Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, the British reality TV star arguably best known for habitually berating contestants in his many televised cooking competitions, will expand his Chicago area footprint this year with a new restaurant in suburban Naperville. The team plans to bring the third location of Ramsay’s Kitchen, an all-day restaurant with a menu of signature Ramsay dishes including pan-seared scallops and sticky toffee pudding, in spring 2023 to 39 W. Jefferson Avenue, according to a rep.
Housed inside a former Oswald Pharmacy, a historic family-owned Naperville apothecary that dates back to 1875, Ramsay’s Kitchen aims to cultivate an upscale atmosphere with a theatrical open kitchen that allows patrons to watch chefs while they work. At more than 5,600 square feet, the restaurant will seat 160 between a bar and lounge space, a main dining room, two private dining sections, and a seasonal patio. Reps promise design details like custom millwork — a nod to the building’s former occupant — as well as original limestone from the abandoned local quarry that’s now Centennial Beach.
Naperville is the fourth-largest city in Illinois and has drawn chain restaurants to its downtown area including Morton’s and Sullivan’s. But the western suburb has an indy scene that includes Sparrow Coffee (which prides itself on supplying beans to upscale Chicago restaurants). In an email to the Daily Herald, Ramsay wrote that he’s “heard great things about the surrounding areas, especially Naperville and its bustling food scene.”
It’s an ideal entry for Ramsay, the notoriously shouty chef who originally introduced Ramsay’s Kitchen in early 2022 in Boston and by the fall had unveiled a second outpost on the Las Vegas Strip. Though each is slightly tailored for a local audience (Boston gets a water-inspired blue marble and back bar inspired by the Zakim bridge; Vegas features a self-described “affordable glam” aesthetic inside Harrah’s casino) overarching themes remain — a sleek and modern aesthetic, as well as a lineup of Ramsay’s best-known dishes including beef Wellington.
Ramsay first brought his famous brand to Chicago in 2021 with the launch of the U.S.’s first Gordon Ramsay Burger. It debuted to much fanfare on Ontario and State streets in a River North space that previously housed fellow celebrity-backed burger chain Wahlburgers. As if that’s not enough Ramsay for the region, operators in early 2022 announced plans for a new location of Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen, also in River North. It’s pegged for a 2023 opening, but reps declined to provide an update for when exactly that debut could happen.
The chef laid bare his ambitions for the U.S. market with a 2019 announcement that he planned to open 100 new restaurants in the U.S. by 2024. The pandemic slowed that trajectory, but in the intervening years, he’s managed to shepherd more than a dozen new venues to completion.
Ramsay’s Kitchen Naperville, 39 W. Jefferson Avenue in Naperville, Scheduled to open spring 2023.