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Openings, Closings, Comings & Goings - 2018

Openings, Closings, Comings & Goings - 2018
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  • Post #541 - October 30th, 2018, 8:11 pm
    Post #541 - October 30th, 2018, 8:11 pm Post #541 - October 30th, 2018, 8:11 pm
    Dave148 wrote:
    Gideon Sweet, Graham Elliot and Matthias Merges’ West Loop Restaurant, Has Closed

    https://chicago.eater.com/2018/10/29/18 ... lph-closed

    It looks like Graham Elliot is focusing on his television career rather than restaurants right now. He only has one restaurant now and that’s in Macau.
  • Post #542 - October 30th, 2018, 8:12 pm
    Post #542 - October 30th, 2018, 8:12 pm Post #542 - October 30th, 2018, 8:12 pm
    Dave148 wrote:Urbanbelly, BellyQ building being sold for development; restaurants to close
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/ct ... story.html


    So, in the last year the following have closed in the West Loop, between Halsted and Ashland (all but two of these between Halsted and Morgan):
    Perez
    Jaipur
    Gideon Sweets
    Porkchop
    urbanbelly
    Wow Fun (soon to be replaced by Darling)
    Wishbone (moving across the expressway to N. Jefferson)
    ...
    Also Lunatic and the Poet, just across Halsted on Randolph.

    That's a fairly large number of restaurants that have shut down in a small area, in a relatively short time, due to increased rent and financials. And the 900 W. Randolph rental space at street level is empty, as well as a non-food industry long-time tenant (Audio Consultants) closing up shop to relocate to Evanston.

    Restaurant Row is essentially our neighborhood, but it's beginning to feel like a trend...even if Nobu Hotel will be complete sooner or later and probably have some anchor restaurant...
  • Post #543 - October 30th, 2018, 8:54 pm
    Post #543 - October 30th, 2018, 8:54 pm Post #543 - October 30th, 2018, 8:54 pm
    sdrucker wrote:
    Dave148 wrote:Urbanbelly, BellyQ building being sold for development; restaurants to close
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/ct ... story.html


    So, in the last year the following have closed in the West Loop, between Halsted and Ashland (all but two of these between Halsted and Morgan):
    Perez
    Jaipur
    Gideon Sweets
    Porkchop
    urbanbelly
    Wow Fun (soon to be replaced by Darling)
    Wishbone (moving across the expressway to N. Jefferson)
    ...
    Also Lunatic and the Poet, just across Halsted on Randolph.

    That's a fairly large number of restaurants that have shut down in a small area, in a relatively short time, due to increased rent and financials. And the 900 W. Randolph rental space at street level is empty, as well as a non-food industry long-time tenant (Audio Consultants) closing up shop to relocate to Evanston.

    Not to mention Tete Charcuterie closing in 2016 and Grange Hall closing earlier this year, iirc. Not saying any of us can truly know all the reasons these places closed but in any case, there are 2 more for the list.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #544 - October 30th, 2018, 9:02 pm
    Post #544 - October 30th, 2018, 9:02 pm Post #544 - October 30th, 2018, 9:02 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    sdrucker wrote:
    Dave148 wrote:Urbanbelly, BellyQ building being sold for development; restaurants to close
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/ct ... story.html


    So, in the last year the following have closed in the West Loop, between Halsted and Ashland (all but two of these between Halsted and Morgan):
    Perez
    Jaipur
    Gideon Sweets
    Porkchop
    urbanbelly
    Wow Fun (soon to be replaced by Darling)
    Wishbone (moving across the expressway to N. Jefferson)
    ...
    Also Lunatic and the Poet, just across Halsted on Randolph.

    That's a fairly large number of restaurants that have shut down in a small area, in a relatively short time, due to increased rent and financials. And the 900 W. Randolph rental space at street level is empty, as well as a non-food industry long-time tenant (Audio Consultants) closing up shop to relocate to Evanston.

    Not to mention Tete Charcuterie closing in 2016 and Grange Hall closing earlier this year, iirc. Not saying any of us can truly know all the reasons these places closed but in any case, there are 2 more for the list.

