There’s big changes planned at one of Chicago’s most-popular vegan restaurants, Kitchen 17, a place known for its dairy- and meat-free Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. Earlier this year, K17 moved into a larger location in Lakeview, and now the team has gone through an ownership and chef change. Jennie Plasterer is now the sole owner of the restaurant as founder/chef Don Clements has exited the operation. Plasterer also announced the addition of Kevin Schuder, a vegan chef with a fine-dining pedigree. Schuder, who runs Fancy Plants Catering, will add a few new items to the menu.
There’s more: Plasterer will also change the restaurant’s name. It’s not that big of a deal for passers-by. After the move, management never installed permanent signage with the Kitchen 17 name. The current location is a block south of the busy Broadway and Belmont intersection, around the corner from K17’s original space.
Kitchen 17 debuted in 2013 inside a small space at 613 W. Briar Place, hidden on a side street. The cafe had limitations, hampered by room large enough for only a small electric oven. That means they could only bake four deep-dish pizzas an hour, a challenging situation when the pizzas were the restaurant’s most-popular dish. Plasterer wasn’t immediately reached for comment, but it appears other popular dishes, like Buffalo cauliflower, will remain on the menu even after Schuder’s changes.
Meanwhile, Schuder will hold his annual New Year’s Eve dinners at Kitchen 17. Tickets are $65 and available at the link.