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abe conlon, fat rice, abraham conlon, logan square, chef, restaurant, portrait, jaclyn rivas
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Fat Rice closes its restaurant to transform into a marketplace

Abe Conlon's award-winning restaurant won't reopen when the "stay-at-home" order lifts.

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen

Beloved Logan Square restaurant Fat Rice is closing.

In its place, according to a story that broke today in the New York Times, owners Abe Conlon and Adrienne Lo will host Super Fat Rice Mart, a takeout marketplace offering meal kits and groceries to go. Conlon told the Times that "the restaurant for the foreseeable future is dead," noting that even when they can reopen their doors, "people are not going to feel comfortable being in close quarters or being in a cramped dining room."

Unlike other pop-ups and delivery deals that have surfaced throughout Chicago during the lockdown, Conlon and Lo say they plan to continue operating Super Fat Rice Mart long after the "stay-at-home" order lifts, with no plans of reopening the Fat Rice that once was.

According to the restaurant's website, "Super Fat Rice Mart is a specialty cooking store offering Fat Rice at-home cook kits along with organic and local produce, Portuguese imports, beers and wine offerings, a wide array of fun Asian pantry items, and take-away favorites—all with that fun Fat Rice flare." Conlon and his team will also offer online cooking tutorials and limited-edition pickup specials.

Plant-based meal kits are available now for pickup starting on Saturday, May 2, offering a bounty of produce, seasonings and sauces with step-by-step instructions for creating Fat Rice favorites at home. Kits are priced at $100 and include enough food to feed two hungry adults for two days, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, sweets and snacks (with "enough leftovers for day three," according to the website). There's also a selection of tasty upgrades that can be purchased alongside the kits, including pork and ginger dumplings, chili prawns and a sardine snack pack. Diners can schedule their pickup for Friday from 4 to 7pm, Saturday from 11am to 2pm and Sunday from 11am to 2pm.

The virtual marketplace has plenty of one-off goods as well, with cans of fermented black beans, sweet pepper paste, evaporated milk and Portuguese wine up for grabs. Cocktail kits are also teased on the website, promising a taste of acclaimed in-house bar Ladies' Room at home.

"We are forever grateful to our allies and emissaries who have boarded our decks to share and enjoy in our offerings," reads an announcement on the Fat Rice website. "As the galaxy shifts, so must we."

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