Lincoln Park bedrocks Dunlays on Clark and neighboring D.O.C. Wine Bar are closing in September after 15 years on Clark Street. The building’s landlord wants to sell their property and couldn’t offer 4 Star Restaurant Group a long-term lease, according to a spokesperson. Dunlays is 4 Star’s first restaurant, and the company’s since opened several restaurants including two Smoke Daddy barbecues, with one across the street from Wrigley Field inside the new Hotel Zachary.
Dunlays opened in 2003, giving locals a family friendly spot during the day with a patio along Wrightwood. The neighboring wine bar, D.O.C., opened two years later with its fireplaces and wine list to provide Lincoln Parkers an escape in the midst of the college sports bars along Clark Street.
The closure, scheduled for September 16 at 2600 N. Clark Street — at the corner of Clark and Wrightwood — means two Dunlays have closed over the course of five months. Dunlays on the Square closed in March after 13 years in Logan Square. As shown by the opening of the aforementioned Smoke Daddy in Wrigleyville, 4 Star is doing well financially, the spokesperson pointed out. The upcoming shutter in Lincoln Park was a special case with the lease. The company couldn’t commit to investing more money in the restaurant if they didn’t know if a new property owner would offer them a lease. They could not come to terms on a new agreement.
“As two of the first restaurants opened under the 4 Star name by Doug and Michael Dunlay, it is truly the end of an era for us,” a Facebook post read. “We couldn’t be more grateful to our co-workers, family, & friends in Lincoln Park who have made the experience of running these venues unforgettable.”
Four Star will continue to serve popular Dunlays items at its other restaurants, including Crosby’s Kitchen in Lakeview. A spokesperson added that Dunlays employees have been offered jobs at the company’s other restaurants. Co-founder Doug Dunlay, in a statement, said it was an honor to serve Lincoln Park and he thanked customers.
While the area around Wrigley gets the most spotlight, there’s also plenty of development and construction on Clark Street south of Diversey. If nearby Wiener’s Circle gets sold, what’s the neighborhood going to do? Regardless, customers have 19 days to visit Dunlays on Clark and D.O.C. Wine Bar.