores through Yelp.

So how is this actually going to work? And perhaps the bigger question -- how might these scores affect business for local restaurants?

Joining me on the line was WBEZ reporter Monica Eng who also co-hosts the food podcast Chewing. 

Michael Gebert joined us as well. He’s the editor of the online magazine, Fooditor. We invited some restaurant owners to join us too. Drew Starkey is the chef and owner at Bacaro Wine Lounge in Champaign, and he was with me in our Urbana studio. And Daniel Krause was on the line from his restaurant Cracked - The Egg Came First, which is also based in Champaign-Urbana. 



There’s a new Illinois public radio program that’s debuting tomorrow. It’s called Statewide - and it’s a production of NPR Illinois in Springfield. Regular listeners of the 21st across many of our partner stations will hear Statewide on Fridays instead of the 21st for the rest of the summer.

And for many of you listening, there’s a familiar voice behind the program - Sean Crawford - who is hosting - and he joined us today from Springfield.

Story source: WILL