Monday, March 28, 2011

More News on KDK Restaurant Empire and Our Gioco

Sorry if you're not into this story, but more and more information continues to come out and judging by the buzz last week we know some readers are very interested in it. With that said, the blog Eater Chicago has some new information about KDK, Gioco, Red Light and the subsequent 'restaurant empire' that looks to be in transition mode:

"Red Light is 15 years old so it's a little bit tired, but it has run a tremendous course," Kleiner said. "With Gioco, it's profitable, and we have a partnership there and we have to sort out and see what everyone wants to do. That's going to take a few days to figure out. There's a possibility we may sell it off and put it to rest. It's all been a great run for everybody."

So KDK, which at one time was one of the most successful restaurant groups in Chicago with places like the now-shuttered Marché and still-operating Vivo leading the charge in the early to mid '90s, and can be credited for helping make the West Loop what it is today, may cease to exist. Kleiner has been working on his own projects, including Carnivale and 33 Club, for a few years, and has design projects "all over the world," he said. His partner, Howard Davis, is also working on separate projects. Dan Krasny, who was a third partner, split from KDK years ago and continues to operate Vivo. "I'm moving in a whole new direction in my life," Kleiner said. "As each restaurant has moved on ... I moved on. I have projects all over."

Although the ambiguity around Gioco might not the news many of us were hoping to hear, it's still nice to hear that Gioco was profitable and it's closing wasn't a product of the neighborhood not supporting it (or at least that's the way we're reading the comments). Anyway, stay tuned.


  1. Am I the only person annoyed that Gioco closed less than 60 days before the expiration date on the TONS of coupons sold on Groupon, YouSwooop, etc. over the past few months? I have 4 $50 gift certificates that will apparently be going unused. :(

  2. No I am in the same boat Stephanie ..i have a youswoop and and restaurant issued gift certificate. I will be requesting a refund

  3. You can contact Groupon and YouSwoop and they will credit you for unused coupons since they closed unexpectedly.

  4. I don't believe Kleiner - he has not been part of 33club for some time now as the investors kicked him out. He is flat broke and isn't paying his bills is the real story. The best thing that can happen to Gioco is have a new owner/investor and get rid of anything is has to do with Kleiner as he is a sinking ship.

  5. I'm rooting for KDK. I don't like to hear about more people losing their jobs. It seems that in this economy the local and state officals should be bending over backwards to help a thriving business not opress it. The people with lost jobs will need more assistant from the state which in turn will lead to higher taxes to pay for it, which will choke more businesses and lead to more job losses.

  6. Here's an excerpt from a You Swoop staffer regarding unused Gioco gift certificates:

    "Thanks for reaching out! We just learned about Gioco closing yesterday and we are working on a solution for all Swoopers. I will send you an email once I know how we are going to go forward in this matter."


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