After 15 years in Rogers Park, this wine-centric cafe will close its doors on September 6. A post on the cafe's website cites the financial struggles of the past year and a half for the impending closure: "We didn't want to close that way, both for our employees and ourselves," owners Tom and Geri Foley wrote. "We fought hard to return in the spring of 2021 and it has been a remarkable recovery. However, the time has come again for us to close the door on this chapter of our lives." The post also says a potential sale could allow for the cafe to reopen under new management.
Stay-at-home orders and capacity limits might be a thing of the past for now, but make no mistake: Chicago's restaurant industry is still struggling to find its footing. There have been some glimmers of hope since we started this list—a few spots, like Guthrie's and the California Clipper, are set to reopen under new management—but issues like labor shortages, rental disputes and skyrocketing food prices have felled other restaurants in the months since Chicago reopened, from the Michelin-starred Spiaggia to smaller spots throughout the city.
Here, we're continuing to pay tribute to some of the most notable and heartbreaking Chicago restaurant closures during the pandemic, from lovable wine bar Income Tax and fine-dining destination Blackbird to South Loop club Tantrum. (We've also highlighted which restaurants and bars have announced reopening plans.) This list is by no means exhaustive, but it offers a snapshot of what the industry has come up against throughout more than a year and a half. Say farewell to some of the noteworthy restaurants and bars that won't reopen in Chicago, and raise a glass to those who have planned their return—then, be sure to show your favorite locals spots some love by ordering takeout, purchasing a gift card or leaving a positive review. No gesture is too small as independent restaurants everywhere continue to fight for survival.