The state banned indoor service across Illinois at the end of October with health experts saying America is now caught in a second wave of COVID-19. Cases and hospitalizations have spiked and lawmakers have shutdown on-premise dining as hopes of one way of controlling the virus.
As Chicago’s restaurants and bars struggle for survival, the latest state ban has caused more layoffs. Many restaurants are now hibernating, electing to take a break until 2021, while temporarily closing their venues. For these operators, riding out the winter is an easier decision as they contend with ongoing rent and utility payments, and are grappling with the realities of capacity restrictions in spaces with cramped dining rooms and kitchens. Meanwhile, workers face difficult decisions regarding their careers, potential exposure to COVID-19 from colleagues and patrons, and the precarious nature of this moment in the hospitality industry across the country.
Below, Eater is cataloging both temporary and permanent restaurant closures in Chicago. If you know of a restaurant, bar, or other food establishment that has closed since the start of the pandemic, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will continue to update this post.
Andersonville: Arcade bar and restaurant Replay Beer & Bourbon is temporarily closed due to the pandemic, according to a Facebook post. “We thank everyone for their support during 2020 and look forward to welcoming you back when circumstances change!” the post reads. The venue was among several to participate in open-streets dining this summer on Balmoral Avenue.
South Loop: Tutto Italiano Restaurant, a 27-year-old spot known among fans for its antique train car dining room, permanently closed at the end of December, according to a Facebook post. “We have gone through many ups and downs for over a quarter of a century in the heart of Chicago’s business district; including the dot com bubble, 9/11, and the 2008 housing and financial crisis,” the post reads. “But this situation has brought us beyond the point of not being able to meet our obligations.”
West Loop: Bar and liquor store 1340 Beer Wine Spirits permanently closed on December 31 after more than 5 years, according to Block Club Chicago. Previously known as Madison Wine Shop, the business served draft beer, cocktails, and wine, and hosted private events in its tasting room. Ownership is leaving Chicago for “new adventures,” they wrote in a newsletter to customers.
Wrigleyville: The Dark Horse Tap & Grille permanently closed in late December after 17 years in business. Current owner Niko Kostakis Konstantoudakis announced the shutter last month in a Facebook post, which details his appreciation for the federal government’s pandemic response and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) but “admonish[es]” city and state officials for “draconian rule while operating with a different set of rules for themselves and their cronies.” Konstantoudakis also asserts that Wrigleyville is the “worst place in the country” for bar and restaurant operators. The venue first opened in 2003.
Lombard: Ownership at suburban restaurant Pinched Mediterranean Grill have closed the business to “reevaluate and reconstruct our business model,” according to a Facebook post. Sister spot Pinched on the River remains open for pickup and delivery in Streeterville.
Bucktown: Cocktail and burger spot Cortland’s Garage has temporarily closed until Chicago allows indoor dining to resume, ownership writes in a Facebook post. “With the current mitigations put in place by our governor, we have decided to shut down until restrictions are lifted, the post reads. “Although this isn’t an easy decision for us, we look forward to seeing you all again when we are able to reopen back up for indoor dining.”
Pilsen: Fran’s Beef, a family-owned neighborhood spot for hot dogs, Italian beef, and more, will close at the end of December after 25 years, according to Block Club Chicago. “While we would have loved to stay in this community for another 25 years, our lease has ended and we can no longer continue the business,” a sign on the door reads in English and Spanish.
River North: Bernie’s, a restaurant with a rooftop space that opened in 2015, temporarily closed in October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Facebook post. “This is not a decision we have made lightly, but feel it is best for our staff, guests, and greater community,” it reads. “We look forward to seeing you again in the new year!”
Wrigleyville: Starbucks Reserve is permanently closed on Clark Street after three years and the coffee giant has wiped the address from its website. The coffeeshop was in the same building as the Chicago Cubs officers that were built along with the Hotel Zachary, transforming the neighborhood. Bigger and more elaborate than a typical Starbucks location, the shop featured specialty drinks and an upscale aesthetic. The Reserve introduced Chicagoans to a more polished version of the brand.
Munster, Indiana: Iconic beer destination Three Floyds Brewpub is permanently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Times of Northwest Indiana. The announcement confirms fears from anguished fans back in May when founder Nick Floyd kept the brewpub closed indefinitely to prevent his staff and customers from contracting the novel coronavirus. Three Floyds has a staunch Chicago fanbase with beers like Alpha King and Zombie Dust. The brewery was in the middle of a campus expansion and unveiled a distillery and cocktail bar last year.
Dunning: Northwest side watering hole Family Bar is permanently closed after 22 years, ownership writes in a Facebook post. “It’s bittersweet that FAMILYBAR is now officially closed do to the COVID PANDEMIC,” the post reads. “With all COVID restrictions we’ve exhausted all are revenues and we’re unable to survive which is unfortunate.” It was a destination for cheap beer, pool, and steel-tipped darts, and even housed a small dart shop with replacement parts.
Gold Coast: Southern Cut Barbecue from the owners of Chicago Cut Steakhouse is permanently closed after three years, according to a Facebook post. It doesn’t detail the reasons behind the closure but promises a new menu at the steakhouse in the spring. Southern Cut debuted in 2017 as a collaboration with pitmaster Lee Ann Whippen (Chicago Q) in a space that previously housed the Local inside the Hilton Chicago Mag Mile hotel.
Lincoln Park: Marge’s Still, one of Chicago’s oldest running taverns, is temporarily closed until the pandemic is over, ownership writes in a social media post. “COVID has hit the restaurant industry particularly hard, with that being said we have decided to close our doors TEMPORARILY,” the post reads. “We will miss you but we have hopes of coming back even stronger after this is all over.”
Originally founded in 1885 under the name Victor Caruso’s Soft Drinks, the tavern operated as a combination barbershop and saloon during Prohibition. Its current namesake, Marge Landeck, took over the bar in 1957 and became the first woman in Chicago to obtain a liquor license, according to its website. Landeck died in 2001 and her children now operate the business.
Logan Square: Good Fortune, the highly anticipated supper-clubby restaurant and bar from Charles Welch and Andrew Miller of Out to Lunch Hospitality is permanently closed, according to the New York Times. The pair presented a menu that blended new American and Mediterranean flavors with the help of a wood-burning oven. Good Fortune had been closed for months after the pandemic shutdown in March, but management never returned requests for comment or made social media posts regarding its status. Welsh has since gone back to working at Eleven Eleven (formerly Honey’s, where he was once chef) in Fulton Market.
Pilsen: Ownership at modern Mexican restaurant La Luna has pressed pause on operations for the time being, according to a Facebook post. “We have made a difficult decision to close our doors for the time being, until indoor dining or until any plan is in place & announced by the city for a way to operate through these times,” the post reads, adding that the restaurant will “hopefully” reopen at a later date. The restaurant first debuted in 2018. In the meantime, the spot is hosting a @chi.pie.guy pop-up featuring a rotating menu of different flavors and styles. More details are available online.
Wicker Park/Pilsen: A “for lease” sign hangs in the window inside the original Furious Spoon ramen shop at 1571 N. Milwaukee Avenue. The restaurant is listed as “temporarily closed” online but the sign is likely means it’s the end of the line for chef Shin Thompson’s first ramen restaurant. It opened in 2015. Another location in Pilsen, 1316 W. 18th Street, is listed as permanently closed. Locations in Logan Square and Lakeview remain open and listed on the restaurant’s website. During the pandemic, Thompson has started a Japanese curry virtual restaurant called Bokuchan.
Hodgkins: South Suburban brewery Blue Nose will permanently close after the new year, or “whenever the beer runs out,” according to the Tribune. The brewery was originally founded in 2012 in the village of Justice, just over 14 miles northeast of Chicago, and relocated to Hodgkins in 2015. Offerings ranged from familiar hits like pilsners and golden ales to a gummy bear-infused raspberry sour ale. Co-founder and operator Jordan Isenberg plans to hang onto brewing equipment and establish a new brewing business as soon as he can.
Evanston: Alums at Northwestern University will mourn the closure of the Burger King at 1740 Orrington Avenue. As a fast-food spot it wasn’t fancy, but this location was open 24 hours a day, and gave sleepy Evanston one of its only late-night restaurants. Patch has the sad details.
Edgewater: American bistro Broadway Cellars is temporarily closed until Chicago officials allow indoor dining at 25 percent capacity or more, or the federal government releases more stimulus funds, Block Club Chicago reports. Neighbors raised nearly $26,000 to help support the business, helping owners Tom and Geri Foley from going into personal debut and allowing them to pay for a month’s rent and a week of work for their 16 staffers.
Edgewater: Neighborhood pub Burke’s Public House has temporarily closed with plans to reopen in the spring, according to Block Club. Outdoor seating helped keep the business viable through the summer and early fall, but ownership told reporters that takeout alone isn’t enough to get through the winter.
Fulton Market: Glitzy old Hollywood-style restaurant BLVD Steakhouse has paused operations until 2021, according to a Facebook post. Previously dubbed BLVD, the venue offered delivery, carryout, and grill kits during the first pandemic shutdown in the spring. Owners then relaunched with a new menu in August under the a steakhouse banner and leaned into indoor service until the state halted dining room operations on October 30. Ownership company Sancerre Hospitality Group is also behind Rose Mary, the forthcoming Croatian-Italian restaurant from former Spiaggia chef and Top Chef season 15 winner Joe Flamm.
Gold Coast: Family-owned Mexican mini-chain Blue Agave Tequila Bar & Restaurant is permanently closed after nearly 30 years on State Street, ownership writes in a Facebook post. Locations in River North and Lakeview remain, as does an outpost in Kissimmee, Florida. Ownership continues to operate another Mexican restaurant, Fernando’s, in Lakeview. The location is steps away from Morton’s Steakhouse which closed last month.
Lincoln Park: Devil Dawgs will permanently close its original location at 2147 N. Sheffield Avenue on Sunday after a decade in the area near DePaul University, according to a rep. The team aims to go out celebrating on Wednesday and Thursday, offering $1 Chicago hot dogs at all four outposts (Lincoln Park, South Loop, Wicker Park, Lakeview) to mark the brand’s 10-year anniversary. Operators hope to find a new location in the same area and aim to reopen by summer 2021. Devil Dawgs was inspired by the iconic DePaul-area hot dog stand, Demon Dogs.
Logan Square: Saba Italian Bar and Kitchen is on hiatus until 2021, ownership writes in a Facebook post. The modern Italian food and cocktail spot first opened in 2018 on Milwaukee Avenue.
North Center: One of Chicago’s most popular soccer bars, the Globe Pub, is going on a winter break until early 2021, according to series of Tweets on Sunday. The spot is beloved for its menu of British fare, long beer list, and large TVs. “This was not an easy or light decision but one that we have decided is best for us as a small business,” ownership writes. “Stay safe and healthy, and we will share a pint or a gangway photo with you soon.” The Globe first opened in 2004.
Uptown: Upscale pub the Reservoir has temporarily closed as a result of pandemic regulations, according to a Facebook post. “Due to the current Illinois restrictions on bars and restaurants, we have made the hard decision to temporarily close our doors for the next few weeks,” the post reads. Ownership promises that the business will be back “bigger and better than ever” in 2021. It first opened in 2012.
Uptown: Uptown Arcade has left its storefront home after four years at 4830 N. Broadway, but ownership hopes to reopen in a news space after the pandemic ends, according to Block Club. The arcade bar first opened in 2016 with about 35 arcade games, craft beer, and whiskey.
