It’s only three days into the New Year, and there’s already another major restaurant shutter. Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia, Terzo Piano, River Roast) told his staff on Monday that Levy Restaurants had decided to close Bar Toma on New Year’s Eve, ending a more than five-year run across from the Water Tower just off the Mag Mile. Mantuano told the Tribune that it was a financial decision. The restaurant announced the shutter on Facebook and its website yesterday at 10 a.m., which only says “Chicago it’s been a slice! Thank you for all the memories and good times.”
Mantuano revamped the casual Italian restaurant back in 2015, temporarily closing the Gold Coast spot to focus more on pizza and adding a second wood-burning oven as part of a redesign. Bar Toma debuted in 2011 as the Spiaggia owner’s foray into casual dining. He told the Trib that it was a “heartbreaking” decision to close.
The location is set back a bit from Michigan Avenue, but still benefits from plenty of tourist foot traffic and is seemingly a prime spot for a restaurant. The Trib speculates a successful restaurant at the location would have to feature a menu with items at a premium price point. Sounds like a prescription for another steakhouse. Parent company Levy Restaurants didn’t share what they intended for the space, only that they were considering all their options, but they “have no immediate plans.”