Nine months after opening on Randolph Street, The Lunatic, The Lover & The Poet is closed, a stunning move for the tri-level wine bar in the West Loop. Saturday was the bar’s final night of service. The building’s landlord will now search for a new tenant as Lunatic, The Lower & Poet owner Tom Powers said an incoming restaurateur will have the opportunity to “take what we have built and hopefully take something wonderful from it.”
Powers said he couldn’t share too much detail behind the decision. He did say that business was trending up since August. Each subsequent month sales have improved, Powers said.
“It’s a sad day, but I’m proud of the product,” Powers said. “That saddest thing is that we did not have the opportunity to finish what we had started.”
The bar was an ambitious project along Randolph Restaurant Row, one that was hobbled on the onset by delays in securing city permits and with construction. The project was first announced in 2015 and opened two years later. But Powers relished that his staff had cleared those hurdles and that the public finally saw his vision realized for the March opening. Powers preferred to focus on the wine rather than find a big-name chef. LLP experienced a few chef changes including swapping chefs shortly before opening. Powers is a sommelier who once hosted a Discovery Channel television show. He wasn’t ready to talk about his next move.
“It’s a very challenging business and it’s broken a lot of hearts and it will continue to break hearts,” Powers said. “But we do it because we love it.”