Sweater weather, spooky season — whatever one wants to call it, autumn is here. Changing leaves and perfectly crisp weather make for a charming lead-up to the inevitable winter doldrums, and Chicagoans are soaking up every second of fall fun at the city’s bars and restaurants.
Nevertheless, the hospitality industry remains a challenging and competitive place. 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 email@example.com. We will continue to update this post.
For summer closures, go here.
Calumet Heights: Plant-Based Junkie has closed its shop at 1635 1/2 E. 87th Street and its owners have announced they’re moving to Houston. The restaurant was a vegan favorite.
Lincoln Park: Kong Dog has closed its Lincoln Park location at 2411 N. Clark Street. The location’s windows are papered over and it's been removed from the chain’s website. Fans of Korean corn dogs shouldn’t worry as they are locations in Rosemont, Chinatown, and Little Italy.
Franklin Park: Jake’s Pizza has ended a 57-year run in the suburban Franklin Park, 9802 Grand Avenue. The location, not affiliated with the larger Jake’s Pizza chain, was known for its thin-crust pies.
Avondale: Metropolitan Brewing, a 15-year-old German-style beer maker that has for years been locked in a contentious lease dispute, will permanently close its taproom at 3057 N. Rockwell Street on Sunday, December 17. Owners and ex-spouses Doug and Tracy Hurst announced the closure in a post on X earlier this month. Known for its prime position overlooking the Chicago River, the taproom debuted in 2017 with a dozen rotating taps and rustic communal tables inside Rockwell on the River, a sprawling development that also houses Metropolis Coffee Company and Judson & Moore Distillery.
In addition to the widespread beer-industry challenges brought by the pandemic, Metropolitan has faced a litany of financial issues. The brewery filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October and owes more than $1.3 million to a North Carolina bank and the Small Business Administration, according to the Tribune. In 2020, the business was served with an eviction notice that called on Metropolitan to pay an outstanding balance of more than $800,000 in five days or lose the taproom space. At the time, Tracy Hurst told reporters that the notice resulted from the development company overcharging rent on her business for years — in 2015, she signed a lease for a 24,000-square-foot space while the building’s landlord charged rent for 33,000 square feet. “We have no current plans to rebuild or revive Metropolitan Brewing in a different location, so if you like our beer — come load up!” the owners write in a farewell thread. “We are deeply sorry that we couldn’t see our way through this current situation. We tried. For years. But now it’s time to turn toward new adventures.”
Friends, fans, and family,— Metro Brewing (@MetroBrewing) November 14, 2023
We’re here to confirm that we’ve been unable to resolve our differences with our landlord, and are left with no choice but to close our business. The last day our tap room will be open is Sunday, December 17th from 11am to 9pm. pic.twitter.com/pQAnKTzAQg
Lakeview: Legendary LGBTQ nightclub Berlin is permanently closed after nearly 40 years of dancing, drag, and inclusive community at 954 W Belmont Avenue, owners Jim Schuman and Jo Webster announced Tuesday, November 21 on Instagram. The sudden curtain drop arrives after months of escalating tension between management and unionized Berlin workers, who in April voted to join Unite Here Local 1. “The party ended at 5 a.m., November 19, 2023 – nearly forty years and more than 10,000 nights from when it all began...” Schuman and Webster write. “The expenses of increased security, insurance and licensing, equipment, rent and more cannot be overestimated and we could not imagine morphing the bar into a bottle service, VIP area venue. So the doors are locked. The music is silenced and our dreams are now memories.”
In a statement posted on its own Instagram account, the union expressed dismay over the events, writing that employees were only informed of the closure after the club’s last dance. “The workers of Berlin are heartbroken to hear of Jim and Jo’s decision to permanently and abruptly close this historic institution,” the post reads. “That is the wrong decision... We continue to believe that businesses that refuse to value our work above minimum wage do not belong in our community.” Stay tuned for more on this story.
West Town: Nostalgic neighborhood hit Split-Rail, a popular corner spot for fried chicken, matzo ball soup, and potent cocktails, will permanently close on Sunday, December 10 after six and a half years at 2500 W. Chicago Avenue, chef and owner Zoe Schor announced on Instagram. “It’s no secret that this industry — while wholly beautiful in the core of gathering, drinking, and dining — is challenging,” Schor writes, calling specific attention to the extreme demands brought by the pandemic and mitigation policies. “We believe our time has come to an end serving our neighbors in this way while feeling deep gratitude for everyone who shifted with the times right along with us.”
Founded in 2017 by Schor (Ada Street) and longtime friend Michelle Szot, Split-Rail evolved over its tenure, initially debuting under the banner of “New Americana” before temporarily closing to shift years a year later to refocus on crispy fried poultry, a dish that became synonymous with the lively, casual restaurant. Schor is also behind subterranean lesbian cocktail bar Dorothy, which will remain open. In the meantime, she and wife Whitney LaMora have also announced their new hospitality collective, Drinking Policy. Stay tuned for more on Schor’s next steps.
