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Fancy Plants Vegan in Lincoln Park and Four More Restaurant Closures

A running log of restaurant and bar closing across Chicago

the inside of Fancy Plants Kitchen
Fancy Plants Kitchen is closing.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Summertime — Chicago’s busiest hospitality season — has arrived, and the city’s diners flocking to patios, bars, and dining rooms to celebrate the occasion. But even warm and sunny days aren’t always enough to counter the challenges facing the industry, including inflated food costs and ongoing staffing shortages.

Below, Eater is cataloging both temporary and permanent restaurant closures in Chicago. If you know of a restaurant, bar, or another closed food establishment, please email chicago@eater.com. We will continue to update this post.

For spring closures, go here.

September 6

Albany Park: Marie’s Pizza & Liquors has been closed since March as ownership copes with an ill family member, Block Club Chicago reports. Ownership vows to reopen but wasn’t sure when that would happen.

Lincoln Park: After expanding its hours to the morning and afternoon while adding breakfast and sandwiches to its menu, Fancy Plants Kitchen is closing. Owner and chef Kevin Schuder announced via Facebook on Tuesday. Fancy Plants Cafe in Lakeview remains unaffected. It’s a sad state for vegan restaurants which loses an ambitious dinner option that provided the community with more than the junk food meat substitutes that chains offer. Their last day will be Sunday, September 10. Schuder tells Eater that he’s open to new opportunities, to perhaps give a seasoned restaurant company wanting to open a vegan restaurant some advice. Stay tuned. As astute readers point out, there are places — like Soul Veg City and Majani — that serve all day. What made Fancy Plants’ unique was the morning hours, coursed-out plated dinners at night, and its liquor license.

Lincoln Square: A pillar of the neighborhood, Fork, has closed. The restaurant debuted in 2011 and provided Lincoln Square with a steady menu of New American favorites for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Back in 2016, the owners had a second restaurant, called Knife. The name stirred a little bit of controversy with a certain celebrity chef from Texas.

Fulton Market: Time Out Chicago continues to see shuffles. Its morning bakery anchor, Bittersweet Pastry Shop, is leaving. Don’t fret for Bittersweet which just renovated its Lakeview flagship and has plans for Pilsen. The food hall has shuffled vendors into the bakery space — Lost Larson was an occupant for a while.

Wicker Park: Debanoair Social Club, which has been closed since early August following a shooting outside the bar, is permanently closed. Block Club has details about the shooting, a rent increase, and building code violations.

August 29

Andersonville: Prominent Persian dining destination Reza’s Restaurant is permanently closed at 5255 N. Clark Street after 40 years of bountiful lunch buffets, big family meals, and wedding celebrations, owner Ryan Toulabi announced Monday, August 28 on Facebook. The restaurant was one of the oldest Persian restaurants in Chicago, known for its distinctive high ceilings and plentiful portions of lamb koubideh, kashkeh bodehjam, and sweet bamieh.

A neighborhood institution since its 1983 founding by Reza Toulabias, Reza’s has ebbed and flowed over the years, expanding in 2004 to suburban Oakbrook, and in 2021, to Evanston. It also operated outposts in River North and Lincoln Park, both of which have since closed. The Andersonville restaurant has also undergone a rocky road as of late. In July 2022, the Illinois Department of Revenue revoked its state business registration due to allegations of state tax law violations. Nearly simultaneously, the Chicago Department of Buildings ordered its building “off limits” over code violations such as exposed electrical wiring.

Commercial real estate investor Mitch Goltz purchased the building earlier in 2023, according to Block Club Chicago, and in early July the restaurant exited the corner space at Clark and Berwyn to consolidate operations into the adjacent dining room. That plan didn’t last long, but local fans won’t have to entirely give up Reza’s — its suburban restaurants will continue offering delivery to the Andersonville area.

