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Small Cheval’s Uber-Popular Burgers Appear Headed to Old Town

Construction hasn’t started at 1345 N. Wells St. but a building permit and liquor license application are filed

This vacant space in Old Town appears pegged for a Small Cheval.
Ashok Selvam
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.

Construction hasn't started, but building permits and a liquor license application point out that Small Cheval, purveyor of one of Chicago’s favorite burgers, is heading to Old Town. Small Cheval is the fast-casual cousin of Brendan Sodikoff’s West Loop dining destination, Au Cheval. Small Cheval features a stripped-down menu and serves an iteration of the double-stacked, griddled burger that crowds line up for along Randolph Street.

The permitting is for 1345 N. Wells St., floor one, which is currently a vacant space along Wells. There’s a bit of a wrinkle, as Four Corners Tavern Group’s Matt Menna is listed on the building permit, which is for an “interior renovation of existing ground floor mercantile space to small restaurant with less than 100 occupants,” while the liquor license application lists the business name as Small Cheval.

Four Corners is a restaurant/bar company that runs establishments, including The Benchmark — located a few blocks north from the Small Cheval site at Wells. Sodikoff and his Hogsalt Hospitality have consulted on a few projects with Four Corners including SteakBar (which neighbors Benchmark), Federales in the West Loop, and 20 East in Gold Coast. Menna is also principal at Sterling Bay, a prominent developer. It’s unclear what his involvement may be in the project. Menna and Sodikoff did not reply to attempts to reach them.

The original Small Cheval debuted in 2015 in Bucktown. There’s plans for another location to The Loop. Additionally, the burger is available at Hogsalt’s 3 Greens Market in River North, and Three Arts Club Cafe, inside the Restoration Hardware building in Gold Coast.

Small Cheval could be heading here, according to city permits.
Ashok Selvam