Supply chain. Work. Omicron. No classes at the Chicago Public School. Starting a restaurant is never easy, but for Chicago’s hospitality community, the difficulty has increased over the past few weeks. Anyway, 2022 offers a chance to break out of this lull as there are plenty of restaurant projects across town for the year ahead to look forward to. Here are some of the more prominent restaurants up and about to open in 2022.
Listed in alphabetical order.
Address: 3325 N. Southport, Lakeview
Main actors: Boka Restaurant Group, Chef Lee Wolen
Boka, one of the city’s most decorated restaurant groups, is betting on post-pandemic recovery with several projects, including a triple threat in Lakeview. They have taken over the historic site in Southport Lanes and are planning three restaurants that will open in stages. The first is GG’s Chicken Shop, a spin-off of a pandemic discharge center that operated in Boka, Lincoln Park. Lakeview and the Southport Corridor are family-friendly, and side-fried fried chicken seems to do the trick.
The company has yet to make a formal announcement about the other two restaurants that are slated inside. Property has stressed that these venues will be different, don’t look for a furnished dining hall. Boka is looking for a summer opening.
Address: 4420 S. Cottage Grove Avenue, Bronzeville
Main actors: Eric Williams, Cecilia Cuff, Anika Ellison
Pandemic delays continue to change plans for this wine bar and restaurant, something that could turn the tide for Bronzeville and the entire South Side. Wine bars are scared south of Madison, and Bronzeville Winery wants a relaxed atmosphere where friends can hang out and enjoy fine bites without being too snotty. Co-owner Eric Williams is the owner of the Silver Room, a well-respected Hyde Park store with strong ties to the Black community.
Address: 847 N. State Street, River North
Key Players: What if Syndicate, Head Chef Danny Grant
Maple & Ash is expensive and over the top with decadent steaks and wines. Etta is a Swiss Army Knife in Bucktown and River North, good for families and dates. Chef Danny Grant and Co. hope that their latest idea, Café Sophie, will fill the next niche: everyday dining. It’s a European-style café with a fully equipped kitchen – pastries and breakfast rolls with homemade bread. Grant wants to open multiple locations and turn this cafe into a beacon in the neighborhood. Grant hopes to open in mid-March.
Address: 2853 N. Kedzie Avenue, Logan Square
Key player: Jonathan Zaragoza
Jonathan Zaragoza has hosted pop-ups to preview his new Mexican-American restaurant but has hidden the address from much of the public. Well, an application for a liquor license and a Google listing solved that puzzle – it was the room that was last jam and before that yusho. When will guests be able to try delicacies like the Pamburguesa (Slagel Farm Smash Burger, Telera buns with guajillo stains, white onions, American cheese, salsa, pickles)? It should be ready soon in January. Zaragoza’s family owns the iconic Birrieria Zaragoza, which brings delicious goat tacos to the market. Zaragoza also ran the kitchen at the now closed Masa Azul in Logan Square.
Address: 504 N. Wells Street, River North
Main actors: Boka Restaurant Group, Chef Daniel Rose
Boka Restaurant Group, the James Beard Award-winning company that has worked with chefs like Stephanie Izard (Girl & the Goat), is making waves outside of Chicago with openings in LA and on the East Coast, but they haven’t forgotten the home team. You are taking over the former space in Bottled Blonde to open a bustling French bistro with a great chef. Daniel Rose from a suburb of Chicago has achieved Michelin successes in France and New York. He will be coming home to open Le Select but keep his other projects going, including Le Coucou, the 2017 Beard winner for Best New Restaurant. Rose says he’s been influenced by Chicago’s reputation as an industrial city and architecture, and will drive that into developing his latest French menu. Boka and Rose are planning to open in late summer.
