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Perennial Virant Closes, To Get Fresh Concept From New Boka Partners

By Ted Cox | January 4, 2017 3:07pm
 Perennial Virant was used in a scene from the indie film
Perennial Virant was used in a scene from the indie film "Open Tables."
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Open Tables/Facebook

OLD TOWN TRIANGLE — Perennial Virant has been pulled up by the roots.

Chef Paul Virant's restaurant in the Lincoln Hotel at 1800 N. Lincoln Ave. closed after New Year's Eve. The Boka Restaurant Group ownership announced he'd be replaced by Ryan See and Dan Warren, with plans to reopen in the spring.

Virant brought his farm-to-table approach to Lincoln Park in 2011 and later helped develop the food menu at the J. Parker atop the Lincoln Hotel. That rooftop bar was named the best place for a drink in the inaugural Lincoln Park Top 10 Awards last year, and Boka said it will remain unchanged along with Elaine's Coffee Call in the hotel.

The Perennial space, however, will reopen as a joint venture between Boka and the 90/94 Restaurant Group, a new partnership between See, owner of Lincoln Park's Compass Bar as well as Bridge House Tavern in River North, and Warren, previously a New York City restaurateur.

"Both Ryan and Dan have been in Chicago for a while now, and we have been friends with them for years," said Boka co-owner Rob Katz. "After much thought, we decided they would be excellent partners for us at 1800 N. Lincoln Ave. We’re excited about the new direction the restaurant located on the ground floor of the Hotel Lincoln will be taking" once it reopens this spring.

In addition to Boka and Balena in Lincoln Park, Boka Restaurant Group is involved in chef Stephanie Izard's restaurants as well as GT Prime and GT Fish & Oyster, among others.

Virant, of course, retains his suburban restaurants Vie and Vistro.

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