    =R=


    Forgot Tete, but I had thought Grange just re-imaged itself as a New Orleans-style jazz bar with food:
    https://frontroomchicago.squarespace.com/
  • Post #545 - October 30th, 2018, 10:12 pm
    Post #545 - October 30th, 2018, 10:12 pm Post #545 - October 30th, 2018, 10:12 pm
    sdrucker wrote:Forgot Tete, but I had thought Grange just re-imaged itself as a New Orleans-style jazz bar with food:
    https://frontroomchicago.squarespace.com/

    Oh, you're probably right but it still speaks to just how brisk the churn is in that part of town.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #546 - October 31st, 2018, 10:11 am
    Post #546 - October 31st, 2018, 10:11 am Post #546 - October 31st, 2018, 10:11 am
    sdrucker wrote:And the 900 W. Randolph rental space at street level is empty, as well as a non-food industry long-time tenant (Audio Consultants) closing up shop to relocate to Evanston.

    Not a relocation. As LTH member scottsol can confirm (it's his business), Audio Consultants has had their primary location on Davis Street in Evanston since they started in 1967 (as noted on their website). The West Loop location was a branch and opened in 2005.
  • Post #547 - October 31st, 2018, 10:32 am
    Post #547 - October 31st, 2018, 10:32 am Post #547 - October 31st, 2018, 10:32 am
    Audio Consultants purchased 910 W Randolph in 2004 and have been the sole occupant since then. This was our fourth location, we opened up Evanston in 1967.

    The current value of the building now far exceeds what we could earn running a business there.
    Last edited by scottsol on October 31st, 2018, 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #548 - October 31st, 2018, 11:13 am
    Post #548 - October 31st, 2018, 11:13 am Post #548 - October 31st, 2018, 11:13 am
    Closer in on Randolph (@ Franklin) is the closing of Freshii and around the corner on Wells , Jersey Mike's is no longer dishing it up. Not a huge loss - imo - but with all the new buildings in this corner of the loop, surprising they couldn't hang on.
  • Post #549 - October 31st, 2018, 12:42 pm
    Post #549 - October 31st, 2018, 12:42 pm Post #549 - October 31st, 2018, 12:42 pm
    jellob1976 wrote:Maybe it was too family friendly. They do that thing where every table has complimentary peanuts, and you can throw the shells on the ground. My boys loved that, but I could see that being a turn-off for non-family diners (and any group with a peanut allergy).


    The peanut thing, and the lack of sensitivity to those with allergies, was a HUGE deal in the Facebook group for Lincoln Square moms. (But, you know, a lot of things are a HUGE deal in neighborhood Facebook groups. :lol:) I think some folks started avoiding it on principle because Nick's refused to change its stance on that. When asked about it, Nick said the peanuts are a part of the restaurant's brand, and they weren't going to budge. FWIW, we went there a couple times and weren't too impressed by the quality of the food for the price we paid. The neighborhood is rife with great pizza joints, and IMO there's always room for another great one. Nick's just wasn't a great one.
    "If this sauce was a person, I'd get naked and make love to it." - Sophia Petrillo, The Golden Girls
  • Post #550 - October 31st, 2018, 3:49 pm
    Post #550 - October 31st, 2018, 3:49 pm Post #550 - October 31st, 2018, 3:49 pm
    Nick's Pizza is large as Lincoln Square/North Center restaurants go, probably in largest 5%, and needed to attract a lot of volume to be viable. Add in a location with little foot traffic, tight parking (even the metered parking probably does total enough spaces for that size restaurant on that and adjacent blocks), fairly low residential density, west of Western Avenue, and about 1/3 mile from Lou Malnati's.

    Their marketing was minimal. IIRC we got one flyer at our home in Ravenswood Gardens, which should have been prime target area for them. At one stage they had a small sign in a window offering a discount if you showed your Aldi receipt from the store directly across Montrose from Nick's. Unless one had very good eyesight, one had to cross Montrose from Aldi just to read the sign.

    I seriously doubt that anyone can have a restaurant thrive in that location. Maybe if the building had been half the size with parking in the back it could have worked.

