Some turnover is happening on the Hubbard Street strip. Red Violet, the "modern Chinese" concept from the Niu Japanese Fusion Lounge team, closed on May 30. Chicago Real Estate Daily reports that Nick Tsoukalas, co-owner of Greektown mainstay Athena Restaurant, bought out the Chinese spot.
What will the new concept be? According to CRED, it won't be Greek. It'll serve small plates—tacos, skewers and sliders—in attempts to capitalize on the River North nightlife scene. American Junkie, Central Standard, and El Hefe are recent openings in the immediate vicinity. The secret project in the old Swirl Wine Bar is just a few doors down.
Red Violet opened in February 2012 and received tough reviews—Michael Nagrant described the food as ranging from "middling to disastrous" in the Sun-Times. They attempted to right the ship by bringing in Gene Kato to overhaul menu five months later.
Former Red Violet co-owner Cherie Chung, reached by phone, simply said that "the new owner offered a really good price." Tsoukalas is also opening Bellwether in Streeterville next month.
· Athena co-owner plans River North eatery [CRED]
· All Red Violet Coverage [~ECHI~]