Via Chicago Tribune:
There are few phrases more chilling for a restaurant than "closed for renovation," which often is code for "getting our stuff out before the landlord changes the locks."
But management at Mercat a la Planxa, the 8-year-old Spanish restaurant inside the Blackstone Hotel (638 S. Michigan Ave.), assured that this renovation is, indeed, a renovation.
"It will start Jan. 2 and last a couple of months," said general manager Andy Pishko. "It's pretty significant."
Plans include expanded seating for both bars, and new dining-room furniture to move the restaurant from rustic to contemporary. A wall will be opened up to create a private seating area overlooking the hotel lobby, and a few cosmetic touches will give the dining room cleaner lines and a sleeker look.
Fear not, Mercat aficionados; the honeycomb room divider and the Gaudi-inspired art high on the walls will remain.
While it's good to hear they're not closing, it does mean two of the better restaurants on Michigan Avenue in this area will be closed. Besides Mercat, the popular Brasserie by LM restaurant at the Essex Inn is closing for approximately two years to make way for their new tower.