Roger Greenfield's grand expansion plans have encountered some major roadblocks. While Greenfield, best known for founding the Bar Louie chain, and his Restaurants America entity have five restaurants open in the area, three of the four restaurants he was planning to open next have been shelved. This comes on the heels of the shutter and sale of Central Standard earlier this month.
Restaurants America announced four upcoming restaurants in late 2012 and early 2013: Grant Taproom on South Michigan Avenue, Chica Loca in the Roosevelt Collection urban mall, a Park Tavern location at Harper Court in Hyde Park, and an unnamed project in Randolph Tower at 188 W. Randolph. The Randolph Tower restaurant is the only one that's still moving forward.
Greenfield says that Restaurants America "passed on" Grant Taproom, even after the group placed coming soon signs in the window and created a Facebook page. Of Chica Loca, he says the "project was underperforming and we passed"; signage was recently taken down there as well and Roosevelt Collection's leasing agent declined comment.
As recently as last week, Greenfield said that Park Tavern was slated for a fall opening in Harper Court. A University of Chicago spokesperson refuted that, saying that "the owners were unable to secure the capital." Greenfield then reasoned that "worries about the neighborhood made it improbable."
Greenfield has a long history of closed restaurants in Chicago, as illustrated in this Crain's article from 2007. A leasing agent at Randolph Tower confirms that Greenfield's restaurant there is still in the works, which he hopes to open in the fall.
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· Restaurants America [Official Site]
Grant Taproom [Photo: Eater Chicago]