Americano 2211, the sister restaurant to The Winchester, has shuttered 15 months after replacing the beloved Birchwood Kitchen at 2211 W. North Ave. in Wicker Park. Owner Chris Pappas pulled the plug on his all-day restaurant after brunch service on Sunday, citing what he believes is currently a difficult plight for independently-owned restaurants in Chicago.
“The industry is getting tougher and tougher every day for us small independent restaurants that focus on quality sourcing,” Pappas wrote in an email. “We just had too many hurdles to overcome and we decided to explore all our options.”
Those options prominently include a new owner taking over the space, according to Pappas. “We do have some interest in the space already and we will do our best make this a smooth and easy transition for our landlord and the neighborhood,” he wrote. “We were able to create a beautiful space and eventually got our liquor license so we hope someone great goes into the space.”
Americano 2211 opened in April 2016, six months after longtime beloved brunch restaurant Birchwood Kitchen closed after 5 1⁄2 years in business on North Avenue. Pappas, partner Nancy Silver (Blackbird, Charlie Trotter’s), and opening chef Fred Noinaj hoped that the restaurant’s “true European café” ethos would be popular two blocks west of Wicker Park’s North/Milwaukee/Damen nexus. But change came quickly when Noinaj exited the restaurant two months after opening, replaced by Trevor Fleming, who also eventually left. Pappas and new beverage manager Ken Pritz finally unveiled its bar program and evening hours last September. Meghan McKern was the restaurant’s final chef.
In closing, Pappas writes that “we are of course sad but very appreciative of the support from regulars and the neighborhood.” His first restaurant, The Winchester, remains open at 1001 N. Winchester Ave. Stay tuned for news on what will come to Americano 2211’s space next.