American-Chinese giant P.F. Chang’s is closing its last remaining city of Chicago restaurant on Tuesday. But the global chain also plans to flood the area with its first ever “To Go” locations, a representative confirms.
The River North restaurant has been a fixture at 530 N. Wabash Avenue for two decades, dishing out hearty helpings of lettuce wraps, noodles, and more. Yet as that ends a 20-year run, local fans of the chain will soon get the first ever P.F. Chang’s To Go locations, starting in River North on February 3.
“The downtown location has been an important part of the P.F. Chang’s family since 2000,” marketing and brand development VP Tana Davila wrote in an email. “We still have four restaurants in the Chicago area and are excited that Chicago will be the home of our first ever P.F. Chang’s To Go.”
Focusing on catering, delivery, and takeout, the To Go locations will offer a “curated” menu, the rep says, though it remains to be seen which items will make the cut. The first is slated to open at 213 W. Hubbard Street on February 3. New To Go spots are also slated to open in the Loop (231 S. LaSalle Street) and Fulton Market (185 N. Morgan Street), though an opening timeframe for those is not yet available.
Originally founded in Arizona in 1993, P.F. Chang’s operates dine-in restaurants in 40 states and around the world. Four are still open in the Chicago suburbs: in Northbrook, Lombard, Orland Park, and Schaumburg. Though the chain’s lifeblood is Chinese-American dishes such as Kung Pao chicken and Mongolian beef, the company has expanded the menu in recent years to integrate other Asian options like sushi, dim sum, and pad Thai. Known for spacious dining rooms and a full bar, P.F. Chang’s became a national sensation for offering Chinese-style dishes tempered for Western diners.
Celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern invoked P.F. Chang’s co-founder Philip Chiang (who is no longer involved with the company) in a 2018 interview with Fast Company when asked about cultural appropriation at his Chinese-American Minnesota restaurant Lucky Cricket. “Was P.F. Chang’s not a ripoff because Cecilia Chiang’s kid owned it?” Zimmern said in the interview. “Because, despite how he looks on the outside, he’s a rich, American kid on the inside, right?” He later publicly apologized for his comments.
The first P.F. Chang’s To Go is coming to River North early next month, and at least two more are on the way to Chicago. Stay tuned for more details.
P.F. Chang’s To Go, 213 W. Hubbard Street, Scheduled to open February 3.