West Ridge: Northwest Side landmark Fondue Stube, a Christmas light-spangled specialist in tabletop pots of melted cheese and skewered ingredients for dipping, permanently closed after more than 50 years on Sunday, July 30 at 2717 W. Peterson Avenue, longtime owner Carol Hiyama Martorelli announced on the restaurant’s website. Martorelli, whose family took over the business five years after its founding in 1972, had attempted to close Fondue Stube in 2010 but got such an earful from loyal fans that she decided to keep the restaurant open. A dining style that originated in Switzerland, fondue is increasingly difficult to find in Chicago, save for strongholds like Geja’s Cafe, around for nearly six decades, and The Melting Pot, a chain with locations in suburban Schaumburg and Downers Grove.

“Thank all of you so very much, our loyal customers, all these years for your support,” Hiyama Martorelli writes. “You have been our inspiration. Equally, thank you to our staff over all these years as well, many of whom became family and were with us for a long time. You’re in our thoughts as we move on to our next chapter.”

August 7

Bucktown: Casual neighborhood spot Shawarma Inn is permanently closed and staff have papered over the windows at 2011 N. Damen Avenue. Founded in 2015, the restaurant was a hit for both dine-in and delivery patrons with generous platters, wraps, and kebabs. A sister location remains open in Lincoln Square.

Chinatown: Seven Treasures, an adored Cantonese restaurant stalwart for more than 40 years, will permanently close on Tuesday, August 15 at 2312 S. Wentworth Avenue so its owners can retire, according to the Chicago Chinatown neighborhood group. A bare-bones destination for hits like wonton noodle soup and its famous 554, a plate of steamed rice with char siu pork and two fried eggs served into the wee hours of the morning.

North Park: Mexican restaurant Taqueria Las Flores is closed after a fire on the morning of Saturday, August 5 “absolutely destroyed” its space at 3352 W. Foster Avenue, owner Jazmin Flores announced on social media. Flores, whose family owns Taqueria El Asadero in North Center, founded Las Flores in 2019 as a tribute to her own Mexican heritage and her family’s hospitality industry legacy. She aims to raise $150,000 on GoFundMe to help support herself and her staff as they enter an uncertain new phase. “I’m not sure what’s next for us, where we are going, and if we will re-open under Las Flores; but we’re grateful for the support and love pouring from the community,” she writes Monday, August 7 on Instagram. “But for now, we need time to grieve for the place we so lovingly nurtured that is now a boarded-up corpse with pieces of us buried underneath the rubble.”

Pilsen: Lo Rez Brewing, a local indie beer brand from a pair of former tech workers, will permanently close after service on Sunday, September 3 at 2101 S. Carpenter Street, co-founder Dave Dahl announced on Instagram. Dahl and business partner Kevin Lily opened Lo Rez in 2017 with a spare, spacious tap room and a lineup of beers with names drawn from their former industry like Memory Fault, Daemon, and Local Logic. Fans can expect to say their final goodbyes at a series of closing events. “In a nutshell, Lo Rez is a COVID casualty,” Dahl writes in part. “Our income is down, our expenses are up, we’re too far out of whack. Lo Rez is no longer financially viable.”

July 27

Andersonville: Land & Lake Andersonville, LM Restaurant Group’s neighborhood outpost of Loop restaurant Land & Lake Kitchen, permanently closed on Sunday, July 23 after two years at 5420 N. Clark Street, reps announced on Instagram. The space previously housed Passerotto, chef Jennifer Kim’s enigmatic restaurant that earned recognition from Michelin as a Bib Gourmand and the James Beard Foundation as a nominee for Best New Restaurant in 2019. Kim closed Passerotto in 2020 after three years.

Gladstone Park: North Branch Fried Chicken, one of Chicago’s top spots for crispy fried birds, will permanently close on Friday, July 28 at 5481 N. Northwest Highway after three years, according to Block Club Chicago. Though they overcame significant challenges in opening a restaurant during the early stages of the pandemic, spouses and co-owners Yvonne Aparicio and John Badal tell reporters that a number of factors contributed to the closure: utility costs, the absence of a liquor license (a significant moneymaker for restaurateurs), and the couples’ desire to start a family in the near future.

