The signage isn’t up yet, but the lights are on and air condition works at the site of Seafood City Chicago. The Filipino phenomenon, which will feature a slew of fast-casual eateries—including Chicago’s first Jollibee—is slated to open either the week of Sept. 12 or Sept. 19 at 5033 N. Elston Ave., according to a Seafood City representative.
Right now, vendors aren’t inside the store, as construction workers and contractors in hardhats go in and out, trying to finish building the city in a few weeks. It’s not clear if Jollibee’s opening date matches up with Seafood City. A Jollibee rep only said the restaurant would open in the fourth quarter of 2016.
An icon for Filipinos living in America and Filipino-Americans, Seafood City is taking over a shuttered Kmart off Elston and Lawrence, near the Edens Expressway. Besides the restaurants—flanked by the infamous Crispy Town, which specialized in fried food—Seafood City sells groceries and houses businesses like electronic vendors and travel agents that focus on serving the Filipino community. There are eight open, with five in California. They debuted in 1989 in San Diego, and the Chicago location would be their first east of Las Vegas.
If Chicago’s Filipino community supports Seafood City like they have for Jollibee in Skokie, then expect this place to be packed. A rep promised more as opening date grows closer, so check back then.