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Red Robin Closes All Chicago 'Burger Works' Locations

By Anthony Todd in Food on Oct 3, 2016 2:01PM

One of Red Robin's signature burgers. Photo courtesy of Red Robin.

Despite the seemingly-booming fast casual dining market in Chicago, Red Robin's attempt to break in has failed. The company closed all of its Burger Works location in Chicago over the weekend, and the only remaining locations of the chain will be in the suburbs.

According to Crain's, Chicago was originally chosen as one of the launch sites for Red Robin "Burger Works," the fast casual version of their normally sit-down model. They opened five locations in the city over the last couple of years (including two in the past six months) but abruptly canceled the entire experiment.

Our limited data set (walking past loop Red Robin locations at lunchtime) indicated that they were fairly popular, but they must not have made their numbers. Between the lunchtime dining market's increasing move moving towards healthier food and competition from the Shake Shack juggernaut, Red Robin is evidently less trendy.

Red Robin recently redesigned all of its suburban sit-down locations based on customer complaints, putting up walls to partition the dining area into smaller spaces with more noise control. So if you're craving one of their burgers, head out to North Riverside or Skokie, the two closest locations.