Lincoln Square: Owners at the Fifty/50 Group will permanently close its Lincoln Square outpost of Quad Cities-style pizza mini-chain Roots Handmade Pizza and neighborhood cocktail bar The Sixth on Monday, November 13 at 2200 W. Lawrence Avenue, they announced on Facebook. The pizzeria and cocktail bar opened in 2015, with the former serving malted-crust style pies cut into strips and the latter carving out a niche with irreverent pop-culture-themed cocktails and pop-ups like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and The Princess Bride. “Navigating business growth in such a dynamic neighborhood has had its challenges, yet the unwavering support we’ve received over the past seven years has been nothing short of extraordinary,” they write. “We’ve unfortunately made the decision that it is time for us to close our doors.”
Magnificent Mile: The Grand Lux Cafe, a massive homing beacon for hungry tourists for more than two decades, will permanently close after service on Christmas Eve at 600 N. Michigan Avenue, according to reps, though the reasons behind the move remain unknown. A two-story outpost from a chain founded by the creators of the Cheesecake Factory, the Grand Lux originally debuted in Las Vegas and expanded in 2002 to Chicago. It became known for many of the same qualities that made its sister brand a hit — a spiral-bound, novel-length menu and epoch-traversing interior design — as well as its location along the city’s most well-known business corridor. Additional locations will remain open in Sin City, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Texas.
West Town: Duk’s Red Hots, the last remaining hot dog stand from what was once a 16-location Chicago mini-chain, will close on New Year’s Eve after seven decades at 636 N. Ashland Avenue, manager Carol Chavez announced on Facebook. When 2024 begins, the stand will return with new owners who plan to change the name and remodel the space, she writes. Founders and cousins Mervyn Dukatt and Donald Marsalle unveiled the West Town stand in 1954 under the name Donald Duk’s Red Hots but the duo dropped the “Donald” from its name when the famously litigious Walt Disney Company served them with a trademark infringement lawsuit. Its dedication to Chicago street food (think pizza puffs, Polishes, Italian beef, and gravy bread) drew fans for decades. In May, the stand was featured in a viral video by Vienna Beef, joining a flood of creators mimicking the cinematic style of Wes Anderson. Chavez, who has managed the stand for 20 years, expresses both sadness about the end of an era and optimism for the future. “We have watched the neighborhood change and watched generations of families come to this location to grab a bite to eat,” she writes. “We will no longer be Duk’s and we will be moving forward with the times — a change in the right direction...”
Lakeview/Hyde Park: Boston Market’s two Chicago locations are closed, along with many others across the country. The chain, which is being investigated by the Labor Department for wage theft, has closed locations in Lakeview (3020 N. Ashland Avenue) and Hyde Park (1424 E. 53rd Street). The restaurant’s website greets surfers with a slash page teasing “COMING SOON ... Something Amazing Is Being Roasted.” The chain debuted in 1985 as Boston Market, a rival to KFC in the short burst when rotisserie chicken was trendy as Americans were shunning fried foods. Eventually, the fast-casual chain changed names and added meatloaf and turkey to the menu. Sports fans should know that “rotisserie baseball,” a style of fantasy baseball, took its name during that craze.
In Lakeview, the location was known as one of the few fast-food chains with sunrooms, a relic of the ‘80s and ‘90s, something done at chains like Wendy’s to make customers feel like they were dining someplace more upscale.
Andersonville: Boca Loca Cantina, a Mexican restaurant from the hospitality group behind Hutch American Bistro and Savannah Supper Club in Lakeview, permanently closed on Tuesday, October 31 after a year at 1477 W. Winnemac Avenue, according to a Facebook post. The location previously housed an outpost of Hutch, which in 2018 replaced Cantina 1910.
Northalsted: After 14 years of raucous revelry, LGBTQ neighborhood staple D.S. Tequila Co. will hold its last service on Sunday, November 5 at 3352 N. Halsted Street, owners Stu Zirin and John Dalton announced on Instagram, writing that they plan to retain the space through the fall and winter for special events while searching for a buyer. The duo were also behind shuttered spots Crispy Chicks, Fajita Factory, Dive Bar, mEAT, Winebar, and Minibar. “It is the end of an era, but also an opportunity for a new beginning,” they write. “For those who have dreamed of owning a tavern or restaurant, this is your chance!”
Rogers Park: Beachfront cafe Ropa Cabana will not return next summer after a three-season run at 1230 W. Greenleaf Avenue, according to Block Club Chicago. Founded in 2021, the concession stand sought to fill a food void on Loyola Beach with specialty hot dogs, beignets, and espresso drinks. Owners Tobias Bechtloff and Heather Miller tell reporters that despite a strong contingent of fans in the community, operating fees associated with their three-year contract with the Chicago Park District made it too difficult to keep up with repairs and make a profit.