Edgewater: Chinese restaurant Wing Hoe is slated to close on December 12 after nearly 50 years, according to Block Club Chicago. The restaurant’s lease is up at the 107-year-old mansion on the corner of Sheridan Road and Balmoral Avenue, and developers have previously introduced plans to raze the building. Ownership has reportedly decided to retire rather than try and relocate the business, which first opened in 1971.
Lincoln Park: Peruvian street food spot Chopo Chicken is closed after three years, ownership wrote in a November Facebook post, which details the financial and legal challenges the restaurant has faced over the past several months. In the post, owners write that after after falling short on rent in August due to a lack of funds, the restaurant’s landlord filed a lawsuit and a judge later ruled against Chopo Chicken.
“It is hard to believe in a time like this that a small restaurant like ours would not only be denied the support and assistance we needed to survive, but also be met with such gross injustice on such a massive scale from the systems we trusted to defend and protect us,” the post reads. Owners write that they are searching for a new rental location.
Pilsen: Thalia Hall’s gastropub Dusek’s from 16” on Center (Longman & Eagle, Empty Bottle, Pizza Friendly Pizza, Revival Food Hall) has temporarily closed, according to a Facebook post. The announcement doesn’t specify a reopening date or timeframe but promises plans for its return are already underway. The spot first opened in 2013.
Wicker Park: Popular modern Mexican restaurant Las Palmas is closed for reconcepting after nearly 20 years in business, owner Maria Rivera announced in a Facebook post. The restaurant first debuted in 2001 and became a festive neighborhood destination for upscale fare and creative drinks. Taquizo, the new restaurant, will feature a street food-focused menu from veteran chef and restaurateur Yanitzin Sanchez (Mas, Sabor Saveur, Mercado Cocina), who will also oversee the culinary team. It’ll operate as both a quick-service taqueria and a dining room with a seated dinner menu. During the pandemic, it’ll feature delivery, takeout, and meal kits. Stay tuned for more news as the project progresses.
Western Springs/Hinsdale: Celebrated chef Paul Virant (Gaijin) has temporarily closed his suburban flagship restaurant Vie and casual sister spot Vistro, according to a Facebook post. “In addition to helping to keep our guests and team safe, this temporary closure is necessary to be sure we can welcome you back when things get better,” the post reads. “We will look forward to those brighter days with much hope and anticipation.” Virant has also put his West Loop restaurant restaurant, Gaijin, in hibernation mode.
Gold Coast: Morton’s The Steakhouse, a 42-year-old dining institution on State Street, has permanently closed its original location due to COVID-19 and the resulting bans on indoor dining in Chicago, Crain’s reports. The restaurant first opened in 1978 at 1050 N. State Street and became popular as a special-occasion spot for luxurious dinners with steak, seafood, and cocktails. Additional locations at 65 E. Wacker Place and in suburban Rosemont remains open for carryout and delivery.
Humboldt Park: All-day French restaurant and wine bar Cafe Marie-Jeanne, a neighborhood retreat adored among Chicago critics and hospitality industry, permanently closed on Monday after five years. The business couldn’t continue without financial support from the government, chef and owner Mike Simmons tells Eater Chicago. The cafe’s friendly, creative vibe fostered a following of loyal fans — including a substantial number of acclaimed Chicago chefs — who sipped wine and dined on foie gras, Chicago-style lobster rolls, calf brains, one of the city’s best burgers, and more. Simmons, his wife Valerie Szafranski, and partner/wine director Jamie McLennan (Rootstock) opened Cafe Marie-Jeanne in 2015, across the street from the now-shuttered California Clipper.
Logan Square: Glitzy gambling-themed restaurant and bar the Whale is closed indefinitely, according to a Facebook post. Ownership places blame squarely on restrictions placed on the hospitality industry during the pandemic, writing, “the restrictions that have been put on us by the elected officials are suffocating our industry and leaving us no choice. There has been no plan in place or system for relief.” The post does a vow to reopen at some point. The Whale, a sister spot to glossy Old Town sports bar the Vig, originally debuted in July 2019.
West Loop: Gaijin, Chicago’s first restaurant dedicated to okonomiyaki, temporarily closed this month with a plan to reopen after the new year, according to a Facebook post. “It is absolutely our intention to reopen in early 2021, assuming things have improved and we can once again resume regular indoor service,” writes owner and veteran Chicago chef Paul Virant. “We will look forward to those days with much hope and anticipation.” Virant debuted the restaurant, which features regional Japanese savory pancakes topped with cabbage, meats, and sauces, in November 2019.
Andersonville: Eclectic global street food restaurant Gadabout is closed for the time being due to safety concerns related to the pandemic, according to a Facebook post. “The health of our staff, family and friends is at the forefront of our minds as we approach the holiday season,” the post reads. “Our doors have been closed temporarily, but our hearts are always open to you.” It doesn’t reveal a reopening timeframe, but urges fans to keep an eye on social media for updates.
Andersonville: Esteemed Andersonville beer bar and restaurant Hopleaf is temporarily closed, owner Michael Roper announced in a Facebook post: “...it is not prudent or wise for us to remain open,” he writes, citing a back-of-house employee had tested positive, Lightfoot’s advisory, and the virus’ resurgence. “Until further notice, Hopleaf is closed. WE ARE NOT GOING OUT OF BUSINESS!! We will reopen when it is deemed safe to resume indoor service.” Roper wrote about the challenges Hopleaf faces during the pandemic for Eater Chicago in May. He told Block Club Chicago that the business can survive through April or May, but says after that he’ll need to either pull funds from his retirement savings or shut down the establishment permanently.
Lincoln Park: Arcade bar and prolific pop-up spot Replay Lincoln Park is temporarily closed, according to owner Mark Kwiatkowski. “We are going to wait until hospitalizations and positivity rates trend in a better direction and we get some more guidance from state and local leaders,” he writes in an email. Earlier in pandemic, Kwiatkowski and his pop-up squad shifted events outdoors for safe revelry, including a Bob’s Burgers-themed “Grand Re-Re-Opening” and a drive-thru haunted house for Halloween.
Logan Square: Longman & Eagle, one of Logan Square’s most popular fixtures, has temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our team has made the very difficult decision to close for the time being, probably until early 2021,” management writes on Instagram. “We didn’t make this call lightly, but want to make sure that once the pandemic is over, we can welcome everyone back to the same old Longman you know and love.” The restaurant is still accepting Thanksgiving to-go orders and will fulfill those already placed. The inn’s six rooms will also remain open for business, as will the online retail store and whiskey bottle shop. There’s also a GoFundMe relief fundraiser for workers displaced by the closure with a $50,000 goal. Supporters have so fair raised more than $12,600.
Logan Square: Chic neighborhood cocktail bar Scofflaw announced via social media that its team has ceased operations for the time being. Bar management kept an Instagram annoucement brief and didn’t detail reopening plans: “Tomorrow we’ll be closed for the foreseeable future, but hope to see you tonight for a last hoorah,” the post reads. “Thanks to everyone that came out to support us the last few weeks and the last 8+ years. Hope to see you on the other side, cheers!” Block Club first reported news of Scofflaw’s closure.
River North: Imperial Lamian, a top Chinese spot in Downtown Chicago known for hand-pulled noodles and some of the city’s best xiao long bao, has permanently closed after more than four years. Management shared a farewell post on Facebook, citing “challenges we faced as a result of the pandemic this year.” The restaurant came from an Indonesian chain, opened in February 2016, and also catered to vegetarians and vegans. Casual sister restaurant Phat Phat in suburban Schaumburg will remain open. The Tribune first reported the story.
Roscoe Village: Mediterranean spot Le Sud in Roscoe Village is closed completely for the time being, according to a Facebook post. “Your health and well-being are our priority, and we feel a strong social responsibility to keep our guests, staff, and the loved ones in our community safe and healthy,” owner Sandy Chen writes, noting the surge in COVID-19 cases in Chicago. “This is the time for us to remember our humanity. Together with our community, we will always strive to create less harm and better in the world.” Chen does not detail a reopening timeframe. Sister restaurant Koi Fine Asian Cuisine in suburban Evanston remains open for carryout and delivery.
West Ridge: Iconic South Asian grocer Patel Brothers has temporarily closed its Devon location, according workers and neighboring business owners. The store closed on Saturday, November 14, which was Diwali. The plan is to reopened on March 15 after remodeling. Patel Brothers, which opened a massive new flagship last year in suburban Niles, opened its first location on Devon Avenue in 1974 and has survived on the strip in several locations. The chain is now nationwide.
West Town: Southern-style German restaurant Funkenhausen is closed until early 2021, according to a Facebook post. Ownership promises that fresh ideas for dinners and events are “percolating,” and that fans can rest assured that the popular spot will be back: “YES, we WILL reopen, THAT much is Funken’ clear!!!” the post reads. “We wish you health, happiness, and a fresh new beginning from the great dumpster fire of 2020.”
West Town: Lauded contemporary Korean restaurant Jeong is temporarily closed as its location doesn’t allow for outdoor dining, ownership wrote on Facebook in late October. The post does not mention a reopening date or timeframe. Chef Dave Park and partner Jennifer Tran are still offering a carryout meal of Thanksgiving sides along with their annual holiday beef and kimchi pies.
Wicker Park: Beer and sausage spot Bangers and Lace has gone into “temporary hibernation” this month, according to a Facebook post. Though the post doesn’t specify a reopening date or timeframe, its tone is optimistic: “We will miss you all, but rest assured we will see you again soon!” it reads.
Avondale: Ludlow Liquors, the cocktail bar with a spacious patio from Wade McElroy and Jeff Donahue (Sportsman’s Club, Estereo) in the former Orbit Room, is temporarily closed. An Instagram post states: “... We will unfortunately be pressing pause on the business until we can figure out how to navigate the new restrictions here in Chicago.”
Bucktown: Dance party haven Danny’s Tavern, a neighborhood fixture since 1986, is permanently closed, according to Block Club Chicago. A beloved spot for funk nights where patrons could expect to work up a sweat dancing to Prince, the bar held on for decades. They were several reports that the bar was close to closing, but the creaky space endured.
Lakeview: Neighborhood spot Emerald City Coffee has permanently closed its cafe under the Sheridan Red Line stop due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, ownership writes in an Instagram post. “The uncertainty of the pandemic and other financial stressors were too much to bear and we’re so, so bummed to see ECC Sheridan go, but it’s the tough choice we had to make,” the post reads. Workers have set up a GoFundMe with a $5,000 goal for baristas who lost their jobs from the closure, and so far have raised more than $2,200. Emerald City’s Uptown location on Wilson Avenue remains open.
Lincoln Park: Centre Street Kitchen, the positivity-promoting restaurant from Erik Baylis of Big Onion Tavern Group (Fatpour Tap Works, Hopsmith Tavern), is temporarily closed, according to a Facebook post that places blame for the closure squarely on Chicago’s indoor dining ban: “The reality is we may not survive another closure for even just a few weeks, let alone months,” the post reads. “Most restaurants will not have the means to come back from this.” Still, it also indicates that ownership hopes to reopen as soon as possible.
South Loop: Friendly neighborhood bar Wabash Tap is permanently closed after nearly two decades with “for lease” signs in the window at 1233 S. Wabash Avenue. The spot was a convenient place for folks heading to or from Soldier Field, and first opened in 2002, according to the Chicago Bar Project.
