The outdoor patio at Small Cheval, 1307 E. 53rd St. in Hyde Park. Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago

HYDE PARK — A casual hamburger chain spun off from a popular West Loop diner is now open on 53rd Street, bringing a stripped-down food menu, cocktails and outdoor seating to Hyde Park.

Small Cheval, 1307 E. 53rd St., sells hamburgers for $10.95, cheeseburgers for $11.95, fries for $4.95 and milkshakes for $5.95. The menu also includes plant-based burgers, draft beer, wine and cocktails.

The new location features an outdoor patio neighboring Nichols Park with a few dozen picnic tables. Indoor seating is also available.

The storefront of Small Cheval’s Hyde Park location, 1307 E. 53rd St. next to Nichols Park. Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
A double cheeseburger at Small Cheval. Credit: Small Cheval/ Facebook

Patio diners Friday afternoon said they expect the new location to be a hit — especially once students at the nearby University of Chicago and Kenwood High School return to class — with few other burger joints in Hyde Park.

“It fits with the neighborhood and the environment. It’s needed,” said Ryan, a Bronzeville resident who dined with his sister. “I work in Hyde Park now, so as a lunch spot or after-work spot, I would definitely come back, for sure.”

“It’s super-quality ingredients,” said Brooke Aronin, who dined on the patio with fellow Hyde Park resident Alex Ruthenburg and two dogs.

“This is a little bit more upscale than the Five Guys down the street,” which alongside Bar David, 1201 E. 60th St., is one of the few neighborhood spots Aronin turns to for burgers, she said.

“There’s a lot of outdoor space,” Ruthenburg said. “It’s going to be interesting to see, when the students come back, how full this gets.”

The Hyde Park location is Small Cheval’s fifth, alongside 1732 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park; 1345 N. Wells St. in Old Town; 900 N. Michigan Ave. in the Gold Coast; and 150 N. Riverside Plaza in the West Loop.

The burger chain’s parent restaurant, Au Cheval, offers “elevated” diner fare out of its West Loop location at 800 W. Randolph St.

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