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2013: The Year In Shutters

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Graham Elliot might be the most notable shutter of 2013
Graham Elliot might be the most notable shutter of 2013
Photo: Barry Brecheisen

As 2013 winds down we look back at the restaurants that shuttered over the past 12 months. While the news of some of these heavy hitters taking their bat and going home took people by surprise, many more were far less shocking.

The biggest surprise hands down is also among the year's very last. Graham Elliot's announcement that he would close his namesake restaurant after service New Year's Eve, was casually announced on Chicago Tonight while Elliot was being interviewed about the passing of Charlie Trotter. Elliot promised a "greatest hits" of menus past as well as a look into the future of GE once it reopens in a new location come spring 2014.

Other notable closings on NYE include Courtright's in Willow Springs and Ina's from "Breakfast Queen" Ina Pinkney, which will eventually become a Lou Malnati's.

Not so surprising was the shuttering of OON December 21, as the restaurant was besieged by middling reviews, lackluster business and a lawsuit.

Randy Zweiban decided to close Province to reconcept and reopen sometime in 2014 after five years of business. Randolph Row's Tasting Room closed after thirteen years. Sprout, without either an executive chef or a chef de cuisine, wound down unsurprisingly. Theo Gilbert didn't have a lot of luck this year - he changed the concept of Ripasso in August to Starland, which then closed in the middle of November when a lease extension could not be negotiated.

After 26 years in River North, Ginza Restaurant closed when the building, the Tokyo Hotel, was sold to make way for a "hipster hostel" housing a bar and cafe in Ginza's place.

Beset by a multitude of issues, including bankruptcy, lawsuits and failed inspections, Fox & Obel was officially put out of its misery on September 25.

Graham Elliot's Grahamwich never became the breakout success its founder had hoped, dashing any dreams GE had of expansion. It was a "bittersweet" ending for Branch 27, the American bistro in West Town, which now houses Bow & Stern Oyster Bar.

After 11 years West Town Tavern said goodbye in July and then immediately said hello with Chicago Taco before saying goodbye for good a week later. Baume & Brix went down in flames not long after co-executive chef Ben Roche (Thomas Bowman was the other half of the duo) told Eater the reasons for his exit and has since been resurrected as The Grid.

Michael Kornick abruptly closed N9NE Steakhouse after 13 years, but if you miss it there's always the recently remodeled Las Vegas location to visit.

Urban Union took fifteen years to come to fruition, but only sixteen months to close, serving its last meal on May 18.

The Belgian-inspired Leopold, said goodbye in March. Unite Urban Grill opened in its place in November.

The year started off with a shutter bang. Acclaimed pizzeria Great Lake closed and there is still no word on the promise to reopen in a new location. Though Cleetus Friedman bounced back at Fountainhead, his delicatessen City Provisions closed. Formerly headed up by Found's Nicole Pederson and opened under celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson's direction, C-House shuttered, replaced by Ferris & Jack in May.
· All Shutters [-ECHI-]
· All Year in Eater 2013 Coverage [-ECHI-]


615 N State Street, Chicago, IL 60654 312 265 0434


1417 W Fullerton Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614 773 348 0706 Visit Website

Graham Elliot

217 W Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60654 312 624 9975 Visit Website


1235 W Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60607 312 226 8227


1619 N Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL Visit Website

West Town Tavern

1329 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622 312 666 6175 Visit Website