No, these dining structures are not outside Cowgirl, the western-themed restaurant at 10th and Hudson Sts. And don’t call them teepees.
They, in fact, belong to Katana Kitten, a Japanese “izakaya”-style eatery just down the block, near Charles St. And they are tents, not teepees.
Masa Urushido, the three-year-old Japanese-American-style place’s managing partner, said they installed the outdoor dining structures along the sidewalk’s edge in December.
Not wanting to rub anyone the wrong way, he stressed emphatically, “We don’t call it ‘teepee’ — we call it ‘tent.'”
He said he personally made the three structures by hand, inspired by his 3-year-old daughter.
“Fun — but functional,” he said of the shelters. “Each tent takes about seven hours to make.”
He bought the heavy-duty fabric — normally used for truck coverings — from Chicago Canvas & Supply, and did all the sewing himself. The cloth is impervious to snow and rain, he said. The poles and other materials come from Lowe’s, Home Depot and other places. From the peak of each tent, a small heat lamp hangs down.
Also, making the tents himself, instead of hiring others to do it, saved money, he added.
Katana Kitten (“sword kitten”) offers traditional Japanese bar food with an American-style twist.
A diner who was in one of the tents said the way the place does chicken skewers is delicious. She also highly recommended the ramen with truffles.