Passers-by can’t see many changes on the ground floor of the Hotel Lincoln, with windows papered up inside the space that Perennial Virant occupied for five years. Chef Paul Virant and Boka Restaurant Group closed the Lincoln Park restaurant on New Year’s Eve. But now the two groups behind its replacement are revealing a few details on the new restaurant: It’s called The Kennison, and it should open in June at the corner of Lincoln, Wells, and Clark, according to a news release.
The Kennison is a team effort between the Beard-finalist Boka Restaurant Group and newly-formed 90/94 Restaurant Group. Ryan See and Dan Warren run that new venture, and The Kennison is the group’s first restaurant. See co-owns Compass Bar in Lincoln Park and Bridge House Tavern in River North. Warren’s run restaurants in New York, including the shuttered Common Ground and West 3rd Common. Boka and 90/94 also run Elaine’s Coffee Call and The J. Parker rooftop bar inside the hotel.
The restaurant is named for David Kennison, a conman who lived in the 19th Century. He claimed he was a hero in the Revolutionary War and was the last living participant in the Boston Tea Party. The stories made him beloved and his funeral attracted a large crowd. People thought he died at age 115. Those were all lies which came to light decades after his death. Historians discovered Kennison was only 85 at the time of death—too young to go to war during the revolution.
Boka and 90/94 seek to give the space at 1800 N. Lincoln Ave. a refresh, making better use of the unique patio space overlooking Lincoln Park. Check back for more as the opening grows closer.