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80 Proof Bows Out of Old Town and Seven More Restaurant Closures

A running log of restaurant and bar closings across Chicago

A sign illustration overlaying a restuarant image reads Sorry We’re Closed. Brittany Holloway-Brown/Eater

Despite the charms of Chicago winter (see: cozy fireplaces, hot drinks, cuddling), the coldest season is always a challenging time for the city’s hospitality industry. It’s hard to lure customers out of their homes when it’s freezing outside, exacerbating the already razor-thin margins of many local restaurants.

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 fall closures, go here.

February 15

Around Town: Three franchise locations of fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken closed abruptly in February in Bronzeville (300 E. 35th Street), Chatham (8307 S. King Drive), and Greater Grand Crossing (7508 S. Lafayette Street), according to Crain’s. The same franchisee behind all three locations decided to close the restaurants, a rep tells reporters.

Near North Side: Grammar, the all-day cafe serving chilaquiles, bagel sandwiches, and Detroit-style pizza inside premiere Chicago antique store Architectural Artifacts, will permanently close in March as owner Stuart Grannen prepares to relocate the business to Round Top, Texas, according to multiple media reports. Grannen, who opened the business 37 years ago in Ravenswood, relocated his shop in 2018 to a historic schoolhouse at 323 W. Hill Street that also housed an antique showroom, a pickleball court, and private event spaces.

Old Town: 80 Proof, a two-level bar and restaurant known for its bountiful brunch buffet and a solid happy hour, is permanently closed after seven years at 1500 N. Wells Street, reps announced Wednesday on Instagram. This was a joint venture between Four Corners (Benchmark, Brickhouse Tavern) and Hogsalt Hospitality (Au Cheval, Gilt Bar) who opened the venue in 2018 to replace two-year-old SteakBar. Reps did not elaborate on the reasons behind the closure. “It’s with bittersweet emotions that we announce the end of an era,” the post reads. “After seven wonderful years, we have made the difficult decision to cease our operations effective immediately.”

Rogers Park: Archie’s Cafe, a six-year-old coffee house and gathering spot for artists, will close in August at 1228 W. Loyola Avenue, according to Block Club Chicago. Loyola University purchased the building and intends to raze it once all its current leases expire, the university’s vice president of capital planning told The Loyola Phoenix. In addition to Archie’s, the structure houses Roman Susan art space, Edge Art Gallery, and 35 apartments. Supporters of the cafe aim to raise $20,000 via GoFundMe “to help compensate for the unanticipated dissolving of the business, livelihood, and debt incurred.”

Streeterville: After more than two decades of serving classical French fare to downtown diners, French restaurant Le Petit Paris permanently closed on January 1 on the ground floor of the Plaza on DeWitt high-rise at 260 E. Chestnut Street, owner Alain Sitbon announced on OpenTable. An intimate spot favored by those in search of a romantic date night, it was known as a place where couples could linger over bistro favorites like coque au vin rouge and boeuf bourguignon or while away the hours over glasses of French wine.

West Town: Casual Asian-Cajun seafood boil restaurant Spicy Fingers Seafood Kitchen is permanently closed and brown paper is taped over its windows at 1549 W. Chicago Avenue. It debuted in 2019 toward the tail end of a seafood boil boom in Chicago, ushered in by spots like The Angry Crab, which closed in 2023 after eight years.

January 31

Edgewater: Mango Pickle, a multiyear Michelin Bib Gourmand honoree known for modern Indian cuisine, will permanently close after service on Sunday, February 4, at 5842 N. Broadway Street, owners Marisa Paolillo and Nakur Patel announced in an email newsletter. Founded in 2016, the restaurant garnered a following for its ability to balance a casual atmosphere with ambitious techniques, including whole-animal butchery. “We’ll be venturing into new culinary endeavors and adventures, including ‘eclectic pop-ups,’ culinary training, and catering in 2024,” Paolillo writes.

Hyde Park: Jade Court, one of the city’s top Chinese restaurants, will close at the end of February inside the Harper Court development that’s owned by the University of Chicago, says owner Carol Cheung. The restaurant faced numerous difficulties, including adequate staffing and rising food and labor costs.

Lincoln Square: Cafe Selmarie owner Birgit Kobayashi has announced her intention to close the neighborhood bakery favorite around mid-February, though a closing date is not yet finalized, according to Block Club Chicago. Kobayashi first notified fans in the fall that she planned to retire and shut down the cafe in 2024 after 40 years at 4729 N. Lincoln Avenue. She and co-founder Jeanne Uzdawinis founded Cafe Selmarie when they were 29 and introduced the neighborhood to its first espresso machine.

Lincoln Square: Chef Darnell Reed announced on Tuesda that he would close Luella’s Southern Kitchen, a culinary ode to his grandmother, in October after nine years at 4609 N. Lincoln Avenue. Nevertheless, he’s on the hunt for a new location.

River North: Etta, a high-profile daytime spot known for brunch and food cooked in a wood-burning oven, has closed its outpost in River North after more than three years at 700 N. Clark Street. The news came as a surprise to employees, several of whom say management alerted them just hours before their shifts were scheduled to begin.

River North: French restaurant and wine bar Marchesa permanently closed on Saturday, January 20, after six years at 535 N. Wells Street, restaurant manager Francisco Montiel and partner Kathryn Alvera announced in a Facebook post. A gallery-style space with an Art Deco bent, Marchesa opened in 2016, filling the long-vacant former home of Crofton on Wells. “We will always be grateful that after the pandemic we were able to continue with our dream, and indeed grow our business to new heights, but bankrolling a dream such as this one can be cost-prohibitive,” they write in part. “Having the honor of taking care of each of you has been the privilege of a lifetime for our entire team.”

