A Chicago restaurateur has seen a pair of his restaurants close following mounting bills and family hardships. The owner of Tamarind was funneling money from the South Loop restaurant toward keeping his companion restaurant, Vora, open in the Gold Coast. But Vora has closed nevertheless—the restaurant is for sale—and he’s also been evicted from the Tamarind space, despite fundraising efforts to save the Asian restaurant at 614 S. Wabash.
The fundraising campaign launched 12 days ago and asks for $100,000. That money would go toward unpaid rent, according to the GoFundMe page. The story gets sadder as a Facebook post details the reasons for Ko’s struggles. Losing a pair of grandparents and mounting medical bills for his mother are the start. There were also housing problems, including flooding.
Ko may still have hope that Tamarind can be saved. However, there’s a “for lease” in the window in addition to the green eviction sticker. The restaurant, which opened in 2006 and was popular with neighborhood residents and Columbia College students, served a large variety of Asian food from all over the continent: sushi from Japan, Thai noodles, Vietnamese egg rolls and Chinese stir fry.
Vora, which focused on Taiwanese street food, opened in 2013 at 1028 N. Clark St. in the Gold Coast. The menu included a large variety of dumplings as well as a decadent lobster fried rice. The restaurant was rarely full, but the restaurant did decent business via carry out and delivery. But now it’s shuttered along with its sister restaurant in the South Loop.