Three weeks after closing his Hyde Park location, Matthias Merges is shuttering the original Yusho in Logan Square. The building’s lease was up, and Merges — via a spokeswoman — said that after a six-year-run that it’s time to go. The restaurant’s last day will be on Saturday, July 22.
Merges, Charlie Trotter’s former chef de cuisine, used his creative interpretation of Japanese food to mold Yusho, 2852 N. Kedzie Ave., into a former stalwart on the Eater Chicago 38. He’ll hold onto the brand through future pop-ups like the one at Wrigley Field.
Merges’ Folkart Restaurant Management team (Billy Sunday, Lucky Dorr, Old Irving Brewing, A10) is painting Saturday’s shutter as the end of a successful chapter. They informed staff of the shutter on Wednesday and have offered them spots within the company.
Entering the New Year, Merges operated three Yushos, including one in Las Vegas. All three shutters come under different conditions. The Vegas location closed in June due to reconcepting at the Monte Carlo Hotel. Hyde Park lasted three years but never developed a strong customer base. Merges is open to finding a new location as Yusho could return to Chicago and Vegas.
In an interview with the Tribune, Merges talked about how it’s difficult to run a neighborhood restaurant in the current business climate. Folkart is instead turning their attention toward higher-profile spaces such as two projects near Wrigley Field and an upcoming West Loop spot.
Customers have three days to visit one of the restaurants that helped redefine the Logan Square eating and drinking scene, as Yusho closes on Saturday in Logan Square. Read Merges’ full statement below.
"After six years, our Yusho lease is coming to a close. We’re very grateful for the wonderful experiences we’ve shared as part of Chicago’s culinary community and plan to sustain the Yusho brand through future pop-up events while searching for a new home. We are deeply proud of Yusho and look forward to continuing its legacy in other forms in the meantime. Our last night is Saturday, July 22nd and we welcome guests to come by, raise a glass and toast our time in Logan Square."