WICKER PARK — The Bedford, a swanky restaurant that turned a former bank vault into a subterranean cocktail lounge, has abruptly shuttered, according to workers who say they got the news on Monday that the business is closed "effective immediately."
Efforts to reach representatives from BC Manager LLC, which according to state records owns The Bedford under a partnership with five investors, were unsuccessful.
The Bedford's landlord did not respond to a request for comment.
The massive 6,000-square-foot restaurant, which took over an MB Bank branch, employs more than 20 workers. Managers, servers, kitchen staff and bartenders got the news on Monday that they would not have a job on Tuesday, according to a Bedford worker who asked to remain anonymous.
"Effective immediately we are closed," the worker said.
Matthias Merges, a chef and restaurateur with Folkart Restaurant Management, operators of Yusho, Billy Sunday, A10 Hyde Park and other spots, said on Tuesday that he was approached by the ownership team of Bedford and Buck's last year to help manage both properties.
Bucks at 1700 W. Division St. closed abruptly in March and was also owned by the group behind The Bedford.
"After may months of digging deep, we realized Bucks was not a sustainable business due to many factors," Merges said.
Merges recommends The Bedford, "with the incredible space and location," change its concept.
Merges said "a new iteration of the property" at The Bedford site is forthcoming from Folkart Restaurant Management, with more details to be revealed soon.
The Bedford bank vault to cocktail lounge. [The Bedford/Facebook]