Naha, a Chicago dining institution for 18 years, is moving to a new location. James Beard Award-winning chef/owner Carrie Nahabedian will close the original Michelin-starred location of her River North restaurant on March 31 at 500 N. Clark Street. She will reopen the restaurant “not too far away” in the fall at an undisclosed location.
Nahabedian cited the need for a fresh start for Naha. While she leads the kitchen, her cousin, Michael Nahabedian works as the GM. Together, they brought Naha to Michelin-star status every year since 2011. In an email sent to friends and the media, the Nahabedians wrote that they “felt that we needed a change to continue growing. Sometimes it’s necessary to tear down to create.” In an interview with the Tribune, she cited how Alinea reinvented itself by gutting its dining room in before reopening in 2016.
“But, after the recent passing of my father, Mark, and a summer of personal tragedy within Michael’s family...Michael and I felt we needed a refresh...a new moment and to continue growing, we wanted a new home,” the email read.
The Nahabedians have a second fine-dining French restaurant, Brindille. Last weekend, Mick Jagger stopped in for dinner. Brindille’s been open for five years a couple blocks north of Naha. The Nahabedians wrote that Naha’s burger and chicken wings won’t be following them to the fancier Brindille. However, there are plans to expand the menu and possibly open during the day for lunch service.
“More details on the new restaurant...the location (nearby) and landmark space will be available later...for now we are savoring the last month in our restaurant and remembering all the exceptional guests and staff who have made Naha their home,” the email read. Stay tuned.