WEST LOOP — Little Goat, chef Stephanie Izard’s spin on a classic American diner, will be hoofing it from West Loop to Lakeview next year.
Rob Katz, a partner in the restaurant’s ownership team, Boka Group, confirmed the move. The diner will move into the former Southport Lanes bowling alley and bar at 3325 N. Southport Ave., with an expected opening in January.
The Randolph location at 820 W. Randolph St. will remain open through the end of the year, Katz said.
Little Goat will be one of three restaurants to occupy the Southport building, with owners having announced plans in late 2021 for a rotisserie chicken concept called GG’s Chicken Shop from Boka executive chef Lee Wolen. The group plans to announce the third restaurant this summer, Katz said.
Boka Group leased the Southport Corridor building in September, according to county records.
The Little Goat move marks a change for West Loop, as it’s been one of the neighborhood’s anchor restaurants on busy Randolph Street. Boka Group plans to hold onto the coveted West Loop property, Katz said, but he declined to provide any further details.
Little Goat opened in West Loop in 2021, the second of Stephanie Izard’s collaborations with Boka Group. A James Beard award winner and the first woman winner of “Top Chef,” Izard opened The Girl & The Goat across the street on Randolph in 2010.
Little Goat was bustling in the West Loop location, but staffing the large space has become too challenging, particularly during the pandemic, Katz said. The diner, which was opened with the intention of serving three meals per day, stopped dinner service in recent months because of staffing issues, Katz said.
“With the amount of staff we needed, it was a herculean task,” Katz said. “We’re really excited about this.”
The new Little Goat will be much smaller with a new menu. It will have a “retro-electrica” vibe with bright colors and an old-timey feel, Katz said.
“It’s quite dynamite,” Katz said. “I hope the baton toss is a clean handoff.”
Southport Lanes had a long history, once serving as a Prohibition-era speakeasy with a secret billiard hall. The bowling alley and bar closed in 2021.
“That neighborhood has changed and exploded,” Katz said. “It’s going to be great to be a part of the fabric of that.”
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