Restaurants-America is best known for the restaurant chain it doesn’t own any more— Bar Louie, which it sold in 2009. It has five restaurants in the Loop, but if you’ve ever heard of PrimeBar, One North, Townhouse Kitchen & Bar, The Grill Room or Midtown Kitchen & Bar, you probably work next to one of them. Now the company is looking to make a little bigger splash, at least, while maintaining its focus on very middle-American, comfort food and drink.
It recently opened a successful tavern-comfort food spot in a mall in Rosemont, Park Tavern, and now it announces plans to open a second Park Tavern by the end of 2012 opposite the United Center, which it sees as an up-and-coming restaurant district over the next few years. That way the city will soon be able to enjoy delicate dishes such as “tater tots with pulled pork, cheese curds and a beer-based brown gravy.” If that suggests strongly that Randolph Street has nothin’ to worry about culinarily from Rosemont’s hottest spot opening here, they’re also planning another, seemingly more ambitious concept called Central Standard at Kinzie and Wells, which they describe as “a high-end gastropub” featuring an oversized bar, a private dining room and a focus on smoked meats finished on the grill. It will open in 2013. [Crain’s]