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Johnny's Grill Returning To Logan Square With New Owner, Late-Night Bar

By Paul Biasco | July 31, 2015 8:50am | Updated on August 3, 2015 12:47pm
 Johnny's Grill will reopen under new orders but with the same name.
Johnny's Grill will reopen under new orders but with the same name.
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DNAinfo/Paul Biasco

LOGAN SQUARE — Johnny's Grill is coming back to Logan Square.

The longtime diner at 2545 N. Kedzie Blvd. closed more than a year ago but is now preparing to reopen.

It's unclear what the menu will look like at the new Johnny's when it reopens in the same location, but it will remain a diner.

"I knew what a special, iconic spot Johnny's Grill was and definitely saw the need for that back in Logan Square since it closed," said Sarah Jordan, the new owner of Johnny's.

The restaurant will likely open later this week.

Jordan, an award-winning pastry chef who previously worked at Boka and Cicchetti, said Johnny's used to be one of her favorite spots in the neighborhood.

"It was my go-to place to go before I would fly home to Ireland," her birthplace, she said.

Rumors of a former Brendan Sodikoff employee opening up a Nasvhille-style restaurant in the space have been put to rest.

Paul Biasco says there's a new owner, but no word yet on a menu:

Saul Osacky, the owner of the building as well as the Logan Square Auditorium, confirmed that Johnny's is back, but could not give any more details.

"It's going to be a diner," Osacky said.

The owner of the new Johnny's will become the third generation to run Johnny's on the square, which was previously run by Nicholas Kalliantasis, Osacky said.

"There's so many great restaurants here, but I wanted to revive this local greasy spoon," Jordan said. 

Unlike the former Johnny's the new version will also function as a bar and be open until 2 a.m.

"It will still be reminiscent of what was here before," Jordan said.

Jordan, a longtime resident of the neighborhood, said Johnny's will be her first restaurant. She added that she's preparing to open and is in the process of hiring a new staff.

"I think everyone in the neighborhood has been to Johnny's at some point," Jordan said. "Everyone's welcome."

A group under the name Johnny's Grill 1 received a retail food license and an incidental liquor license on July 20.

As part of the reopening, Johnny's is expanding into the former Fleur flower shop next door.

Neighborhood residents were shocked when Johnny's was shut down in May 2014, stating the diner was always packed and that it was a symbolic establishment in the neighborhood.

The restaurant abruptly closed over a lease dispute.

Kalliantasis told DNAinfo in 2014 that the building's owner would not renew his lease for the location, adding that he was forced to leave. He could not be reached for comment on the rebirth of Johnny's.

In July 2014 Dustin Tripp, the executive chef at Brendan Sodifkoff's Maude's Liquor Bar told Eater that he was planning to open a restaurant called Georgia Mae's at Johnny Grill.

The new owner at Johnny's says that plan is no longer on the table.

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