Parachute, the decorated Korean American restaurant in Avondale that’s remained closed since the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, has as of late been the subject of much puzzlement among local diners and drinkers. The extended temporary closure, coupled with an in-between recognition from Michelin, which in early April listed the restaurant among its Chicago selections but removed its previous star, has left many wondering when they will able to visit Parachute’s dining room once again.
Fortunately for their many fans, owners, spouses, and James Beard award-winning chefs Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark (also behind neighboring restaurant Wherewithall) are steadily drawing closer to a reopening, currently scheduled for mid-May at 3472 N. Elston Avenue: “Parachute’s reopening is near,” Clark wrote in an Instagram post on Saturday under a rendering of remodeled space. He’s also on the hunt for two cooks to join the staff. “We’re aiming to break the mold with Korean food all over again.”
The seven-year-old restaurant was in serious need of rehabilitation after taking “a lot of abuse” over the years, Clark told Eater in July 2021. Despite the temporary shutdown, the couple have managed to occupy their time in other corners of the hospitality industry: in 2020, Kim and fellow Beard award-winning chef Sarah Stegner (Prairie Grass Cafe) co-founded the Abundance Setting, a nonprofit group that supports working mothers in the hospitality industry. In March 2022, Clark — a member of Chicago’s Ukrainian American community — served a Ukrainian menu at Wherewithall to raise money for Razom For Ukraine, a non-profit supporting war victims.
Stay tuned for updates.
Josephine’s Cooking owes $500K in back taxes
Josephine’s Cooking, a city institution run by 79-year-old Josephine “Mother” Wade, has apparently had some unusual tax help over the last 12 years to keep its doors open in Chatham. The Sun-Times reports that the restaurant owes more than $500,000 in property taxes, but a government entity has stepped in to stop any party from putting a claim on the property. The story raises many questions about the future of Wade’s restaurant and why the government entity, called the Cook County Land Bank Authority, sought to protect Wade.
Graziano’s teams up with Goose Island Beer
J.P. Graziano continues to partner with local restaurants and brewers. It’s now working with Goose Island Beer Co., as a release shares news of a new Graziano burger (inspired by Randolph Street sub shops iconic Mr. G sandwich) made with a house-ground sopresatta patty, provolone, crispy Prosciutto di Parma, Graziano’s truffle mustard, marinated artichokes, basil lettuce salad topped with a red wine vinaigrette.
Catching up with a former dining critic
Veteran Chicago journalist Monica Eng, who co-writes the Axios Chicago newsletter, stretches out for a Chicago magazine profile of Paula Camp, the former Tribune food critic. Camp wrote for the paper in the ‘80s under the “Paul Camp” byline. Eng’s piece catches up with Camp’s life in Michigan as “en elderly trans woman,” and recalls some of Camp’s greatest hits at the paper.
Chicago artist Theaster Gates takes over Virtue
Virtue in Hyde Park has a new look thanks to Chicago artist Theaster Gates. A friend of chef Erick Williams, Gates has taken over the restaurant’s walls with several artworks. In an Instagram post, he calls Virtue “one of the most important Black-owned restaurants in Chicago.” Williams provides some context to the work, with a post showing a piece made from decommissioned fire hoses that were used against Black and Brown Civil Rights protesters in the ‘60s: “59 years is not that long ago,” Williams writes.