CHICAGO (CBS) — Ann Sather, the popular local Swedish restaurant chain owned by Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), will be opening a new location in the Edgewater neighborhood just south of Loyola University, according to multiple reports.
The Chicago Phoenix reported this past weekend that Ann Sather will be opening a new location at 1147 W. Granville Ave., at the southeast corner of Granville Avenue and Broadway.
The restaurant will take over the space previously occupied by Bananas Foster Café, which closed last fall after about 2 1/2 years in business. Before that, the space had been occupied by the Café du Monde (later Trivoli) coffee shop.
No opening date has been specified, but a “coming soon” sign already has been posted in the window of the now-vacant storefront, the Phoenix reported.
Ann Sather currently operates four locations – its flagship at 909 W. Belmont Ave. in the Clark and Belmont district of Lakeview; and locations at 5207 N. Clark St. in Andersonville; 3416 N. Southport Ave. in the Southport Corridor section of Lakeview; and 3411 N. Broadway in Boystown.
The late Ann Sather opened the original restaurant bearing her name on Belmont Avenue in 1945. She pooled her life savings to buy the diner from its Swedish owners.
In 1981, Sather sold the restaurant to Tunney, then a 24-year-old graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel and Restaurant Management. The Web site for the restaurant credits Tunney with expanding the business “to include the most famous breakfast in town.”
The restaurant became known for its cinnamon rolls, potato sausage and Swedish pancakes, among other specialties.
The Andersonville Ann Sather location opened in 1987, and was originally owned and operated by Tunney’s sister, Debbie. Tunney’s brother, Ed, opened a third Ann Sather location at 1329 E. 57th St. in the Hyde Park neighborhood in 1989, but that location closed five years later.
The Broadway and Southport Avenue restaurants came a few years afterward. The Belmont Avenue flagship has also moved twice, but has always remained on the same dense block.
Ann Sather also operated a restaurant at 1448 N. Milwaukee Ave. in the Wicker Park neighborhood for a few years during the 2000s. But the building that housed the Wicker Park restaurant was severely damaged in a construction mishap and had to be torn down.
Tunney was elected alderman of the 44th Ward – representing Lakeview – in 2003, replacing the retiring Bernie Hansen. While Tunney had said during his campaign that he planned to sell his interest in the Ann Sather chain, he later changed his mind. He told the Windy City Times in 2003 that he believed the community did not want him to sell.
The Granville Avenue corridor where the newest Ann Sather location will open has seen a boom in new business in recent years, the Phoenix points out. Summer Noodles and Rice, Pete’s Pizzeria and Bakehouse, and m. henrietta – a sister restaurant to m. henry in Andersonville – have all recently moved into storefronts on the block, the Phoenix points out.
But one longtime tenant on the block – the Gerber/Hart gay and lesbian library, will soon be departing its space down the street at 1127 W. Granville Ave. in favor of a new location at 6500 N. Clark St. in Rogers Park.