The shuttering of Uberstein on North Avenue, making way for Andrew Brochu's The Monarch, was no anomaly. The Wrigleyville Uberstein is now shuttered as well, and a location of Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue is moving in, hopefully by Opening Day at Wrigley Field. It was first leaked by Ald. Tunney, and confirmed by a Sweet Baby Ray's employee. Attempts to reach owner Dave Raymond have been unsuccessful so far.
The location has seen turnover in recent years. Before it was Uberstein, it was a Heaven on Seven. Many restaurant concepts on the Clark Street strip have turned over to bars in recent years, so it will be interesting to see how the barbecue-themed restaurant fares. The chain might draw tourist business from Cubs games. There's currently two suburban Sweet Baby Ray's locations in Elk Grove and Wood Dale.
Former owner Mike Matuschka (Leaderbar, Maxbar) sold the location two weeks ago, choosing to focus on Hofbrauhaus, his massive new German restaurant and brewery. It's now softly open in Rosemont, and a grand opening is March 18.
The gigantic space is 20,000 square-feet, plus a 5,000 square-foot beer garden. They brew four beers on location (lager, Dunkel, light, hefe weizen) and serve an expansive Bavarian menu. They feature live music every night, flying in a rotating list of bands from Germany to play for monthlong stints.
It's the fourth location of the chain, and the first locally. Matuschka says it's "very different than anything else in Chicago." He franchised this one and is scouting locations for more, including in the city.