#6: City Tavern Comes to Old Grace O'Malley's Space
It was a big year for new restaurants in the Sloop and City Tavern was one of the shinning stars.
Way back in 2011 we were pondering what may come of the old Grace O'Malley's space. Mainstay Hospitality, who also operate the Chicago Firehouse and Wabash Tap, mentioned that they had plans for this space, but wouldn't give up much information.
|Image from City Tavern Facebook Page|
Like time, the history trend marches on. Mainstay Hospitality, the company that owns Chicago Firehouse and Wabash Tap, plans to open the “18th-century tavernesque” City Tavern (1416 S. Michigan Ave.; no phone yet) in early May in the space formerly occupied by Grace O’Malley’s. Kendal Duque, the chef at Chicago Firehouse and the opening chef at Sepia, will create the menu.While the opening date dragged on a little bit, the doors finally opened in June. While there were a couple minor issues (it was pretty damn loud inside the space), the restaurant was widely praised. We had an amazing Salmon entree that still has us drooling.
But then something strange happened. Kendall Duque, the long time chef at Chicago Firehouse and the brains behind City Tavern, was no longer at the helm. It was all pretty sudden and surprising. However, Duque was replaced by Jackie Shen (previously of Red Light, Chicago Cut), a well respected chef in Chicago.
As far as we can tell City Tavern hasn't missed a beat. The place tends to be packed on the weekends and things appear to be well. It probably doesn't hurt that they also won a prestigious Michellin Bib Gourmand rating in November.
All in all a solid addition to the Sloop! Now if we can just figure out what's going on next door!