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Allium chef Kevin Hickey partners with Rockit Ranch Productions for new River North restaurant and bar

New concept to replace Dragon Ranch Moonshine & BBQ at 441 N. Clark St.

September 26, 2013|By Lisa Arnett, @redeyeeatdrink

The press releases came within 11 minutes of one another: First, Four Seasons' announcement that Allium chef Kevin Hickey will resign; then, a release that Hickey is partnering with Rockit Ranch Productions to open a new restaurant and bar concept in River North.

Having spent nearly two decades working at Four Seasons locations in the U.S. and abroad, Hickey scored a Michelin star for his cooking at Allium, which opened early 2012.

Rockit Ranch Productions operates Rockit Bar & Grill, Sunda and Ay Chiwowa in River North and Rockit Burger Bar in Wrigleyville. The new concept will move into 441 N. Clark St., which barbecue fans will recognize as the short-lived Dragon Ranch Moonshine & BBQ space, which closed earlier this year after a fire beneath the floor.

"The Rockit Ranch team felt the timing was perfect to utilize the former Dragon Ranch space," read a statement from the company. "In addition to having the opportunity to partner with Chef Hickey as he was making his move, Rockit Ranch wants to offer the neighborhood something new and different, after another BBQ establishment moved in next door." The neighboring barbecue restaurant is Bub City, which opened next door to Dragon Ranch last December.

Chicago Tribune also reports that Hickey is working on a Bridgeport restaurant called The Duck Inn, to open in spring 2013. 

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