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Pilsen, Little Village, West Loop

French Bistro La Sardine Closes After 22 Years Because Of Coronavirus

“Covid is an extinction event for restaurants, so please support small family-owned places like ours,” owners wrote about the closing.

La Sardine, 111 N. Carpenter St., announces they are permanently closing after 22 years.
La Sardine/ Facebook
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WEST LOOP — Owners of La Sardine are closing the French bistro after 22 in the West Loop because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The owners posted on Facebook Thursday to announce their plans to permanently close the restaurant at 111 N. Carpenter St.

“Covid is an extinction event for restaurants, so please support small family-owned places like ours,” owners wrote in the announcement. “If we all disappear we will be left with a city of soul-less chain restaurants.”

The French bistro joins a growing list of restaurants that have closed as a result of the pandemic, which has hit the restaurant industry particularly hard.

Earlier this summer, nearby eateries Blackbird and Bad Hunter permanently closed.

Oliver Poilevey, a partner and executive chef at La Sardine, told the Tribune he thought they were going to make it — but then their air conditioning broke. They couldn’t afford to spend $80,000 with very little revenue coming in, he said.

As the neighborhood has transformed from a meatpacking hub to a a haven for tech companies, owners wrote on Facebook they “tried to remain consistent, delicious, but most of all that old school place that knows your name.”

La Sardine’s owners thanked loyal customers and folks who “chose to share so many of your life’s special moments with us.” Poilevery also thanked his staff.

“It was heartbreaking to tell them,” he told the Tribune. “In non-COVID times, we could put some of them in other places, but I don’t have enough work for the Le Bouchon staff as it is.”

Poilevey’s parents, Jean-Claude and Susanne Poilevey, opened the restaurant in 1998.

La Sardine’s sister restaurant, Le Bouchon at 1958 N. Damen Ave. in Bucktown, will remain open.

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

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