One of Chicago’s most acclaimed fast-casual breakfast and lunch mini-chains is no more. The Eastman Egg Company, which had previously planned a major expansion, shuttered its three remaining restaurants in the Loop, West Loop’s Randolph Randolph Restaurant Row, and inside the Trunk Club in River North, founder and CEO Hunter Swartz confirms. “While we had a great run, we couldn’t find a sustainable way to make the breakfast sandwiches we wanted to serve,” Swartz wrote in an email.
That run began as a popular food truck in 2013. Eastman Egg’s first brick-and-mortar restaurant came next when Swartz and team opened their flagship location at 23 N. Wacker Drive in the Loop in September 2014 that served Eastman’s customizable breakfast sandwiches with cage-free eggs, produce from local farmers, and bread products from local artisan bakers.
Success there spawned a larger focus on lunch service, a restaurant in Ogilvie Transportation Center, and a mobile app before the company scored $1.5 million in funding for further expansion. Swartz planned to open two locations in the following 12 months, including a Lakeview restaurant which never came to be, but he did open a restaurant at 939 W. Randolph Street in the West Loop and hoped to eventually expand to a coast.
Eastman Egg’s fortunes took a downturn starting when its Ogilvie location shuttered in March 2017. And now, all of its locations are closed for good. Chicagoans in the Loop and West Loop will have to get their egg sandwiches elsewhere.