Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Apolonia Ready for April 15th Opening at Prominent Motor Row Location (2201 S. Michigan)

It's been a tough go for restaurants during the pandemic, but it's encouraging to see such an ambitious opening moving forward - especially towards the south end of the Sloop (via Eater):

It may take conventions some time to return to McCormick Place, but when they do, S.K.Y. chef Steven Gillanders and his team will be ready. The challenges of the pandemic have delayed the opening, but Gillanders’ second restaurant, Apolonia, finally has an opening date in the South Loop. The restaurant, which focuses on European-Mediterranean coastal fare, will open on Friday, April 16 at 2201 S. Michigan Avenue. Reservations are live.

It’s been a long road for Gillanders and his team, but 2021 has provided optimism: “The last relief bill, certainly if it didn’t pass, we wouldn’t have been able to open open,” he says. “That’s just the reality.”

The 5,300-square-foot 100-seater is on the ground floor of a tri-branded Hilton Hotel that also houses Fatpour Tap Works, Starbucks, and VU Rooftop Bar. Nestled near Wintrust Arena in a South Loop neighborhood that’s been begging for more dining options, convention business will be the “icing on the cake,” Gillanders says, locals will be Apolonia’s “bread and butter.” The restaurant will open with a 50-person capacity and 90-minute reservations. Apolonia has space for a patio, but furniture won’t arrive time for the opening.

We are excited, but curious to see how this restaurant does.  The Eater article says the expectation from the owner is that this year will be "lean" but hopefully that doesn't sink this ship before it even has a solid chance to set out on its course.  If it succeeds we anticipate it will continue to usher in more good things for the area.

Judging from the pictures and pedigree of the staff, it sure seems like this restaurant will up the game for the Motor Row area - especially with the (likely?) closure of Acadia.  Between Apolonia and the highly revered Moody Tongue Brewery in the area it sure seems like this area will be primed for locals and conventioneers (assuming they come back at some point).

Congrats to the folks at Apolonia and can't wait to stop by!

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