LAKEVIEW — Local foodies with fantasies of falafel can wake up: Chicago-based I Dream of Falafel is opening its fifth restaurant by the end of this year in Lakeview.
The 851 W. Belmont Ave. storefront will be the Mediterranean fast casual restaurant's first city location outside the Loop. It has three locations in the Loop and one in suburban Oakbrook Terrace.
The building, formerly home to the J. Toguri Mercantile Co. gift shop, will also house a dentist's office and the Annoyance Theatre, landlord David Blitz said. The restaurant should be open before the end of the year.
I Dream of Falafel's food is served Chipotle-style, where diners can select various meats, vegetables and sauces for wraps and lunch plates. The restaurant is a favorite of foodies and has been named by Forbes as an up-and-coming chain.
Unlike other locations, the Lakeview spot will be open late on the weekends for night revelers, said Imran Kasbati, a co-founder of I Dream of Falafel. It will also feature a brand-new sustainable design that's "more hip, more edgy than what we're currently doing," he said.
"It's an area where the trendy, hip crowd is," he said. "That's where we want to get our name."
The food will be the same as it's been since the restaurant opened in 2009: organic chickpeas in the hummus, cage-free and grain-fed chicken, and premium sirloin.
Kasbati said they are still looking to open a few more locations before the year is up, but only in the suburbs. The new Belmont location will likely end up being one of the growing chain's flagship stores, he said.
"I think it's an A-plus location," he said.