Yolk aims for July opening at Marina City
Loop North News

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Yolk Yolk aims for July opening at Marina City

(Left) Eggs Benedict dish served at Yolk.

  • Newest Yolk will be open later and will serve alcohol
  • CEO knows you’re not eating healthy on weekends

1-Apr-16 – Hungry for the business that Chicago’s riverfront hotels can provide, the newest location of breakfast specialist Yolk is trying to open in early July to catch the summer tourist season.

Founder/CEO Taki Kastanis is nearly two months into a lease with LaSalle Hotel Properties for a 3,781 square foot space in the southeast corner of Hotel Chicago. The space, part of the Marina City complex in River North, was most recently a Chase branch.

During a year-and-a-half search for a new tenant, a LaSalle representative says they were always hoping for a place that would serve breakfast to guests of its 354-room hotel in Chicago, and a smaller restaurant would complement the Japanese steakhouse, Katana, moving into a 13,000 square foot space on the other side of the hotel.

Photo by Steven Dahlman

(Above) Yolk is moving into this corner space, accessible from State Street by stairs and elevator. The main entrance to Hotel Chicago is at left. (Click on image to view larger version.)

The smaller restaurant was important to Hotel Chicago, so much that when the hotel was renovated last year, it built a special entrance into the space from the hotel lobby. LaSalle also built patios for Yolk and Katana at a cost of $1.3 million.

Kastanis says he picked Marina City because it is close to not just Hotel Chicago but other hotels in the area.

“Most of the Yolks in downtown Chicago do really well with…hotel business,” says Kastanis (right). “Not only are we part of a remodeled hotel…but we also have about 10-12 hotels that are walking distance and we do really well with that kind of business, especially summertime and holiday season. If you take the hotel business and the density of office and residential, it’s the best of all worlds.” Taki Kastanis

It will be Yolk’s sixth location in Chicago and second in River North. They also have restaurants in Indiana and Texas. The new location will stand out by staying open later and by serving alcohol.

Kastanis says Hotel Chicago asked him to consider longer hours and while the Yolk location will not serve dinner, they might serve small plates such as cheese, charcuterie, and hummus, along with Yolk staples like sandwiches.

This will be the first Yolk location with a liquor license and Kastanis hints it may not be the last. The beverage menu will include wine, Bloody Marys, and Mimosas.

Yolk He says his customers, like him, enjoy Yolk’s healthier options such as egg white dishes or fresh fruit, at least on weekdays.

“When you take a look across all the Chicago locations,” he says, “you really at times are shocked to see how many of the…non-healthy – some of these French toast or sweet products that we have – that they’ll order on the weekends. It seems like…everyone’s eating healthy…but when they come to Yolk on a weekend, it’s like their cheat day or their splurge day.”

Kastanis says they are currently finishing engineering and architectural plans – with the help of GEA Architects of Oak Brook, the firm that designs all Yolk locations – and will be going for permits soon. He knows that could take longer than planned. A July opening, he says, “might be a little optimistic but we’re shooting for it.”

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | sdahlman@loopnorth.com

Published 1-Apr-16 4:48 AM

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