Oak Park: Suburban Jewish deli Fritzi’s Delicatessen will permanently close on Saturday, November 4 at 113 N. Oak Park Avenue after a year in business, owner Pauly Stern announced on Facebook. Also the owner of Lucille’s in Lincoln Park, Stern named the deli after his late father, Fritz Stern, who fled antisemitism in Austria as a child and later immigrated to the U.S. through Ellis Island. In its brief tenure, Fritzi’s accrued a following for hits like pastrami, cholent, and chicken soup with kreplach. “We started this to make our lifelong deli dreams come true,” writes Stern, “Unfortunately we chose a less than ideal time to open, smack in the middle of supply chain woes. On top of the tail end of the pandemic, we ran headlong into plenty of other challenges.”
Pilsen: Neighborhood juice bar and cafe Belli’s is permanently closed at 1850 S. Blue Island Avenue after 10 years in business as owner Alexandra Curatolo prepares to move away from Chicago. Founded in 2013, it quickly became an indie hot spot known for juices and smoothies inside Thalia Hall, and in late 2022 it relocated to a larger location with wraps and bowls. Curatolo originally planned to sell the business, according to a September post on Facebook, but has since told Block Club that she decided to close instead.
Rogers Park: Vintage video game venue Mission Control Arcade Bar is permanently closed after more than two years at 1408 W. Morse Avenue. A nostalgic and playful place with beer, cocktails, and pub grub, it was co-founded in 2021 by Katie McDonald and former Uptown Arcade owner Aaron Allen.
Uptown: Floreen’s Chicken & Roost, a restaurant featuring roast chicken and other comfort foods from restaurateur Andy Kalish, is closed after three months at 1303 W. Wilson Avenue due to serious staffing challenges. Kalish has operated numerous restaurants along the stretch of Wilson Avenue, including vegan Jewish deli Sam & Gertie’s as well as shuttered vegan spots Kal’ish (which closed in January after six years) Longacre Pizza, L/A Mex, and Sephardic Sisters.
West Town: Thee Asian Restaurant, a 12-year-old pan-Asian spot near the Bucktown border, is permanently closed at 1811 W North Avenue. Fans appreciated its diverse selection of dishes drawn from China, Thailand, Japan, and Korea.
Wicker Park: French restaurant Jack’s Bistro is closed and its dining room has been cleared out at 2056 W. Division Street. Founded in early July 2022 by first-time restaurant owners David and Michelle Nelson, Jack’s offered familiar French dishes such as ratatouille and beef Wellington as well as live music and a retractable glass roof.
Berwyn: The owners at Vesecky’s Bakery, a Czech bakery that has endured for four generations in suburban Berwyn, have announced their intention to close the business 6634 W. Cermak Road after 118 years, according to a Facebook post. Founded by the eponymous Vesecky family in 1905, the bakery specializes in Czech treats like houska and kolacky, as well as muttnicks, or hot dogs baked into a bun. The closure is slated for the end of 2023 but an official date is not yet available. “Yes, the rumors are true,” owners write. “We have decided to say goodbye to a significant chapter in our lives and retire... We appreciate your concern and value all that you have done to make Vesecky’s a success for over 100 years. “
Lakeview: After nearly four decades, ChipMonks, a fast-food restaurant on Diversey and Sheridan Road, is no more. The sign, once a tribute to Alvin from the Alvin and Chipmunks cartoon, is gone, and the walls are papered up. The restaurant served hot dogs, subs, and affordable pasta at 438 N. Diversey Parkway. The 38-year-old restaurant debuted in 1985 as “The Chipmunks.” But as with Duk’s Red Hots (nee Donald Duk’s), big animation and its attorneys can be be influential when it comes to protecting IPs.
Lakeview: There’s a mystery surrounding Renaldi’s Pizza at 2827 N. Broadway. The storefront has been closed since September, and a sign — specifically, a cardboard pizza round (complete with grease stain) had gone up in the window declaring the restaurant was permanently closed. However, the sign has recently been replaced with another cardboard round reading that the 50-year-old restaurant is closed for renovations. Attempts to reach management haven’t been successful.
Forest Glen: All-day restaurant and bar Dakota 94 permanently closed on Sunday, October 8 after four years at 5304 W. Devon Avenue due to ongoing economic challenges stemming from the early years of the pandemic, according to Block Club Chicago. Co-owners Peter and Kayla Lardakis, who are also operating partners at four locations of Kanela Breakfast Club and two restaurants in Arizona, opened Dakota 94 in 2019 in the former home of Italian spot Mia Figlia.
