You'd be mistaken if you're under the impression that bread baker extraordinaire Rich Labriola is only focused on dominating the local doughnut scene. While Labriola is working on his third Stan's Donuts at Clark & Diversey, the burgeoning local doughnut chain shan't be overshadowed by his forthcoming multi-prong Magnificent Mile restaurant—despite delays that have made it seem back burner.
First reported in September 2013, Labriola Ristorante & Cafe is finally getting close, as an announcement of a projected early 2015 opening is on the docket. The three-part space will, of course, focus on Labriola's bread expertise, including a full-service Italian restaurant helmed by former Bin 36 chef John Caputo, a bar, and a bakery.
Expect Caputo and staff to prepare handmade pastas (including seasonal lasagnas), thin crust pizzas, salumi and cheese plates, and Italian-style steaks and seafood. The bakery will be similar to the original Labriola Cafe in Oak Brook and sell Stan's donuts, gelato and Intelligentsia coffee.
Renderings have surfaced on the Labriola Cafe website, showing a classy old world Italian interior filled with wood floors, beamed ceilings and seating backed with red velvety fabric, as well as throwback checkerboard floors in the bar. A long streetside patio and walkway may attract Michigan Avenue tourist foot traffic.
Whether construction and bureaucracy delay the opening until it's warm enough outside to seat that patio remains to be seen, but for now look for chief doughboy's Michigan Avenue three-parter to open the doors sometime in the first quarter of 2015.