What was the saddest restaurant closure of 2016?
Anthony Todd, Chicagoist: The Parthenon, hands down. I have been going there since I was a baby, my parents had their first date there, and to see it destroyed because of family infighting, greed and bad management makes me sad every time I think of it.
Lisa Shames, CS: It's a toss up between Bom Bolla, Tete Charcuterie and Bunny the Micro Bakery, all of them were doing something different than any other restaurant in Chicago and doing it really well. They all broke my heart when they closed. Someone really needs to get some vermouth on tap STAT.
Chris LaMorte, UrbanDaddy: Ugh. So many. So let's say it's a tie: Cape Cod Room, Belly Shack, and Perennial Virant, which closes at the end of the year. And let me add, that while I haven't eaten there in ages, Parthenon was probably my first introduction to Greek food beyond the gyro.
Penny Pollack, Chicago magazine: Bunny: Closed after three months. Positively tragic. Cape Cod Room: It was probably time, but we are losing a piece of history. Fortunately Gibsons and Hugo's have picked up the Bookbinder soup mantle. Perennial Virant: Wasn't this the darling of the organic, local, sustainable set? Hang in there, North Pond.
Elizabeth Atkinson, Time Out Chicago: Bunny.
Michael Nagrant, RedEye: Parthenon. Parthenon invented flaming saganaki and popularized gyros. Instead of serving frozen and pre-made gyros, they still created the cones in from scratch. The orange zest-infused sausage made in house was the finest in encased meats. Owner Chris Liakouras was a Chicago character of the finest vintage. I mean, the Parthenon put out a vinyl LP back in the day. I can see Paul Kahan doing that someday, but I don’t think any other existing Chicago restaurant pressed vinyl.
Michael Gebert, Fooditor: The best almost-unknown Thai restaurant in town, In-On Thai, closed when its Lakeview building was torn down. It may be coming back, I hope so, because it had some regional specialities we've never seen anywhere else and was just super-tasty all around.
Morgan Olsen, RedEye: Losing Belly Shack is the biggest bummer. On a personal note, I was sad to see Oak + Char bite the dust (I really, really liked those MSG chicken wings).
Chandra Ram, Plate: Tied between the announced closures of Perennial Virant and Trenchermen. Paul Virant and Pat Sheerin are both super-nice guys who happen to be extremely talented chefs, and Chicago is going to be a little less great without their food.
Matt Kirouac, Zagat: Cantina 1910 was sad. It closed the week after I finally went there for the first time and fell in love with it. Not entirely surprising though, considering how enormously ambitious (and literally enormous) the concept was.