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Grahamwich Has Closed Its Doors

By Anthony Todd in Food on Aug 6, 2013 3:15PM

2013_8_6_Grahamwich.jpg Lovers of boutique sandwiches in River North can shed a single tear (and then head over to Xoco) as Grahamwich, Graham Elliot's sandwich shop with big dreams, has closed.

Grahamwich was close to the leading edge of the fancy fast-casual movement, pushing the idea that you could charge people a fortune for popcorn and grilled cheese sandwiches. Some of us were willing (we actually enjoyed that grilled cheese, as it happens) but they were plagued with culinary difficulties from the beginning. They got a one-star review from Time Out in 2011, and over the years friends have shied away from Grahamwich as unimpressive and overpriced.

The Tribune reported the closing this morning.

"We played our last set this past weekend at Lollapalooza," said Elliot, who was selling his popular lobster corn dogs there last weekend. "We'd like to give a huge shout-out to all our fans for their loyalty and support, and look forward to getting the band back together sometime in the future."
At one point, Grahamwich was supposed to explode into a chain of shops or a fleet of food trucks, but none of it ever materialized. For what it's worth, those lobster corn dogs generated some of the longest lines at Lolla.

This begs the question: whither Graham Elliot? He's a celebrity, of course, but as one restaurant closes, another can't seem to catch a break (Phil Vettel, not usually a meanie, gave g.e.b. only two stars, as did Time Out) and a third is almost always half-empty, it's hard not to wonder what's on the menu for Elliot. A new restaurant? Revamps and/or new menus at existing ones? We'll have to wait and watch.