Graham Elliot, Stephanie Izard and John Manion are all planning restaurant… (Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune )
The West Loop has long been considered a dining and nightlife destination—hello, Randolph Street Restaurant Row!—but next year, even more big-name chefs are due to fill in the neighborhood's vacant storefronts.
"[Randolph Street is] easily the coolest restaurant street in the country, not just Chicago," said Graham Elliot, who is opening a restaurant this spring at 841 W. Randolph St. "And then one street over is Lake, with Vera and other restaurants, and then you've got Fulton Market with Next and Moto and the Publican, so it's a killer little area and I'm a huge advocate of the free market. I believe that … everyone's going to do well over there."
From to a throwback diner to a sparkling champagne salon, here's what's popping up where.
1200 W. Randolph St.
ETA: Late JuneMusic producer Michael Dorf is opening a second location of his NYC-based winery, which will feature a 300-person music venue/private event space and a 150-person restaurant and bar.
La Sirena Clandestina
954 W. Fulton Market
Dodo owner Kim Dalton is partnering with former Mas and Branch 27 chef John Manion to open this restaurant in the Dodo space later this spring. Dalton and Manion have known each other for years, and Manion headed up a pop-up restaurant at Dodo last year. A closing date for Dodo has not yet been set, but Dalton says she expects to stay open through minor renovations, perhaps for one to two more months.
841 W. Randolph St.
ETA: Late April or early MayCeleb chef and "MasterChef" judge Graham Elliot (of Grahamwich and Graham Elliot in River North) is behind this market-driven, back-to-basics restaurant sharing a cobblestone courtyard patio with Nellcote. The name stands for "Graham Elliot Bistro."
833 W. Randolph St.
ETA: Early FebruaryThe owners of Old Town Social commandeered the old Marche space for this restaurant and bar, where chef Jared Van Camp will mill his own flour to make pasta and pizzas.
RM Champagne Salon
116 N. Green St.
ETA: FebruarySommelier Jason Wagner will head up this champagne salon, which pairs bubbly with cheeses, tea sandwiches, pastries and more.
820 W. Randolph St.
Chicago's sole "Top Chef" winner Stephanie Izard is debuting her own spin on a classic diner on the same block as her beloved Girl & the Goat.
802 W. Randolph St.
ETA: MarchFormer Saigon Sisters chef Matt Eversman cooks up southeast Asian-inspired fare at this restaurant, named for a phrase used by a local journalist to describe his recent success in the local dining scene: "out of nowhere."
800 W. Randolph St.
ETA: Early 2012
Brendan Sodikoff, who owns Gilt Bar in River North and Maude's Liquor Bar down the block, describes this corner restaurant as a classic diner with a gastronomic touch.
Publican Quality Meats
825 W. Fulton Market
This artisanal butcher shop from The Publican's Paul Kahan will offer house-cut meats, charcuterie and made-to-order sandwiches.
Address to be released in January
ETA: Late spring or early summer
Award-winning Avenues chef Curtis Duffy will cook super-seasonal fare at this restaurant, not to be confused with another West Loop restaurant named Grace at 623 W. Randolph St. that shuttered years ago.
>>For more hot openings outside the West Loop--including RPM Italian from Giuliana and Bill Rancic and Frog N Snail from former Top Chef cast member Dale Levitski--check out The Countdown on metromix.com.
Additional reporting by RedEye special contributors Erin Brereton and Erin Sarris.