The Loop/West Loop: Once-ubiquitous Italian mini-chain Caffe Baci has permanently closed its last remaining location on LaSalle Street due to the pandemic, according to a rep. “The company’s 28-year run has unfortunately come to an end, due in large part to the economic difficulties and instability resulting from COVID-19,” owner Joseph DiCarlo wrote in an emotional Facebook post. “I am heartbroken, knowing that I can no longer venture in to one of my locations to spontaneously get behind the line, and work on creating some new sandwich or pizza as I once did.” The company’s catering division, Baci Amore, is temporarily closed on Jefferson Street until at least spring 2021.
West Ridge: Devon Avenue staple Mysore Woodlands, known for dosas and other South Indian vegetarian delights, is permanently closed, according to a Facebook post. “We are closing Mysore due to COVID distress and landlord disagreements,” ownership writes. The closure was long rumored after problems with the landlord.
Avondale: Neighborhood bar Edelweiss Tavern is temporarily closed due to Illinois’ ban on indoor bar and restaurant service, according to a Facebook post. “These are tough times for all and we recognize this closure might be the new reality for a while,” the post reads. “Once reopening is possible, we will continue to do our best to ensure everyone is safe while on our premisses by regularly sanitizing and cleaning all bar areas.”
Fulton Market: Modern Mediterranean restaurant Cira, an all-day spot from Boka Group and chef Chris Pandel inside the Hoxton Chicago hotel, is temporarily closed because of Chicago’s ban on indoor bar and restaurant service, according to an announcement on social media. “Chicago is resilient, and we know there are brighter days ahead,” the statement reads. “Let’s get through this together by supporting each other, supporting local business, and wearing your mask.”
Lakeview: Schubas, the Lakeview music club, has temporarily closed as the music business has been ravaged by COVID-19. The venue serves food inside the bar and also is home of ambitious New American restaurant .Tied House Tied House, located next door, was built in 2018 to replace Harmony Grill. A Facebook post states the venues’ last day was Sunday, November 1. The Tribune was first to report the closure.
Lakeview: Devour 312, a restaurant and bar near Clybourn and Webster — across the street from the Regal Webster Place movie theater — has closed. A “for lease” sign hangs in the window.
Lincoln Square: Taco in a Bag, where competitive eaters churned out creative nachos that were great as a guilty snack or as a food which provided life after too many double whiskies and Cokes without ice, has closed. An Instagram announced the shutter, which was October 30.
North Center: Cobblestone, a newish European bistro and cider house from ex-Bohemian House owner Dr. Markus Chwajol, has temporarily closed for the winter, according to a Facebook post. “Have a safe and healthy winter!” the post reads. “See you April 1st!”
Portage Park: Family-owned spot Foundation Tavern closed indefinitely at the end of October, ownership writes on social media. The post attributes the shutdown to the impact of COVID-19. “Although we are sad to close our doors, we are eager to open again when it is safe to do so,” the post reads.
Bucktown: Ipsento Coffee has closed its Bucktown location along Western Avenue. There’s no word on its other locations.
The Loop: Ritzy downtown steakhouse Ocean Prime is temporarily closed inside the Shops at LondonHouse for an indefinite amount time, according to a social media post. Management urges fans to keep an eye on social channels for updates, writing, “We thank you for your support during this time - we will get through this together.”
West Loop: Bellemore, the luxurious Boka Group restaurant on Randolph Restaurant Row helmed by chef Jimmy Papadopoulos, has temporarily closed due to Chicago’s restrictions on indoor dining, according to a Facebook post.
Wicker Park/West Loop: Kinton Ramen has posted signs outside its Milwaukee Avenue restaurant declaring a temporary closure. The Canadian-based ramen chain’s West Loop location is also temporary closed.
Wicker Park/River North: Hollywood Grill — a greasy spoon at the corner of Ashland and North avenues — and Griddle 24, another 24-hour diner — are both temporarily closed. Owner George Liakopoulos says he will reopen when the state allows indoor dining. At Hollywood, he late-night diner’s windows have large signs thanking Gov. J.B. Pritzker for the closure. Pritzker banned indoor dining in Chicago in late October. Liakopoulos says he wishes Pritzker put more pressure on the federal government and Sen. Dick Durbin to get more aid for workers. His other restaurants, like White Palace Grill in South Loop, remain open as they have decent to-go business.
Wrigleyville: In side the Hotel Zachary and across from Wrigley Field, Smoke Daddy is temporarily closed its barbecue. The Wicker Park location remains open. Also in the hotel, Boka’s Swift & Son Tavern is temporarily closed. Both Hotel Zachary properties have signs in its windows.
Andersonville: Neighborhood candy shop Candyality has permanently closed its Andersonville location, according to Block Club Chicago. Owner Terese McDonald told reporters that business had dropped by half during the pandemic, and she could not come to an agreement with her landlord over rent reduction: large signs hung in the Clark Street store’s windows read “lost our lease.” The brand’s flagship location on Southport Avenue in Lakeview remains open.
River North: Swanky seafood-focused Mag Mile restaurant Beacon Tavern is permanently closed after four years due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a rep. It was from Billy Lawless’ Gage Hospitality, the group behind popular downtown spots the Gage and the Dawson, and gave tourists and downtown workers a space to unwind from the once-bustling Michigan Avenue. The restaurant’s website and social media pages have been taken down. The restaurant was home to a McDonald’s before ownership remodeled that space.
Ravenswood: Band of Bohemia, the world’s first Michelin-starred brewpub, won’t reopen as its owners have filed for bankruptcy, according to the Tribune. Co-founders Michael Carroll and Craig Sindelar blame the closure on the pandemic and subsequent economic crisis. Records show that the restaurant owes about $1.3 million to Bancorp Bank and many other small companies and vendors, as well as $100,000 in rent and taxes. Ownership also reportedly took on $40,000 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in April.
The ambitious restaurant and brewery opened to great fanfare in 2015, as the co-founders met met while working at world-famous Lincoln Park restaurant Alinea. Band of Bohemia first earned a coveted Michelin star just a year later, and held on to it through 2019. At the time, it was the only starred brewpub in the world. Despite critical acclaim and national recognition, the restaurant was the site of controversy as well. Allegations of inappropriate touching and misconduct against a former Band of Bohemia chef date back to 2017, though accounts from women coworkers largely didn’t enter the public sphere until two years later. Sindelar and Carroll were accused of not having control of their workplace in allowing such behavior to take place.
Despite opening a stall in Time Out Market — a sign of the brewpub was moving beyond past controversy — Band of Bohemia soon hit rocky waters. In July, the restaurant closed — a temporary move, ownership said at the time — following a flurry of allegations claiming leadership fostered a toxic work environment while mishandling operations during the pandemic. Former executive chef Soo Ahn (Grace, EL ideas) left Band of Bohemia in May, claiming that Carroll and Sindelar asked him and other staff to help reopen the restaurant for free while simultaneously collecting unemployment. Ahn says he was told he would later be paid back about $500 per week at some point should indoor dining resume. Carroll and Sindelar denied these claims at the time. Despite telling the Trib they an official announcement would be posted on its website, six days later, it’s still not appeared. The official Instagram page has not been updated since July.
Ukrainian Village: Family owned taqueria Border Taco closed earlier this week. The restaurant’s owners posted a heartfelt farewell writing that the pandemic didn’t just hurt financially, something obscured by angry business owners barking at lawmakers over restrictions. There’s also an emotional toil, as owners shared how deaths in the family affected their psyche.
West Rogers Park: Modern Mexican restaurant Three Legged Tacos Taqueria is permanently closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Facebook post. It opened just two weeks before officials mandated that dining rooms close to try and prevent the virus’ spread, and ownership writes that timing was insufficient to get a new business off the ground. The business also operates a food truck that will remain in hibernation for the time being, “but don’t forget about us just yet,” ownership writes. “Fresh starts can be painful, but in our experience, can be equally catalytic for exciting new chapters.”
West Town: After eight years, TWO has closed in West Town. A large “for lease” sign hangs in the window. The restaurant’s online ordering portals are down, and its owners have started to post old photos on Facebook from when the restaurant opened in 2012. The New American restaurant enjoyed success, including a Bib Gourmand recognition from Michelin.
Rosemont: Near O’Hare International Airport, Gene & Georgetti is being evicted so the steakhouse owners will close its restaurant and banquet hall on October 31, according to the Tribune. Owner Michelle Durpetti tells reporters that she’s accrued three months of deferred rent and faces an upcoming property tax bill of around $120,000, but says village leadership wouldn’t meet with her to try and come up with a solution. The restaurant reportedly must vacate the space before November 4. The suburban outpost served as a backbone for the business when a fire ravaged its iconic original location in River North in October 2019. The downtown restaurant reopened after six months of repairs in March, and won’t be affected by the closure in Rosemont.
Andersonville: Popular drag queen diner Hamburger Mary’s will close its restaurant on the corner of Clark and Balmoral on November 1 after nearly 15 years, according to Block Club Chicago. Co-owners and brothers Ashley and Brandon Wright hope to reopen the business in a different, less expensive neighborhood when the pandemic is over, they told reporters. The Wrights put the restaurant, along with upstairs performance venue Mary’s Attic and shuttered brewpub Andersonville Brewing Co., up for sale in August 2019. At the time, more than a year remained on their lease and the pair planned to remain for the duration. The pandemic upended their plans, and they now hope to find a new space for Mary’s in the spring. Hamburger Mary’s Milwaukee location remains open.
Fulton Market: California-based brewery Ballast Point will temporarily close its Chicago brewpub on October 24 due to the coronavirus, according to the Tribune. “Our plan is to reopen this location when the weather is favorable and it is safe to dine indoors,” ownership announced on Twitter last week. The location first opened in June 2018. In a surprise move, suburban Highwood brewery Kings & Convicts Brewing Co. bought Ballast Point from Constellation Brands — the owner of the American rights to Corona, Modelo, and more — in late 2019. The deal included the Fulton Market location, as well as four California brewpubs and a tasting room. This was Kings & Convicts first restaurant operation.
Fulton Market: Casual all-day spot City Mouse at the Ace Hotel Chicago from chef Jason Vincent (Giant) is permanently closed. The restaurant first opened in August 2017 in concert with the hotel launch, and served many cups of coffee and gas station sandwiches to laptop-wielding downtown denizens. Hotel management points to the pandemic as the reason behind the closure — downtown employees, like those at a Google office across the street from City Mouse — are working from home now, and aren’t buying lunch. Meanwhile, Alinea will take over the former City Mouse space on the hotel’s ground floor for three months, starting in November. Reps stress that the closure isn’t tied to the Ace’s deal with the world famous restaurant, and that the timing is merely coincidence.
Lincoln Square: The Huettenbar, one of the last remaining traditional German-style bars in the area, is closed, according to the Tribune. The bar’s ownership is still holding off small hopes that it could reopen post pandemic, according to a source close to management. But the chances are slim. The bar was ideal for tall glasses of German beer.
River North: All-day brunch spot Hutch American Cafe, a spinoff of Hutch American Bistro near Wrigley Field, is closed after four years, according to an Instagram post. Ownership will reopen the Ontario Street space next week as Boca Loca Cantina, a Mexican-style restaurant with tacos and plenty of drinks, they wrote in a follow-up on social media.
South Loop: Grant Park Bistro, the ground floor French restaurant inside the Hotel Essex, will temporarily close after brunch service on October 25, according to a Facebook post. “We are so grateful to this community and our wonderful neighbors in the South Loop for all of your support this summer and fall and we want to assure you that we will be back and better than ever in the spring of 2021,” LM Restaurant Group co-owners Nicole and Stephan Outrequin Quaisser write on social media.