    No comments on the food as Nick's never got too high on our list of places to try or go back to. Trying Lou Malnati's thin crust pizza and Monti's pizza are higher on the list. The web site did not help push its ranking up, either.
  • Post #551 - October 31st, 2018, 8:25 pm
    Post #551 - October 31st, 2018, 8:25 pm Post #551 - October 31st, 2018, 8:25 pm
    Paradise Pup in Des Plaines has closed, at least temporarily. More details here.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #552 - November 1st, 2018, 1:02 pm
    Post #552 - November 1st, 2018, 1:02 pm Post #552 - November 1st, 2018, 1:02 pm
    The owners of Cochon Volant Brasserie today unveil their fifth Chicago restaurant, a new two-floor French restaurant in the Loop. Taureaux Tavern will eventually feature a 78-seat patio that will stay open all year and covered by a pergola. That patio will debut later this year, but the 288 seats inside the 7,000-square-foot space debut today at One Financial Place Plaza, 155 W. Van Buren Street.

    https://chicago.eater.com/2018/10/31/18 ... urant-open
    "At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom." George Carlin
  • Post #553 - November 1st, 2018, 5:07 pm
    Post #553 - November 1st, 2018, 5:07 pm Post #553 - November 1st, 2018, 5:07 pm
    sdrucker wrote:
    Dave148 wrote:Urbanbelly, BellyQ building being sold for development; restaurants to close
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/ct ... story.html


    So, in the last year the following have closed in the West Loop, between Halsted and Ashland (all but two of these between Halsted and Morgan):
    Perez
    Jaipur
    Gideon Sweets
    Porkchop
    urbanbelly
    Wow Fun (soon to be replaced by Darling)
    Wishbone (moving across the expressway to N. Jefferson)
    ...
    Also Lunatic and the Poet, just across Halsted on Randolph.

    That's a fairly large number of restaurants that have shut down in a small area, in a relatively short time, due to increased rent and financials. And the 900 W. Randolph rental space at street level is empty, as well as a non-food industry long-time tenant (Audio Consultants) closing up shop to relocate to Evanston.

    Restaurant Row is essentially our neighborhood, but it's beginning to feel like a trend...even if Nobu Hotel will be complete sooner or later and probably have some anchor restaurant...


    You are right.

    I've been paying attention to the area for years now. Frankly, that all of these places closed is no surprise to me. Virtually none of the original restaurants/eateries (other than maybe Girl and the Goat and JP Graziano) that colonized this area will last. They will all be washed out as long-time property owners let the vastly below-market lease rates expire so they can cash out and sell to big firms like Sterling Bay and Thor Equities. (you know the writing is on the wall when a New York developer is buying property in an old Chicago meatpacking district). A lot of those properties were owned by families for many, many years, they've all waited for just the right time to sell and cash out.

    And frankly, with the geographical proximity to the central business district, the meteoric rise of the West Loop makes sense. For a time it was an exciting, trendy area... cool new eateries juxtaposed with old meatpacking businesses.

    Now that extremely large syndicated groups own all those properties, my guess is that the tenants (restaurants) will all be the larger restaurant groups about town, or the smaller national ones. And high end retail. It will be very, very hard for family owned or smaller restaurant groups to pop up in this area. Nearly impossible to capitalize the amount needed to succeed down here. I guess that's the growth of a city?
    "People are too busy in these times to care about good food. We used to spend months working over a bonne-femme sauce, trying to determine just the right proportions of paprika and fresh forest mushrooms to use." -Karoly Gundel, Blue Trout and Black Truffles: The Peregrinations of an Epicure, Joseph Wechsberg, 1954.
  • Post #554 - November 2nd, 2018, 6:59 am
    Post #554 - November 2nd, 2018, 6:59 am Post #554 - November 2nd, 2018, 6:59 am
    Luella’s Gospel Bird will feature fried chicken from Darnell Reed as Reed opens his second restaurant. The opening date is Wednesday, November 7 at 2009 N. Damen Avenue

    https://chicago.eater.com/2018/11/1/180 ... ed-chicken
    "At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom." George Carlin
  • Post #555 - November 2nd, 2018, 2:14 pm
    Post #555 - November 2nd, 2018, 2:14 pm Post #555 - November 2nd, 2018, 2:14 pm
    Xurro (or maybe Churro Factory) is open on Lincoln (just South of Irving Park) in the old Papa John's spot. Looking at Google, it looks like it's modest chain with a few locations around the City.

