There aren't many places left for eaters near Wicker Park to order Chinese-American food now that Papajin has shuttered, at least temporarily ending about two decades of business on Milwaukee Avenue. It's unclear how long the restaurant will be closed, as ownership shuttered the neighborhood cornerstone closed on Saturday for "building renovation." There are plans to raze the building for an apartment building, with the hope of reopening the restaurant on the bottom floor. Plans to reach management have been unsuccessful.
Papajin, like many other Chinese spots, later added sushi to their menu to attract more customers. The restaurant's been around since before Milwaukee Avenue had bike lanes, outlasting spots like Souk, Bin Wine Cafe and Earwax Cafe. Milwaukee Avenue certainly has changed with the arrivals of the boozy Taco Bell, Umami Burger, Xoco Bistro and Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. It's been around since 1995.
The shutter leaves a void for Chinese-American food in the area. Where will Bucktown and Wicker Parkers get their fix of General Tso's chicken or Mongolian beef? Post any suggestions in the comments.