Kuma’s Corner, the constantly crowded heavy metal burger bar, will tonight close its Lincoln Park/Lakeview location. Kuma’s Too was the restaurant’s second location, a spot that was a bit more sanitized than the original in Avondale. When founder Mike Cain took over this location, he pointed to its address at 666 W. Diversey Parkway. The “666” — the supposed sign of the beast — fit into Kuma’s heavy metal vibe.
An employee reached by phone at the restaurant on Thursday afternoon confirmed Internet speculation that the restaurant was closing. He didn’t want to get into the reasoning. Other employees have posted on social media that the restaurant was to close. Ron Cain, founder Mike Cain’s brother, handles operations of the chain. He didn’t immediately respond to messages for comment. So, despite crowds, it’s unclear why they’ve opted to close.
Kuma‘s celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015. It’s grown from its formula as a loud den of metal and punk music, craft beer, and irreverent burgers named after bands. One limited edition burger, the Ghost, comes with a communion wafer. The Diversey location was a leap to test if the more buttoned-up Lincoln Park and Lakeview crowd would respond positively to big burgers with jarring guitars and indecipherable vocals playing the background. The answer was yes. Kuma‘s soon expanded to the suburbs at Woodfield Shopping Center. Last year, Kuma‘s opened in Chicago‘s trendiest dining area, Fulton Market. Kuma’s has also become popular in the food delivery circuit with GrubHub featuring the restaurant in an ad campaign.
Kuma’s Too opened in 2013 taking over for another burger restaurant. The Counter was a place people could take elderly parents. But now, the base that made Kuma’s a hit growing older, and the business is evolving. While one time making fun of vegetarians, the chain now serves the meat-less Impossible Burger.
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