    3927 N Lincoln Ave
    Chicago, IL 60613
    http://www.churrofactory.com/
  • Post #556 - November 2nd, 2018, 5:40 pm
    Post #556 - November 2nd, 2018, 5:40 pm Post #556 - November 2nd, 2018, 5:40 pm
    Churro Waffle (2845 Irving Park) is closed due to fire. :(
    https://blockclubchicago.org/2018/10/17 ... to-damage/
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    Read "Cooking for One" at Literary Orphans via my author page.

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #557 - November 3rd, 2018, 6:31 am
    Post #557 - November 3rd, 2018, 6:31 am Post #557 - November 3rd, 2018, 6:31 am
    Are we 100% sure that Nick's Pizza on Montrose is closed? I swear I saw lots of people in there last night.
  • Post #558 - November 3rd, 2018, 10:52 am
    Post #558 - November 3rd, 2018, 10:52 am Post #558 - November 3rd, 2018, 10:52 am
    rmtraut wrote:Are we 100% sure that Nick's Pizza on Montrose is closed? I swear I saw lots of people in there last night.


    From the Eater article:
    Sunday, November 4 is the final day of operation at 2434 W. Montrose Avenue.


    But thanks for your attention to making sure closing reports are correct.
  • Post #559 - November 3rd, 2018, 5:37 pm
    Post #559 - November 3rd, 2018, 5:37 pm Post #559 - November 3rd, 2018, 5:37 pm
    Darren72 wrote:
    rmtraut wrote:Are we 100% sure that Nick's Pizza on Montrose is closed? I swear I saw lots of people in there last night.


    From the Eater article:
    Sunday, November 4 is the final day of operation at 2434 W. Montrose Avenue.


    But thanks for your attention to making sure closing reports are correct.


    I just called them. Their last day is tomorrow. I thought this was a great neighborhood joint with decent enough pizza. I wish them luck with their other locations.
  • Post #560 - November 5th, 2018, 11:30 am
    Post #560 - November 5th, 2018, 11:30 am Post #560 - November 5th, 2018, 11:30 am
    Gene Kato returning to Chicago to head up Momotaro
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/c ... story.html

    I LOVED Sumi and the pop-up he did at Momotaro was great so this is pretty exciting to me
  • Post #561 - November 5th, 2018, 12:12 pm
    Post #561 - November 5th, 2018, 12:12 pm Post #561 - November 5th, 2018, 12:12 pm
    mgmcewen wrote:Gene Kato returning to Chicago...


    And mgmcewen returning to LTH Forum! Welcome back.
  • Post #562 - November 8th, 2018, 5:24 pm
    Post #562 - November 8th, 2018, 5:24 pm Post #562 - November 8th, 2018, 5:24 pm
    Evanston:

    Colectivo Coffee (pretty good Milwaukee-based cafe chain) continues its expansion into Chicagoland with a new cafe going up at the corner of Church and Sherman.

    Meanwhile, nearby at Church and Maple, Furious Spoon is “temporarily closed for renovations”, perhaps to give the spoon some time to work out its anger issues.
  • Post #563 - November 8th, 2018, 7:36 pm
    Post #563 - November 8th, 2018, 7:36 pm Post #563 - November 8th, 2018, 7:36 pm
    cilantro wrote:Meanwhile, nearby at Church and Maple, Furious Spoon is “temporarily closed for renovations”, perhaps to give the spoon some time to work out its anger issues.


    BWAHAHAHA Thank you
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    Read "Cooking for One" at Literary Orphans via my author page.

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #564 - November 8th, 2018, 10:27 pm
    Post #564 - November 8th, 2018, 10:27 pm Post #564 - November 8th, 2018, 10:27 pm
    Not surprised they couldn’t sustain their business model, as at least the West Loop one usually only had a few patrons at a time. A shame, as their highly seasonal, hugely customizable salads were pretty tasty.

