Trendy corner store and liquor delivery chain Foxtrot Market opens its ninth Chicago location Wednesday inside what was a prominent restaurant space at Wicker Park’s six-corner intersection. Where restaurants like Cafe Cancale, Publican Anker, and Francesca’s Forno didn’t last, Foxtrot hopes to bring stability inside its new flagship. Here’s what to expect.
Unlike other Foxtrots, this location has two bars and seating for 40. They’re also promising happy hour specials — there’s an in-house sommelier to navigate the 200-plus bottles of wine and by-the-glass menu, and a full espresso bar for those seeking a different kind of buzz,
This store features more than grab-and-go food: There’s a rotating rotating menu of sandwiches made on site. These include the “Carla,” — a Jambon-Beurre a la Paris (Berkshire ham from Tempesta Market in West Town, beurre bordier, cornichon) and the “Justin” (cheese, fig, arugula, banyul vinegar, yuzu preserves).
The company is also using the new outpost to launch its first cheese and charcuterie bar where diners can try meats from Tempesta Market and cheeses from France, Italy, and Spain. They include domestic and international varieties like Fontina Val D’Aosta and Sardinian pecorino, with a garde manger on hand to guide novices through the many salty, savory, and stinky offerings.
Foxtrot has decked out the space in a bold red, white, and black color palette with polished oak counters, exposed brick, and sleek display cases. Reps also tout French-inspired design elements like a Damen-side entrance with with geometric light fixtures meant to evoke Paris’ covered passageways.
The space, just steps from the Damen “L” stop, has seen significant turnover in recent years. In 2019, One Off Hospitality — which owns Dove’s Luncheonette, Big Star, and Violet Hour around the block — transformed the former Publican Anker into Cafe Cancale, a casual French spot featuring seafood and shellfish. It permanently closed due to the pandemic in June 2020, alongside One Off’s Michelin-starred landmark Blackbird in West Loop.
Foxtrot, which has a smaller location less-than-a mile south on Division Street, is hoping Chicagoans are still hungry even if a restaurant hasn’t previously drawn big business to the space.
Foxtrot Milwaukee & Damen, 1576 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.