Well here's a shocker: Custom House Tavern will close after service on Oct. 31. The news broke on 312 Dining Diva Monday night, but no explanation was given. Eater reached out to Sue Kim-Drohomyrecky, who owns the restaurant with her husband Peter Drohomyrecky, but wasn't able to connect by press time. However, the team sent out a release confirming the closure.
"After seven deeply rich and fulfilling years, we have decided that it was time to bid adieu to the Custom House Tavern," the statement read. "We felt that given the changing demographics of the neighborhood and the needs of the Hotel Blake that the Custom House Tavern concept would need to evolve again and at present, we have decided to focus on our two newest restaurants instead."
The news of the restaurant's closing is a surprise because Custom House has been quite a survivor over the years. It weathered a public break-up between the Drohomyreckys and now-former partner chef Shawn McClain, an identity change, a few chefs in the kitchen (the current chef is Perry Hendrix) and street construction on Congress Parkway that snarled traffic in the area for more than the last year.
Now that Custom House is closing, the team will have more time to focus on their new restaurants, Maison Brasserie and Eggy's Urban Diner, both located in Lakeshore East. Eggy's, which stopped serving dinner a couple of months ago, plans to bring it back and will introduce a new Blue Plate special there.
At this time, there's no word on whether the Drohomyreckys will introduce a new concept, but knowing these veteran restaurateurs, who also owned Spring in Wicker Park with McClain, the chances of them doing something are good. There's likely more to this story so if any additional news emerges, watch for it here.
· Custom House's Last Day is Halloween [~EChi~]
UPDATE: Sue Kim-Drohomyrecky got in touch with Eater on her way into Maison just a bit ago. She explained that this was something they've been considering for a while since the neighborhood is changing and more students have been moving in. "The hotel wants a sports bar and I don't want to do a sports bar," she said with a laugh. "They don't want a three-star restaurant anymore. I don't want to get into that game with them." Kim-Drohomyrecky said they love Custom House and that the concept may re-emerge in the future. "We may tuck this one away and see if there's an opportunity to do it someplace else. I think our new places are phenomenal and we're going to focus on those. We'll see what happens in a year or so."