The Halal Guys, New York’s street meat phenomenon, will open another Chicago location. The chain heads to the Hipster Highway in Wicker Park, taking over the FireFin Poke Shop space at 1415 N. Milwaukee Avenue. This would be the chain’s third Chicago restaurant, and they plan on opening in April, according to a rep.
They’ve also set up a Facebook event page with an April 1 opening date, but owners insist that’s just a placeholder. They plan to have sidewalk seating. The chain arrived in Chicago in 2015, opening a tiny location in Gold Coast — near the bars at Division and Rush. Halal Guys is open late, serving gyros and chicken on pitas or as platters with rice. Customers can order their food with a mix of white and red sauces. The mix is essential to cut the red sauce’s intense heat. Halal Guys followed the Division location by opening in the Loop and in suburban Skokie.
New Yorkers are familiar with Halal Guys’ origins as a street cart vendor, drawing huge lines. The first street cart debuted in 1990. The chain’s popularity begot brick-and-mortar restaurants, and a nationwide expansion including LA, Las Vegas, and Dallas. The FireFin location opened up unexpectedly when that chain ceased all operations at its five restaurants in October.
Before the Gold Coast location opened, franchisee Steve Chong said his group planned on opening five restaurants in the Chicago area. Wicker Park would be the fourth under that three-year-old plan. Which neighborhood is next? Feel free to speculate in the comments.