The closure was news even to West Town Tavern's neighbor, Will Anderson, who said he's been a regular at the restaurant since he moved above it two years ago.
Returning home from work, Anderson, a 28-year-old University of Chicago administrator, said he read about the closure in the restaurant's e-newsletter and was shocked.
Anderson said he enjoyed the tavern's Monday night fried chicken special and admitted it's "tempting to eat there every time I walk past it when it's dinnertime."
At the southwest corner of Throop Street and Chicago Avenue, West Town Tavern opened in May 2002.
On Monday, a brief but warm letter posted in the window of the restaurant, its website and Facebook page thanked guests for their "support, encouragement and downright love."
"We are proud to have been a part of Chicago’s vibrant dining scene for the last 11 years, and now it’s time for us to explore other opportunities. Look for a change at 1329 W. Chicago Avenue," wrote Susan and Drew Goss.
Before West Town Tavern, the Gosses owned Zinfandel, a regional American restaurant in River North.
In 2002, Tribune food critic Phil Vettel wrote about the closure of Zinfandel, which he called "a sad day for foodies."
At that time, Zinfandel's lease was up and the Gosses were seeking to "focus on West Town and lie low for a while."
The lying low lasted over a decade, and on Monday, Vettel wrote, "Add to WTT's 11-year run the eight-plus years the husband-wife team owned Zinfandel in River North, and you realize the two have been wining and dining Chicagoans very well for nearly 20 years."