South Loop: Longtime burger and fast food spot Standing Room Only (SRO) Chicago is closed after 14 years, according to neighborhood blog Sloopin. “Space for Lease” signs are visible in the window at 610 S. Dearborn Street.
The Loop: Michelin-starred fine dining destination Everest will close following New Year’s Eve service after more than 30 years, according to the Tribune. The elegant restaurant helmed by chef Jean Joho — one of the first in Chicago to offer a tasting menu — drew attention for remarkable views from its perch above the financial district. It also earned recognition from organizations including the James Beard Foundation, Les Grandes Tables Du Monde, and Relais & Chateaux. The closure is not a result of the coronavirus, Joho tells the Trib; the restaurant’s lease is up, and building management doesn’t want to renew. Everest is currently open three nights a week, and is even featuring carryout and delivery via Tock.
Everest is owned by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. When it closes, the group’s RPM restaurant line will be the last of its establishments (it closed Tru in 2017) to approach fine dining in Chicago. A LEYE rep points out that Joho also has a fine dine restaurant in Las Vegas (Eiffel Tower Restaurant), Before the pandemic, LEYE and the Alinea Group announced a collaborative project to reopen French icon Ambria, which was supposed to open in early 2020. There have been no updates on the endeavor in the months since.
Wicker Park: Mex-Tex all-day diner Dove’s Luncheonette is temporarily closed for the winter, according to a statement posted to its website. Though the announcement doesn’t specify a reopening date or time frame, ownership reassures fans that “we can’t imagine Wicker Park without our little luncheonette and will be back as soon as we can safely offer up our cozy, 41-seat, diner to you again.” The restaurant is owned by One Off Hospitality, which has closed both Michelin-starred West Loop restaurant Blackbird and French bistro Cafe Cancale in June due to the pandemic. Former Eater critic Bill Addison named Dove’s as one of the best new restaurants in America when it opened in 2015.
Avondale: Twenty-five-year-old institution Belmont Snack Shop is closed after a fire erupted inside the restaurant on October 8. The 24-hour diner was known and loved for its affordable meals, offered long before the neighborhood became a desirable location for independent restaurants like Parachute and Honey Butter Fried Chicken. In a Facebook Live video on Monday, co-owner Nelson Rodriguez takes viewers on a tour of the extensive damage inside the restaurant. Rodriguez’s daughter Alexis has set up a GoFundMe to help support employees financially. So far donors have raised more than $5,000.
Lincoln Square: Philly cheesesteak bar Monti’s is temporarily closed due to a fire inside the Talman Avenue restaurant in mid September, according to Block Club Chicago. Fire crews were called to the building around 9:30 a.m. on September 15, a Fire Department rep told reporters at the time. Damage to the building was severe but no one was injured. A reopening date has not yet been announced. Monti’s first opened in 2012.
Logan Square: Bar and Mexican street food spot Masa Azul is temporarily closing just after celebrating its ninth anniversary, according to a Facebook post. Ownership writes that they feel confident in their decision to only offer carryout over the summer to help keep customers and workers safe, but the business is suffering financially as a result. “In an effort to hopefully rise again when the pandemic wanes, we will be hitting the pause button on our operations,” the post reads. “We hope this is temporary, as we look forward to many more anniversaries to celebrate with you!”
Montclare: Illinois’ last remaining Old Country Buffet location is permanently closed at at 6560 W. Fullerton Avenue, according to the Tribune. The all-you-can-eat buffet chain is one of several operated by Texas-based parent company Vita Nova Brands. Buffets are dependent on dine-in customers who usually are up and about the restaurant space and often share serving utensils — features that are also serious obstacles to social-distancing efforts. The Fullerton location offered curbside pickup during Illinois’ stay-at-home order, the Daily Herald reported. Still, the company was struggling even before the pandemic: Old Country Buffet was already facing a sales decline of 3.3 percent in February, the Trib reports.
West Loop: Michelin-starred Scandinavian restaurant Elske will take an “extended winter break” starting October 18, with plans to reopen in early 2021. Co-owners and spouses Anna and David Posey have been offering a rotating carryout menu during the pandemic. The prospect of indoor dining, however, made them sufficiently uncomfortable that they decided to pause operations during cold weather, according to Anna Posey. “We kind of kept the restaurant in Phase 3 this whole time and promised that to our staff when they came back,” she says. “It became evident to us that we didn’t feel safe opening for indoor dining... it’s hard to say goodby to the staff, but hopefully it’s just for the winter.”
West Loop: Randolph Street restaurant and lounge Maude’s Liquor Bar is permanently closed after nine years, according to a letter posted to the website. The letter, signed by a fictional and eponymous Maude, claims the closure is a natural conclusion for the venue and is not a result of the pandemic. Operated by Au Cheval owner Brendan Sodikoff’s Hogsalt Hospitality group, Maude’s was founded in 2011 and drew crowds for cocktails and rustic French food. It reopened in August for the first time since March with dine-in service, delivery, and carryout. Sodikoff has not responded to a request for more information.
Wicker Park: Neighborhood pioneer Northside Bar & Grill, one of the few remaining vestiges of the area’s quality dining boom, is permanently closed, ownership told Eater Chicago. It first opened in 1989 on the corner of Concord and Damen, according to the Chicago Bar Project, and earned fans over the decades for good bar food, an enclosed beer garden atrium, and a late-night menu. Its former compatriots include the now-shuttered Feast from Debra Sharpe (Goddess & Grocer), along with Piece Brewery and Pizzeria, Blue Line Lounge & Grill, and drinking spot Estelle’s.
Lakeview: Neighborhood sports bar Schoolyard Tavern & Grill served its final beers on Sunday, ownership writes in a Twitter thread. “Covid has been a destructive force to so many lives, families, friendships, and livelihoods. We have all felt the sting, some of us worse than others,” the tweets read. “When we close Sunday evening. It will be the last time we lock the doors as Schoolyard Tavern. Unfortunately, trying to run a sports bar in this new reality is just not sustainable.” Four Corners hospitality group, Schoolyard’s original founders, sold the bar to the owners of Links Taproom in 2018.
Lincoln Park: Ambitious Latin American restaurant Mundano from chef Ross Henke (Quiote) is permanently closed. The restaurant, forced to patio and takeout was one of the 2020’s most anticipated openings. Ownership closed in September, just eight months after its February debut. Henke sought to draw inspiration from Latin American cuisine with items like savory churros, but also integrated genre-defying options like Chinese dan dan noodles with lamb chorizo. He also brought in former Quiote colleague Trista Baker, who co-founded the Restaurant Culture Association, to help create a healthy and equitable workplace.
Lincoln Square/Ravenswood: Pioneering North Side gastropub Fountainhead is scheduled to permanently close on November 14 after more than a decade. Fountainhead was an early adopter of the gastropub model in Chicago, and demonstrated that great bar food didn’t have to be fried. Though ownership received a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan in the spring, the business hasn’t been operating at a sustainable level, Jon Putman, the bar’s director of restaurant operations. Fountainhead Market, the retail side of the business that features wine, beer, spirits, snacks, and more for carryout and delivery, will remain open indefinitely.
Rogers Park: Casual neighborhood bar and restaurant Pub 626 is permanently closed, according to Block Club Chicago. Ownership attributes the closure to pandemic-era mandates that cap the number of customers allowed inside, writing on Facebook that it was ultimately impossible to avoid shutting down. It opened in 2015 in the space formerly occupied by Bullhead Cantina.
Old Town: Italian-style snack shop BomboBar bears a large “available space” sign outside its location at 1529 N. Wells Street. First opened in 2019, it was Chicago’s second BomboBar location from the group behind Bar Siena in West Loop. It was popular for its bombolini, or hole-free Italian doughnuts, along with Instagram-friendly desserts, burgers, and more. Reps have not yet responded to a request for more information. The space formerly housed Buzz Bait Taqueria.
Ravenswood: The windows at casual Mexican restaurant Erick’s Tacos on Lawrence have been papered over and its phone number has been disconnected. It’s also listed as “closed” on Yelp. Fans over the years have touted speedy service and affordable prices since it opened in 2006.
River North: Wild and wacky Miami import Barton G. is permanently closed, according to the restaurant’s website. “After careful consideration, we regret to inform you of the permanent closure of Barton G. Chicago due to difficulties related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the announcement reads. Known for over-the-top drinks and dishes — like a four-foot tall ice cream cone that made a big splash on Instagram — Barton G. first opened in Chicago in February 2019. Locations in Miami Beach and Los Angeles remain open.
River North: European-style restaurant, catering, and wine shop the Artisan Cellar will permanently close on Wednesday after 22 years inside the Merchandise Mart, according to owner Philip Bernstein. “The combination of the city and state imposed lockdowns lasting for months made the generation of any tangible cash flow necessary to pay essential recurring bills impossible, with no relief in sight, and lack of any clarity in terms of what new regulations may be imposed by these governmental entities in both the near term and long term,” Bernstein writes in an email.
River North: Famed national chain Ruth’s Chris Steak House has temporarily closed its Dearborn Street location, according to a sign in restaurant’s window. The sign tells customers to order from the chain’s suburban locations. Other locations across the country are also listed as temporarily closed. Parent company Ruth’s Hospitality Group was roundly criticized for accepting two separate $10 million Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans in the spring, especially after the federal government announced that it had run out of the $349 billion set aside to support small businesses during the pandemic. The company returned the funds in late April.
Update: Ruth’s Chris Steak House on Dearborn Street is permanently closed, according to the Tribune.
The Loop: Downtown Polish spot Pierogi Heaven has disconnected the phone number for its Wells Street location and is listed as “closed” on Yelp. Hailed as one of Chicago’s preferred pierogi purveyors, the restaurant served downtown workers and neighbors for a decade. Ownership has not yet responded to a request for more information.
Arlington Heights: Iconic suburban bake shop Arlington Cake Box Bakery is permanently closed after 71 years, according to the Daily Herald. Co-owners and spouses Karen and Paul Gardner have looked for a buyer for a while without success, so when the bakery’s lease was up in the Westgate Park & Shop center, the pair decided not to renew. They plan to auction off equipment next month. Karen Gardner’s grandparents first opened the bakery in 1949.
Norwood Park: Family-owned suburban Irish spot Mo Daileys Pub & Grille was closed and sold to a new proprietor in early June, according to a Facebook post. “It is with a happy and humble heart that we announce the sale and closing of Mo Daileys Pub & Grille,” the post reads. “After 9 years here in Norwood Park, we, the Dailey Family, have decided to move on to other exciting adventures and endeavors! “
Lakeview/West Loop: Both Chicago locations of London-based coffee chain Department of Coffee and Social Affairs are closed and have entered liquidation, according to Big Hospitality. The Lakeview cafe, first opened in 2017, was the company’s first location outside of England.
Logan Square: Essential barbecue restaurant Fat Willy’s Rib Shack will hold its final day of service on Sunday, September 27 after nearly 20 years in business. It’s located near the Regal City North movie theater — now shut down for months because of the pandemic — so the restaurant lost the stream of hungry filmgoers that gobbled down its popular pork racks. Owner and chef Bo Fowler (Owen & Engine) made announced the closure on Facebook. Owen & Engine remains closed during the pandemic, but ownership hopes to reopen in the future.
