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Travel Down The Hole Inside Clever Rabbit, Wicker Park’s Veggie Wonderland

Division Street gets its veggie-centric restaurant on May 23

Clever Rabbit
Eric Kleinberg
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.

The owners of Clever Rabbit were smart earlier this week to take advantage of the fleeting sunshine when they opened their Wicker Park patio while hosting friends and family. The rest of the world will get to experience chef Matt Lair’s (Bom Bolla) veggie-centric menu starting Tuesday when the restaurant opens in the former 25 Degrees spot at 2015 W. Division St. Co-owner Chris Haisma, who brought civilized drinking to the Gold Coast with Sparrow and creative gin and tonics to Fulton Market with The Betty, is hoping Chicago will follow a trend of healthier eating from his native California.

The exposed brick inside the space still shines, a holdover from when Barley & Brass was inside the space. The wallpaper is gone, replaced with tiles and siding. There’s a turntable. Perhaps they’ll spin some David Bowie, as the late and great musician is featured on a painting on the wall.

The restaurant, as Chicago already noted, will draw comparisons to Bad Hunter in West Loop. The two share a focus on creative vegetarian cuisine. The two spaces also share a green thumb—there are plenty of plants used as accents to go with the theme.

Take a look at the photos below. Clever Rabbit opens on Tuesday. Oh, and don’t worry, meatheads—they’ll serve a burger.

Eric Kleinberg