Projecting a restaurant opening just isn’t a precise science and the pandemic has solely made issues more durable. Eight out of 14 members of Eater Chicago’s most anticipated restaurant openings of 2020 have but to debut, and one which managed to open — Mundano — has completely closed. One other, Brochu’s, is in limbo searching for a brand new residence.
Whereas 2021 brings hope within the type of vaccinations, the financial panorama is much from clear. Indoor eating has remained suspended since October in Chicago, and there’s no really feel for when well being metrics will fulfill authorities officers.
The efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and shopper confidence in indoor eating are two of many variables that the restaurant trade can’t account for, and with that in thoughts, right here’s Eater Chicago’s Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings for 2021. These updates present a lot wanted constructive vibes for diners, but it surely’s vital to remain grounded. If Chicago didn’t be taught from 2020, it’s time to as soon as once more reiterate that opening dates are topic to alter.
The eating places are listed alphabetically.
Tackle: 363 E. Wacker Drive, Lakeshore East
Alinea Group (Nick Kokonas, Grant Achatz), Magellan Group
Work continues on the 101-story St. Regis Chicago (nee Vista Tower), a $1 billion skyscraper the overlooks the Chicago River. Apparently, Alinea Group had been in negotiations for years in hopes of discovering house inside the luxurious tower which is scheduled to open in late 2021. There aren’t many particulars past that Alinea will function a advantageous eating restaurant on the 18th ground and an all-day restaurant on the second ground. Names haven’t been been shared. Alinea can also be working with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises to revive Ambria in Lincoln Park. An LEYE rep had no replace on the undertaking.
Tackle: 2220 N. Clark Road, Lincoln Park
Key Gamers: Jenner Tomaska, Katrina Bravo
The husband-and-wife workforce of Jenner Tomaska and Katrina Bravo are leaning into the spirit of neighborhood, hoping to weave an appreciation for the humanities with Tomaska’s advantageous eating expertise right into a neighborhood restaurant. Esme seems on monitor for a spring debut. Tomaska, who labored at Alinea Group’s Next Restaurant, has been exhausting at work fund elevating, however not for his undertaking. He says inside 24 hours his workforce raised $13,000 for staff at Virtue in Hyde Park (Chef Erick Williams is a mentor), and the primary responders at College of Chicago hospital. There’s no replace on the menu, as Tomaska and Bravo are preaching endurance.
Tackle: 224 S. Michigan Avenue, Loop
Key Gamers: DMK Restaurant Group, Chef Brian Huston
DMK Restaurant Group had a daring concept for 2020: To convey Chicago a Japanese listening bar, fusing music with meals — and permitting prospects to take heed to a curated assortment of vinyl. They introduced on Huston, a 2015 James Beard Foundation award nominee who labored on the Publican and Boltwood in suburban Evanston. Count on an even bigger replace on the undertaking later this 12 months, however the information proper now could be the additions of two new members of the kitchen employees. Matt Pontarelli (Publican Quality Bread) is the pinnacle baker, and Gabby Sanchez is the pinnacle pastry chef. Sanchez is labored at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, California, and competed on Meals Community’s Chopped Sweets. There’s no ETA for a gap simply but.
Tackle: 110 N. Wacker Drive, West Loop
Key Gamers: José Andrés, Gibsons Restaurant Group
Andrés has continued his humanitarian efforts throughout the pandemic because the well-known chef works to feed the needy by partnering with native eating places throughout the nation. In 2020, there was buzz the Andrés was able to bring his tapas restaurant, Jaleo, to River North. There’s no replace on that, however Andrés made one other announcement: He’s teaming up with Chicago’s revered Gibsons Restaurant Group to offer the meals and beverage inside 110 N. Wacker Drive, a skyscraper that can ultimately home Financial institution of America’s Chicago workplace. Financial institution employees are nonetheless protecting out of their cubicles, one thing that would final all through 2021. Andrés and Gibsons are hoping for a extra substantial replace quickly.
Tackle: 2202 N. California Avenue, Logan Sq.
