Summer has hit Chicago like a brick wall. The weather has abruptly transitioned from a gloomy spring to stretches of extra hot, sweaty days. That means Chicagoans are flocking to patios and ducking under sun parasols as the city’s restaurants and bars race to keep up. Despite the promise of summer fun, the hospitality industry continues to face major challenges, including ongoing staff shortages and supply chain delays.
Below, Eater is cataloging both temporary and permanent restaurant closures in Chicago. If you know of a restaurant, bar, or other food establishment that has closed since the start of the pandemic, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will continue to update this post.
For winter closures, go here.
Lincoln Square/Ravenswood: At one time, Glenn’s Diner was the hottest restaurant in Chicago, a neighborhood spot that became the talk of the town. But this week, the owners of the North Side restaurant announced the end of its 17-year run. The neighborhood restaurant, known for seafood and cereal bowls, is closing.
Glenn’s will close on July 31 at 1820 W. Montrose Street in Lincoln Square, just across the street from Ravenswood. Many longtime fans could argue Glenn’s hasn’t been the same for a while. Especially since namesake Glenn Fahlstrom departed the restaurant in 2009 after a legal dispute with partner and current diner owner Larry Jones. Fahlstrom would go onto open his own restaurant in 2014. Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market, a restaurant in Lakeview, was among the first casualties in 2020 when the pandemic forced state officials to suspend indoor dining.
The end was in sight for Glenn’s as ownership put the restaurant for sale in 2019, as Block Club Chicago reported. Apparently the offers weren’t appealing.
Old Town: After five years, Forastero, a Mexican-Korean restaurant that served tacos and chicken wings, has announced its closure. Co-owner Andres Recillas tells eater Chicago that his last day of business will be August 7. Pandemic challenges left them with debt and they could no longer sustain the restaurant. He’s hopeful fans could come and support the restaurant in the next few weeks to help dampen the financial blow. Forastero’s crispy fish taco was among the best fish tacos in the city at 449 W. North Avenue.
River North: Bernie’s has closed its doors again. The River North restaurant and bar was closed from October 2020 through April 2021, but had regained its bearings at 660 N. Orleans Street. Co-owner Zack Sklar of parent company Peas & Carrots Hospitality texts that the restaurant should reopen in the spring. Workers have complained via social media that they weren’t given enough notice of the quick closure.
River North: Pink Taco, the Las Vegas-based Mexican restaurant and bar chain that in 2018 brought its clubby energy to the former Bull & Bear space, closed over the weekend at at 431 N. Wells Street, according to Block Club Chicago. Dubbed one of the most “distressingly sexual” restaurant names around by Eater in 2017, Pink Taco maintains locations in Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, and Washington D.C. A new outpost in New York City is in the works.
Rogers Park: Neighborhood brunch restaurant Another Bite is permanently closed after just under a year in business at 6632 N. Clark Street, according to Block Club. Owner John Thomas, an Auburn-Gresham resident who also owns a Coldstone Creamery franchise, tells reporters that rising costs and ongoing staffing shortages ultimately forced him to shut down the restaurant. At Another Bite, which opened in August 2021, Thomas drew on Coldstone’s customizable mix-and-match approach and applied it to breakfast items. He says the restaurant could be resurrected if he can attract funding.
Ukrainian Village: Mexican-Korean restaurant TaKorea Cocina permanently closed in late June after nearly three years at 1022 N. Western Avenue, owner Robert Magiet announced on Facebook. Known for mashups like kimchi burgers and bulgogi steak tacos, the restaurant also served as a vehicle for Magiet’s charitable endeavors, including free meal distribution at Thanksgiving. Despite the restaurant’s closure, Magiet has his next gig lined up: he’s joined pizza and burger spot the StopAlong in Bucktown as a managing partner, he told Block Club, and that TaKorea’s entire staff will join him.
Wrigleyville: Longtime local pub the Irish Oak permanently closed on Sunday after 24 years at 3511 N. Clark Street, operators announced on Facebook. The bar was owned by Big Onion Tavern Group, the Chicago hospitality company behind beer-focused spots such as FatPour Tap Works and Hopsmith Tavern. Fans from across the U.S. shared memories from the bar on its social media pages, harkening back to meet-cutes, proposals, game-viewings, and more. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” ownership writes.
