Sweets and Savories, Bluette Both Closed

Chef David Richards at Sweets and Savories.
Chef David Richards at Sweets and Savories. Photo: Sky Full of Bacon

It’s not entirely clear when this happened, but the two remaining restaurants belonging to Chef David Richards, one of which was quite successful in the mid-2000s, have closed. Sweets and Savories, which Richards opened around 2004 after serving as chef of Chef’s Station in Evanston, was well-liked as a neighborhood spot in Lincoln Park offering casual French fare with luxe touches such as white truffles in season. Richards also backed Mado, opened by Rob and Allison Levitt in 2008, and it too was packed for a time. But as the recession hit, there were signs of financial and other troubles at Sweets and Savories.

Sweets and Savories surrendered its liquor license and went BYO in 2009, while in late 2010 the Levitts left Mado to open The Butcher & Larder. What followed at Mado was a very public train wreck; Brandon Baltzley was brought in as the new chef but lasted only days before he and his staff walked out rather than accept cuts below the number of people Baltzley felt they needed to operate, and that led to public back and forth between him and Richards. Mado closed for good at that point. Richards seemed to focus his energies on a new French restaurant in Wilmette, Bluette, which he opened in early 2011. But frequent Grouponing suggested a need for cash and an inability to fill seats at profitable prices, and industry discussion sites have tales from servers who claim they went unpaid as Richards focused his attention at Bluette and Sweets and Savories declined in quality. As of now both restaurants have paper in the windows.