Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises has revealed what will replace Oyster Bah and Crab Cellar in Lincoln Park. Early next year, Lettuce will open a fourth location of Ramen-san at 1962 N. Halsted Street, according to a news release. Chicago’s largest restaurant group plans another opening in late 2023 by bringing a third location of Sushi-san one door down (past Summer House Santa Monica) at 1948 N. Halsted Steet.
Sushi-san will take over the old Manhandler Saloon, a 40-year-old gay bar with a non-descript storefront that closed in November 2020. Dive bars like the Manhandler struggled during the pandemic. According to Block Club Chicago, last year, the city approved a plan to build a three-story apartment building on the parcel with room for a restaurant on the first floor. Lettuce has long held a strong presence in the area with Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, Summer House Santa Monica, and Oyster Bah near the corner of Armitage and Halsted. Oyster Bah and Crab Cellar closed last weekend after seven years.
The first Ramen-san opened in 2014 in River North and carved out a niche in downtown Chicago by emulating Japanese shops by playing ‘90s hip-hop, offering late-night service, and serving sake bombs. Ramen shops weren’t as plentiful in Chicago back then.
The Lincoln Park location won’t be a carbon copy — Lettuce’s release mentions serving students and young families. Labor challenges have also prevented many restaurants from offering late-night service. Classics items like fried chicken ramen will come over to Lincoln Park. Lettuce is also teasing new menu items. The plan is to keep Sushi-san and Ramen-san open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
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Ramen-san, 1962 N. Halsted Street, planned for an early 2023 opening
Sushi-san, 1948 N. Halsted Street, planned for a late 2023 opening