EAST UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — A Filipino restaurant and pastry counter could open soon in the former Winchester space in East Ukrainian Village.
The Winchester, 1001 N. Winchester Ave., shuttered in 2018 after four years in the neighborhood. While owners said it would reopen under a new concept, they ultimately stepped away from the venture and two award-winning chefs are looking to take it over.
Genie Kwon and Tim Flores worked at the two-Michelin-starred Oriole in the West Loop and now want to open a Filipino restaurant and pastry counter in the building at the corner of Winchester and Augusta.
Kwon, a pastry chef, and Flores, a savory chef, told neighbors about their plans Monday during an East Village Association meeting at Homestead on the Roof, 1924 W. Chicago Ave.
During the meeting, the duo informed neighbors they are in the process of buying the building and hope to open by spring or early summer.
They will rename the business but did not disclose what the new name will be.
Kwon and Flores currently live in Humboldt Park at the corner of Augusta and California.
“We’ve always admired that building,” Kwon said. “We’re excited to be part of the community.”
Kwon and Flores met in the early 2010s while working together at River North’s GT Fish & Oyster.
They later helped found Oriole, Kwon as pastry chef and Flores as chef de cuisine under chef and owner Noah Sandoval.
The couple announced their departure from Oriole in March 2018, the Tribune reported.
Replacing The Winchester will be the couple’s first venture on their own, Kwon said.
“We [wanted] to open a neighborhood spot,” she said.
Flores’ parents immigrated to America from Philippines in December 1975 and met in Chicago.
His father moved to Humboldt Park while his mother moved to Ukrainian Village by the corner of Oakley and Augusta.
This family history makes opening the first kitchen of his own in the area all the more special, Flores said.
“I’m opening a restaurant [in this neighborhood], with her recipes, making food I grew up eating,” Flores said.
While Flores’ menu will consist mainly of Filipino dishes, Kwon’s pastry selection will be of the French American variety with “some traditional” recipes, she said.
Details such as hours of operation are still in the works, Kwon said, but the restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday.
The couple expect to hire 18-20 employees. Those who wish to apply can email Kwon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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