After almost three years in business, Element Collective is pulling the plug on Kinmont. Saturday will be the last day of service for the upscale seafood restaurant located in a somewhat hidden part of River North at 419 W. Superior St. Ownership will transform the restaurant into a private event space and reopen sometime this spring, according to a news release.
Element Collective, which also owns Nellcote and RM Champagne Salon in the West Loop, as well as Old Town Social, struggled to pay Kinmont’s bills in recent weeks. Employees reported several bounced paychecks. Ownership said they've since paid all their employees in full. Although the restaurant group noted Kinmont’s problems, ownership maintained that Element Collective’s other three venues aren’t struggling. In fact they’re "consistently booked for full-venue buyouts," and Element Collective hopes changing Kinmont into a private venue will capitalize on that demand.
The group envisions drawing large weddings or small intimate dinners as a private event space. The space will also serve as a photo studio, and Element Collective wants to rent the space out on an hourly or daily basis.
Kinmont opened to rave reviews back in February 2014 after taking over the space that formerly housed Michael Taus’ Zealous. They served decadent towers of seafood under executive chef Duncan Biddulph, who now works at The Winchester. But over the last year the dining room hasn’t been as packed. Some blamed the location, as the area southwest of Orleans and Chicago doesn’t attract as much foot traffic as other parts of River North. You have two nights to eat there one last time.