Avli, the group of Chicago-area restaurants that ushered in a modern Greek dining craze, is not only opening a rooftop restaurant in Fulton Market, but it could have up to four new restaurants inside the historic building that houses event space Morgan’s on Fulton and ground-floor restaurant Marvin’s Food and Fuel.
Led by Greek American chef Louie Alexakis and sports anchor Lou Canellis, Avli has signed a lease for the building at 950-954 W. Fulton Market. Entering a neighborhood with pricey real estate and known for heavy hitters such as the Girl & the Goat, the Publican, and two-Michelin-starred Smyth is a big move for the team.
Alexakis tells Eater that the new rooftop won’t be a carbon copy of his other restaurants. There are different ways to spotlight Greek dining, and they want to create something distinct: “It will be Avli, but it won’t be Avli,” he says.
There’s much potential inside the building and Avli could opt to open a total of four new projects. A ground-floor casual restaurant, Marvin’s, will eventually make way for a new restaurant. That’s the space chef John Manion vacated when La Sirena Clandestina closed fall 2020. Marvin’s will reopen on the North Side in a neighborhood “more appropriate” says owner James Geier.
Much to the relief of engaged couples who booked 2023 and 2024 weddings at Morgan’s on Fulton, business will continue as usual. Welcoming Avli into the building won’t impact Morgan’s event operation. Geier, who founded 555 International, stresses that Morgan’s remains successful. The event business will continue to operate under the same name and management team. They will not change the event space’s menu. The 12,000-square-foot loft, penthouse, and heated roof deck with a retractable glass enclosure will continue to be available to rent.
Avli has established a winning model in Lincoln Park, River North, West Loop, Lakeshore East, and suburban Winnetka. Alexakis and his team will now determine what parts of that model they’ll apply in Fulton Market.
Despite Avli’s prominence, it won’t be the only modern Greek game in the neighborhood. Fulton Market is also home to Lyra, a Mykonos-inspired restaurant from DineAmic Hospitality (Bar Siena, Prime & Provisions), and Nisos, a tribute to the Greek islands from the team behind the Hampton Social mini-chain. Meanwhile, Greektown keeps moving in the shadow of Randolph Street and Fulton Market.
Alexakis, who is hesitant to specify a launch date, says they’re hopeful for a spring 2024 opening: “We’re just starting,” he says.
Avli Fulton Market, 950-954 W. Fulton Market, Scheduled to open in spring 2024.
CLARIFICATION: The Avli team has leased out the building, not purchased it.