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 [email protected] We will continue to update this post.
For winter closures, go here.
Lincoln Place/Ravenswood: At one time, Glenn’s Diner was Chicago’s hippest restaurant, a neighborhood spot that became the talk of the town. But this week, the owners of the North Side restaurant announced the end of its 17-year existence. The neighborhood restaurant, known for its seafood and grain bowls, is closing.
Glenn’s will close on July 31 at 1820 W. Montrose Street at Lincoln Square, just across from Ravenswood. Many longtime fans might say that Glenn hasn’t been the same for a while. Especially since namesake Glenn Fahlstrom left the restaurant in 2009 after a legal dispute with his partner and current restaurant owner Larry Jones. Fahlstrom would go on to open his own restaurant in 2014. Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market, a restaurant in Lakeview, was among the first victims in 2020 when the pandemic forced state officials to suspend indoor dining.
The end was in sight for Glenn’s, as the property put the restaurant up for sale in 2019, as reported by Block Club Chicago. Apparently the offers were not attractive.
Old City: After five years, Forastero, a Mexican-Korean restaurant that served tacos and chicken wings, has announced its closure. Co-owner Andres Recillas told Eater Chicago his last day of business would be August 7. The challenges of the pandemic put them in debt and they could no longer sustain the restaurant. He hopes fans can come out and support the restaurant in the coming weeks to help cushion the financial blow. Forastero’s Crispy Fish Taco was among the best fish tacos in town at 449 W. North Avenue.
North River: Bernie’s has closed again. The River North Restaurant and Bar was closed from October 2020 to April 2021, but had regained its bearings at 660 N. Orleans Street. Co-owner Zack Sklar of parent company Peas & Carrots Hospitality says the restaurant is expected to reopen in the spring. Workers complained via social media that they were not given enough notice of the rapid closure.
North River: Pink Taco, the Las Vegas-based Mexican restaurant and bar chain that in 2018 brought its clubby energy to the former Bull & Bear space, has closed over the weekend at 431 N. Wells Street, according to Block Club Chicago. Dubbed one of the most “sexy and distressing” restaurant names by Eater in 2017, Pink Taco maintains locations in Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Boston and Washington DC. A new outpost in New York is in the works.
Roger Park: Neighborhood brunch restaurant Another Bite is permanently closed after just under a year in business at 6632 N. Clark Street, according to Block Club. Owner John Thomas, an Auburn-Gresham resident who also owns a Coldstone Creamery franchise, told reporters that rising costs and staff shortages eventually forced him to close the restaurant. At Another Bite, which opened in August 2021, Thomas took inspiration from Coldstone’s customizable mix-and-match approach and applied it to breakfast products. He says the restaurant could be revived if it can attract funds.
Ukrainian Village: Mexican-Korean restaurant TaKorea Cocina closed permanently in late June after nearly three years at 1022 N. Western Avenue, owner Robert Magiet announced on Facebook. Known for mashups like kimchi burgers and bulgogi steak tacos, the restaurant has also served as a vehicle for Magiet’s charitable efforts, including giving out free Thanksgiving meals. Despite the restaurant’s closure, Magiet has his next gig planned: he’s joined the StopAlong’s pizza and burger spot in Bucktown as a managing partner, he told the Block Club, and that all staff at TaKorea will join him.
Wrigleyville: The longtime local pub, the Irish Oak, closed permanently on Sunday after 24 years at 3511 N. Clark Street, the operators announced on Facebook. The bar was owned by Big Onion Tavern Group, the Chicago hospitality company behind beer-focused venues like FatPour Tap Works and Hopsmith Tavern. Fans from across the United States shared memories of the bar on its social media pages, reminiscing about cute encounters, proposals, game viewings, and more. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” writes the owner.
Around the city: Laine’s Bake Shop, the local independent bakery with a bent for social justice, 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.
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.
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 Sunday service after four years at 905 W. Randolph Street, the owner 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.”
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.