“We’re a good restaurant in the wrong neighborhood,” he said. “Casual seems to work much better over here. I think we’re a little too chef-driven, high end for this area.”
Despite positive initial reviews and a Michelin Bib Gourmand rating, the restaurant, with its raw bar and small plate dining, closed its doors for good after just 16 months.
Urban Union was the food baby of Shrader (N9NE, Epic) and restaurateur Jason Chan.
Shrader said he couldn’t comment on whether Chan’s departure just three months after the restaurant’s opening had anything to do with its ultimate failure.
“There’s stuff I can’t talk about legally that happened to us early on that set us back, and we kind of never recovered from that,” he said.
Shrader said he already had several offers on the table and expected to be back in another Chicago restaurant soon.
“It was dynamite,” Shrader said of Urban Union. “Honestly, we’re just in the wrong location. And that’s critical in any city.”