Johnny's Grill will be back open on the square in a matter of days—under new owner and acclaimed former pastry chef Sarah Jordan. The former Food & Wine best new pastry chef, a veteran of Boka, Blackbird and Cicchetti, has taken over and is reviving the lamented longtime Logan Square greasy spoon under the same name but doubling its size and adding a bar component. She says she'll also be the chef and hopes to open at 2545 N. Kedzie by the end of the week.
"We're giving an iconic neighborhood cornerstone eatery a revival and giving it back to the community," Jordan, an Irish immigrant who has lived in the same apartment in the neighborhood for the last seven years, says. Former Hogsalt chef Dustin Tripp's plans to open Georgia Mae's at Johnny's Grill, which was confirmed at the time by both Tripp himself and the landlord, have been scrapped.
Jordan doesn't want to reveal much about the food or beverage programs yet, although she stresses that it will be a bar and a restaurant. She took over the adjacent flower shop and built that into an adjoining bar area that will stay open until 2 a.m., with the original Johnny's Grill space remaining the diner-esque restaurant side. The longtime signage is staying the same (as is the phone number), construction is complete, and a streetside patio is in the works.
Jordan has been working towards opening her own place for years now. In 2013 she left the Boka Group to take a position as co-sous chef at the now-shuttered critically-acclaimed Cicchetti to gain savory experience before being "pigeonholed" as a pastry chef, saying at the time that "like every cook, you want to open your own restaurant."
She's finally now just days away from opening and running her own place, one that's a revival of a neighborhood icon in perhaps the best location in one of the hottest dining and drinking areas in the country. "It's the most amazing location you could ask for in Logan Square," Jordan says of the space between Lula Cafe and Billy Sunday on the square. "I'm blessed to have it."