Dads have the magic touch. They turn roughhousing into an art form, have an unending arsenal of silly faces and can make tears dry with a single smooch. Chicago is full of cool dads and we want you to meet a few. Get to know a trend-setting store owner, longtime improv actor, restaurant and bar tastemaker, baby-business entrepreneur and other fellows that do their families — and Chicago — proud.
Even though he's widely traveled, home is where the heart is for Henrique, his wife Melissa, and his three kids - Milla (10), Rio (2) and Elle (4 months) - who live West Rogers Park. Henrique works as a web director and one of his most exciting new projects is Travelinsidermagazine.com, which covers travel destinations, with a special focus on exploring off-the-beaten-path spots. As an event planner, he brought Islands of the World Fashion Week to Chicago from the Bahamas for the first time. Still, less glitzy endeavors are most dear to him. Henrique loves being a "family handy man," renovating their California-style craftsman bungalow one drywall at a time. Together, the Kerchs adore simple pleasures like building sandcastles at the Rogers Park beach and grabbing lunch at Heartland Cafe. Because travel is important to them, they voyage everywhere from campsites to Caribbean towns - making time for meaningful conversation along the way. "My favorite thing as a dad is having mature chats with my 10-year-old then switching to a two-year-old conversation that consists of just a few words ('cars,' 'horses,' 'dinosaurs' and, of course, 'mine') and then, finally hearing baby talk," says Henrique.
Do you know a Chicago Cool Dad? Let us know about him! Leave your nomination in the Comments section below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Story by Kelly Aiglon