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Chicago's Top Independent Restaurant Made More Than $24 Million Last Year

By Anthony Todd in Food on Nov 1, 2017 3:51PM

A steak at Gibson's. Photo via Facebook.

As I've talked about constantly for the last several months, the restaurant scene is facing a lot of challenges and plenty of places are closing. On the other hand, a small group of independent restaurants in Chicago is doing exceptionally well. Who are the winners in this game?

Every year, Restaurant Business releases a list of the top grossing independent restaurants in America. Chicago always has a few entries high on the list. A quick note on the definition of "independent": this means a concept that has less than five locations, though they can be a part of a restaurant group (for example, Shaw's, part of Lettuce Entertain You, is on the list).

What Chicago spots made it?

The top grossing Chicago spot, surprising no one, is Gibson's, with $24.7 million in sales (number 10 on the overall list). No wonder they opened a new location last week! Also on the list are:

20. Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, $21,200,000
26. Primehouse, $19,200,000
38. Chicago Cut Steakhouse, $17,200,000
41. Shaw’s Crab House, $17,100,000
70. Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse, $14,800,000
80. Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House, $14,269,812
88. Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar, $13,790,000
93. Tavern on Rush, $13,409,416

Also of note is Bob Chinn's Crab House, in Wheeling, which comes in at #30 on this list with $17.99 million in sales.

So, what do these places have in common? They're all incredibly business friendly, they tend to sell simple food with very high margins (seafood, steaks, expensive wine) and they've been around forever.