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Ex-Chicago Bears Teammates To Open Restaurants Inside Their South Side Complex

Israel Idonije and Julius Peppers’ FBRK could also include a rooftop pool bar on South Michigan Avenue

A rendering of FBRK.
FBRK/Ware Malcomb
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

A pair of former Chicago Bears are bringing some excitement to the South Side, about a five-minute drive south of their former stomping grounds at Soldier Field. Israel Idonije and Julius Peppers plan to open a complex that would house restaurants, co-working office spaces, and rooftop pool inside a 115,000-square-foot and five-story building. FBRK could open late next year at 2222 S. Michigan Avenue.

FBRK, pronounced “fabric,” will feature restaurants that will be open to the public, according to a spokesperson. Those concepts haven’t been developed yet, so there’s no news to share just yet on what to expect. Idonije and Peppers are looking to partner with restaurant and bar personnel and accepting pitches, the spokesperson added. The provided rendering shows a rooftop bar by the pool. Rooftop bars are a rarity on Chicago’s South Side.

The complex, inside a former auto showroom on Motor Row, is already being compared to Soho House, the West Loop club that houses restaurants, bars, and lodging for its creative-minded members. Crain’s spoke with Idonije, who talked about the need for well-rounded people to work at well-rounded companies.

Idonije played for the Bears from 2003 to 2012. He retired in 2014. Peppers played with the Bears from 2010 to 2013. His NFL career continues as a member of the Carolina Panthers. They played defensive line together for the Bears for two years.

The spokesperson hopes to share more details later this summer.