So there’s a story behind that hastily-painted restaurant sign hung up in the window of the shuttered Gari Sushi & Asian Bistro at 2020 W. Chicago Ave. in Ukrainian Village. Laurel Khan put up the sign as she rushed to make her flight back to Chehalis, Wash. where she runs the popular Mackinaw’s Restaurant. Khan, who worked with Rick Tramonto at Tru, plans to soon return to Chicago to open Curious "A Chef’s Playground."
Curious will feature a whimsical menu with an international twist on comfort food, Khan wrote via email, adding that she yearned for a return for Chicago. She opened Mackinaw’s in Chehalis back in 2010 after working at Tru, creating an upscale restaurant in the rural town.
She hopes to open Curious at the end of January and said her passion lies with exploring cuisines from other cultures. Khan hopes to eventually obtain a liquor license so she can serve globally-influenced cocktails, but the restaurant will initially open as a BYO.
As for the sign? This is her explanation: "I want Curious to have a finger-painted look—hence the hastily-painted sign," Khan wrote. "Plus I was on my way to catch a plane back to Washington." Check back soon for more on this new addition to Chicago Avenue.