Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Lights Go Out at City Tavern Ending a Tumultuous Ride

City Tavern garnered a lot of excitement when it opened in 2012.  For many it was a sign that the neighborhood retail was starting to emerge from the fog of the real estate bubble and recession.

If you recall, City Tavern was one of four new eating/drinking establishments that were in the process of opening around this time in the spring of 2012.  The other three were Alain's, Karamela's and Square One.  Out of the four only Square One is going strong.

But that doesn't mean that City Tavern didn't have it's moments.  The highlight was winning a Bib Gourmand Michellin rating in 2013.  Unfortunately it was mostly downhill from there as the executive chef Kendall Duque unexpectedly left shortly thereafter.

After more various rounds of turnover in the kitchen, the whispers began to creep in on our message board and finally yesterday it was confirmed in various outlets (Chicago Tribune):
City Tavern (1416 S. Michigan Ave., 312-663-1278), a neighborhood restaurant in the South Loop, has closed.  
Phones are not being answered, and the restaurant's website has been taken down.  
In a terse email, the owners said, "Future plans for the space are undertermined at this time. Thank you for your patronage over the last two years."

We actually just had a decent meal at City Tavern, but for us it never really one of our favorites in the Sloop.  Regardless we're still sad to see it go.

What we do know is that Mainstay Hospitality owns the building (and the building just to the South) as well as Chicago Firehouse and Wabash Tap.  Something tells us this won't be the last we hear from them and the former space that included City Tavern and before that Grace O'Malley's.

(Hat tip: AS, BM, KZ, CPF, NL, BR!)

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