South Loop: Thai restaurant stalwart Siam Rice will permanently close on Wednesday, January 31, at 1906 S. State Street after more than two decades in business so its owners can retire, they announced on Instagram. Originally located on North Wells in the Loop, Siam Rice relocated in 2021 and took over a former outpost of Opart Thai House.

Uptown/Palos Heights: Meat-free street food spot Meek’s Vegan Kitchen has permanently closed its stall inside Uptown’s newish vegan food hall XMarket, as well as its original location in suburban Palos Heights, owners announced in an Instagram post. “While this chapter closes, the spirit of Meek’s lives on in our hearts and memories,” it reads. “We’re immensely grateful for the journey we’ve shared with you.”

January 19

Lincoln Park: Local mini-chain Broken English Taco Pub is closed after seven years at 2576 N. Lincoln Avenue, reps announced in early January on Instagram. The third iteration of Adolfo Garcia and Phil Stefani’s taco-focused cantina marked by a frenetic approach to design, the restaurant opened in 2017 following sister spots in the Loop and Old Town, which remain open.

Logan Square: Passion House Coffee Roasters will permanently close its Logan Square cafe on Wednesday, January 31 after seven years at 2631 N. Kedzie Avenue, according to owner Joshua Millman. The cafe was the first from Passion House, opening in 2017 in the former Bow Truss coffee space. The company also had an outpost inside shuttered food hall Politan Row. Millman says the closure will allow him to focus on the brand’s five-year-old Goose Island cafe located off Division Street and finally unveil a long-awaited new cafe in March in the same building as its roasting plant in Fulton Market. “As this chapter closes, we wish to thank each and every one of you who contributed in helping Logan become an integral part of Passion House’s evolution, and we to see each of you again in the not too distant future,” Millman writes on Instagram.

January 18

Fulton Market: Well-known West Town sushi spot Arami, one of the original vendors at Time Out Market Chicago when the food hall debuted in 2019, has exited its stall at 916 W. Fulton Market after five years. The hall has seen significant turnover throughout its tenure and has already filled the vacancy with a new sushi restaurant, Madai.

Gold Coast: Cafe Sophie, a European-style all-day cafe originally from the company behind splashy steakhouse Maple & Ash, is permanently closed. After an ownership split at Maple & Ash’s parent company, the cafe was no longer affiliated with the Gold Coast steakhouse as the the cafe was operated by partner David Pisor’s reformed company which also includes Etta. Pisor says River North has changed since the pandemic, with folks worried about safety and a lack of foot traffic. He also points to challenges with the building and his growing frustration over spending more money on the space. In July 2022, Pisor’s attorneys blamed design flaws in the building for the cafe’s failures.

A European-style cafe space.
Cafe Sophie first opened in 2022.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Lakeview: Casual Chicago mini-chain Big & Little’s has permanently closed its last standalone location at 1034 W. Belmont Avenue after a decade and removed the address from its website. The brand’s sole remaining outpost is at Midway Airport.

Logan Square: Roundhouse, a neighborhood sports bar that garnered local attention for unusual food like Italian beef fried rice, is permanently closed after a year at 2535 N. Milwaukee Avenue, according to a former employee. A replacement for 12-year-old fixture Rocking Horse, Roundhouse sought to channel Chicago’s dive bar culture with an ownership group that shared investors with the now-shuttered Uproar in Old Town.

Portage Park: American comfort food spot Bluebird has temporarily closed its second location after a wiring-related fire in early January gutted its space at 3938 N. Central Avenue, according to Block Club Chicago. First responders extinguished the blaze and reported no injuries. Owner Zachary Lucchese-Soto, also behind the original Bluebird in Lakeview, tells reporters that he intends to rebuild and reopen in five or six months. He also aims to raise $3,000 via GoFundMe to help support his staff during the closure.

Rogers Park: An outpost of breakfast chain restaurant Honey Berry Cafe is permanently closed after just four months at 6606 N. Sheridan Road, according to Block Club Chicago. Both Honey Berry Cafe and its predecessor, Bulldog Ale House, are owned by Midwestern restaurant company WeEat Hospitality Group, which operates more than a dozen locations in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Texas.

Chicago Heights: Chicago street food stalwart Enzo’s will close in March at 1710 Chicago Road in suburban Chicago Heights after nearly 80 years in business, third-generation owner Kyle Hallberg tells the Tribune. His grandfather, Enzo Tribo, started selling Italian beef in 1946 inside an old body shop. By the late 1960s, Tribo moved across the street into the former EZ Snack diner, which he bought with business partner Albert Tocco, an infamous local figure in his own right. Enzo’s last day will be Sunday, March 31, according to a Facebook post.

Mango Pickle

5842 North Broadway, , IL 60660 (773) 944-5555 Visit Website

Time Out Market Chicago

916 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 (312) 637-3888 Visit Website

Etta River North

700 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60645 312-766-4444 Visit Website

Cafe Selmarie

4729 North Lincoln Avenue, , IL 60625 (773) 989-5595 Visit Website

Maple & Ash

8 West Maple Street, , IL 60610 (312) 944-8888 Visit Website

Broken English Taco Pub

75 E Lake St, Chicago, IL 60601 (312) 929-3601

Cafe Sophie

847 N. State Street, Chicago, IL (312) 262-7610 Visit Website

Roundhouse

2535 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647 773-770-9182 Visit Website

Passion House Coffee Roasters

2631 North Kedzie Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 698-6649 Visit Website

Marchesa

535 North Wells Street, , IL 60654 (312) 527-9535 Visit Website