    Honeygrow is closing their Loop and West Loop locations:
    https://chicago.eater.com/2018/11/7/180 ... p-minigrow
    Last edited by sdrucker on November 8th, 2018, 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #565 - November 9th, 2018, 1:48 pm
    Post #565 - November 9th, 2018, 1:48 pm Post #565 - November 9th, 2018, 1:48 pm
    mamagotcha wrote:There’s a new Binny’s coming to the old Whole Foods site at 1111 Chicago in Evanston!

    Soft opening today. Large, well-stocked, although not as large as the South Loop store. Excellent prices on many things, although I don't expect that to last once they become established. I passed on a few of the $5,000 bottles in the rare and collectible section.
  • Post #566 - November 9th, 2018, 2:15 pm
    Post #566 - November 9th, 2018, 2:15 pm Post #566 - November 9th, 2018, 2:15 pm
    Im a faithful customer of Wine Goddess and Beer on Central and I hope that these fantastic establishments can survive Binnys' arrival.

    Im curious which Evanston liquor retailers might close soon? Will Jewel or Trader Joes downsize their liquor departments? Will the aforementioned stores, Vinic, Evanston 1st, close?

    My guess is that the local liquor market is largely a zero sum game and Binnys success will be other local business failures. This worries me.
  • Post #567 - November 9th, 2018, 3:02 pm
    Post #567 - November 9th, 2018, 3:02 pm Post #567 - November 9th, 2018, 3:02 pm
    champs2005 wrote:Im a faithful customer of Wine Goddess and Beer on Central and I hope that these fantastic establishments can survive Binnys' arrival.

    Im curious which Evanston liquor retailers might close soon? Will Jewel or Trader Joes downsize their liquor departments? Will the aforementioned stores, Vinic, Evanston 1st, close?

    My guess is that the local liquor market is largely a zero sum game and Binnys success will be other local business failures. This worries me.

    I think it's possible that this Binny's could slightly expand the liquor market, but I have no doubt the others you mentioned will be affected. However, they benefited a bit when the Whole Foods in that location — which had a sizable liquor department — closed. Will they all close? Doubtful. Could one or two close? Maybe. Isn't that the nature of competition?
  • Post #568 - November 9th, 2018, 3:12 pm
    Post #568 - November 9th, 2018, 3:12 pm Post #568 - November 9th, 2018, 3:12 pm
    Its not a level playing field in Evanston for liquor stores. Binnys gets a big tax break, they have fewer restrictions on their display square footage, etc, etc. Evanston residents are subsidizing them in many ways.

    Of course I love a "free market" and all that but it usually is a theoretical construct because in the real world the local government picks winners and losers and crafts different rules and regulations for different businesses selling the same products, as the City of Evanston has done with the liquor industry.
  • Post #569 - November 9th, 2018, 4:01 pm
    Post #569 - November 9th, 2018, 4:01 pm Post #569 - November 9th, 2018, 4:01 pm
    nr706 wrote:
    mamagotcha wrote:There’s a new Binny’s coming to the old Whole Foods site at 1111 Chicago in Evanston!

    Soft opening today. Large, well-stocked, although not as large as the South Loop store. Excellent prices on many things, although I don't expect that to last once they become established. I passed on a few of the $5,000 bottles in the rare and collectible section.


    They closed Whole Foods? :shock:
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    Read "Cooking for One" at Literary Orphans via my author page.

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #570 - November 9th, 2018, 4:28 pm
    Post #570 - November 9th, 2018, 4:28 pm Post #570 - November 9th, 2018, 4:28 pm
    champs2005 wrote:Its not a level playing field in Evanston for liquor stores. Binnys gets a big tax break, they have fewer restrictions on their display square footage, etc, etc. Evanston residents are subsidizing them in many ways.

    I missed this in local news. Giving Binny's a tax break seems absurd and pisses me off. I too am a fairly frequent customer of Beer on Central.

    The most non-ideological reason it is crap to give Binny's a break is the rate of excise taxes on packaged beer and liquor in Evanston is already at least 16.5%. This is higher than anywhere I'm aware of and at least a good 5-6% higher than Wilmette. If you are imposing that great of a burden on the consumer, there's no room to cut Binny's a break. I take my business to the Jewel on Green Bay Rd for this very reason (when not getting unique offerings at Beer on Central).

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