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Behold Lao Sze Chuan Michigan Avenue, Unveiling Tonight

Take a look around the glitzy restaurant that took Tony Hu more than two years to build.

More than two years in the making, the "Mayor of Chinatown" is finally opening a Lao Sze Chuan on the highest-profile stretch of real estate in the Midwest. Tony Hu, while taking a rare breather on a couch in its lobby on Michigan Avenue, exhales before recounting the obstacles he endured to open: the landmarked building connected to the Shops at North Bridge, union contractors, and building a restaurant in a former art gallery.

The result is a space that's gaudy enough to fit the area. A large, bi-level, modern buildout overlooks the Magnificent Mile. There's two dining rooms, with the second on an upper level balcony. A kitchen counter sits on the edge of an open kitchen that houses a specialty-made Peking duck oven and other equipment Hu brought from China. A ten-seat bar glows with crimson backlighting.

Patrons enter the space through an elevator on Michigan Avenue or a door from the shops. The menu, while 90 percent similar to other Lao Sze Chuans, specializes in Peking duck and soup dumplings. The wine-focused beverage program is made to complement the spicy Szechuan dishes.

The Hu empire's foray to the bright lights of Michigan Avenue opens for dinner service tonight.

Lao Sze Chuan Restaurant - Downtown/Michigan Ave

520 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 818-8099 Visit Website

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