Highly acclaimed Chicago restaurant Blackbird is shutting its doors for good, months after closing temporarily amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The West Loop restaurant made the announcement on its website Monday, calling it a "very difficult decision."
"While our hearts are broken to see Blackbird’s journey come to an end, we are humbled to have contributed in a small way to Chicago’s incredible restaurant community for over two decades, serving as a place of warmth and hospitality while all along the way, building lifelong friendships with our team, guests and partners," the note on its website reads.
Opened in 1997, Blackbird was the first venture for chef Paul Kahan, who won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 2013. Kahan later handed the reins to Ryan Pfeiffer, who was appointed to the executive chef position of the restaurant in 2019, Blackbird's website says.
Located at 619 W. Randolph St. in the city's West Loop, the establishment known for its Midwestern cuisine and local ingredients is one of the few restaurants in Chicago to hold a Michelin star for multiple years. It has remained closed since March, when restaurants across the state were ordered to shut down dine-in service to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
"Blackbird’s dining room has celebrated countless moments from birthdays to first dates to engagements & weddings and more often than not, a simple dinner date to reconnect with friends or family," the note from Kahan and partners Donnie Madia and Eduard Seitan reads. "Thank you to the guests who continued to dine with us night after night, celebration after celebration. We feel honored to have offered a place that will forever be a part of these joyous memories."
"It’s difficult to find words to properly express our gratitude for the team members that were the beating heart of Blackbird for so many years. Blackbird would not have soared as high as it did without the dedication, creativity and passion given by each team member who walked through the doors. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you," the group continued. "While it’s difficult to close this chapter, this isn’t a true goodbye. We are grateful to continue to serve our loyal guests across our collective of restaurants. As always, we’ll save you a seat."
Blackbird is managed by the One Off Hospitality Group along with other big-name Chicago establishments including The Publican, Big Star, Nico Osteria, Dove's Luncheonette and The Violet Hour.