Rogers Park: Asahi Roll, a casual sushi spot at 6803 N. Sheridan Road, is permanently closed after eight years so its owners can retire, they announced online. Founded in 2015, the restaurant served maki, hand rolls, and Japanese noodles alongside teriyaki and Korean dishes.

Rogers Park: Plant-filled neighborhood haven Sol Cafe permanently closed on Sunday, July 23 after a decade at 1615 W. Howard Street at the end of the CTA Red Line, owners announced on Instagram. They also aim to raise $15,000 on GoFundMe to help staff members following the closure. “Over the last year, we’ve experienced 2 burglaries, and 2 shootouts with extensive damage to our storefront that we’ve refrained from speaking on to not further the anti-Howard Street rhetoric,” they write. “We’ve also experienced multiple floodings that have caused extensive water damage to the interior of our cafe and truthfully more heartache than it’s worth fighting to keep our doors open. It’s been an honor serving you, Rogers Park.”

West Loop: Bottle shop and wine bar Juice @ 1340 closed in late May after nearly two years at 1340 W. Madison Street, though owners promise that a new location is in the works, they announced on Instagram. Co-founded in 2021 by hospitality veterans Derrick Westbrook, Tim Williams, and Danielle Lewis, Juice @ 1340 served as a next-generation slashie — Chicago’s distinctive hybrid bar and liquor stores — with private events and pop-ups. Details on the new spot are not yet public, but Westbrook is continuing to collaborate on events around town.

West Town: Italian stalwart Bella Notte Ristorante is permanently closed just weeks shy of its 28th anniversary at 1374 W. Grand Avenue as its owners prepare for a move to suburban Downers Grove, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Co-owners and brothers Victor and Ramon Aguirre, as well as their father, Ramon Aguirre Sr., told reporters that steep permit costs and fines from the city have become a significant problem for the business, as well as concerns about crime, high third-party delivery fees, and a dearth of fans visiting the nearby United Center. An immigrant who arrived in the U.S. at age 15, Aguirre Sr. founded Bella Notte in 1995 and several of the restaurant’s alumni have gone on to open their restaurants, including Volare Ristorante Italiano, Chicago Cut Steakhouse, and Gio’s Cafe & Deli.

Wicker Park: Canadian chain Kinton Ramen, known for customizable bowls and izakaya-style small plates, has permanently closed its outpost at 1426 N. Milwaukee Avenue after four years, with staff papering over its windows and posting signs announcing the shutter. Kinton made its U.S. debut in 2019, originally landing in West Loop before expanding that same year to Wicker Park. Fortunately for fans, the West Loop location remains open.

Knife

4343 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (773) 799-8283

mEAT

215 E Chestnut St, Chicago, IL 60611 Visit Website

Fancy Plants Kitchen

1443 West Fullerton Avenue, , IL 60614 (773) 857-0486 Visit Website

Reza's Restaurant

5255 North Clark Street, , IL 60640 (773) 561-1898 Visit Website

Fancy Plants Cafe

613 West Briar Place, , IL 60657 (773) 857-1588 Visit Website

KINTON RAMEN

163 North Sangamon Street, , IL 60607 (312) 374-3942 Visit Website

Land & Lake Andersonville

5420 North Clark Street, , IL 60640 (708) 607-2102 Visit Website

Fork

4600 North Lincoln Avenue, , IL 60625 (773) 751-1500 Visit Website

Lo Rez Brewing

2101 S Carpenter St, Chicago, IL 60608

Juice @ 1340

1340 W. Madison Street, Chicago, IL 60607 Visit Website

North Branch Fried Chicken

5481 North Northwest Highway, , IL 60630 (773) 853-0360 Visit Website

Lost Larson

2140 West Division Street, , IL 60622 (773) 770-9015 Visit Website

Brunch

644 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 265-1411 Visit Website

Seven Treasures Cantonese Restaurant

2312 South Wentworth Avenue, , IL 60616 (312) 225-2668 Visit Website

Asahi Roll

6803 North Sheridan Road, , IL 60626 (773) 654-3649 Visit Website

Soul Veg City

203 East 75th Street, , IL 60619 (773) 224-0104 Visit Website