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Ambitious Suburban Restaurant the Elm Will Indulge Locals Who Miss Chicago Dining

Read the menu for the upcoming Western Suburban restaurant

Coming attractions stock art
The Elm is coming to the suburbs in 2020.
Getty Images
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

The opening of the Elm has been pushed back in suburban La Grange. The ambitious two-level space was pegged for a December debut, but the Western Suburbs will now have to wait for late-January or early-February. In the meantime, ownership has released the menu to get suburb dwellers excited about having what they hope is a Chicago-caliber restaurant in their backyard.

The menu from chef Eddie Jobin features a combo of chops and unique appetizers such as swordfish wontons. Diners can also expect three entree salads and a pimento cheese plate. He doesn’t want his menu to be described as comfort food, but as food that’s comfortable. The priciest dish is a $69 Alaskan king crab. A burger will set customers back $15.

The restaurant’s projected clientele includes parents with small children who moved out of the city and locals living in towns like Clarendon Hills, La Grange, Hinsdale, and Western Springs who don’t have the patience to drive to Chicago for a meal. There’s also a private event space for small parties.

Husband-and-wife owners Dan and Caitlin Spain have so far received positive feedback from nearby residents since the project was announced. Some have talked about the design, likening it to an English ale house. Others are elated that the Spains are building something that the area needs.

Ownership has been working on the project for four years. Dan Spain’s grandfather, Joe, ran a bar on Chicago’s South Side called Spain’s Tavern in Chicago Lawn. Dan Spain said Grandpa Joe is providing them with heavenly inspiration.

A black and white photo seven men in trench coats wearing fedoras.
Joe Spain (far left standing) in front of his old Chicago bar, Spain’s Tavern.
The Elm [Official Photo]

Check out the menu below. The Elm hopes to give the Western Suburbs a little fun in 2020.

The Elm, 23 W. Harris Avenue, La Grange, Scheduled to open in late January or early February.