CORRECTION: No Bones Beach Club debuted in Seattle before opening a second location in Portland.
Many vegans in Portland and Seattle are familiar with No Bones Beach Club, a meat- and dairy-free restaurant and bar with two locations that debuted in 2015. The restaurant kept busy on Super Bowl Sunday with large catering orders for the restaurant’s vegan cauliflower Buffalo wings. Now founder/owner MacKenzie DeVito is bringing her concept to Chicago. She plans to open a Wicker Park location on June 1 at 1943 W. North Avenue inside the former Santullo’s Eatery space.
The restaurant has received positive reviews for how it’s redefined vegan cuisine for diners with low expectations surrounding vegan food. They debuted in Seattle in 2015 and opened a second location last year in Portland. In Chicago, they’re “partially gutting” the former pizzeria space, DeVito said. They’ll have space for around 50 at the full-service restaurant and bar. They’re still figuring out hours, but they’ll offer takeout and weekend brunch. DeVito mentioned smoked-carrot “lox” bagels and a crab cake Benedict made with tofu. The restaurant’s signature dish may be its jackfruit flautas using Chao Creamery’s vegan cheese and a cashew cream sauce. No Bones’ menu isn’t focused on fake meats, DeVito added. Most of the menu is gluten free.
Even though there’s a beach theme, DeVito doesn’t describe her restaurant as a tiki bar. This isn’t a vegan version of Three Dots and a Dash, River North’s popular tiki bar that DeVito has visited. It’s about relaxed vibes, surf boards, and ethical eating.
No Bones started out as a food truck in 2014. DeVito is a Grand Rapids, Michigan native and she felt the Midwest needed more vegan options. In September, she brought her flautas to Vegan Mania, an annual vegan festival in Chicago. She was amazed by the response.
“We just really love Chicago because it’s such a huge city,” DeVito said. “We have such overwhelming support.”