Ravenswood: The North Side location of Mexican coffee house-style spot La Catedral Cafe and Restaurant is permanently closed after five years, according to a message in the window of the Western Avenue space. The note attributes the closure to the pandemic. The restaurant’s original Little Village location remains open.
River North: Famed deep-dish pizza chain Gino’s East and first-floor brewpub Gino’s Brewing Co. are permanently closed in the former LaSalle Power Co., an employee confirmed on the phone. The space is being liquidated. It opened at 500 N. La Salle Street in late 2014 and the team transitioned the ground level space to serve beer and host live comedy. The building was previously home to Michael Jordan’s Restaurant, the icon’s first establishment, which lasted from 1993 to 1999. Gino’s River North location was originally across the street in a now-demolished building that was once a Planet Hollywood.
River North: After nearly half a century, downtown steakhouse Lawry’s the Prime Rib will permanently close at the end of 2020. The closure is a result of a lease expiration, the pandemic, and recent civil unrest, ownership told the Tribune, and neighboring gastropub SideDood will also shutter. The restaurant has operated out of the historic McCormick Mansion on Ontario Street since it first opened in 1974.
Rogers Park: Twisted Tapas, the globally-focused spot from a co-owner of the shuttered Twist tapas cafe in Lakeview, will permanently close on Sunday, September 27, according to a Facebook post. “COVID has destroyed this industry and we are another casualty,” the post reads. “Thank you for 7 years. It has been grand.” Reservations are strongly encouraged for those who want to dine at the restaurant again before it closes.
Southport Corridor: Historic bar, bowling alley, and billiards hall Southport Lanes will permanently close after nearly a century on Sunday, September 27. Owner Steve Soble, who has operated the bar since 1991, said that the financial situation is untenable — he reopened the bar in July, but safety restrictions have left him with a side walk cafe and limited bar food menu. He and partners can’t afford to keep Southport Lanes open. “We have been around since 1902 and I’ve owned it since 1991, so I would say we’ve had a really good run,” Soble says. “It’s sad, but I hope people come in and enjoy it one last time to celebrate what we had.”
Evanston: Motorcycle-themed Italian restaurant La Macchina is permanently closed in the suburbs, Evanston Patch reported. It first opened in 2013, and was designed to make diners feel as if they had been whisked away on a trip to Rome or Capri, according to its website.
Evanston: Suburban bakery and coffee shop Unicorn Cafe is permanently closed after nearly 30 years, according to Evanston Patch. Owner Jessica Donnelly, who has operated the cafe since 2015, told the Daily Northwestern that she has grown “disappointed and disillusioned” with her municipal government as she’s watched regional and national chains like Colectivo Coffee, Starbucks, Peet’s, and others come to dominate the downtown area. She described the area as the worst place for any small business to invest and succeed due to lack of support, presumably from local officials.
North Center: Thin-crust pizza spot and neighborhood bar Big Bricks is permanently closed after eight years, according to a Facebook post. It was from the team behind shuttered Lincoln Park pizzeria Bricks, and featured a large outdoor patio. “The entire staff extends its deepest gratitude for your years of support, laughs, and friendship,” ownership wrote on social media. “We cannot thank you enough!!”
The Loop: Popular downtown hot dog stand U.B. Dogs is permanently closed after a decade, ownership wrote in a Facebook post Sunday. “While it breaks our hearts to announce our permanent closure, we wanted to take the time and properly thank our customers and family for their support over these last 10 years,” the post reads. “Unfortunately, it’s time for us to end this chapter.” The spot was known for excellent hot dogs — ranging from traditional Chicago-style to “Joey dogs” topped with fries, garlic-wasabi aioli, and Tabasco sauce — as well as great burgers and fries. The Tribune first reported this closure.
The Loop: Downtown food hall Wells Street Market will again close on Friday, September 18, just over two months after it reopened in early July with a limited vendor lineup. It was the first Chicago food hall to reopen for indoor dining during the pandemic, illuminating the significant challenge an airborne virus poses in large, communal dining and drinking spaces. Wells Street first opened in 2018, a part of Chicago’s food hall boom ushered in by Revival Food Hall in the Loop.
Wrigleyville: Beloved Wisconsin and Minnesota-friendly sports bar Redmond’s Ale House served its last beers Saturday during the first Viking’s game of the season before closing permanently, according to a Facebook post. “There are not enough words to express all the memories that have happened within our walls or how much we will truly miss all of you,” the post reads. “Thank you for your patronage. Thank you for your support. Just thank you for being a part of Redmond’s.” A rental listing for the space is currently available online. For local sports bar patrons, the loss is yet another blow in a year of heartbreaking closures.
Andersonville: Chef Jennifer Kim, Eater Chicago’s Chef of the Year in 2018, is permanently closing her ambitious restaurant Passerotto after three years. Kim’s thoughtful and eclectic menu drew connections between Korean and Italian cuisine, resulting in Michelin Bib Gourmand recognition and a James Beard Best New Restaurant nomination in 2019. A vocal advocate for change in the hospitality industry — notoriously fraught with sexism, racism, and other forms of abuse and marginalization — Kim says she continues to ponder and pursue “a truly equitable, decentralized, community-centered restaurant/hospitality model.”
Gold Coast: Downtown steakhouse the Grill on the Alley, known for solid classics like shrimp cocktail, steak tartare, and Key lime pie, is permanently closed on Michigan Avenue, according to a July WARN report (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act). The Grill on the Alley chain, which dates back to 1984, operates additional restaurants in California, Texas, and Florida.
Lakeview: A sign in the window at Seattle-style spot Glaze Teriyaki Grill, 3112 N. Broadway, reads “Sorry we’re closed. Currently moving location...” The restaurant is from a New York City-based chain with additional locations in San Francisco. It first opened in Chicago in 2015.
The Loop: Downtown staple Ronny’s Original Chicago Steakhouse — formerly Ronny’s Steak Palace — is permanently closed inside the Thompson Center after 57 years. The last of the “cheap steak” restaurants, Ronny’s was a destination for those seeking an affordable meal: diners could expect an 8-ounce steak, salad, garlic toast, and baked potato for $9.99. A team of investors first opened the restaurant in 1963.
Wicker Park: A new owner at infamous late-night fixture Flat Iron plans to reconcept the Milwaukee Avenue spot as a music venue, according to Block Club Chicago. Bourbon on Division owner Jun Lin bought the business in late August, much to the dismay of some longtime staffers who had tried to purchase Flat Iron several times. They feel former owner Nick Novich never seriously considered selling it to them. The space previously housed live music venue the Note, which closed in 2008.
Willow Springs: Suburban Italian restaurant Greco’s is permanently closed after 30 years, according to a Facebook post. “It is never easy to say goodbye, and it is especially difficult when there can be no hugs, fond farewells, or meals shared” co-owners Carmalee Greco Kipnis and Michele Greco write. “For this lack of closure, we are deeply sorry. We are grateful, however, to have served you and come to know you.”
Lakeview: “For lease” signs hang in the window of Indian restaurant Khyber Pass’ Halsted Street spot, and its website now only lists an Oak Park location. The Lakeview restaurant first opened in 2015, and offered live entertainment on weekends.
South Loop: Badger-friendly sports bar Kroll’s South Loop will permanently close its doors at the end of the summer season after 15 years in business, ownership wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday. “Unfortunately, the events of 2020 and the restrictions placed on our business have now become too much for us to overcome,” the post reads. “The burden of operating under the current conditions is too great and, come fall, will be impossible to continue under the current indoor capacity restrictions of 50 patrons.”
West Town: In another dosa downer, Art of Dosa is going on hiatus. The restaurant has operated as a deliver-only ghost kitchen, but in December 2019 it opened its first public-facing location, inside Revival Food Hall in the Loop. Now, operations will cease after being unexpectedly forced from their West Town kitchen space by their landlord. They plan on reopened back at Revival Food Hall, but there’s no date.
Arlington Heights: Family-owned suburban stalwart Thai Little Home permanently closed in April after more than 40 years so its owners could retire, according to a Facebook post. Fans poured into the comments section to share memories four decades of memories at the restaurant, and even probing for recipes.
Around Town: International grab-and-go sandwich chain Pret a Manger, a particular favorite among many office workers who once grabbed lunch downtown, has closed nearly all its Chicago locations due to the coronavirus pandemic. A University of Chicago shop remains as the last local vestige of the U.K.-based company. The company has seen an 87 percent drop in sales, Restaurant Business Online reported in late July.
Lincoln Park: The Armitage and Sheffield location of Le Pain Quotidien is closed and has big “for lease” signs hanging in its windows. In May, the struggling bakery and cafe chain sold all of its 98 U.S. locations to New York-based company Aurify for $3 million. At the time, Aurify officials said they planned to reopen at least 35 locations around the country.
South Loop: Italian restaurant Giglio’s State Street Tavern now bears a “for lease” sign in the window of its State Street location. Its parent company, Hitz Restaurant Group, had filed for bankruptcy on February, according to Restaurant Hospitality. In June, a federal court ruled that the restaurant only owes 75 percent of its rent during the pandemic due to a Force Majeure, or “Act of God.” Ownership has not responded to a request for more information.
Uptown: 3 Squares Diner, a comfort food spot inside Uptown’s historic Lawrence House, is permanently closed “due to the intense covid regulations,” ownership wrote in an email. Opened in 2018, it was from the folks behind popular Logan Square breakfast restaurant Jam. The team has another project in the works, so stay tuned for updates.
Tinley Park: Well-regarded south suburban seafood restaurant and oyster bar Tin Fish is permanently closed due to COVID-19 after nearly 18 years, according to the Tribune. The space doesn’t have a patio and while the team tried carryout, seafood doesn’t always travel well, partner Curtis Wierbicki told the Trib. Kitchen workers were concerned about infecting older members of their families. When two regulars reported positive tests, the partners gathered staff and told them the restaurant was closing. Wierbicki and business partner Colin Turner first opened the restaurant in 2002.
Chatham: Harold’s Chicken Shack #55 — the franchise location considered by many to be the best Harold’s in Chicago (the same spot made famous by Chance the Rapper) — permanently closed on July 31, the Tribune reported. Owner Percy Billings, 78, first opened on 87th Street at the Dan Ryan Expressway in 1992. He told the Trib that he tried to work with his landlords, but after they raised his rent by more than 40 percent and wanted him to sign a five-year lease, he reluctantly closed the restaurant. Billings also owns two food trucks, which he used to dispatch downtown, but a lack of workers and tourist in the area means there aren’t enough customers to keep the trucks running. He’s now focusing his attention on his last remaining Harold’s location, the Express #55, located at a Chatham gas station. Harold’s fried chicken with mild sauce is one of Chicago’s most iconic dishes. The sauce — a specialty now of mythic proportion — is born of the city’s South Side, imbuing crisp chicken with a sweet and tangy boost that’s kept locals and celebrities coming back for more.
River North: ‘90s-era family dining destination Rainforest Cafe, perched on the corner of Ohio and Clark streets for 23 years, is permanently closed, according to Block Club Chicago and multiple other media reports. Known for luring kids (and their parents) with animatronic and live animals, aquariums, and Cha! Cha!, the giant green frog luxuriating above the entrance, Rainforest Cafe could be seen as a precursor to the recent (pre-pandemic) trend of “experiential” dining. The shutter comes a year earlier than planned due to the economic ramifications of the pandemic, property owner Sean Conlon told Block Club. The chain closed its longtime Woodfield Mall location on January 1 when its lease expired in suburban Schaumburg.
