Last November, during Chinese Food Week, Eater spoke with Tony Hu (Lao Sze Chuan, Lao Hunan), who revealed very early plans to open a restaurant somewhere in downtown Chicago. Hu currently has five restaurants dotting Chinatown and a new spot further north would be his first in the city outside the neighborhood.
Hu's plans are getting closer as Eater learns he will open an authentic, upscale Chinese restaurant at 18 W. Hubbard this fall. The still-unnamed project will see Hu creating a menu inspired by cuisine from numerous Chinese regions, including Sichuan, Mandarin, Canton, Shanghai, Hunan and Yunnan. A note Eater received explained this will give diners a chance to "take a culinary tour at Hu's table." Dinner at Tony's, perhaps?
Over the last few weeks, Eater heard from multiple sources in the River North real estate and restaurant world that nightlife impresario Marc Bortz (Tokyo 21, Sangria, Republic) was partnering with Hu on the project. However, other sources confirm that Bortz merely helped broker the deal on the space, but that he is not involved in the restaurant's operations in any way.
· "The Mayor" Tony Hu Talks About His Chinatown Empire [~EChi~]
[Photo: Tony Gourmet Group]