After days of speculation following news reports that the doors were locked and the phone disconnected, confirmation has come that Trader Vic's has officially closed. Eater received a statement from Trader Vic's corporate HQ, located in Emeryville, Calif., that the Chicago outpost is no more. Interestingly, it was learned that all Trader Vic's, save the flagship in Emeryville, are independently owned and operated outposts of the brand, according to a spokeswoman for the company.
After news broke this week, many people bemoaned the fall of tiki culture in Chicago, however, as Chicagoist reminds us, there are still plenty of places to enjoy tiki cocktails while wearing a Hawaiian shirt and carrying a parrot on your shoulder. Whether a new tiki-focused joint will sprout in Chicago, the tiki trend is picking up momentum around the country. So fear not Chicagoans, your next zombie, painkiller or mai tai isn't that far away.
So what happened in Chicago? We're still unsure and a search for the franchisee didn't lead to much except the application for a liquor license captured by Every Block. However, Trader Vic's HQ is remorseful about the demise of the Chicago spot. Their statement reads:
"Trader Vic's Chicago was an independently owned and operated franchise. The franchisee is TV Chicago, LLC, an Illinois limited liability company. We are very disappointed in the closure of TV Chicago. We take pride in our independently owned and operated franchises and, as a franchisor, we try to foster their success. The Trader Vic’s family is sad to see this location close, but we hope you will continue to support our other Trader Vic’s restaurants."
Trader Vic's [Photo: ChuffPo]