CHICAGO (STMW) – Red Light, a mainstay pan-Asian restaurant at 820 W. Randolph St. in the West Loop, is for sale after having suffered a 35 to 40-percent sales decline since the recession began, said co-owner Jerry Kleiner, a partner in restaurant owner KDK Restaurants.
Meanwhile, two restaurants at the forefront of redevelopment in the South Loop — Gioco and Opera — will reopen, Kleiner said Monday. Gioco’s ownership is being restructured, but the Italian restaurant at 1312 S. Wabash Ave. will reopen with the same name and cuisine, Kleiner said.
“Gioco is very profitable. It held its own and had to subsidize Red Light,” Kleiner said.
Opera, at 1301 S. Wabash Ave., has been sold to new owners and is expected to reopen as a sports bar within the next few months, he said, offering no further details on the new ownership.
Kleiner said the changes were inevitable as people turned to comfort food, beer, sports bars and smaller venues during the recession.
“Everyone downgraded and started serving beers, tacos, hot dogs and hamburgers,” Kleiner said, adding that he had no interest in such a venue.
Both Red Light and Gioco had run into trouble for falling behind on paying state taxes.
Kleiner said he is now looking at creating new but smaller restaurants similar to Carnivale at 702 W. Fulton Market, which has done well with what he described as “the right energy and the right price point.”
Separately, a Michael Jordan steakhouse will take the place of Zest by late summer in the second-floor dining room and first-floor lobby bar space at the InterContinental Chicago hotel at 505 N. Michigan Ave.
–Chicago Sun-Times, via the Sun-Times Media Wire
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)