South Loop: Happy Chinese Kitchen on Cermak Road is listed as permanently closed on both Google and Yelp, and its phone number has been disconnected. The restaurant first opened in 2015.
The Loop: A for-lease sign hangs in the window of an emptied Taco Burrito King space at 405 S. Wells Street and its phone number has been disconnected, though the location is still listed as “temporarily closed” on the local chain’s website. Ownership has not yet responded to a request for more information. The company operates a dozen more city and suburban restaurants.
West Loop: Longtime West Loop French restaurant La Sardine is permanently closed after nearly 22 years. Partner and executive chef Oliver Poilevey announced the closure in an Instagram post on August 14. Though Poilevey originally thought he’d be able to keep the restaurant open, a broken air conditioner and the $80,000 bill it incurred spelled the end of the line, he told the Tribune. Poilevey also operates Bucktown restaurant Le Bouchon, where he also owns the building.
Evanston: Essential suburban restaurant and wine bar the Stained Glass & the Cellar closed Saturday after more than two decades, ownership announced in a Facebook post. The restaurant first opened in 1999. “We want to thank all our guests and especially our regulars who have supported us for the last 20 years,” the post reads. “The wonderful people we have met and memories we have made will stay with us for the years to come.”
Albany Park: Peruvian steak and seafood spot Ay Ay Picante is permanently closed, according to the restaurant’s manager. Founded in 2007, the restaurant featured live Andean flute music and drew culinary inspiration from various waves of immigrants to Peru, from the Spanish to the Chinese. It was featured on Chicago PBS show Check Please! in 2013.
River North: Playful mid-day destination Brunch from Big Onion Hospitality (Fatpour Tap Works) permanently closed in June after 10 years due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement on the restaurant’s website. “This is NOT the storybook ending we had in mind — and a decision made only after the elimination of all other possibilities,” the statement reads. “Unfortunately, however, the 3-month state-mandated closure and ensuing uncertainty that now clouds the changing landscape of our industry left us no path to survival.”
South Loop: South Side coffee chain Bridgeport Coffee Company has permanently closed its location inside the Roosevelt Collection shopping center, an employee confirmed in a phone call. A post made last month in the Hello South Loop Facebook group includes photos of the empty space at Delano Court West. The company also closed its Jackson Boulevard location in June, but shops in Bridgeport and Hyde Park remain open.
Streeterville: The downtown outpost of Japanese chain and essential Chicago ramen shop Ramen Misoya has permanently closed its Ohio Street location due to the economic strain of the pandemic, according to a Facebook post. “We loved our time serving in Chicago,” the post reads. “However, due to a loss of business caused by the COVID-19 shutdown, we can no longer justify continuing operations at this time.” It first opened in December 2015. The chain’s suburban Mount Prospect location is still open.
West Town: Bar Biscay, the ultra-cool French-inspired costal Spanish brasserie from the owners of Mfk that became both a neighborhood hotspot and critical darling during its two-and-a-half year run, is permanently closed according to a statement posted to Facebook on Friday. The closure was first reported by the Tribune. Bar Biscay and Mfk chef Alisha Elenz has been named a James Beard Award semifinalist for Rising Star Chef and is still in the running to win the title this year.
During the pandemic shutdown, Bar Biscay’s owners pivoted toward retail offerings and carryout meals, dubbing the space “Bodega Biscay,” and offering delivery grocery items including dairy products, produce, rice, pasta, and alcohol. “This pandemic has thrown a harsh light on truths we all pretend to accept but seldom act upon — that the future is unknown, that nothing lasts forever,” co-owners write on Facebook. “Let’s try to salvage some good from this. Let’s take better care of each other, of our planet, of ourselves. We only get this one go around, friends.”
Gold Coast: Walton Street Kitchen & Bar, the new American bistro with an intimate downstairs bar from Chicago’s Ballyhoo Hospitality (Gemini), has been erased from the group’s website and is listed as permanently closed on Google. The restaurant first opened in 2018. Ownership has ignored repeated inquiries made to confirm the closure.
River North: A for-lease sign is posted outside Wells Street’s Ironside Bar and Galley, indicating the end of a four-year run for the stylish, seafood-focused sports bar. It first opened in 2016 inside the former Cyrano’s Farm Kitchen space.
River North: Brazilian churrascaria ZED451 has locked down its website and deactivated all social media platforms. A recorded phone message directs callers to the now-password protected website. The group-friendly spot originated in suburban Schaumburg, and operated a location in Boca Raton, Florida that closed in 2011.
South Loop: Black-owned martini bar and lounge Tantrum is permanently closed after 12 years due to the financial ramifications of COVID-19, according to a June 26 Instagram post. “Tantrum meant a lot to many people,” the post reads. “For the more seasoned party goers, when we first opened it was the spot you just chilled at and it became your ‘Black Neighborhood Cheers.’ For those that are in their late 20s to mid 30s, we were your first party spot, some couldn’t wait to turn 21 to go to Tantrum.” Co-owners Shun D. and John McClendon promise a “new and bigger Tantrum in the near future.” The pair also own sports bar and dance club Renaissance Bronzeville.
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Due to the Covid 19 shut down we regret to announce that one of our bars will not be opening back up. After 12 yrs in business @tantrumchicago has closed its doors. We had a GREAT run!!! We would like to thank everyone who supported us over the years. Appreciate all the bartenders who worked with us and put up with doing it the “Tantrum Way”. Thanks to all of the Outstanding Bar Backs. Thanks to the all the Countless DJs that that rocked that Lil Bar like it was the biggest club in Chicago. Much love and respect to all the Promoters who helped out especially on some of our slower days and kept us relevant in this competitive industry. Tantrum meant a lot to many people. For the more seasoned party goers, when we first opened it was the spot you just chilled at and it became your “Black Neighborhood Cheers”. For those that are in their late 20s to mid 30s we were your first party spot, some couldn’t wait to turn 21 to go to Tantrum . To us, my Business Partner John McClendon and I, Tantrum was a great place to meet all of you and serve your every bar related need. From the the bottom of our hearts THANK YOU EVERYONE!!! This Tantrum Chapter is done....but the book is not over yet. Stay tuned for the new and bigger Tantrum in the near future. Until then lets all connect again at our other Bar @renaissancebronzeville Shun D. #BlackLivesMatter #BlackBusinessesMatter #WeWillBeBack #TantrumChicago
La Grange: Northern Italian restaurant La Buona Vita permanently closed in late March after six years in suburban La Grange, according to the Tribune. Owner Jim Barron cited the pandemic as the cause of the closure.
Lincoln Park: Modern Indian restaurant Grand Trunk Road bears a big red sticker on its door that says it is permanently closed. The restaurant first opened in December 2018 in the former Knife & Tine space on Fullerton Avenue and featured a popular and unique brunch.
River North: Bottled Blonde, the infamous late-night restaurant and bar that battled the city over issues including security, sanitation, and noise — and drew national ire for a controversial dress code that many described as a racist attempt to exclude Black men from the venue — is permanently closed after five years of turmoil. A worker outside the restaurant said Tuesday morning that closure is due to the pandemic and ongoing legal fight with the city, and a Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) spokesperson confirmed that Bottled Blonde ownership has surrendered its business license.
River North: Bro-friendly party bar Concrete Cowboy is permanently closed due to legal action brought by the city of Chicago, according to CBS Chicago. The Franklin Street venue had a long history of noise and license violations, as well as overcrowding and fights involving customers and staff, a BACP spokesperson told reporters. The Texas import first opened in 2017.
Arlington Heights: Suburban restaurant Rack House Kitchen and Tavern is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic after eight years, according to an announcement Sunday on Facebook. “It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce due to our struggle through COVID-19, Rack House is permanently closing its doors,” the post reads.
Portage Park: Longtime Mexican spot El Gordo Restaurant permanently closed on July 5 after nearly three decades in business, according to a Facebook post. “Due to the COVID-19 crisis and the hardships it has brought around the nation we are sad to inform you that as of July 5th, 2020 we have permanently decided to close our doors to the community,” the post reads. “It has been a pleasure serving the people for the last 28 years.” Shocked and dismayed, fans begged them to reconsider and offered to set up a GoFundMe in an effort to forestall the closure.
River North: Midwestern comfort food restaurant and tavern Farmhouse is permanently closed after nearly a decade in business, ownership announced in a Facebook post Monday. “[The] worst part of closing is losing all the talented team who made it what it was,” co-owner Ferdia Doherty writes in an email to Eater. The popular restaurant — known for an expansive beer list, locally sourced ingredients, and transcendent cheese curds — first opened in 2011 and went on to spawn a second location in suburban Evanston, along with “little sister” spot Farm Bar, with locations in Lakeview and Edgewater. All three remaining restaurants are currently open, and the group recently began offering food at Montrose Harbor’s Chicago Corinthians Yacht Club. “To be honest it’s been a struggle but we remain optimistic and, like all of our friends in the industry, we want to get back to some sense of normality but it will be a changed environment for sure,” Doherty writes.
South Loop: Signage for sports bar chain Bulldog Ale House has been removed from the space at 901 S. State Street and has been replaced by a banner announcing a new location for Lombard-based breakfast mini-chain Honey Berry Pancakes and Cafe. The South Loop location has been wiped from the Bulldog website, and a call to the restaurant Tuesday went unanswered.
Streeterville: The owner of Cité, the circular 70th-floor fine dining restaurant atop Lake Point Tower, plans to close the decades-old establishment and is marketing the space “to restaurant groups and wealthy individuals interested in converting it to a penthouse condo overlooking Lake Michigan,” according to the Tribune. The restaurant has reopened after Illinois’s stay-at-home order, and will reportedly continue operations until the space is sold.
Ukrainian Village: 47-year-old Mexican restaurant Tecalitlan will permanently close its Chicago Avenue restaurant on August 23 with plans to reopen in a new space, ownership wrote in a Facebook post Friday. The restaurant’s landlord sold the building unexpectedly two weeks ago, necessitating the move. “We cherish and hold dear to our hearts all the wonderful memories and friends we’ve made along the years,” the post reads. “We love you all and cannot wait to make new memories at our new location.” They haven’t settled on a specific site for the new location yet, according to co-owner Karla Garcia, but plan to find a pace within a five-minute drive or ten-minute walk from the original — ideally with a patio. “We were born and raised in West Town and we want to stay in the area,” Garcia says, adding that longtime customers have called non-stop since the move was announced. She says she’s touched by the outpouring of support: “We knew we meant a lot, but I had no idea how much Tecalitlan meant to customers and the neighbors.”
Wrigleyville: Storied North Side fixture Guthries Tavern will permanently close on Thursday after 34 years at 1300 W. Addison Street, ownership wrote in a Facebook post Monday. The announcement came on the same day that Chicago officials declared the city will once again shut down bars in the face of rising COVID-19 cases. On Facebook, the tavern’s owners and staff made no bones about the cause the closure: “With the new restrictions set today for bars and the ongoing COVID restrictions, we don’t see a way we can survive,” the post reads.
Bucktown: Thai steamed bun and snack spot the Sala Pao Shop (from the owners of Sticky Rice) closes Wednesday “until further notice,” according to an official Instagram post. It opened in October 2018 at the CTA’s Western Blue Line Station.
Lincoln Square: Family-owned hot dog, burger, and cheese fries business Chubby Weiners is permanently closed after 15 years, according to a July 2 Facebook post. “We want thank our committed staff, our loyal customers and extend more thanks to everyone who has supported Chubby Wieners, Chubby Wieners Food Trucks, and our Festival Family over the years,” ownership writes. “Thank you Lincoln Square for being Home, WE WILL MISS YOU!”
