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Big Star Owners Bring 'Dove's Luncheonette' to Old Cipollina Storefront

By Alisa Hauser | July 7, 2014 7:25am
 Dove's Luncheonette, 1543-45 N. Damen Ave. in Wicker Park.
Dove's Luncheonette in Wicker Park
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WICKER PARK — A new eatery from the makers of Big Star that was described by chef Paul Kahan as "like a sister" to the popular Damen Avenue taco bar has a name: Dove's Luncheonette.

The owners of Dove's Luncheonette applied for a liquor license on Thursday, according to a public notice that went up in the window of 1543-45 N. Damen Ave. over the holiday weekend.

Described as a breakfast and brunch Mexican and soul food restaurant on Dove's Luncheonette's Facebook page, the eatery lists its address as 1545 N. Damen Ave.

Located just on the other side of the "L" tracks from Double Door, the storefront was once home to Cipollina, an Italian cafe and deli that abruptly closed last July.

The 1500 block of North Damen Avenue in Wicker Park is familiar terrain for One Off Hospitality, the parent company for locally revered chef Kahan's group of restaurants (which also include Avec and Publican).

Kahan is one of four managing partners in One Off Hospitality, which owns Big Star at 1531 N. Damen as well as The Violet Hour, a craft cocktail lounge at 1520 N. Damen Ave.

In June, Kahan told Eater.com that the new restaurant, which seats 40 people, will be "Big Star-esque," and he hopes to open in early August.

Early Monday, Dove's Luncheonette's Facebook page had just one "like" and a handful of Twitter followers.

Jenna Liberman, a One Off Hospitality spokeswoman said, "At this time, we are not comfortable sharing much information on the concept" but said "between the new restaurant and the Big Star commissary we anticipate creating 45-60 new positions."

Liberman said that Dove's Luncheonette plans to open in mid-August.

Chas Bender Co., an established area contractor in the restaurant industry, is designing Dove's Luncheonette, according to a banner along the side of the building.

Other area restaurants designed by Chas Bender Co. include Links Taproom, Carriage House and Hopleaf.

Next to Dove's Luncheonette will be a private commissary kitchen at 1537 N. Damen, which will house catering operations and takeout for Big Star. 

The Big Star expansion project, which kicked off in June, will move Big Star's takeout window and offer more patio space and landscaping. Last week, a construction worker said the expansion is expected to be complete in mid-August.

Dove's Luncheonette, 1545 N. Damen Ave. Phone: 773-235-4039. 

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