The Birchwood Kitchen space won't remain vacant for long. The Wicker Park restaurant's space, known for its charming interior, quaint patio and standout brunch before shuttering last October at 2211 W. North Ave., will be reborn this spring with a new concept from two restaurant vets: The Winchester owner Chris Pappas and pastry chef Nancy Silver.
The two met in 2001, when they not only both worked at Terry Alexander concepts (MOD and Soul Kitchen, respectively), but also lived across the hall from each other. They're reuniting to open an all-day European-inspired restaurant that will offer the best of both Silver's pastries and Pappas' wine expertise.
"Chris and I have been friends for a long time and I think we have different strengths, so it seemed like a great opportunity to do something with him," Silver says. "Chris and I both lived and worked in that neighborhood for many years, so it feels like a homecoming to me."
Silver brings over 15 years of pastry experience, including time at Firefly in Los Angeles and Blackbird back home, as well as a panache for ice cream making (she owned Snookelfritz, a small-batch company that sold gourmet ice cream at Green City Market). Pappas has equal wine knowledge, overseeing programs at Telegraph, Bluebird, and Sepia before opening The Winchester 2014.