Le Bouchon French Restaurant will be closed indefinitely after a fire September 12th, 2023.
Le Bouchon French Restaurant is closed indefinitely after a fire September 12th, 2023. Credit: Facebook/Le Bouchon

BUCKTOWN — Le Bouchon in Bucktown is welcoming back diners after a kitchen fire sidelined the French mainstay last month.

The restaurant, 1958 N. Damen Ave., announced its reopening on social media Thursday, a few weeks after owners said it would close for the “foreseeable future” due to a kitchen fire in mid-September.

“Thanks to everyone who reached out, sent us well wishes, helped us clean up and rebuild. We appreciate you all sooooo much! Back tonight with an all new fall menu. Come by we miss you!” the restaurant posted on Instagram and Facebook along with an image reading, “Back Open Tonight!!”

The Sept. 12 kitchen fire was quickly put out, and no one was injured, a Fire Department spokesperson said last month. It did cause a “decent amount of damage,” forcing the restaurant to temporarily close, according to Le Bouchon’s Instagram

“The good news is nobody is hurt, and it could have been worse,” restaurant management wrote on social media at the time. “Thank you for understanding, and hopefully we’ll be back soon.”


Founded by chef Jean-Claude Poilevey in 1993, the Bucktown bistro has often been ranked one of the best French restaurants in Chicago.

Le Bouchon — which translates to “the cork” — celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018 with a party. The occasion even garnered a special letter from then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“Over the past 25 years, Le Bouchon has served over 150,000 bottles of wine, 100,000 French Onion soups, 75,000 Creme Brulees, and 100,000 steaks to more than 700,000 diners. Your hard work and dedication to serve has helped to uphold the legacy and vision of Chef Jean-Claude Poilevey,” Emanuel wrote in the letter, which was posted on Le Bouchon’s Instagram.

The restaurant has remained a family-operated business under Poilevey’s sons, Oliver and Nicolas. The family also runs Obélix in River North and Taqueria Chingon in Bucktown.

Block Club’s Isaiah Reynolds contributed reporting.

Help Block Club Get
500 More Subscribers!

Subscribe to Block Club now and you’ll get a free 16-by-20-inch Chicago neighborhood print of your choice, helping us reach our goal of getting 500 more subscribers before 2024. Click here to subscribe or click here to gift a subscription.

Listen to the Block Club Chicago podcast: