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Arami Owner Lures Ex-Schwa Chef From 'Saved By The Bell' Pop-Up

Entente should open later this summer

Ani's getting makeover.
Ani's getting makeover.
Marc Much
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

The Saved By The Bell pop-up seemed like a strange fit for executive chef Brian Fisher, as he's accustomed to the fine-dining experience at Michelin-starred Schwa. That's where he worked as chef du cuisine, and in May hinted Fisher had other plans but wasn't ready to share. Now comes news that chef Fisher will team up with owner Ty Fujimura (Arami) when they open Entente later this summer inside Fujimura's Ani space.

Fujimura closed Ani earlier this year to reconcept at 3056 N. Lincoln Ave. Over at Entente, they'll present a 12- to 15-item a la carte menu and a reservation-only tasting menu. Pastry chef Mari Katsumura (Grace, Acadia) and beverage director/general manager Angie Silberberg (Cochon Volant, Soho House) round out the new restaurant's team. They'll also have wine pairings, along with sake, which Chicago pointed out was a nod to Fujimura's Japanese restaurants. He also runs SmallBar and Pub97.

The news release included a few more details: The front room seats 20 with an eight-seat bar, and there's a community table in the back plus a chef's counter. Altogether, they'll seat about 50, and Entente will offer late-night service on the weekends.

What will Saved by the Max do? Ownership was happy to have Fisher onboard, as his involvement with Schwa instantly boosted the pop culture restaurant's credibility. Even after they extended the pop-up through December, the ownership at The Max knew another project would eventually draw Fisher's attentions. A spokesman said Fisher will keep the executive chef title through the duration of the pop-up and he'll continue to oversee kitchen operations.


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