one sixtyblue to reconcept after Jan 7

Photograph: Kate Gross

Photograph: Kate Gross

2012 is shaping up to be a strange year: On the one hand, a string of high-profile restaurants—including Bar Toma, Slurping Turtle, Yusho, BLT American Brasserie, Goosefoot and Acadia—are making their way onto the scene. But on the other, chefs from Michael Altenberg (whose Crust just closed) to Charlie Trotter (who announced his 25-year-old namesake restaurant will close in August) to Matt Maroni (see his news from earlier today) seem to be using the New Year as a time to make some serious decisions, both personal and financial, about the futures of their retaurants. Joining them is Cornerstone Restaurant Group, which operates a number of restaurants including Michael Jordan's Steak House and Wave, which this afternoon annouced that its 14-year-old restaurant one sixtyblue will reconcept after service on January 7. 


In some ways, this is not much of a surprise. Rumors about a reconcept have swirled around one sixtyblue for years—for example, a few years ago the rumor was that one sixtyblue would morph into Michael Jordan Steakhouse. At the same time, the rumor mill offered an explanation as to why those reconcepts never happened: Michael Jordan, one sixtyblue's principal, simply loved the restaurant too much.


Cornerstone is giving little clues on what the property will reconcept as or whether chef Michael McDonald and pastry chef Hilary Blanchard-Rikower will remain a part of it. It does, however, cite the "ever-evolving local culinary scene" and "the re-emergence of Randolph St. as a major dining hub in Chicago" as reasons for the change. “one sixtyblue had an amazing run, and moving on is bittersweet,” said David Zadikoff, the CEO of Cornerstone Restaurant Group, in the press release. 


The only other information we were able to get out of Cornerstone's Deana Dugo was this: The restaurant will undergo renovations while it is closed; the new concept is slated to open in the spring; this reconcept is something that Cornerstone decided on fairly recently; and Michael Jordan is totally okay with the change. Like, totally. He's okay, people! He's okay.



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