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Work on Robert De Niro’s Nobu Chicago Stops and More Intel

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Plus, Chicago Independent Restaurant Week starts today

Nobu Downtown Sake Ceremony
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert De Niro speak at a party in May at Nobu in New York.
Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Nobu Restaurants
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

—Construction on the Chicago location of Nobu, the Hollywood celebrity hot spot that features Robert De Niro as an investor, has stopped in the West Loop. According to Crain’s, the developer has run out of money and is waiting to raise more funds. Crews broke ground on the Nobu Hotel in June 2016 at 854 W. Randolph Street. It was supposed to open at the end of this year. The Japanese fine-dining restaurant is from the mind of chef Nobu Matsuhisa. The developer is seeking new financing and June is the new opening target for the hotel and ground-floor restaurant.

—As the Bears dropped an embarassing game to rival Green Bay on Sunday, there’s news of a lawsuit involving Aramark, the company that provides food service for the home team, and at other football stadiums across the country. It’s a class-action lawsuit filed by employees who claim that the company did not properly disclose how it would protect and use stored fingerprints used so workers can clock in and out of work. The company, according to the lawsuit suit (reported via Cook County Record), should have had a written policy for workers to read. State law mandates companies to have fingerprint/biometric policies in writing.

—Chicago knows about Starbucks’ plans to take over the Crate & Barrel space and build a four-story roastery/cafe downtown at 646 N. Michigan Avenue. The concept also includes plans to incorporate pizzas and other baked goods from Princi, an Italian chain. The Tribune is reporting that Starbucks will build a River North commissary inside the one of the former Le Cordon Bleu buildings at 361 W. Chestnut Street. The kitchen would suplly the food for the Michigan Avenue store and a West Loop Princi. The space is almost 18,000 square feet.

—Today is the first day of Chicago Independents Restaurant Week. Participating restaurants like Herb, the fancy Thai spot in Edgewater; Park & Field, retro sports bar in Logan Square; and Knife & Tine, the chef-driven restaurant in Lincoln Park/DePaul, are offering three-course prix-fixe meals for $33 (prices may vary). Check out the full roster at the website. The group, which represents non-chain affiliated restaurants, has expanded its membership ranks in recent weeks. They’ve added Bread and Wine, The Growling Rabbit, Herb, Smoque BBQ, The Biscuit Man, and Saigon Sisters. Restaurant week goes through Thursday.

—And finally, chef Gene Kato has been busy since Sumi Robata Bar closed in August. He’ll be cooking a special dinner on Sunday, November 26 at Juno, 2638 N. Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park. The omakase dinner will have four seating times (5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m.) and will cost $150 per person. The multi-course meal is a collaboration with Juno chef B.K. Park and will feature seasonal fish with robata and kitchen courses, according to a news release. Make reservations by calling (773) 935-2000.


3800 North Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60641

Sumi Robata Bar

702 N Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 988-7864 Visit Website


5424 North Broadway, , IL 60640 (773) 944-9050 Visit Website

The Kitchen, by Cooking with Que

6529 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48202 (313) 462-4184 Visit Website

Knife & Tine

1417 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 773-697-8311 Visit Website

Bread and Wine

, Chicago, IL 60618

Nobu Chicago

854 West Randolph Street, , IL 60607 (312) 779-8800 Visit Website


4365 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60641 (773) 736-5226 Visit Website

The Growling Rabbit

5938 North Broadway, , IL 60660 (773) 654-1444 Visit Website