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Small Cheval, a 'Faster' Version of Famed Au Cheval, Replaces Roxie's

By Alisa Hauser | July 24, 2015 9:15am | Updated on July 25, 2015 8:53am
 A mural advertising
A mural advertising "Small Cheval" appeared on Thursday in the short-lived Roxie's spot.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

WICKER PARK —  A pizza-by-the-slice spot from Brendan Sodikoff called Roxie's has remained vacant for almost two months but come Aug. 1 the roadside eatery will be home to Small Cheval, a casual shop serving up burgers, shakes, cocktails, beer and shots, it was announced Friday.

On Thursday, a muralist painted over the Roxie's name and replaced it with "Small Cheval," referring to Au Cheval, the famed West Loop burger spot whose cheeseburger ranks among the best burgers in the nation.

Sodikoff, the Chicago-based restaurateur and CEO of Hogsalt Hospitality, who is partnering on the new venture with Sir Kensington’s, a purveyor of all-natural condiments, could be great news for fans of the acclaimed burger spot if it helps alleviate demand at the West Loop flagship, where wait times are notoriously long.

Small Cheval will include both dine-in and carryout, with all meals packaged to-go for convenience.

In a news release, Sodikoff called the venture "the faster, more accessible version of Au Cheval." 

“We’re excited to reconnect with the Bucktown community and bring a new burger experience to the neighborhood," Sodikoff said.

Guests can order a burger, cheeseburger or fries with the option to add bacon, lettuce, tomato and condiments courtesy of Sir Kensington’s. The beverage list features shakes, draft cocktails, beers and shots.   

Hamburgers will be $8.95; cheeseburgers $9.95; and "Golden Fries" $2.95, according to a menu. Offering lunch and dinner hours, Small Cheval will be open from 11 a.m. to midnight Wednesday through Sunday.

Alisa Hauser says Small Cheval might just be a pop-up summer spot, based on prior discussions. Or maybe it will be permanent.

Located at 1732 N. Milwaukee Ave., Small Cheval is one half block south of "Park 567," one of 12 access points where The 606's Bloomingdale Trail — an elevated 2.7-mile-long path that cyclists, walkers and joggers can use to visit spots along the trail in Wicker Park, Bucktown and Logan Square. 

The abrupt closure of Roxie's just six months after it opened and six days before the trail opened in June puzzled some locals, eager to catch a bite or drink off the trail. 

In late May, Sodikoff tweeted that Roxie's would be replaced with a "pop up summer burger shop."  Sodikoff also previously said that Roxie's Pizza By the Slice would make a return in the winter, but  Hogsalt did not immediately have information on the future of Roxie's Friday afternoon.

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