Dusek’s Tavern and Dining Room will join a recent string of beloved, longtime Chicago restaurants closing their doors this year.
The Pilsen eatery (a former Michelin starred restaurant), located inside entertainment venue Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St., announced Wednesday via Instagram that it will shut down at the end of dinner service on New Year’s Eve after a decade of operation. Thalia Hall, as well as the Tack Room and Punch House businesses located inside, will remain open, Dusek’s said in the post.
A public notice from the city of Chicago, seen on the window on Wednesday, indicated that an application was filed Nov. 1 to change the zoning to build a “two-story addition and outdoor cafe and continue the existing Thalia Hall mixed-uses including entertainment, retail and residential uses within the existing building.”
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Hospitality collective 16” on Center (16OC), which has operated Thalia Hall and Dusek’s since 2013, told the Chicago Sun-Times in an email that a cafe would not be replacing the restaurant, but said “no other details are available.”
A spokesperson for Ald. Byron Sigcho Lopez (25th) said the application was filed for an outdoor patio with indoor space built above for storage and an elevator, but did not have information about how the patio would be used, or a replacement for Dusek’s.
“It truly is the end of a decade, and the support has been amazing,” Bruce Finkelman, partner at 160C, said in an email to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“Dusek’s was the blood, sweat and tears of so many talented people over the years who lived and breathed it. If anyone would have told me that our little slice of Pilsen would have lasted for almost 11 years, I would have never believed it. We achieved everything we set out to do and more. From Michelin stars and other accolades, to serving some of our favorite artists and friends, to a family of staff that believed in what Dusek’s was all about.”
Finkelman also thanked the employees and hinted that “when one chapter closes, another begins.”
On Instagram, the restaurant acknowledged its patrons.
“During these 10 years, so many wonderfully talented people have made Dusek’s the special neighborhood place that welcomed all,” the restaurant wrote on Instagram. “Thank you, Pilsen. Thank you, our amazing employees. And thank you, our cherished customers, for letting us serve you. Stay tuned for what’s next.”
Fans of Dusek’s expressed their sadness via the post.
“Thank you for always being there when friends ask me ‘what’s one of your favorite places in Chicago?’” @mingchen37 wrote. “Many great dinners and memories for sure.”
“We got married at Thalia and have the most beautiful memories inside Dusek’s and serving your delicious food to our guests,” @ashleymkane_ wrote. “Thank you for everything.”
Dusek’s closure follows news of several other popular, longstanding restaurants shuttering or announcing impending closures, including Belli’s juice bar in Pilsen; the Signature Room and Grand Lux Cafe on the Magnificent Mile; Vesecky’s Bakery in Berwyn; Duk’s Red Hots in West Town, and Metropolitan Brewing in Avondale.