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After Accusing Neighbors of Harassment, Grub on Taylor Closes

By Stephanie Lulay | January 12, 2016 5:44am
 Chef Emanuel Washington has returned to his hometown to open Grub, a soulfood restaurant at 1230 W. Taylor St.
Chef Emanuel Washington has returned to his hometown to open Grub, a soulfood restaurant at 1230 W. Taylor St.
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DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay

LITTLE ITALY — After 15 months in business, a Taylor Street restaurant owner that said he was harassed by some neighbors has closed his doors.

Grub, at 1230 W. Taylor St., has closed its doors for good after an eviction case was filed for non-payment of rent, confirmed Michael Kelly, a representative for the building's landlord Related Midwest. The restaurant's owner, Chef Emanuel Washington, turned in keys to the storefront at the end of December, Kelly said.

Washington could not be reached for comment last week or Monday.

After working in New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., and Florida, Emanuel Washington, raised in the city's Austin neighborhood, returned to Chicago to open the restaurant.

When he opened Grub in September 2014, Washington said the "diverse neighborhood" within Little Italy and near the University of Illinois at Chicago would be the perfect location to bring the restaurant to the masses.

But in December 2014, Washington told The Gazette he had been harassed by the neighborhood.

“I have been harassed ever since I have been here,” Washington said. “It is not right.”

In October 2015, Washington told The Chicago Defender that not everyone in the neighborhood welcomed his new restaurant.

In the article, Washington alleged that the University Village Association failed to invite him to participate in Festa Italiana, a four-day summer festival on Taylor Street, and placed a mobile Nathan's Famous hot dogs trailer in front of his business.

Witnesses who attended Festa Italiana said the Nathan's Famous trailer was originally stationed in front of the Grub storefront, but was moved to another location at some point during the festival.

Kathy Catrambone, executive director of the University Village Association, declined to address the allegations in December.

The 1230 W. Taylor St. building is part of the Roosevelt Square development. Related Midwest, the building's landlord, will now market the storefront to new businesses, Kelly said. Businesses interested in renting the space can email Kelly at mkelly@relatedmidwest.com.

Before Grub, the Taylor Street building formerly housed casual Brazilian restaurant Sabor Express.

After 15 months in business, soul food restaurant Grub, at 1230 W. Taylor St. in University Village, has closed. [DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]

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