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The Bedford Closes in Wicker Park Bank Vault As Matthias Merges Teases Reconcept

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The restaurant and cocktail bar had a six-year run

A bank safe open
The Bedford made use of the former bank space.
Timothy Hiatt
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.

Last month, Buck’s closed as “for lease” signs remain up at the reconcepted Carriage House space in Wicker Park. Now The Bedford, which shares the same ownership—just a block east of Buck’s at 1612 W. Division St.—is also closed. The expansive subterranean cocktail lounge and restaurant, which features a bank vault and a seating area surrounded by safety deposit boxes, suddenly closed on Monday, reported DNAinfo.

Matthias Merges (Yusho, A10, Billy Sunday, Old Irving Brewery) was brought on in the fall as a consultant to help ownership figure out the fates of their two Wicker Park venues. He hasn’t yet responded to a request for more information but told DNAinfo that his Folkart Restaurant Management would soon reveal details of a new concept. It’s unclear if Folkart would take over the space outright or operate it on the behalf of The Bedford ownership. Stay tuned for more intel.

The Bedford’s Minnesota-based ownership group had already poured in money to reconcept Carriage House into Buck’s, turning it into more of a bar and hedging away from the formula the made Carriage House one of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants in America in 2013. Like Buck’s, chef Mike Galen was in charge of The Bedford. Both Galen and Merges weren’t immediately reached. The Bedford and Carriage House grew in prominence thanks in part to chef/partner Mark Steuer, who exited in 2014.

Workers were also taken by surprise by the decision, as DNAinfo reported that they were notified on Monday that the restaurant would closed immediately. The restaurant and bar, which hosted various DJ nights and was more known for nightlife than dining, is inside the former MB Bank at Ashland Avenue and Division Street. It opened in 2011, but the building’s history dates back to the 1920s. Whatever comes to the space next will have a head start with its unique surroundings, so keep it locked here for more.

The Bedford

1612 W Division Street, Chicago, IL 60622 773 235 8800 Visit Website