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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

After 22 Years, Blackbird Closes Permanently Due To Coronavirus

Operating at 25 percent capacity in an “incredibly small, tight dining room” was not feasible, leaders told the Tribune.

West Loop restaurant Blackbird, 619 W. Randolph St., shutters amid coronavirus pandemic.
Blackbird/ Facebook
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WEST LOOP — After two decades, the Michelin Star restaurant Blackbird has closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“After 22 years of serving Chicago, we have made the very difficult decision to close our doors,” One Off Hospitality announced on their website.

“While our hearts are broken to see Blackbird’s journey come to an end, we are humbled to have contributed in a small way to Chicago’s incredible restaurant community for over two decades, serving as a place of warmth and hospitality while all along the way, building lifelong friendships with our team, guests and partners,” the note reads.

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, calling the move the “healthiest decision for the company moving forward.”

Kahan, Donnie Madia, Eduard Seitan and Rick Diarmit opened the restaurant in 1997.  

On the Blackbird website, company leaders thanked the team members, who they described as “the beating heart of Blackbird so many years.”   

Avec, the Publican and Publican Quality Meats are also run by the restaurant group in West Loop.  

“While it’s difficult to close this chapter, this isn’t a true goodbye. We are grateful to continue to serve our loyal guests across our collective of restaurants. As always, we’ll save you a seat,” the note read.

Also on Tuesday, One Off leaders announced they would be closing Café Cancale in Wicker Park in an attempt to help some of their other restaurants weather the economic storm. Café Cancale opened last year.

Read all of Block Club’s coverage of businesses closing because of coronavirus.

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