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Restaurants in Chicago Seemingly Recession-Proof

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jan 5, 2010 4:25PM

Image via Grub Street Chicago
The ever intrepid Helen Rosner at Grub Street Chicago went through the Grub Street/MenuPages Chicago database and found that restaurant openings in Chicago were very strong in 2009. For the calendar year, 243 restaurants opened, with big-name openings like XOCO, Cibo Matto and Terzo Piano in the mix. 153 restaurants closed in that same time span, but the bottom line was that there always seemed to be some new place opening that drew crowds.

Meanwhile, over at Sky Full of Bacon, Mikes Gebert and Nagrant discuss the year in review, as well, noting that this was the year that restaurant teams like Blackbird, Frontera and Bill Kim's Urban Belly crew further embraced the casual with Big Star, XOCO and Belly Shack, respectively. Nagrant also points out that the high-end, expense account places like Alinea and L2O weathered the storm through pluck and, in the case of the latter, very good publicity.