Ravenswood: Land & Lake Ravenswood, a neighborhood location of LM Restaurant Group’s Land & Lake Kitchen in the Loop, permanently closed on Sunday, October 8 after just over a year at 1970 W. Montrose Avenue, reps announced in a statement on its website. This is the group’s second shutter of the year, following the July closure of Land & Lake Andersonville. There is, however, a bright spot for LM with the forthcoming debut of Evanston Corner Bistro on Friday, October 13 in suburban Evanston.
West Town: Chicago mini-chain Parsons’ Chicken and Fish will close a location at the end of October at 2109 W. Chicago Avenue to make way for the first local outpost of tavern-style pizzeria Dicey’s, ownership group Land and Sea Dept. announced on Instagram. The Ukrainian Village restaurant opened in 2021, with remaining sister spots in Logan Square, Lincoln Park, and Andersonville. The team is aiming for a 90-day turnaround on the space that will become Dicey’s, which first opened in 2022 in Nashville.
Wicker Park: Longtime neighborhood staple Mirai Sushi closed in late August after 24 years at 2020 W. Division Street, operators announced on Instagram. They also tease a forthcoming restaurant, promising a “new and exciting concept coming very soon!” Originally founded in 1999, the restaurant predated Chicago’s trendy, splashy omakase craze, which has led some to view it as a relic from another era. But to many others, it was a nostalgic standby with fresh ingredients, solid service, and a family-friendly atmosphere. Loyal fans can still get their fix at a sister location in Gold Coast, which remains open.
Evanston: Thomas & Dutch, the replacement for suburban farm-to-table restaurant Farmhouse Evanston, permanently closed after service on Sunday, October 8 after less than a year at 703 Church Street in suburban Evanston, according to Evanston Round Table. It was a project from Farmheads Hospitality Group, co-owners TJ Callahan and Ferdia Doherty’s 12-year-old restaurant group behind Farm Bar in River North.
Niles: Graziano’s Brick Oven Pizza will close on Monday, October 23 after three decades at 5960 W. Touhy Avenue in suburban Niles to make way for “an exciting new retail development,” owners announced on Facebook.
Edison Park: A trio of sister spots — The Curragh Irish Pub, Mexican restaurant Que Onda, and a Giordano’s franchise — are permanently closed at 6701-6709 N. Northwest Highway after the building owner sold the property, according to Block Club Chicago. Owners Paul Leongas and his sisters took over the Irish pub in 1999, launched the Giordano’s in 2013, and opened Que Onda in 2018.
Hyde Park: Nashville-style poultry mini-chain The Budlong Hot Chicken permanently closed an outpost in late July at 1301 E. 53rd Street after four years in business, according to the Hyde Park Herald. Founded in 2019, the location was the brand’s first on the South Side, joining sister restaurants in Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, and inside Revival Food Hall in the Loop. Craveworthy Brands, run by ex-Jimmy John’s CEO Gregg Majewski, purchased The Budlong in 2022.
Lake Shore East: Carlucci Chicago has closed its doors across the street for Millennium Park. Veteran chef Joe Carlucci opened the restaurant in 2021 at 400 E. Randolph Street. The original restaurant closed in 1997 in Lincoln Park and the chef also worked at Charlie’s Ale House. There are signs up at on the restaurant’s windows thanking customers for two years of patronage.
Lincoln Square: Mexican restaurant El Xangarrito will permanently close on Saturday, September 30 after nearly three years at 4811 N. Rockwell Street, co-owners and spouses Rogelio and Erika Benitez announced in early September on Instagram. The couple opened the restaurant in November 2020 and carved out a niche in the neighborhood with their. menu of tacos, moles, and enchiladas. Their hospitality careers, however, will continue. “We know this notice might be shocking to many if not all of you, but we know it’s the right decision for us as a family for now,” they write. “We have a big project for the future, and we hope you can be there to join us.”
Wrigleyville: There will be no mad dash toward the playoffs for the Full Shilling Public House. After two decades in Wrigleyville, the sports bar has served last call at 3724 N. Clark Street. Beyond baseball, the bar was also to Clemson Tiger football and is pushing fans toward its sister bar, Trace, to watch NCAA action. While shutters aren’t anything new with bars closing and opening regularly, the end of a 20-year run just illustrates how much the area has changed since the Hotel Zachary opened.
Oswego: Five-year-old beer maker Oswego Brewing Company closed in late August at 61 Main Street in far suburban Oswego, which is located about an hour outside Chicago, according to the Aurora Beacon-News. Brewery managers announced the closure in a Facebook post that details the challenges the business has faced since the onset of the pandemic. “The reasons for this are many and varied, but the primary cause is this: We are a casualty of COVID,” they write. “The shutdowns severely damaged our income model, our tap room population never returned to pre-COVID numbers, and distribution revenue never rebounded to the numbers we achieved before March 2020.”