WEST LOOP — Bad Hunter, a veggie-focused restaurant and bar, is permanently closing its doors in West Loop.
Executive Chef Dan Snowden announced Heisler Hospitality would be closing the West Loop restaurant and bar at 802 W. Randolph St. “indefinitely” because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The juxtaposition of operations costs and limited capacities paired with health and safety concerns for guests and staff is what has ultimately led us to make this incredibly difficult decision,” Matt Eisler, co-owner of Heisler Hospitality said in a press release.
“Financially the model that we are trying to execute at Bad Hunter isn’t feasible until we’re at 100% capacity, and it’s obvious that we’re still very far off from entering ‘Phase 5,’” he said, referring to the stage of reopening that would allow for full capacity indoor dining.
Other Heisler Hospitality restaurants will begin to reopen in the next several weeks, the company said in a press release.
Heisler Hospitality opened the vegetable-forward restaurant and bar in October 2016. A grease fire forced the restaurant to close down for seven months from November 2018 to June 2019.
In announcing the closing, the restaurant group also detailed plans for a new pizza shop dubbed Pizza Lobo in Logan Square. The idea for the restaurant was born during the seven-month closing of Bad Hunter.
Heisler Hospitality plans to open the restaurant in this summer and operate on to-go service during the immediate future.
“Having such a large shift happen at once is extremely bittersweet,” Eisler said in a prepared statement. “It’s devastating to say goodbye to a place like Bad Hunter, especially when it’s not fully on our terms. But, it’s also the beginning of a new, really exciting chapter with Pizza Lobo.”
The closing of Bad Hunter also comes a day after One Off Hospitality announced the Michelin star Blackbird would be closing two blocks away.
One Off Hospitality partners told the Chicago Tribune operating at 25 percent capacity in an “incredibly small, tight dining room” was not feasible.
“At this point, you have to be nimble, because nobody knows what will happen in September, or even tomorrow,” Paul Kahan said.
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