On July 8, chef Gilbert Langlois closed the doors of his North Center restaurant, Chalkboard, after six and a half years.
“I didn’t know if I wanted to do it anymore,” Langlois said. When his seven-year-old son grew bored of sitting in the kitchen with him, he decided that his habit of working 16-hour days was going to need to come to an end. “I wanted a change of lifestyle and to make life a little easier for us,” Langlois said.
And so, Langlois has reopened the restaurant as Homegrown Cafe (4343 N. Lincoln Ave. 773-477-7144) which serves breakfast, brunch and lunch so Langlois is able to take his son to and from school just a few blocks away.
He plans to resurrect some of Chalkboard's popular dinner dishes as brunch items, such as chicken and waffles topped with a sausage gravy and maple syrup and banana bread pudding French toast.
The menu of about 14 simple items will stay put, since Langlois doesn’t feel the pressure to constantly bring in new items and change things up often anymore. “I’m done trying to compete,” Langlois said. “I just want to do some really solid dishes right.”
The cafe, which seats 56, will be different than the sports bars and gastropubs that populate the area, according to Langlois. “There’ll be no televisions, no chicken wings and no hamburgers,” Langlois said. “Whether someone is popping in for 20 minutes to grab breakfast or sitting with a beautiful cup of tea or coffee for two hours with their laptops, I want them to feel comfortable.”
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