Au Cheval Brings Its 3-Hour Burger Lines To Wicker Park
Roxie's By The Slice seemed doomed to failure from the get-go. It opened too late in the day and the menu was obviously aimed at the party crowd raging late into the night a few blocks away at the intersection of Damen, North and Milwaukee avenues. But everyone knows that crowd would never venture more than a block west on Milwaukee for food when so many other terrible choices are theirs to have mere steps away from whichever bar they stumble out of.
In that situation a reasonable business person wold have eyed the impending opening of the Bloomingdale Trail as an opportunity to open earlier in the day and service folks looking for a bite as one of the (very) few food option just off a trail ramp. Instead, Roxie's shuttered just before the trail's open date with vague promises of a burger pop-up shop in the coming months.
It appears Roxie's owner Brendan Sodikoff did actually have one trick up his sleeve once his initial concept failed miserably. The restaurant impresario is bringing a tried and true option to Wicker Park: Small Cheval.
Yes—Now folks in Wicker Park* can wait outrageous amounts of time to eat Au Cheval's patties of Sysco beef slathered with Kraft American cheese.** Better yet? Instead of grabbing a drink at a bar while doing so, they'll be able to bake in the late summer sun. And with any luck, the outdoor stand will stay open far into the winter so passers-by will now have the option to make fun of people waiting for food outside Toast, Bongo Room, and Small Cheval.
Wicker Park, you're not getting the burger joint you need, you're getting the burger joint you deserve.
*OK again, technically Bucktown, but you all know what we're saying.
**OK, those slabs of bacon are good, we'll give the Au Cheval burgers that. But otherwise this writer still maintains there are plenty of burgers far better within the city limits.
Small Cheval is taking over the former Roxie's storefront at 1732 N. Milwaukee Ave. Opening date TBD.