River Northers won’t get their baby back ribs back, but they will get some Wahlburgers. A spokesperson for the Wahlberg family burger chain confirms the location of the city of Chicago’s first Wahlburgers restaurant: the former Chili’s at 2 E. Ontario Street on the corner of State Street. The opening is targeted for the fourth quarter of 2018.
The Boston-area celebrity-backed empire-building full-service chain isn’t taking the entire Chili’s space, which closed in September 2016, as local healthy fast-casual Asian spot Brightwok Kitchen is also taking part of it. A real estate brochure for the building’s ground-floor retail, which includes Pinkberry, 7-Eleven, and an available space on the corner of State and Erie, also prominently features a Wahlburgers logo in the corner space on Ontario.
An initial story in May 2017 cited a franchisee to report that Wahlburgers’ first Chicago location was headed to an unspecified address in River North. Wahlburgers’ now-former CEO confirmed a year later that it was indeed coming, along with another Illinois restaurant in suburban St. Charles, but declined to the specific location of the River North spot.
Now, more than a year later, Chicagoans know exactly where it will be. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months.
- Mark Wahlberg and Brothers Finally Bringing Wahlburgers to Chicago: Report [ECHI]
- Chicago’s First Wahlburgers Should Open in River North Before Year’s End [ECHI]
- River North’s Getting a Healthy Fast-Casual Asian Restaurant in the Former Chili’s [ECHI]
- Three More Restaurants Shutter, Two New Brunches, More Intel [ECHI]
- Wahlburgers CEO stepping down after leading group for more than six years [Boston Globe]
- One East Erie Real Estate Brochure [Stone Real Estate]
- Wahlburgers [Official Site]