UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — A small family-run Middle Eastern restaurant that's been in business for more than five years and is directly across from a shuttered Dominick's has closed, with its owners having decided not to renew their lease.
"It was a good run, it was time," said Jerry Suqi of Chickpea at 2018 W. Chicago Ave, a Middle Eastern restaurant that in recent years had been run by his brother, Eddie Suqi.
Jerry Suqi, who started the breakfast restaurant, Jam, and moved on to work as a curator at a new Wicker Park art gallery, opened Chickpea in 2008.
"That's the end, I'm happy to say it is. Our lease had expired and we were going month to month," Jerry Suqi said.
A sign in the window reads of Chickpea states that "Chickpea is closed for," though there is no additional information after the word "for."
The restaurant's website, chickpeaonthego, has been disabled and the phone line is out of service.
On Saturday, Twitter user Kate Bernot tweeted, "Is Chickpea on Chicago Ave closed for good? Looks mighty dark and empty in there."
In December, Firas Suqi, a part-time worker at Chickpea, and a brother of Jerry and Eddie Suqi, expressed relief over the fact Marino's Fresh Market would be taking over the Dominick's at 2021 W. Chicago Ave.
"We were relieved," said Firas Suqi, adding that, "An open retail space that large, we were concerned if it were empty, how that could affect everyone around it."
The abrupt closure of Chickpea comes after a few other Middle Eastern restaurants, Shawarma Garden, 1951 W. Division St. and Flat Iron Pita Grill, 1571 N. Milwaukee Ave. opened in November.