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River North, Gold Coast, Near North Side

Tavern On Rush To Close — But Something Similar Could Open If Owner Finds Right Spot, He Says

The Rush Street steakhouse opened in 1998 and quickly became a hot spot with local celebrities. Its last day of service will be Dec. 31.

Tavern on Rush had closed.
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CHICAGO — The Tavern on Rush will close, marking the end of a longtime Gold Coast staple, owners announced Thursday.

The famous Viagra Triangle steakhouse, 1031 N. Rush St., will permanently close Jan. 1, owners announced in posts to social media. It’s closing “strictly” due to the end of its lease and the building owner’s disinterest in extending it, restaurant owner Phil Stefani said.

“People make decisions, and so I can’t argue against that,” Stefani said.

Tavern on Rush has been an icon since it opened in April 1998, with some of the original staff still working there, Stefani said. The restaurant became a hot spot for local celebrities, with the Blackhawks bringing the Stanley Cup there.

It was also known for its infamous ladies night: Every Monday, the restaurant raffles a pair of Christian Louboutin heels. The heels, displayed in a glass box behind the bar, attracts droves of women and men.

“In the 25 years, we created a great history. It was a great vibe,” Stefani said. “Every restaurant has its little niche. I think that the niche there was a meeting place where people want to be seen and also where people like to see.

“I appreciate every moment of it. I appreciate the staff that I have and the staff who made it possible.”

Although the restaurant is losing its physical location, Stefani would open something similar nearby if he found the “right location,” he said. Current staff at Tavern on Rush will be given transfer opportunities to other Stefani Restaurant Group locations, including the Guinness Tap Room opening next year in the West Loop.

The restaurant will celebrate New Year’s Eve, its last day of service, Stefani said. People are already reaching out to reserve a table on that night, he said.

“We got to figure out what we want to do for New Year’s Eve. We’re gonna go out with a bang; let’s just put it that way,” Stefani said.

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