Developer Harper Court Partners, LLC, announced today that Chipotle Mexican Grill has signed on as a lead tenant for Harper Court, which is set to open on 53rd Street in 2013.
The popular fast food restaurant will join LA Fitness, Hyatt Place Hotel and the University of Chicago as major tenants. The 53rd Street location will be Chipotle’s second on the South Side of Chicago.
“It is a nice amenity for the neighborhood and a popular choice here on campus,” said Jim Hennessy, director of commercial real estate for the University of Chicago. “It is also a sign of the enthusiasm major retailers have for the revitalization of 53rd Street and another step toward long-term economic vibrancy here.”
“We’re delighted to introduce this crowd favorite to our community,” said James Hennessy, Director of Commercial Real Estate Operations for the University. “The University is committed to working with the community to revitalize the 53rd Street corridor, and the arrival of Five Guys is good news for those efforts.”
With 725 locations around the country, Five Guys is just one of a number of big-name retailers the University is talking with about setting up shop in new spaces along 53rd Street, here and at the nearby Harper Court redevelopment, to blend with local businesses.
The new Five Guys in Hyde Park will occupy 2,200 square feet and could also make use of outdoor seating with a plan for attractive awnings. Officials said they expect the restaurant to open around the end of this year.
Five Guys, which began as a sensation in the Washington, D.C. area, boasts that there are “25,000 possible ways order a burger,” and has plenty of awards to back up the buzz. At least one Hyde Parker is a believer: President Barack Obama made a highly publicized visit to a Washington, D.C. Five Guys location back in 2009, ordering jalapenos, tomato and mustard on his cheeseburger along with a side of fries. Check out the video!
“We are very excited to be a part of the Hyde Park area,” said Julie Speer, Five Guys area manager in the Chicago region. “We think it is a great fit for Five Guys and are excited to become a part of the community.”
Stay tuned — more news about new 53rd St. businesses is expected in the coming months.
Change is not always easy and as 53rd street grows to meet the retail needs of our diverse neighborhood we have to say goodbye to one of our old favorite haunts. Dixie Kitchen, a venerable eatery that has prospered on 53rd street, will shut its doors on June 7th.
The Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop, a soul and Cajun food joint frequented by aging academics, university students, black community leaders, and just plain ordinary folks since 1994, will shut down June 7, owner Carol Andresen said. Some of the restaurant's most popular dishes -- from gumbo and fried baby catfish to the piping hot Johnny cakes -- will be incorporated into Andresen's sister restaurant, Calypso, which is next door. But most of the menu and most of Dixie Kitchen's staff will not, becoming a casualty of the growing pains of a neighborhood on the move.
Calypso, another 53rd street favorite, will remain open, serving its delicious caribbean fare to neighborhood denizens. The restaurant won't be alone for long. The University of Chicago, which owns the 53rd street property, has solicited proposals from several different developers and expects to begin construction on a more modern and revitalized Harper Court area by next year.