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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Beach House Social Shutters: Third In 3 Years To Try To Make It In Wicker Building

The restaurant group behind Beach House said they plan to move the concept elsewhere.

Beach House Social, 1501 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Alisa Hauser/Block Club Chicago
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WICKER PARK — Less than five months after rebranding from Hawaiian-themed Mahalo to The Beach House Social, the Wicker Park bar and restaurant at the corner of Milwaukee and Honore has shuttered.

Beach House Social at 1501 N. Milwaukee Ave. closed on Sunday night, according to Chad Watson, an assistant manager.

Watson said the team experienced “mixed emotions” when they found out Sunday that it would be their last night, but most are not too sad because the owners of Beach House Social operate other restaurants and laid-off staffers will have places to go.

Watson, who transferred to Beach House from The Hampton Social in River North, said he’ll miss working in Wicker Park. 

Parker Restaurant Group, which also operates Hampton Socials in River North, suburban Burr Ridge and Streeterville, issued a statement Monday afternoon saying they would keep the Beach House brand alive — but it will be located elsewhere.

“Beach House Social is temporarily closed and will be re-opening in a new location in Spring 2019,” a company spokeswoman said. “We tested a number of new ideas out at our Wicker Park destination, and as a result, will be enhancing the Beach House Social experience to reflect customer-favorite elements and signature components from sister concept—The Hampton Social—including a larger indoor and outdoor space.”

Parker Restaurant Group also owned Mahalo, Beach Club Social’s predecessor.

An employee of Beach House Social said the restaurant was “not that busy” and while there was no advanced notice of the closure, “no one was surprised.”

The exterior facade of the 1880s-era vintage building that house The Beach House Social was saved from the wrecking ball in 2014. 

After an extensive renovation and remodeling, Bom Bolla, a fine-dining Spanish restaurant and cava bar opened in May 2015. But just eight months later, Bom Bolla closed and Mahalo took over its lease. Mahalo opened in May 2016.

Sadly, the corner will now have two empty restaurants, as Fonda Frontera on the opposite side of the street shuttered in January. Chef Rick Bayless opened Fonda Frontera in 2014, initially as Xoco Bistro, before rebranding about a year later.