The owners of Pork Chop are moving their Hyde Park location to a new space it will share with another neighborhood restaurant. Pork Chop, 1516 Harper Court, closed on Saturday and owner Jovanis Bourgoub said he’ll reopen his barbecue restaurant Wednesday a block away at 5121 S. Harper Avenue — the same space as Bourgoub’s seafood restaurant, Red Fish Bleu Fish.
Red Fish Bleu Fish’s dining room has been split with different decors to make room for Pork Chop. There are two signs outside, but one entrance. Bourgoub will offer the two menus — though customers will be able to order from both regardless where they’re seated.
“In the restaurant business everything is a gamble anyway,” Bourgoub said. “I said just go for it.”
The 5,000-square-foot space is larger than the 2,000-square-foot space at the old Pork Chop. It’s an unusual set up, a decision Bourgoub had been thinking about for about seven months. Pork Chop is an established brand that debuted with a Randolph Street location in the West Loop. Bourgoub has opened multiple locations around the city. The Hyde Park location opened five years ago. Red Fish Bleu Fish opened in January. Bourgoub said he hopes that by opening Pork Chop at the same address he’ll introduce many barbecue fans to his seafood restaurant and grow his customer base.
Bourgoub also said it was a struggle finding reliable workers for Pork Chop. He doesn’t have that problem at the other restaurant: “I have a great staff. I have great management. I have a great chef.”
Besides Pork Chop (locations at Midway International Airport and South Loop), Bourgoub also owns the Hyde, the speakeasy-style bar that’s banned phone use. That’s in addition to a set of rules that went viral after an Eater story shared them with the world; Bourgoub said he heard from fans as far as Australia. The bar gained attention for “bans” on Cubs fans and Trump supporters. While the phone bans continues, the Cubs and Trump rules were tongue and cheek, Bourgoub said.
“That story was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he said. “We gained 5,000 followers overnight.”
It’s only a few days but Pork Chop will again be open in Hyde Park on Wednesday. Bourgoub said he’s also looking at other restaurant spaces including one in West Town.