Don Sritong has been making moves since closing Just Grapes wine shop last January due to rent hikes. He found a new location for Just Grapes in the Gold Coast (hoping to open in June) and it's coming out that he's opening a restaurant soon at 1962 N. Halsted, the former home of Boston Blackie's and Aubriot. There's another wrinkle to this project—he's negotiating with former Zealous chef Michael Taus to come aboard as a consultant. There's little known about the concept at this point, only that it will focus on wine. Taus handled the wine purchasing for years at Zealous and says "this is a perfect fit for me."
Taus also has more up his sleeve. After spearheading the food concept at Da Lobsta, for which his contract is almost up, and hopefully working on Sritong's project, he's hoping to open a new restaurant in River North. Taus says that project will be "casual but an awesome meal" and "just about having fun." More on that soon.
The space for Sritong's restaurant has seen some changes over the years, and was a casualty of the crumbling of the Boston Blackie's empire in 2010 due to ownership fraud and foreclosure. Boston Blackie's is down to two locations under different ownership: 120 S. Riverside Plaza and Deerfield. The former location in Lincoln Park is about to have something new come in with a far different concept and ownership.