Address: 1800 W. Addison Street, Avondale
Key player: Valeria Taylor
Since 2016, Valeria Taylor’s small independent bakery in Roscoe Village has built a loyal following of delicious pastries, including mole croissants and churro challah, with inventive mixes inspired by Taylor’s Mexican heritage. In June, Taylor announced a move to a new, more spacious room to improve social distancing and install an accessible bathroom. What she couldn’t rely on was her inability to get a bank loan to pay for the move. As a last resort, she set up a GoFundMe page: her original target was $ 25,000, but the community got through and raised $ 26,927. Now Taylor is struggling with various construction delays but hopes to be ready for the opening by the spring. – Aimee Levit
Address: 905 W. Fulton Market, Fulton Market
Main actor: DineAmic Hospitality
The pandemic has delayed the opening of Lyra, a Greek restaurant owned by Bar Siena. But the ownership remains excited as it brings workers from Greece to teach American employees. The team is led by Athinagoras Kostakos and Alexis Zopas, two chefs the DineAmic team met while traveling. Wood and coal will power the solid fuel kitchen, which DineAmic co-founder Luke Stoioff is very enthusiastic about.
Address: 3518 S. Halsted Street, Bridgeport
Key Players: Chef Kevin Hickey, Brandon Phillips, Our Revival Chicago LLC, and Baum Revision LLC.
Chef Kevin Hickey (The Duck Inn) says his menu is ready – there will be a chilli section – when he reopens the Ramova Grill in the 90-year-old Ramova Theater, which is being remodeled for $ 23 million. Hickey has a penchant for the area and wants to bring back some of those culinary memories, including some Lithuanian flavors of yesteryear. Expect old school diner specials too. Hickey’s longtime collaborator Brandon Phillips is working on drinks, and Hickey says Phillips is ready to serve the cocktails that will blow the concertgoers away. There is also a riddle: a brewery has signed up for the project. Though Hickey doesn’t reveal a name, he says the brewery isn’t from Chicago but is a nationally known brand. Look out for a debut in late 2022 as construction began in October.
Main actors: Mindy Segal
Address: 1623 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Bucktown
Mindy Segal opened a new page with the closure of Mindy’s HotChocolate, as the renowned baker wanted to invest more energy in baked goods than running a full-service restaurant. She takes over the former Red Hen Bakery and equips it with more modern equipment so that she can prepare bagels, cookies, breads and more goodies. Of course, her weekend business outside her former restaurant continues to draw limits on Saturdays. But as soon as their bakery opens – Segal says at the end of February or beginning of March – customers no longer have to wait for the weekend.
Main actors: Maryellis Bunn
Address: 435 N. Michigan Avenue, Magnificent Mile
The historic former home of the Chicago grandstand has been overhauled by the developers to create a vivid metaphor for the state of journalism. The Museum of Ice Cream will take up 13,544 square feet of that space and promises to be an adventure packed full of Instagram-worthy sites. There’s a museum in New York, and while the space is steeped in history (something management is trying to work on), it promises good, clean touristy fun along the Mag Mile. There might even be a Chicago-style ice cream hot dog to hit the local spotlight. Expect a summer debut.
Main actors: Oliver and Nicolas Poilevey
Address: 700 N. Sedgwick Street, River North
Brothers Oliver and Nicolas Poilevey grew up around the restaurant as their parents owned the legendary French restaurants Le Sardine and Le Bouchon. Sardine has closed during the pandemic, but Le Bouchon continues to keep its Bucktown customers happy. Oliver Poilevey says he didn’t want to open another French restaurant, but when the former Entente room was offered, he changed his mind. Obelix serves French food from the Poilevy kids’ perspective through the eyes of a Chicagoer. So while classic dishes are on the menu, expect a more modern American twist. Look for an opening in February.
Main actors: Urbanspace
Address: 233 S. Wacker Drive
After opening its first Food Hall in Chicago in the Loop in 2021, Urbanspace continues to work on the opening of its second Food Hall, this time in the tallest skyscraper in the city. The second level has 12,000 square feet for vendors including Roberta’s Pizza to serve downtown workers and tourists. This project is based on the return of a certain semblance of normalcy to life for travelers and office workers. With this in mind, Urbanspace plans to open in late spring (pending supply chain problems).