Around September 6, Mel Markon's Bia For Mia quietly went "on vacation" according to its Facebook page. In it's place popped-up The Rice Table, an Indonesian catering company that was started in 2008 by Chris Reed and his mother, Jane.
As for Bia for Mia, its future is uncertain. Markon did tell Eater the restaurant was on "hiatus" and that it "may come back," but he wasn't forthcoming with any additional information. There is an "available" sign in the window that leads us to believe this may be a permanent vacation for the restaurant that's only been open since February; there has also been no response on their Facebook page to those who have asked when they are returning. Is Markon planning something else? Only time will tell.
Prior to entering the Bia for Mia space, the Reeds have done pop-ups in various coffee houses and restaurants across Chicago to help familiarize diners with Indonesian food, something that isn't very common around the city. The Rice Table has been hosting dinners at Bia for Mia every Thursday through Saturday since September, serving dishes like their Thursday special: Indonesian pork tacos and veggie tempeh sliders, three for $6 paired with $4 craft beers.
Although the Rice Table has had success in the Bia for Mia space, after January 1 Chris Reed said he will discontinue the pop-ups to refocus their efforts on catering, the core of their business. "Bia for Mia was a good testing ground," Reed said, but they will now "spend time thinking about our own space that will have a casual feel." They have not pinned down which neighborhood the space will be in yet but are currently exploring different areas. They do expect to host additional pop-ups on a more sporadic basis throughout the year.
In the meantime, if you want to check out The Rice Table for it's final meal at the restaurant on New Year's Eve, they are offering a seven-course prix fixe menu (standard and vegetarian) for $25 with bottles of bubbly for $20.12. Reservations can be made by calling 847-644-6331.