CRAIN’S JULY 2013
It isn’t easy to revive a failing restaurant, but Michael Lachowicz, the owner of Restaurant Michael in Winnetka, is bringing some special insights into the restorative process as he tackles a redo of River North’s Mercer One Thirteen. Mr. Lachowicz, 43, has turned his own life around after a long struggle with addictions, a fact he hid from most of his loyal customers. He has come out into the open to field questions from Crain’s Chicago Business.
Crain’s: You sound and look better today than you have in years. What’s changed for you?
Mr. Lachowicz: I’ve been hooked on booze and pain medication and food for as long as I can remember. I’ve had an addictive personality. But in the past two and a half years I got myself clean and sober with the help of Narcotics Anonymous. I’ve lost 190 pounds, going from 430 pounds to less than 240. I haven’t had a drink or taken any drugs in that time. I now exercise every day with the help of a trainer, and my body fat has gone from 44.4 percent fat—I was like a giant Kobe burger—to 22.2 percent. My diet consists of a lot of ancient grains like bulgur and quinoa along with lean proteins.