Around Town: Laine’s Bake Shop, the local indie bakery with a social justice bent, will shut down operations on Friday, July 15, after six years, owner Rachel Bernier-Green announced Tuesday in a blog post. The baked goods brand, which placed an emphasis on hiring employees from disenfranchised communities on the city’s South and West sides, previously operated a location in Morgan Park (closed in 2017) and in One Eleven Food Hall in Pullman (closed in 2020). Through the first years of the pandemic, Bernier-Green refocused on online sales and offering her goods at cafes including Afro Joe’s and South Shore Brew. “This is not an easy decision, but it is a necessary one,” she writes. “Know that we are still passionate about our mission of tackling chronic unemployment, recidivism, and wealth inequality in the hardest-hit areas of Chicago. We hope to continue to find new ways to accomplish this mission in the future.”
Bridgeport: Neighborhood institution Bridgeport Restaurant, the diner that’s served residents and White Sox fans for at least 75 years at 3500 S. Halsted Street, will permanently close on Thursday, June 30, according to Block Club Chicago. Owners Irais and Josie Rodriguez, who purchased the restaurant (also known as Bridgeport Family Restaurant) 15 years ago but now wish to retire, put the business on the market in 2019 and are still hoping to sell.
Jefferson Park: N.O.K., the nine-year-old Persian restaurant at 6075 N. Milwaukee Avenue, closed over the weekend due to the increasing cost of operations and staffing shortages, owner Mir Naghavi tells Nadig Newspapers. Its sister restaurant, Noon O Kebab in Albany Park, remains open.
Lincoln Park: Fourteen-year-old Japanese restaurant Sushi Mon is permanently closed at 2441 N. Clark Street due to a series of financial and immigration challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, ownership announced in June on Facebook. “Last September, our family travelled abroad to extend our investor visa in order to stay legally in the U.S.,” owner Bat Mashigjav writes. But having a longtime restaurant in Chicago and two children who are American citizens “wasn’t good enough to extend our visa in [the] U.S. counselor officer’s eyes in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.” The ordeal, he adds, has been financially devastating for his family. Supporters have so far raised nearly $3,000 via GoFundMe.
Lincoln Square: Breakfast and brunch spot Famous Dutch Pancake Huis, formerly known as Pannenkoeken Cafe, has permanently closed after 15 years. Paper covers the windows at 4757 N. Western Avenue and its website is defunct. The restaurant specialized in traditional sweet and savory Dutch pancakes, with hits such as a honeycrisp apple pancake with cinnamon and hazelnuts, and a sausage pancake with cheese and mushrooms.
West Loop: Speakeasy-style cocktail bar the Darling, one of Chicago’s most romantic drinking dens, permanently closed after service on Sunday after four years at 905 W. Randolph Street, ownership announced on Facebook. Owner Sophie Huterstein, who also opened the British pub the Wellesbourne in 2010 in Los Angeles, scheduled a full lineup of live performances from drag queens, magicians, dancers, and puppeteers. “The business has been purchased by an established hospitality group that will be putting their own fun spin on the location,” reps wrote online.
Wicker Park: Pub Royale, the Anglo-Indian bar and restaurant from Heisler Hospitality (Pizza Lobo, Sportsman’s Club), will permanently close on Saturday, June 25, ahead of the sale of its building at 2049 W. Division Street, according to a rep. Founded in 2015 in the former home of Smallbar Divison, Pub Royale quickly garnered critical acclaim for a robust selection of craft beers, Pimm’s cups, and engaging bar fare such as chicken tikka kati rolls and tempura-fried fish ’n chips with malt vinegar chutney.
Highwood: Suburban smoked meats spot Papa Willie’s BBQ will close its doors at 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 17th, ownership announced Wednesday on Facebook. Though the three-year-old restaurant at 148 Green Bay Road will shutter, catering and private chef services will remain operational. “It has been an incredible journey, filled with an immeasurable amount of satisfaction and joy,” the post reads. “However, due to the current state of inflation it is no longer possible for us to keep our doors open... This isn’t goodbye, it’s see you later. Somewhere.”
Lincoln Park: Macku Sushi, the popular spot from well-known Chicago chef Macku Chan, is permanently closed after 12 years at 2239 N. Clybourn Avenue, according to a late April Instagram post. Though heartbroken fans shared their farewells in the comments, Chan’s skills are already on display at his newish Japanese restaurant, Komo, which debuted in fall 2021 in the West Loop.
Pilsen: The trio of siblings behind indie coffee shop Brew Brew Cafe in April permanently closed their storefront at 1641 W. 18th Street, according to an Instagram post. Jazmin, Diana, and Christian Medrano originally launched the business in 2000 with outposts in Pilsen and Avondale, but in September 2019 temporarily closed the Pilsen location to design a new look and menu that paid homage to their Mexican heritage. It reopened just a month later on 18th Street. Brew Brew remains open in Avondale.
Skokie: A for-lease sign is visible in the window of nine-year-old suburban Japanese restaurant Sushi Cafe Hanah at 4907 Oakton Street in Skokie.