A 75-year-old Bridgeport institution and 3 other restaurant closures you should know about

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Summer hit Chicago like a brick wall. The weather suddenly changed from a gloomy spring to periods of very hot and moist days. That means Chicagoans are flocking to patios and hiding under umbrellas as the city’s restaurants and bars rush to keep up. Despite the promise of summer fun, the hospitality industry continues to face major challenges, including staff shortages and supply chain delays.

Below, Eater lists temporary and permanent restaurant closures in Chicago. If you know of a restaurant, bar or other food establishment that has closed since the pandemic began, please email chicago@eater.com. We will continue to update this post.

For winter closures, go here.


June 23

Around the city: Laine’s Bake Shop, the local independent bakery with a social justice bent, will close on Friday, July 15, after six years, owner Rachel Bernier-Green announced in a blog post on Tuesday. The bakery brand, which focused on hiring employees from disadvantaged communities on the south and west sides of the city, previously operated a location in Morgan Park (closed in 2017) and One Eleven Food Hall in Pullman (closed in 2020). During the early years of the pandemic, Bernier-Green refocused on online sales and offered its products at cafes like Afro Joe’s and South Shore Brew. “It’s not an easy decision, but it’s necessary,” she wrote. “Know that we remain passionate about our mission to address chronic unemployment, recidivism, and wealth inequality in Chicago’s hardest-hit neighborhoods. We hope to continue to find new ways to accomplish this mission at the ‘coming.

Laine’s Bake Shop previously had a booth inside Pullman’s One Eleven Food Hall.
Barry Brecheisen / Eater Chicago

Bridgeport: Neighborhood institution Bridgeport Restaurant, the eatery that has served White Sox residents and fans for at least 75 years at 3500 S. Halsted Street, will permanently close on Thursday, June 30, according to Block Club Chicago. Owners Irais and Josie Rodriguez, who bought the restaurant (also known as Bridgeport Family Restaurant) 15 years ago but now want to retire, put the business on the market in 2019 and still hope to sell.

Jefferson Park: NOK, the nine-year-old Persian restaurant at 6075 N. Milwaukee Avenue, closed over the weekend due to rising operating costs and staff shortages, owner Mir Naghavi told Nadig Newspapers . Its sister restaurant, Noon O Kebab in Albany Park, remains open.

Lincoln Park: Fourteen-year-old Japanese restaurant Sushi Mon is permanently closed at 2441 N. Clark Street due to a series of financial and immigration challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, ownership of which was announced in June on Facebook. “Last September, our family traveled overseas to extend our investor visa to legally stay in the United States,” writes owner Bat Mashigjav. But having a longtime restaurant in Chicago and two U.S. citizen children “wasn’t enough to extend our visa in [the] The eyes of an American advisory officer in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The ordeal, he adds, was financially devastating for his family. Supporters have so far raised nearly $3,000 through GoFundMe.

June 15

Lincoln Square: Breakfast and brunch spot The famous Dutch Pancake Huis, formerly known as Pannenkoeken Cafe, has closed permanently after 15 years. The paper covers the windows at 4757 N. Western Avenue and its website is outdated. The restaurant specialized in traditional sweet and savory Dutch pancakes, with hits like a Honeycrisp apple pancake with cinnamon and hazelnuts, and a sausage pancake with cheese and mushrooms.

West Loop: Speakeasy-style cocktail bar The Darling, one of Chicago’s most romantic drinking establishments, has closed permanently after service Sunday after four years at 905 W. Randolph Street, the property announced on Facebook. Owner Sophie Huterstein, who also opened Britain’s Wellesbourne pub in 2010 in Los Angeles, has scheduled a full lineup of live performances by drag queens, magicians, dancers and puppeteers. “The business has been purchased by an established hotel group who will bring their own fun twist to the location,” the reps wrote online.

Osier Park: Pub Royale, the Anglo-Indian bar and restaurant at Heisler Hospitality (Pizza Lobo, Sportsman’s Club), will permanently close on Saturday, June 25, before the sale of its building at 2049 W. Division Street, according to a representative. Founded in 2015 in the former home of the Smallbar Divison, Pub Royale quickly gained critical acclaim for its robust selection of craft beers, Pimm’s mugs and engaging bar fare such as chicken tikka kati rolls and fish ‘n tempura chips with malt vinegar chutney.

Highwood: Suburban smoked meat spot Papa Willie’s BBQ will close at 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 17, the owner announced on Facebook on Wednesday. Although the three-year-old restaurant at 148 Green Bay Road is closing, catering and private chef services will remain operational. “It has been an incredible journey, filled with an immeasurable amount of satisfaction and joy,” the post read. “However, due to the current state of inflation, it is no longer possible for us to keep our doors open… This is not a goodbye, it’s see you later. Somewhere.”

May 12

Lincoln Park: Macku Sushi, the popular spot of celebrity Chicago chef Macku Chan, is permanently closed after 12 years at 2239 N. Clybourn Avenue, according to an Instagram post in late April. Although heartbroken fans shared their goodbyes in the comments, Chan’s skills are already on display at his new Japanese restaurant, Komo, which debuted fall 2021 in the West Loop.

Pilsen: The trio of siblings behind independent coffeehouse Brew Brew Cafe in April have permanently closed their storefront at 1641 W. 18th Street, according to an Instagram post. Jazmin, Diana and Christian Medrano originally started the business in 2000 with outposts in Pilsen and Avondale, but in September 2019 they temporarily closed the Pilsen site to design a new look and menu that paid homage to their Mexican heritage. It reopened barely a month later on 18th Street. Brew Brew remains open in Avondale.

Skokie: A rental sign is seen in the window of the nine-year-old suburban Japanese restaurant Sushi Cafe Hanah at 4907 Oakton Street in Skokie.

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