BLT Closes and BONGO ROOM Opens

Chicago can be fickle about it’s food. One day you’re in – and the next day, you’re out. Or something like that.

Tourondel had it all – the passion and skill of a French-trained chef,
and the sensibility and style of a New York restaurateur. Thanks to this
dynamic combination, the BLT (Bistro Laurent Tourondel) concept has
taken flight, culminating in three premier New York City restaurants:
BLT Steak, BLT Fish, and BLT Prime. But he did not make it work in Chicago.

EATER  says, “After just five months and a number of lackluster reviews, Laurent Tourondel’s BLT American Brasserie
is now officially closed. Eater received two separate tips this morning
that the restaurant, which took over the massive Brasserie Ruhlmann
space, served its last meal on Sunday, and Tourondel just confirmed the
rumors. “We did close yesterday,” Tourondel said. “We made the decision
to close yesterday after brunch.”

I was in Staples last month chatting with an employee who is also a big foodie and she told me she heard that the Bongo Room was coming to Uptown, near the recently opened  Baker and Nosh on Wilson.  – Frankly, I had doubts Baker and Nosh would survive on Wilson, but they are doing great!  And I am happy. Because I live right there and we have all been waiting for the area to “change” and I think finally, it HAS started.

Back to Bongo Room.  Long known for their long lines, word came down this week, their new eatery WOULD NOT be in uptown, but instead be in Andersonville.   Eater said today, “After a couple of deals fell through the duo, John Latino and Derrick Robles,
have finally opened their third spot, this one at 5022 N. Clark. Bongo
Room officially opened its doors this morning at 8 a.m. and will be open
seven days a week for breakfast and lunch.”

The Bongo Room originally  opened in July of 1993 in what was then a very different Wicker Park.  The neighborhood was just becoming the dining and shopping destination that it is known for today.  Our original concept was simple:  serve fresh, seasonal Breakfast & Brunch food in a unique way. 

While the idea took some time to develop, within a year, customers’ feedback was fantastic.  In fact, a few of the original items remain on the menu to this day.  The Breakfast Burrito, The Croissant Sandwich and the Vegetarian Croissant Sandwich are as popular now as they were then.  But it is the seasonally changing pancakes & French Toast creations that continue to draw in new customers, entice die-hard regulars and bring back the  original patrons year after year.


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