Another Gold Coast anchor is going into hibernation as Carmine’s will temporarily close at the end of the month to allow demolition crews to raze the restaurant. The restaurant’s parent company, Rosebud Restaurants, which own the original Rosebud on Taylor Street in Little Italy, plan on building a new restaurant with a covered patio overlooking Rush Street set for a 2024 debut.
Rosebud is spending $4 million on the new restaurant, according to a company news release. Carmine’s will close on Sunday, February 26 and the building is scheduled for demolition on Sunday, March 5, according to a Rosebud rep.
The Gold Coast restaurant neighbors Tavern on Rush, another Rush Street staple that recently closed after a long run. Tavern owner Phil Stefani was pushed out by his landlord. Jim Banks and Fred Barbara plan on remodeling the space and opening the Bellevue this spring.
The new Carmine’s, which should open in 2024, will span 10,000 square feet with multiple dining rooms and bars. One new feature, as seen in renderings, is an all-weather outdoor terrace overlooking Rush Street. As Crain’s reported, L3 Capital purchased the property last year with plans to construct a new building, and Carmine’s signed a lease to continue operations.
Carmine’s opened as Carmine’s Clamhouse in 1994 and, as the name suggested, had more seafood on its menu compared to owner Alex Dana’s other Italian American red sauce restaurants. Dana changed the name in 1996 with Tribune critic Phil Vettel writing that dropping the seafood focus stripped the restaurant of what made it special, “it’s just another Alex Dana location,” Vettel wrote 27 years ago.
In a news release, Dana points to “changes and challenges we’ve experienced as a city over the last 50 years” that have hurt restaurants. Lately, for business owners downtown, that’s meant dealing with more crime, an issue that’s repeatedly come up during the mayoral campaign.
Stay tuned for updates.
Carmine’s, 1043 N. Rush Street, planned for a 2024 opening.