ROGERS PARK — The Halal Guys will bring their popular brand of fast-casual Mediterranean food to a stretch of Rogers Park near Loyola University.
The restaurant will open Friday at 6474 N. Sheridan Road. It will be the third Halal Guys location in Chicago, marking a quick rebound in the city after the New York-based chain closed other city outposts last year.
A dispute between the local franchisee and Halal Guys’ corporate office led to the closure of locations in the Loop, Wicker Park and Gold Coast in July 2019.
After that, suburban franchise owner Dimitris Bouhoutsos moved into the Chicago market and reopened the Loop and Gold Coast locations in December and February.
Bouhoutsos is now opening in Rogers Park, saying he picked the neighborhood because of its diversity and because of the storefront’s location near Loyola. Bouhoutsos also owns Halal Guys locations in suburban Skokie and Countryside.
“Rogers Park has its community and diversity,” he said. “There’s a lot of great traffic near the Red Line stop and the university. It’s a good opportunity.”
The Rogers Park location was set to open last week but was delayed by electricity issues when a tornado swept through the neighborhood. The business will open Friday and will eventually have outdoor seating, Bouhoutsos said.
The Halal Guys started as a wildly popular streetfood spot in Manhattan and went on to open restaurants throughout the United States and internationally, including in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and London. It is known for its pared-down menu (chicken and rice, lamb and rice and a combo of the two are the most popular items) and its incredibly spicy red sauce.
Despite the closure of some campus buildings, there are still plenty of students walking around the area. Nearby businesses do not seem to be impacted by the coronavirus-caused closures, Bouhoutsos said.
“I don’t think I have too much to worry about” in regard to campus life being altered, he said.
The Halal Guys will be open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily at at 6474 N. Sheridan Road.
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