Another big-time chef has picked Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square to open a restaurant. Tim Graham, who last year left Travelle Kitchen and Bar, has taken over a former auto body shop that neighbors Paulie Gee’s Logan Square. Graham plans on opening Twain in March at 2445 N. Milwaukee Avenue. The name’s a reference to the prolific author from Graham’s native Missouri. It’s also a nod to the collaboration between him and his wife Rebekah Graham, the former beverage director at The Publican who will oversee drinks at the couple’s new restaurant.
Graham is a familiar name to Chicagoans, having worked at Michelin-starred Tru for a decade before leaving in 2011. He began working in 2013 at Travelle inside The Langham Chicago hotel in River North. Over at Twain, the Grahams are working with Branko Palikuca, co-owner of The Dawson in River West. The team’s not ready to spill the full details on the restaurant, but expect chicken and dumplings, meatloaf, and other items “drawing from the history of Midwest cuisine.” Tim Graham revealed that he collects old spiral-bound community cookbooks put out by Junior Leagues and other groups. Graham may just use the books for menu inspiration at Twain.
“It’s really based on all those food traditions that I grew up with,” said Graham, a Central Missouri native.
The chef first announced his intentions in January 2016. Back then, Graham was a part of a group of chefs who had left their posts to focus on opening their own restaurants. He’s since watched other chefs including David Posey (Elske), Noah Sandoval (Oriole), and Jason Vincent (Giant) open restaurants. The Grahams and Palikuca took over the space in late spring.
“I don’t think two years is outside the timeline that it realistically takes to go from zero to open,” Graham said.
He also consented that he would have preferred to open in November: “It’s been a patience game for us.”
Chicago Cityscape first noticed a $350,000 construction permit for the space with Graham’s name. Graham will have more much to share in 2018.