UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — A BYOB soul/Creole fusion restaurant in the works for more than a year plans to open next month — and its owner is selling raffle tickets for prizes her supporters could win at the grand opening party on July 29.
If everything goes as planned, Soule Chicago at 1931 W. Chicago Ave. will celebrate a grand opening on July 29 after a soft opening, according to chef and owner Bridgette Harris.
"It was a bit stressful but I am excited. I came a long way to build it out from nothing," said the 34-year-old Harris. "I am so excited; it's my baby."
Empty for the past few years, the Soule storefront was previously home to a vintage clothing shop, and, before that, Vigilante Comics.
Pronounced "Soul-ay", the 33-seat restaurant is the first solo operation for Harris, a West Town resident and chef who has operated a private catering business for the past four years.
Harris said her favorite dishes to cook are crab legs and lamb chops.
Though she initially hoped to open last summer, Harris said a series of unexpected obstacles forced her to push the opening back.
"I thought things would be easier than it was, it was dealing with different contractors, and it all took longer than expected," she said.
Soule will serve lunch and dinner from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, along with a monthly brunch.
The Soule grand opening will include "drinks, food, laughter, raffles and giveaways," according to an event listing.
Raffle prizes include round-trip airfare to Los Angeles, a 32-inch TV and a private dinner for two.
Raffle tickets are $10 each and can be bought online. The sale ends Saturday and winners will be drawn at the grand opening party on July 29.
Harris said all will be welcome at the grand opening, whether they've bought a raffle ticket or not.
"It's just if people want to donate and feel a part of the restaurant," Harris said. Her friends and family have donated the first two prizes, and she will cook the third prize: a private dinner for two.
The Soule storefront at 1931 W. Chicago Ave. [Anne Poluchowicz]