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MorseL Chef Mary Ann Culleton Joins Renee Labrana at R Public House

By Benjamin Woodard | September 11, 2013 8:19am
 Former Glenwood Bar partner Renee Labrana opened a "high-end pub" Tuesday, Aug. 27, in Jarvis Square.
R Public House
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ROGERS PARK — The chef of the nearly 1-year-old Morse Avenue restaurant MorseL has left the venture and taken a job in the kitchen at R Public House, an even newer eatery run by Renee Labrana in Jarvis Square.

Although Mary Ann Culleton didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, Labrana confirmed she will be working at the pub.

Culleton had opened MorseL, at 1406 W. Morse Ave., with business partner Colm Treacy on Halloween last year, according to Treacy, who was interviewed about the new restaurant in October.

Treacy also said Culleton had worked at two of his former establishments — Andersonville's SoFo Tap and Uptown's T's Bar, which was shut down by Cook County Sheriff's Office in March.

Treacy also runs the Glenwood Bar, which he had owned with Labrana for five years before a dispute led to her leaving the business.

The abrupt move caused some regulars of the LGBT-friendly establishment to boycott Treacy's other Rogers Park businesses, like MorseL and the Sidecar Bar.

Then, months later, Labrana opened R Public House to fanfare at 1508 W. Jarvis Ave.

Labrana said Culleton would join the kitchen even though she had kept the kitchen staff from the space's former restaurant, Gruppo di Amici.

"I feel like so far we've really been embraced by the neighborhood," she said Tuesday. "It's really been wonderful."

Labrana declined to comment about the circumstances that led to Culleton leaving MorseL.

Treacy could not be reached for comment.