ANDERSONVILLE — Acclaimed barbecue restaurant Pork Shoppe is coming to Andersonville to open in the former Kingfisher Restaurant, according to local businessman Tim Rasmussen, who brokered the deal.
Kingfisher has sat vacant at 5721 N. Clark St. since the 3,700-square-foot seafood restaurant closed in 2011. But Pork Shoppe is slated to open "within four to five months," according to Rasmussen.
In addition to co-owning restaurants Anteprima, Acre and Ombra, Rasmussen is a real estate adviser at Sperry Van Ness.
He said the Pork Shoppe owners signed a lease for the restaurant Wednesday.
Rasmussen touted Pork Shoppe, an Avondale favorite at 2755 W. Belmont Ave., as "a very popular place," and shared details about what owner Steven Ford and his business partners have planned for Andersonville.
Pork Shoppe's second location is going to be a big place, making full use of the building's huge footprint at Clark Street and Edgewater Avenue, Rasmussen said.
He promised an "awesome outdoor beer garden," with seating for about 100 people.
Last year, 48th Ward Ald. Harry Osterman said DMK Restaurants was replacing Kingfisher. However, the company never announced a concept or opening date for the restaurant despite having negotiated a lease and eventually backed out of the deal.
Back then, Rasmussen noted "a void in the market for barbecue," saying there's nothing in Andersonville that could hold a flame to some of the city's hotter barbecue destinations. He was adamant in February that he'd lure a tenant to fill that void "in the next couple weeks."
Things obviously took a lot longer than that. But Rasmussen said he never wavered in his efforts and followed through on his promise to bring barbecue to the 'hood.
"I told you," he said on the phone Thursday, upbeat and laughing when DNAinfo Chicago pointed out the delay. "I told you!"
The owners of Pork Shoppe could not be reached for comment.
The restaurant's Facebook page describes its offering as "the best of Texas, Kansas City, Memphis and the Carolina's all in one. Like a dry BBQ? We put all of our sauces on the side. Like to smother yours in sauce? Ask for a bit extra, we don't mind, we know how good this stuff is."
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