Stephanie Izard continues to unveil new business ventures during the pandemic. The prolific restaurateur (Duck Duck Goat, Cabra, Little Goat Diner) on Monday opened a multi-purpose event space that also houses a test kitchen and media studio at at 939 W. Randolph Street, about two blocks from her flagship restaurant Girl & the Goat in West Loop.
Izard’s latest business builds on the groundwork laid by her catering and meal kit operations, Goat Group Catering and Girl & the Goat by Stephanie Izard on specialty-food delivery company Goldbelly. Izard is no stranger to private events, having developed partnerships with Goose Island Beer and other companies. Her new venture adds a new 800-square-foot space to her repertoire. The room available to rent for pandemic-compliant parties, dinners, and showers. It seats up to 12 and has standing room for 20 under the city’s COVID-19 restrictions. Goat Group Catering provides food for events.
Even celebrity chefs began looking for new revenue streams as their dining rooms sat empty during the pandemic. Virtual cooking classes and social media videos have taken on outsized importance during the pandemic. These tools allow chefs to speak directly to their fans and remain relevant in a fast-paced industry, which means Izard spends a lot of time on broadcasting herself cooking on Zoom and Instagram.
The new test kitchen also functions as a photo and video studio for these media projects, and is available to rent for those in need of a space to cook or film. It’s outfitted in pink, yellow, and green with an exposed brick wall and dark wood furnishings. The space even provides a home base for patrons to purchase sauces, spices, and crunchy toppings from This Little Goat, Izard’s retail line.
This is the second project from Izard less than six months. She replaced Little Goat Bakery in November with Sugargoat, a bakery with unusual delights like Cheez-It cupcakes with cheddar caramel and strawberry Nesquik buttercream. She has also reopened indoor dining at all of her restaurants in Chicago.