Today, a new restaurant officially opens in the West Loop space occupied by Vivo for 25 years. The owners of AMK Restaurant Bar have uncorked Nosh & Booze, applying some of the ideas the ownership into a temporary concept that will last through December. The pop-up presented the space a clean break from Vivo as AMK brass finalize the concept for their permanent restaurant which will probably open in summer 2017.
"Vivo was a staple, it was a pioneer on Randolph, so kudos to Vivo," said Steven Tsonis, head of the now two-restaurant AMK Restaurant Group. "But that's not who we are. That's not our brand. We didn't want continue to operate as Vivo, we wanted something that we could have fun with."
Fourteen days have passed since Vivo closed and AMK's taken over the space. That's not much time for major work, but crews opened up a wall and installed a bar service station. They added graffiti on the wall to fit in with the elevated street food theme with the same food and beverage team from AMK. Tsonis said they'll open up the second floor in the next two weeks. They'll also have a DJ playing music on certain nights.
AMK opened in June 2015 in Bucktown, Tsonis said, and their goal was always to expand. Having a piece of Randolph Restaurant Row was too good of an opportunity to squander: "We have other concepts in our back pocket," Tsonis said. "We're definitely looking at more locations across the city."
It's a unique challenge in opening a new restaurant knowing that it's only a temporary endeavor. Nosh & Booze will close in December. The new restaurant will embrace AMK's trademark "funk" Tsonis said, as they'll emulate a 1900s-era restaurant. They plan to gut the space, but he wouldn't divulge much more other than "it's not going to be another steakhouse."
View the interior photos below.
Nosh & Booze, 838 W. Randolph St., open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Wednesday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Saturday and Sunday brunch; 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday; kitchen stays open until 1 a.m. everyday, except on Sunday when it closes at 10 p.m.