After four years in Washington Park, Currency Exchange Cafe’s owners feel it’s time for a change. They’ve closed the restaurant and cafe with the intentions of reopening in September with a new chef. Cliff Rome, who owns South Side favorite Peach’s Restaurant and Parkway Ballroom in Bronzeville, will run the kitchen. Ownership announced the move via a Facebook post below.
“The Currency Exchange Café will be closed until September, and we have a great reason: We’re hard at work behind the scenes, preparing to reopen with a new concept in partnership with renowned restaurateur and Chef Cliff Rome, owner of Peach’s and the Parkway Ballroom. We can’t wait to open our doors, unveil exciting new menus, and continue feeding your stomachs and souls.”
The cafe’s owned by Rebuild Foundation, a not for profit founded by artist Theaster Gates. The group’s CEO, Tregg Duerson, confirmed the changes. He emailed that they’re not quite ready to share their plans.
“We are excited about the changes to come,” Duerson wrote.
The new chef, Rome, grew up in Englewood and managed Midway International Airport’s concessions. He’s a Kendall College grad and trained under celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. He opened Peach’s in 2015 after years of running Rome’s Joy Catering.
The cafe’s previous chef, Lamar Moore, left the restaurant in June to pursue his own restaurant. He announced those plans today. Moore, when interviewed on Tuesday morning, didn’t know about his former employer’s plans. However, when reached later on Tuesday, he said changes were contemplated while he worked there and the news wasn’t a huge surprise.