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Carmichael's Steakhouse Closing After 18 Years in the West Loop

By Stephanie Lulay | February 4, 2015 2:46pm | Updated on February 4, 2015 2:52pm
 Carmichael's Steakhouse, a mainstay on the West Loop's dining scene, is closing in March.
Carmichael's Steakhouse, a mainstay on the West Loop's dining scene, is closing in March.
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DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay

WEST LOOP — Carmichael's Steakhouse, a mainstay of the West Loop dining scene, is closing this spring, its owners announced Wednesday.

The restaurant's last day in business will be March 20. The building at 1052 W. Monroe St. is owned by Michigan Avenue Real Estate Group, a firm that plans to build 131 rental units at the site.

The group could not immediately be reached for comment.

But restaurant manager Ben Sawyer confirmed the news Wednesday afternoon, saying that the restaurant is closing as the developer's plan for the site advance.

Carmichael's owners do not plan to re-open the restaurant somewhere else at this time, Sawyer said.

Carmichael's has operated at the site since 1997 in a 68-year-old building. It is a popular spot for fans heading to Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks games.

The reaction from customers "has mostly been shock," Sawyer said. "It's going to leave a real big whole in the community and lives of our customers and staff. It's been tough — there's no real way around it. It's unfortunate that we have to close when we're still doing really good business."

Items used in the restaurant — including the fixtures, grills, booths and "everything but the walls" — will be sold at an auction on March 25 by Bob King Auctions.

In an e-mail, Carmichael's owners thanked its customers, staff and vendors after 18 years in business.

Plans for the site were announced last spring. The developer's proposal had included plans for two four-story buildings that would take up virtually the entire site at 1050 and 1060 W. Monroe St. Renderings for the two buildings show a small outdoor courtyard near the corner of Monroe and Aberdeen streets. The block currently has a large landscaped area open to the public.

But in November, the City Council passed an ordinance — introduced by Ald. Danny Solis to change the zoning of the block — effectively blocking the plan.

The action ensured that any development at the site would have to go through a community process before moving forward. Unless neighbors approve of the development in the future, Solis does not plan to sign off the project, according to his spokeswoman.

Residents previously submitted a petition to Solis, arguing that their "beautifully maintained aesthetic on the block" should not be "obliterated to make way for yet another luxury apartment complex."

The current status of the project remains unclear.


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