After more than three years, Leghorn Chicken shut down its River North cafe at the Ohio House Motel, 600 N. LaSalle Street, early last week. The cafe appears victim of a lack of nighttime foot traffic — there’s also a giant void across the street thanks to the massive construction site where crews demolished the Rock ‘N’ Roll McDonald’s earlier this year.
Leghorn continues to operate its first location in Ukrainian Village. The cafe is a spinoff of that location from chef Jared Van Camp’s Element Collective hospitality company.
Element Collective didn’t renew its lease in the tiny retro space that was once occupied by the Ohio House Coffee Shop. Van Camp told Crain’s that the original location will reopen on Wednesday with new items and a refreshed interior. Specializing in fried chicken sandwiches, Leghorn was positioned as a liberal competitor to Chick-fil-A, the national chain that drew scrutiny for civil rights infractions against the LGBTQ community. Leghorn’s original formula was to blast loud rap and have a bowl full of condoms by the cash register.
Leghorn continues to have a concession stand at the main 100 level of the United Center, home of the Bulls and Blackhawks. Element Collective’s restaurants and bars include Nellcote, Old Town Social, and RM Champagne Lounge.