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Inside Cafe Cancale, the Publican Group’s Highly Anticipated Wicker Park French Restaurant

Cafe Cancale opens in the Publican Anker space on May 13

Cafe Cancale gives Wicker Park’s six corners a new look
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

After taking home two more James Beard Awards on Monday, Chicago’s legendary One Off Hospitality Group will next unveil their newest restaurant on May 13. The group transformed the Publican Anker space in the heart of Wicker Park into the new French restaurant Cafe Cancale, and while the overall layout remains similar, the aesthetics are brand new after an overhaul that begun following Anker’s March closing.

Gone are the darker tones and harder surfaces that gave Anker more of pub feel. Blues and creams, cushy banquettes, booths, and bar stools, plus marble inlay floors, soft curtains, and striped awnings replace them to make the space feel more open and bright. A main marble bar, high tops, and window-lining tables fill the front of the space, while the cozy banquettes, booths, and marble floors underneath circular light fixtures and mirrors now fill the rear. Design Bureaux — who helped put together Blackbird, Avec, and the original Publican — also designed Cafe Cancale, implementing One Off’s French seaside theme through colors and fixtures.

Reservations are now live for the Monday opening and beyond. In the meantime, take a virtual tour of the new restaurant below.

A brick exterior of a restaurant with a striped awning.
There’s a new blue-striped awning and sign at the corner of Milwaukee, Damen, and North avenues
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
The front bar room is cozier thanks to softer colors and furniture
There’s still excellent people-watching through the front windows
Cushy seating and marble tables now live against the front windows
The new marble high tops and red stools help give the barroom a classy feel
The bar itself feels more intimate
A closer look at the new bar
Blue banquettes, inlay floors, and circular fixtures and mirrors now fill the rear dining room
Cozy booths now lead to the rear exit
This secluded booth lives next to the back door

Publican Anker

1576 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60622 (773) 904-1121 Visit Website


1576 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60622 (773) 904-1121 Visit Website

Cafe Cancale

1576 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 Visit Website