If magazine publishers can open restaurants, such as Penthouse's new steakhouse in New York, a restaurateur can certainly publish a magazine. Matt Miller, owner of Chicago brunch spot Orange, recently published his second "menuzine"—a glossy publication with his menu as the centerfold. A former struggling writer, Miller hatched the mag as a showcase for his and other scribes' musings, a way to spread the word about arts events in his Wrigleyville neighborhood, and a unique means for presenting the bill of fare at his 2 1/2-year-old restaurant.
After an initial run of 3,000, Miller expects to print between 7,000-10,000 copies for issue three (it comes out every two months), to be distributed in-store and around the city. Ads taken out by local merchants offset printing costs, which currently run around $2,500.
"It's not necessarily cost-effective or easy, but people enjoy it," he says. "I get tons of feedback, and lots of people discover the restaurant because of the magazine."