As Chicagoans continue to revel in the respite of summer — replete with sunshine, festivals, and fun — the city’s hospitality industry is still grappling with the ripple effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Staffing shortages remain a significant challenge, and the pressure is only ramped up by sky-high food costs and would-be patrons who are dining out less due to inflation.
Below, Eater is cataloging both temporary and permanent restaurant closures in Chicago. If you know of a restaurant, bar, or other food establishment that has closed since the start of the pandemic, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will continue to update this post.
For winter and spring closures, go here.
Pilsen: Venerable Chinatown pastry spot Chiu Quon Bakery permanently closed its outpost at massive Chinese grocer and food hall 88 Marketplace due to “unforeseen circumstances,” operators announced in late July on Facebook. The family-owned institution, heralded as the oldest in Chinatown, has drawn fans since 1986 to its original location on Wentworth Avenue.
Logan Square: Mexican restaurant Ocaso is permanently closed after just under a year in business, co-owner Areerat Potikul announced in late July on Instagram. Potikul and her business partners opened Ocaso in September 2021 in the former Masa Azul space on Diversey Avenue. In November, ownership fell victim to phishing fraudsters who played havoc with the restaurant’s reservation system, shut down online orders on its website, and created a fake business page on Facebook.
Logan Square: Longtime neighborhood bar and restaurant the Rocking Horse is permanently closed after 12 years following a dispute between owner Anthony Fiacchino and landlord Martin Barboza, according to Block Club Chicago. Originally founded in 2009, the Rocking Horse struggled to transition to a takeout model during Chicago’s pandemic shutdowns. Once it was able to reopen for indoor service, however, Fiacchino tells reporters that it was plagued by constant issues with the building that got in the way of regular operations. Barboza, on the other hand, claims that Fiacchino owes $150,000 for back rent and other costs, and says he addressed concerns with the building’s infrastructure as soon as he was able. Barboza reportedly served Fiacchino with an eviction notice in fall 2021. Renovations are now underway at the Milwaukee Avenue space, but Barboza declined to provide details on future plans.
West Loop: Mad Social, the creative Italian American restaurant from second generation restaurateur Gina Stefani (daughter of prolific Chicago hospitality operator Phil Stefani), has permanently closed after six years, ownership announced in early August on Facebook. A replacement is already in line to take over the space, Stefani writes. The Madison Street restaurant had sat closed from March 2020 until January 2022, and then faced the same staffing challenges as the rest of the hospitality industry, she tells Block Club.
2105 South Jefferson Street, , IL 60616 (312) 929-4926