Following a solid 10-year run, Spring will sadly close its doors after a final service tomorrow night on New Year's Eve. Chef/owner Shawn McClain looked back over the decade and is proud of his accomplishments, despite the dissolution of his relationship with his original partners, Peter and Sue Kim Drohomyrecky.
"Spring is a bittersweet send off, we'll hopefully see a lot of familiar faces and have a nice farewell party that night," McClain said. "To me, [the closing] brings back all the great employess and good times and that's what the business is made up of. That's what I remember more than the food and the accolades."
While McClain made a name for himself as exec chef at Trio in Evanston just after Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand and before Grant Achatz, it was really Spring that put the James Beard-winner on the map. "[Spring] allowed me to step out," he said. "It was the first time to allow me to take credit or the blame for what we did there and allowed me to start my reputation and career there."
After the New Year's Eve bash, which will offer a multi-course prix-fixe menu featuring some of the restaurant's favorites dishes from the last decade, McClain will focus his attention on Green Zebra, his vegetable-inspired West Town eatery, as well as Sage, his Vegas project. He's considering opening a second Green Zebra in another city, working on a Green Zebra cook book and thinking of other restaurant projects. Basically, his options are fairly wide open and having a critically acclaimed restaurant in Vegas has certainly opened many doors.
"I'm closing one chapter and will look at my future and see what I can build on," he said. "I'd like to maybe have one or two more projects. I want to see what my options are. Chef-driven restaurants are a brutal business to succeed at, but it's paved the way for me. I'm open to everything."
· Spring Restaurant to Close Doors for Good After NYE [~EChi~]