River North: Longtime French favorite Kiki’s Bistro is listed as permanently closed on OpenTable and has disconnected its phone number. However, ownership contends they severed ties with OpenTable to save money. They hope to reopen once they figure out a viable financial plan, according to an email sent by ownership. UPDATE: On September 19, owners made a Facebook post declaring the restaurant was closed.
South Loop: Popular upscale sports bar the Scout held a “last dance” on July 8 before it permanently closed, announced in a Facebook post. The venue first opened in 2011, according to Sloopin, and hosted the Blackhawks Stanley Cup party in 2013.
West Loop: Globally-influenced new American restaurant Eden will permanently close after dinner service Saturday, according to rep. “While we recently reopened our doors to an immensely positive response, the larger economic impact resulting from the coronavirus pandemic has made it impossible for us to sustain operations,” the announcement reads. The restaurant opened on Lake Street in 2017.
Mount Prospect: Mediterranean restaurant Greek Feast has permanently closed one its suburban restaurant on Kensington Road, ownership wrote on the business’s website. The restaurant’s Northbrook location is open for dine in, carryout, and catering.
Andersonville: Modern Mexican spot Octavio Cantina & Kitchen is shedding its old identity and remerging as the Bird Cage, an inclusive bar, restaurant, and performance space for queer communities, according to owner Martin Cournane (Lady Gregory’s, Wilde). A video posted to Facebook on June 28 introduced the new name and approach, promising food, cocktails, burlesque, drag stars, show tunes, and more.
We are excited to announce our big news... #happypridePosted by Octavio Cantina & Kitchen on Sunday, June 28, 2020
Boystown: Little Jim’s Tavern, the oldest gay bar in Boystown and second-oldest in all of Chicago, served its last drink on July 2, Block Club Chicago reported. First opened in 1975, the bar was known as a space where all were welcome: local LGBTQ activist Rick Garcia told reporters that the tavern was “the first and only bar on Halsted Street to be fully integrated.” Ownership is in negotiations to sell Little Jim’s to nearby LGBTQ center Howard Brown Health for a new clinic. LGBTQ bars are on the decline nationwide, according to a 2019 study — a trend that will likely be exacerbated by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bucktown: Vienna Beef closed its factory store and cafe on Sunday after nearly 50 years at the corner of Damen and Fullerton. The company is moving its headquarters from the North Side to the Near West Side’s Kinzie Industrial Corridor. Fans of the cafe, which was considered by many to be a local landmark, can still snag a sausage (or several) at its Morgan Street location on the South Side.
Lincoln Park: Rickshaw Republic, Chicago’s only Indonesian restaurant, is permanently closed after eight years, according to owner Oscar Setiawan. In a video posted to Facebook on Friday, Setiawan expressed appreciation for local support over the years. “We decided to end on a high note where we’re all happy to move on in spite of this pandemic,” he says. “We love you guys and we thank you for everything.”
Heart of Chicago: Longtime neighborhood Italian restaurant La Fontanella is closed and its owners are retiring after 34 years in business, according to Block Club Chicago. Husband-and-wife team Gianfranco “Franco” and Maria Gamberale purchased the restaurant after closing their first establishment, Gianfranco, in 1986. They’ve now sold the building that housed the restaurant on the corner of Oakley Avenue and 24th Street.
South Loop: South Coast Sushi, an outpost of the popular Bucktown sushi spot, is permanently closed after 13 years, ownership wrote on the restaurant’s website. The Damen Avenue restaurant and suburban Evanston branch are both still open for carryout and delivery.
Ukrainian Village: Contemporary neighborhood diner Bite Cafe is permanently closed after 25 years, according to the Tribune. It was the first project from 16” On Center hospitality group’s Bruce Finkelman (Dusek’s, Longman & Eagle), who plans to reconcieve the space as Pizza Friendly Pizza, a carryout-focused operation. He’s partnered with Noah Sandoval, owner of Michelin-starred Oriole and Kumiko/Kikko.
Pilsen: Two-year-old neighborhood coffee shop and gathering place Step Down Cafe is permanently closed, according to Block Club Chicago. Owner Leonel Rodriguez detailed the decision in a social media post, writing that the combination of the pandemic and a difficult financial position ultimately made it impossible to reopen. Step Down was also the employer of barista Kenneth “Kenny” Paterimos, a 23-year-old Chicago man fatally stabbed in February outside West Down dive Richard’s Bar. Thomas Tansey, Paterimos’s alleged killer, has been charged with second-degree murder.
South Loop: Chinese-inspired Cajun restaurant Asian Cajun PLUS is permanently closed and has vacated its former State Street space. A photo of new signage posted to the Hello South Loop Facebook page indicates it’ll be shortly taken over by the Bureau Bar, a University Village bar and restaurant.
Uptown: Raucous late-night bar Nick’s Uptown is permanently closed, according to an employee. Originally called Nick’s on Wilson, the bar closed in 2011, but was resurrected under a newish name six years later. Fans adored it for its casual atmosphere and affable staff. It first opened in 2001, according to the Chicago Bar Project.
West Loop: Bad Hunter, the acclaimed vegetable-friendly restaurant downtown restaurant from Heisler Hospitality, will not reopen, according to its owners. The popular spot bounced back after a devastating fire in 2018 shuttered the Randolph Restaurant Row space for seven months, but the group didn’t think it could survive on limited indoor dining alone. It first opened in 2016.
West Loop: Michelin-starred downtown landmark Blackbird is permanently closed after more than 20 years as one of the city’s most influential and treasured restaurants. Saddled with a tiny kitchen and cramped dining room, the restaurant was not designed for social distancing. Beloved by many in and outside the hospitality industry, the pioneering restaurant helmed by decorated chef Paul Kahan (One Off Hospitality Group) featured contemporary American cuisine with French influences in an upscale yet modern space. It was a Michelin-starred restaurant since 2011.
Wicker Park: World-famous pizzeria Bonci has closed one of its Chicago locations. The specialty pizzeria, which sells pizza al taglio, closed its Wicker Park location in April, says Rick Tasman, who’s in charge of Bonci’s American operations. Tasman says they needed to consolidate operations to one location during the pandemic. They couldn’t survive. Bonci’s West Loop location continues to be open for takeout, delivery, and patio seating. From chef Gabriele Bonci, the pizza originated in Rome with unique topping combos not seen anywhere else in America.
Wicker Park: French Riviera-inspired bistro Cafe Cancale, also from Kahan and One Off Hospitality, will not reopen at Wicker Park’s six-corner intersection. The restaurant opened in May 2019 in the space formerly occupied by Publican Anker, another One Off establishment that closed months earlier.
Norridge: Family-owned suburban Italian restaurant Basilico is permanently closed after 50 years, owners wrote in a Facebook post on May 7. In the comments, fans mourned, posted photos, and recounted memories of engagement dinners, birthday celebrations, wedding parties, and other momentous occasions.
Irving Park: Neighborhood sports bar and grill Pitchfork Food and Saloon have permanently closed the restaurant, according to a Facebook post on June 9. “We are so honored to have had the pleasure of serving this neighborhood for 10+ years,” the post reads. “In light of recent events, we have come to the difficult decision of closing our doors as Pitchfork Food and Saloon.” It first opened in 2009.
River North: Breakfast and brunch chain Yolk has permanently closed its Wells Street location in River North, reps wrote in a Facebook post on June 5. “After 10 years at this location, the impact of COVID19 was too much to overcome,” it reads. The chain, originally founded in South Loop in 2006, now operates eight Chicago locations, as well as restaurants in Indiana, Florida, and Texas.
The Loop: South Side coffee shop Bridgeport Coffee Company will not reopen its Jackson Boulevard outpost in the Loop, according to a June 12 news release. “The economics of the location were simply unsustainable going forward, due to circumstances beyond our or anyone’s control...” the release reads. The closure will not affect the three remaining locations in Bridgeport, Hyde Park, and South Loop.
Wicker Park: Vegetarian-friendly restaurant Clever Rabbit is permanently closed and its website, phone number, and social media are no longer active. The restaurant opened on Division Street in 2017 with upscale vegetable-focused dishes and creative cocktails.
Highland Park: Suburban French restaurant Chez Benoit Bistro is permanently closed, ownership wrote in a Facebook post on May 30. “It’s with great sadness that we announce that Chez Benoit will not reopen,” the post reads. The restaurant opened in early 2019.
Andersonville: Beloved hot dog destination Hot G Dog is closed at least for the duration of 2020, ownership wrote in a Facebook post on June 9. “We are deciding on our next move due to our lease ending and not being able to renew,” the post reads. It also explains that the pandemic had a significant impact on sales to the point that the business was no longer sustainable. Brothers Octavio and Juan Carlos Garcia, former line cooks at now-shuttered hot dog sensation Hot Doug’s, opened Hot G Dog in 2015.
Lakeview: Peruvian BYOB restaurant Machu Picchu has permanently closed, according to a now-deleted Facebook post and Yelp listing. Brothers Javier and Marco Alday took over the establishment in 2008 and was known as a local destination for large groups.
Little Italy: Popular local Italian chain Davanti Enoteca has permanently closed its Taylor Street restaurant, according to a rep. The restaurant first opened in 2010 and the Little Italy location in particular accrued a devoted fanbase. The chain still operates a suburban Western Springs restaurant, as well as a California location.
Little Italy: Francesca’s On Taylor, another Italian spot from the owner behind Davanti, is also permanently closed and has been removed from the company’s website. Between Illinois and North Carolina, the Mia Francesca chain operates seventeen locations.
Old Town: New England-style restaurant Two Lights Seafood & Oyster will not reopen, ownership wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday. They also promise “a fresh, new concept” in the foreseeable future. Two lights first opened in 2018 and was considered a seafood destination in the city.
River North: Nine-year-old burger and drinking spot 25 Degrees is permanently closed, according to a June 9 Facebook post. “Due to the current situations, it is with a heavy heart that we announce the closing of 25 Degrees,” it reads. “It has been nothing but a pleasure to serve you all over the past nine years.” Owners closed a Wicker Park outpost after 10 months in 2016.
River North: Irish pub the Pepper Canister announced in a Facebook post Monday that it won’t reopen. Legions of fans have poured into the comments section to share memories, photos, and well-wishes with owners and staff. It was first opened in 2003, according to the Sun-Times.
Streeterville: Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises announced on June 5 that Mity Nice Bar & Grill and Foodlife will not reopen after 27 years in busines. LEYE president R.J. Melman says the leases were about to expire, and the restaurants’s locations aren’t well-suited to social distancing.
Oak Park: Suburban Italian sister spots La Bella Pasteria and La Bella the Bar are permanently closed after eight years, ownership wrote in a sign posted to the restaurant doors. “At this time there are no plans to reopen,” it reads.
Gold Coast: Neighborhood pub Pippin’s Tavern is permanently closed, and is stripped of its signage and fixtures at its Rush Street location. The bar first opened in the early 1970s, according to its website. A popular dive for the after-work crowd, downtown Chicago has one fewer bar that doesn’t specialize in fancy cocktails.
Lakeview: Seafood haven Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market is permanently closed, owner Glenn Fahlstrom announced last week in a Facebook post. “The new restaurant model is asking owners to put employees in harms way so that their business can possibly survive,” the post reads. “That is an ‘acceptable risk’ I cannot take... It was hard enough when the playing field was supposedly level, now it is tilted beyond recognition.” The combination restaurant and retail spot first opened in 2014.
