Say goodbye to Hearty and say hello to Spritz Burger soon. Owners Steve McDonagh and Dan Smith (the Hearty Boys) are reconcepting their Lakeview restaurant into a "vintage seltzer and burger bar" and bringing chef Gale Gand along for the ride. Hearty will close after New Year's Day brunch service and reopen around a month later.
McDonagh says that economics, the changing neighborhood, and a longstanding desire to collaborate with Gand are the reasons for the switch. "There's a hole in the neighborhood to fill," he says. "We had been talking (with Gand) for a long time but didn't want to open a new place." He also says that their landlord may knock down the building in three years.
Spritz Burger will serve an array of signature burgers (such as a poutine burger, cioppino burger, and a breakfast burger with Spam), cocktails utilizing house-made sodas and syrups, and a selection of house-made novelty ketchups. Gand will contribute many desserts.
Some of the current facets will remain, including their signature brunch service (with some different items). A few current menu items will stick around but become more casual.
The space will undergo cosmetic changes and become brighter and "less masculine." McDonagh hopes to retain current staff.
McDonagh feels that most of these changes will make the restaurant more approachable and family-friendly. Look for the new spot to open in February or so.
· Hearty to close, reopen as Spritz Burger [Tribune]
· All Hearty Coverage [-ECHI-]