WICKER PARK — A Wicker Park sandwich and bubble tea spot that opened in late 2021 has closed, but another bubble tea company is taking over next week.
Zenwich X Elitea, 1415 N. Milwaukee Ave., announced the closure of its Chicago location last week. Owner Chai Ploentham said he sold the store last month to focus on the company’s main location in suburban Elmhurst.
Zenwich will be replaced by bubble tea company Uni Uni, according to Ploentham and a sign hanging outside the storefront.
Zenwich featured Asian-style sandwiches like Thai barbecue pork belly, Korean cheesesteaks and Japanese-style breaded chicken. At its Wicker Park location, Ploentham shared the space with Elitea, a bubble tea chain with a location in Chinatown.
“We’re going to be like the Asian-style McDonald’s,” Elitea co-owner Jerry Liu told Block Club in 2021.
In a brief interview Monday, Ploentham said he decided to close the Wicker Park location because business was just OK and often slow during the week and in the wintertime.
“I’m downsizing to one store. I don’t think economy will come back anytime soon. So, I’m kind of cutting off and just focusing on one,” Ploentham said.
Uni Uni operates stores in Chinatown, Lincoln Park, Uptown, the suburbs and in several other states, according to its website.
The bubble tea shop will open May 1, according to a sign hanging outside the store. Management did not immediately return requests for comment.
Fast-casual restaurants in Wicker Park have experienced mixed success in recent years. Vegan chain Native Foods Cafe recently closed in the neighborhood, while St. Louis-based Seoul Taco opened across the street from Zenwich in September.
The Zenwich-turned-Uni Uni storefront was previously home to Yuzuya Asian Grill.
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