Chicago’s restaurant scene is volatile, and shutters aren’t unusual given the current state of the market. However, Grace, the West Loop fine dining mecca is an atypical case. The restaurant earned critical acclaim including a full three stars from Michelin, one of only two Chicago restaurants reaching that level in 2017-2018. The restaurant that helped propel chef Curtis Duffy to superstardom suddenly closed in December due to a fissure between two factions. Duffy and GM/sommelier Michael Muser failed in their attempt to buy the restaurant from owner Michael Olszewski. Duffy quit in December and his staff followed and walked out. The restaurant closed a day later ending a five-year run.
In the weeks since the shutter, Duffy and Muser have sued Olszewski over the right to open a new restaurant — they are bound by a noncompete deal. Olszewski, a prominent real estate developer, has publicly shared the agreement between the three parties and claimed the contract was signed in “good faith.”
The back and forth continues. Olszewski wants to open a new restaurant in the Grace space. Duffy and Muser want to open their own new restaurant. Get updated on the latest developments or get acquainted with how this closure has captivated diners nationwide.