Noble Square: Fast-casual neighborhood cafe Nini’s Deli is permanently closed after crowds gathered over the weekend to protest a series of racist, Islamophobic, and homophobic social media posts made by its owners that equated BLM to a terrorist group. Former partners including Nike, Intelligentsia Coffee, Bang Bang Pies, and Cash Drop all severed ties with owners and brothers Juan “Juany” and José Riesco.
North Center: Vegan pizzeria Chicago House Of ‘Za will permanently close on June 20, owners wrote in an Instagram post in late May. “With the current pandemic, as well as the enormous cost of operating a business in Chicago we are unable to stay open for business any longer,” the post reads. In the meantime, restaurant is selling slices, as well as wine and beer. It first opened in March 2019.
Norwood Park: Latin American restaurant Congas will not reopen after the pandemic after five years in business, ownership wrote in an Facebook post late last week. “COVID-19 made me realize the most important things in life,” the post reads. “Having this time off from the restaurant made me appreciate more my time with my family.”
Norwood Park: Nine-year-old neighborhood spot Mo Dailey’s Pub & Grille is permanently closed, owners wrote in a Facebook post on June 7. The space is now under new ownership. “We do believe the new owners will be a great fit in this space an I look forward to assisting them in their launch in the near future,” the post reads.
Humboldt Park: Brendan Sodikoff of Hogsalt Hospitality (Au Cheval, Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf) announced that he will not reopen 21-year-old bar California Clipper or its neighboring coffee shop, C.C. Ferns on May 28. Hogsalt took over the bar in 2014, brought in a cocktail menu and made minor changes to the former speakeasy, which has history dating back to 1937. However, as Block Club Chicago reports, the Clipper’s landlord, Gino Battaglia, disagrees with Sodikoff’s assessment. Battaglia tells Eater Chicago that he’s had a lot of interest in the space and that he was willing to provide relief to Hogsalt, but its attorneys didn’t furnish financial information that was requested.
Pilsen: Family-owned Taqueria Sabor y Sazon closed in late May after seven years in business, Block Club Chicago reported. Husband-and-wife team Jesus Quiroz and Mercedes Cruz told reporters that school closures, event cancelations, and accumulating expenses from rent, bills and business taxes ultimately forced the closure. Supporters have raised more than $4,000 for the family on GoFundMe.
River North: Monty’s Tap, the bar from Four Corners hospitality group formerly known as the Motel Bar, is permanently closed and has been removed from the company’s website. Its own site has also been taken down. The group took over the original Motel Bar and remodeled the space in 2018 before renaming the business.
The Loop: Downtown Italian stalwart Trattoria No. 10 is permanently closed after 30 years, according to a listing on OpenTable. Ownership has not responded to a request for more information. The restaurant, known for classical Italian dishes, was especially popular among theater-goers. Supporters raised more than $17,000 in a GoFundMe to help staff.
Glenview: Mesa Urbana Mexican Fusion’s suburban location is permanently closed after four years, ownership wrote in a Facebook post Monday. Owners and brothers Baligh and Moe Abu-Taleb also own a new Mesa Urbana in Portage Park, as well as Latin American-influenced Lincoln Park restaurant Mundano.
Schaumburg: Denver-based dining and entertainment chain Punch Bowl Social has permanently closed a suburban outpost, a rep confirmed in an email. In a statement, founder and CEO Robert Thompson writes that Punch Bowl was “unable to reach satisfactory new terms to move forward” with its Schaumburg landlord. Thompson also writes that the company plans to reopen the West Loop location, which debuted in 2018. Majority investor Cracker Barrel announced in March that it would not continue to invest in Punch Bowl Social, according to Restaurant Business Online, and lenders said they planned to foreclose on the chain’s assets.
Bucktown: Friendly all-day restaurant Mable’s Table permanently closed on May 17, according to an official Facebook post. “This uncertain time and the Covid-19 pandemic we are all living through has decimated many a friend’s small business and has hurt ours as well,” ownership writes. The spot, inspired by the owner’s mother’s cooking, first opened in 2017.
Gold Coast: Former Bears coach and player Mike Ditka’s longtime downtown Chicago restaurant is permanently closed, reps announced in a Facebook post on May 18. “We have made the extremely difficult decision to close our Chicago restaurant due to the economic impact of COVID-19 and the short term left on our lease,” it reads. The restaurant served steaks and was packed with football memorabilia. The Chestnut Street location has teetered on the edge for some time — last year, Ditka told reporters that the restaurant’s run was “over.” Meanwhile, the company’s vice president of operations said that they were continuing to negotiate with the building’s owners on a lease extension and renovations while also looking for a new location. Other Ditka’s restaurant group locations in suburban Oakbrook Terrace, Westmont, and Pittsburgh will remain open.
Lakeview: Milwaukee-based chain Stone Creek Coffee won’t reopen its sole Chicago cafe, ownership wrote in a newsletter May 6. “In light of the current landscape, and the focus on digging out of the red while planning for survival into the future, we have decided not to continue on with this cafe,” it reads. The company plans to keep all of its Wisconsin cafes.
Lincoln Park: Vietnamese restaurant Simply It closed on April 30 after 14 years as a community anchor, Block Club Chicago reported. Profit margins were slim before the pandemic, owner Tuan Nguyen told reporters, so COVID-19’s economic ramifications made reopening impossible.
Logan Square/Avondale: Crown Liquors Taproom, a well-known Chicago packaged goods store, won’t reopen after the pandemic, Block Club Chicago reported on April 24. It is unclear whether or not the closure is related to COVID-19. Crown Liquors’s precise age is also unknown, though a previous owner told reporters in 2015 that it dates back to the end of prohibition.
Noble Square: BYOB Cuban restaurant Habana Libre is permanently closed, ownership told Eater Chicago. First opened in 2007, the spot gained popularity for its pan lechón, served with rice, beans, and sweet plantains, and a laid-back atmosphere.
River North: Katana, the pricey Japanese restaurant that arrived in Chicago three years ago, will not reopen its doors, a spokesperson confirmed to Eater Chicago in May. It was owned by Innovative Dining Group, a LA-based company that continues to offers delivery and takeout at its West Hollywood location. The restaurant’s opening came with much fanfare in 2017, as Hollywood celebrities frequented the West Coast location, and Chicago’s star chasers hoped to see that translate in the Midwest. Local athletes and actors would hang out at the restaurant, which specialized in grilled meats and veggies cooked on robatayaki. There was also a special sushi counter. This leaves a vacancy at a pricey piece of River North real estate next to the House of Blues and in the shadows of the iconic Marina City Towers.
River North: Nacional 27, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’s spot for Latin food, drinks, and dancing, permanently closed on March 1 after more than two decades, reps wrote on its website. The hospitality group opened up a Tallboy Taco spot inside the restaurant in 2014.
The Loop/West Loop: 33-year-old chain Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery is closing all 55 plus locations, including three in Chicago as of May 19. “Current market conditions attributed to COVID-19 and shelter-in-place policies have decimated company revenues,” a statement on the company’s website reads. The California-based company also had shops in Washington.
Wicker Park: Beer bar Links Taproom won’t reopen after the pandemic in the Milwaukee Avenue location where its operated for six years, according to a Facebook post on April 23. Ownership wrote that the business will still pop up occasionally around Chicago: “This is not the end for us, it is simply a new beginning,” the post reads. “Unfortunately, with the current situation, we cannot say for certain when or where we will see you again, but, rest assured, we WILL see you all again.”
Wicker Park: Popular Southern restaurant the Delta, which served unusual hits like Mississippi red hot and gym shoe tamales, is permanently closed, owner Eldridge Williams told Eater Chicago on May 15. Williams filed a lawsuit with the Cook County circuit court on May 8 accusing one of his two investors of stealing $154,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program loan and Economic Injury Disaster loan awarded to the restaurant. The Delta opened in 2017 as one of the few Black-owned bars on Chicago’s North Side.
Update: The Delta has since reopened after Williams and the investor in question reconciled and hashed out the restaurant’s finances.
Bowmanville: Barbecue spot Baobab BBQ, which served ribs, rib tips, and brisket, is closed after two years. The restaurant added a South African touch to American barbecue, borrowing from several regions. Chef Andrew Dunlop made the announcement via Facebook on May 4.
Bucktown: Luella’s Gospel Bird, chef Darnell Reed’s fried chicken restaurant in Bucktown, is closed permanently. The restaurant relied in large part on catering orders, but the pandemic lead to mass cancelations and Reed decided to close his second restaurant. His first, Luella’s Southern Kitchen in Lincoln Square, continues to offer carryout and is open.
Bucktown: Lauded chef Mindy Segal told Eater Chicago on April 29 that she’d permanently closed her popular restaurant Mindy’s Hot Chocolate after 15 years. Segal already had plans to close the restaurant by the end of May before the COVID-19 pandemic, but mandated dining room closures expedited the process. She’s transitioning toward converting the space into Mindy’s Bakery selling bagels, coffee, hot chocolate, and pantry items.
Bucktown/Lincoln Park: Toast, a much-loved 24-year-old breakfast and brunch restaurant with two Chicago locations, is permanently closed due to the impact of the coronavirus, according to owner Jeanne Roeser. She announced the closures on April 22.
Edgewater: The owners of Income Tax, a popular neighborhood restaurant and wine bar, announced it would not reopen in a Facebook post on May 9. The North Side restaurant managed to deliver an adventurous menu without alienating residents. Owners say they’ll continue to sell alcohol to go while thinning inventory.
Hyde Park: Local dessert mini-chain Vanille Patisserie closed its Hyde Park storefront permanently on March 17. In a Facebook post, ownership pointed to the “devastating economic situation caused by COVID-19.” The business also has locations in Lincoln Park and in Chicago’s French Market.
Lincoln Park: Specialty chocolate company Vosges Haut Chocolat has closed its retail location in Lincoln Park. Prior to the pandemic, the company operated another store on Michigan Avenue and two shops inside O’Hare International Airport. The Armitage shop served coffee and hot chocolate.
Lincoln Square: Iconic North Side 24-hour diner Jeri’s Grill is permanently closed after nearly 60 years. “Jeri’s Grill was a part of the past living in a modern world,” owner Di Piero writes in the closing announcement, posted May 9. “Unfortunately the past can no longer survive in this post pandemic world...if these walls could talk they would tell beautiful and sad stories of many lives.”
North Center: Gastropub and sports bar Monty Gael’s Tavern and Grill is permanently closed after seven years. A for-sale sign hangs in the window.
Logan Square: Pioneering Macanese restaurant Fat Rice is closed “for the foreseeable future” after eight years. Adrienne Lo and James Beard Award-winner Abe Conlon also operated a neighboring bakery and a cocktail bar, and last year debuted a stall inside Fulton Market’s Time Out Market Chicago. The pair have since transitioned the Fat Rice space into Super Fat Rice Mart, a general store sells $99 meal kits, groceries, and more.
Streeterville/Lombard: Chicago-based 4 Star Restaurant Group has permanently closed two of its venues — the Windsor in Streeterville and D.O.C. Wine Bar in suburban Lombard — because of the coronavirus-related dine-in closures, according to social media posts from May 4. “With a heavy heart, we are sad to announce that we are closing our doors for good due to the challenges surrounding the coronavirus shutdown,” one post reads.