The Bristol, a pioneering Bucktown restaurant, will close its doors on New Year’s Eve, according to a news release. B. Hospitality Group, Bristol’s parent, issued the brief statement on Wednesday night writing that the company elected to focus on its other restaurants and on two new projects.
The restaurant lasted 14 years in Bucktown, watching the neighborhood transform along Damen. Co-founders John Ross and Phillip Walters brought a new level of farm to table to Chicago, creating the blueprint for the ideal neighborhood restaurant, one that wouldn’t break the bank and would entice diners to eat there repeatedly from dinner and weekend brunch.
Ross and Walters opened the restaurant with chef Chris Pandel, and this was B. Hospitality’s first restaurant. The trio would collaborate with Boka Restaurant Group and open Balena in Lincoln Park. The restaurant burned down in 2017. B. Hospitality also operates Formento’s and Nonna’s in West Loop. They’ve also teamed up with Boka on Swift & Sons in Fulton Market.
During the restaurant’s 10th anniversary in 2018, Ross and Walters spoke to Chicago about how customers would line up around the block in 2008. They felt they needed a more casual approach in contrast to how fine dining was gaining popularity locally. Several notable chefs have worked at the restaurant including current chef Larry Feldmeier (Sixteen) and Todd Stein.
The restaurant has adapted, first opening with communal seats, to the endless shifts during the pandemic. National media praised the restaurant after opening. GQ named it to its Best New Resturants List in 2009. Stay tuned for news about the company’s new projects.