Wicker Park will soon welcome a new fast-casual restaurant that feature wraps stuffed with tater tots and late-night delivery. Conrad’s Grill is described as a good way to stave off a hangover after a night of alcoholic drinks or an affordable breakfast stop the morning after. The restaurant, touted as “the home of the Original Tot-Wrap,” debuted in East Lansing, Michigan near Michigan State University.
A family-friendly Wicker Park location, 1422 N. Milwaukee Avenue, won’t have as a heavy slant toward college kids but it’ll still use Michigan State’s green and white colors. Since 2007, Conrad’s has opened four Michigan locations. The restaurant could open around Halloween, though ownership is officially going with “late fall” as an official response.
Three investors bought licensing rights from Conrad’s founders in Michigan and hope to open three to five Conrad’s in the Chicago area — they want to stick near college campuses. They’ve been eyeing space in Pilsen, Bucktown, DePaul, Logan Square, Lincoln Park, Wrigleyville, and Rogers Park. They’re even looking at Madison, Wisconsin to feed the University of Wisconsin community.
Customers pick beef, chicken, eggs, or another protein and get it wrapped in a grilled flour tortillas. It’s not revolutionary, co-owner Jeff Kaplan said, but comforting and consistent. The tater tots aren’t made on premises, but the variety of ingredients available make Conrad’s unique, Kaplan said.
“It just puts a smile on your face,” he said.
The new location is about 1,700 square feet with room for 30 seats. They’re also hoping for late-night delivery and catering. Kaplan comes from a family of restaurateurs in Maryland. He was looking for an existing chain to invest in and open multiple locations. The other two investors are Cameron Cummins and Mike Rane. Cummins has experience at Marco’s Pizza, an 800-location chain based out of Toledo, Ohio. Marco’s has no Chicago locations but has suburban pizzerias in Glenview, Wheeling, and Homewood.