WICKER PARK — From the “Dank” pizza to the “Kush” BLT, a variety of weed-themed sandwiches, salads and “munchies” are coming to Wicker Park.
Cheba Hut, a cannabis-themed restaurant chain, will open Monday at 1948 W. Division St.
Founded in 1998 in Arizona, Cheba Hut has 39 locations nationwide. The Wicker Park shop will be the chain’s first Illinois location.
Longtime friends and former Chicago Board of Trade traders Chris Custer and Lance Frericks are opening the Cheba Hut as franchisees. If all goes well in Wicker Park, Custer and Frericks hope to open additional Cheba Huts throughout the city.
“The green wave just moved across the country at a lightning speed,” Frericks said. “Looking at Wicker Park, we just feel like this area is embracing it completely.”
Frericks and Custer traded together at CBOT for more than 15 years and had long wanted to apply their business experience to a new venture. With Custer’s background in hospitality, the duo thought Cheba Hut was perfect.
The partners have been to every Cheba Hut in Colorado, almost every Cheba Hut in Arizona and the Cheba Hut in Madison.
“We’ve tasted every sandwich, every munchie,” Frericks said.
In addition to serving over 30 signature sandwiches with names like “Kush,” “White Widow,” “The Bomb,” “Chronic” and “The Dank,” the sub shop offers Rice Krispie treats, salads and “munchies.” A full-service bar offers local beers as well as signature drinks, such as the Dirty Hippie, Hot Box and Cheba Rita.
The restaurant will create at least 40 jobs, Frericks said. The restaurant’s internal capacity is 67, however only 27 customers will be allowed at once per COVID-19 rules. An outdoor patio can seat 42 and will have heaters.
Frericks encouraged customers who don’t want to dine-in to order online. During the pandemic, online ordering has accounted for 30 percent of orders across all Cheba Huts, he said.
Cheba Hut is partnering with DoorDash for delivery.
Hours of operation are 10 a.m.-midnight Sunday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Per city rules, the bar closes at 1 a.m.
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