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Hungry Magazine - All Things Tasty
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01.23.08

What’s Wrong with Chicago Ave?

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Drove by Fan Si Pan (1618 W. Chicago Ave.), the pan-asian spring roll and dumpling spot last night and noticed the door covered in plywood and the windows plastered with garbage bags. Seems the spot may have been a bit too Fan Si Pan(ts) for the hood. According to the 312 Dining Diva, the owners said:

they’re “looking to make the concept a little more clearer and move somewhere else.” Oh, and they’re not staying in the neighborhood either.

In other sad news, Painted Lady Organic Eatery (2018 W. Chicago Ave.) closed. Mike Sula over at the Reader has the goods. You can imagine my surprise as I wrote about this spot pretty favorably for Newcity just last week.

Proving I know nothing about restaurant longevity, I wrote:

Ukie Village’s confederacy of hoodied hipsters, hand-holding girlfriends and sleeve-tattooed citizens will keep this place in business for at least two Johnny Cash lifetimes.

Word is they may reopen in a few months, so I may not be all that off. A cold January is always a tough time for any food business, what with all the resolution driven gym visitation and holiday calorie hangover. My bet is they’ll be back.

3 Comments on "What’s Wrong with Chicago Ave?"

Mike G

Yeah, it sounds more a personnel/logistical matter than a business one. I admire their focusing on getting one new place right than two wrong, which is rare in the biz. It makes me want to go actually patronize the bakery today, especially after buying a Whole Foods pie earlier this week which had a crust made of genuine US Gypsum wallboard.



Mike G

Guess I should have used a noun in the above comment to make it clear I was referring to Bleeding Heart/Painted Lady.



Barry Strum

I’ve worked with restaurants (mainly financing them from the public sector side) in economic development for most of my career. Other than the obvious……inedible food, poor/no service, inexperience, incompetence, lousy concept…there are many more variables that can sink a place in a heartbeat. Cash is the real killer, for all the other things ultimately result in less cash. Working capital is crucial in the early stages, as word gets out, people relate their dining experiences, reviews get published, a buzz develops, the operation lives off its own accomplishments. If the money well is reasonably deep AND effectively managed…….going to the well should be a special, infrequent, trip……then things hopefully move forward. Surviving on the well is no long term approach to running a restuarant. That peculiar endeavor is generally restricted to galleries run by the wealthy who do not depend upon the enterprise cash flow for their own food.

If an area has a growing number of new residents and others interested and willing to visit your part of town, as Chicago seems to be, then some successes will follow. If the street and/or general neighborhood requires either a death wish or an infantry platoon as an escort, you can figure pretty quickly that potential restaurant entrepreneurs will think twice before locating there. On the other hand, even if an area is really hot, that in and of itself doesn’t guarantee longevity, for there’s always the guy/couple inspired by their dinner guests to open a restaurant since they do lamb shanks so well. Or,the village idiot comes into an inheritance and squanders it with dispatch in a beautiful, sunny storefront seating 60. I’ve encountered both.



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