Key Gamers: Chef Christopher Thompson, Steve Lewis (Meadowlark Hospitality)
The previous Township house has been lengthy vacant in Logan Sq., and two restaurant vets — who’re additionally neighborhood residents — have large plans. Lardon will function cured meats, artisanal cheese, sandwiches, espresso, and a retail market. Chef Thompson, previously of Coda di Volpe in Lakeview (and finest identified for his work at A16 in San Francisco), can have a curing cave to create charcuterie and salumi. He’s working with Lewis who in 2017 opened Centennial Crafted Beer & Eatery in River North. They’re gearing for an “early 2021” opening, with plans to develop within the adjoining areas later within the 12 months.
Tackle: Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Avenue, Streeterville
Key Gamers: Chef Artwork Smith, George and Manolis Alpogianis of ADM Restaurant Group
It’s been 25 years since Bubba Gump Shrimp debuted on Navy Pier, and Artwork Smith believes Chicago deserves higher than a series. Smith is Oprah Winfrey’s former private chef, and has made a reputation for himself along with his southern cooking, together with fried hen that turned common on the former Desk Fifty-Two in Gold Coast. As Navy Pier hopes to draw extra locals in a world the place tourism isn’t dependable, Smith is teaming up with the group behind America’s Canine to open inside a high-volume house close to the pier’s entrance. Smith says he’s been taking part in with CBD, so anticipate some new twists. Reuion is slated for a spring opening.
Tackle: 936 W. Fulton Market, Fulton Market
Key Gamers: Chef Joe Flamm, Sancerre Hospitality
Presently in 2020, there was no identify for Flamm’s upcoming Croatian-Italian restaurant, however the former Prime Chef champion and the homeowners of BLVD deliberate to open quickly. The brand new opening date is April 1, and Flamm laughs it off that the joke was that they had been purported to debut on April’s Idiot’s Day 2020. The playbook hasn’t modified for Rose Mary, a tribute to Flamm and his spouse’s roots, giving the chef one other probability to make use of the pasta abilities he honed with chef Tony Muntuano over at Spiaggia.
Tackle: 1450 W. Chicago Avenue, Wicker Park
Key Gamers: Chef and associate Tyler Nickson, Tyler LeBlanc, Co-owners Chris Russow, George Oliveros, Samuel LeBlanc
The story of Three Home perhaps a reoccurring one in 2021, as this new workforce is taking up the house belonging to Bar Biscay — MFK’s sibling restaurant that didn’t survive the pandemic. Nickson’s household owns Wishbone — the beloved West Loop breakfast and lunch spot. LeBlanc comes over from Schwa, the Michelin-starred Bucktown restaurant. Russow owns Round Two, a boutique in Wicker Park, whereas Sam LeBlanc based the Half Evil streetwear model. The workforce needs to convey a component of cool to the realm with fried hen biscuits, smoked salmon and butter baguettes, cafe con leche French toast, and a smash burger. For 12 months, Schwa has pushed the envelope for advantageous eating, and diners will be capable to hint the lineage at Three Home. Count on a March opening.
Tackle: Carbide and Carbon Constructing, 230 N. Michigan Avenue.
Key Gamers: Chef Donald Younger, Clique Hospitality,
The previous Free Rein house contained in the Carbide and Carbon Constructing alongside Michigan Avenue will get a makeover with Venteux, whereas Clique — an organization identified for its Vegas venues — and Chicago-area native chef Donald Younger hope crowds return downtown when deemed secure. Younger has labored at notable French eating places Les Nomades and Henri, and is bringing a enjoyable and elevated method to bistro delicacies. Younger helped Temporis, a advantageous eating restaurant in West City, attain Michelin-star standing. They hope for a spring opening, and there’s a 25-seat sidewalk patio if indoor eating stays suspended.
Tackle: Roosevelt Collection, 150 W. Roosevelt Street, South Loop
Key Gamers: David Zhao, robotic servers
The X Pot was purported to convey robots serving Chinese language meals to Chicago in 2020, contained in the Roosevelt Assortment procuring and residential growth in South Loop. However the future didn’t arrive on time including to the pile of frustrations attributable to the pandemic. The idea is a port over of a preferred Las Vegas restaurant. The excellent news is there’s a focused opening day of April 5, pending metropolis inspections and different obstacles.