With COVID restrictions being lifted, more restaurants re-opening every day and beloved festivals returning, it comes as a surprise to hear that after two and a half years in the West Loop, contemporary Japanese Michelin-starred tasting menu restaurant Yūgen (652 W. Randolph St.) has announced its closing as of Saturday May 29, 2021.
Chef Mari Katsumura will be taking some me time, after a remarkable career in some of the country’s top Michelin-starred kitchens.
Katsumura plans to focus on personal needs, which the executive team wholeheartedly supports, acknowledging that it is much more important than business. Albeit a difficult decision, the team at Yūgen is recognizing the incredible culture they’ve built, standing together, supporting each other, and celebrating all they’ve accomplished as they exit together tastefully.
Built around Chef Katsumura and a female-led team: General Manger & Director of Operations: Morgan Olszewski, Assistant General Manager and Beverage Director: Mai Pham, Bar Director: Chelsea Napper, Sous Pastry Chef: Zasha Gazder, Yūgen debuted in November 2018 to rave reviews, earning a Michelin star within the first year and retaining it for 2020 and 2021.
Inspired by Chef Katsumura’s lineage, the word “Yūgen” represents an evocative concept in the Japanese language, meaning “the power to conjure indescribable appreciation for the simplicity of beauty.” Guided by this Zen ideology, Yūgen opened the doors to a culinary adventure found nowhere else. Guiding guests through an enlightened dining experience, throughout its tenure,
Yūgen provided a poised equilibrium of excellent cuisine, inspiring design, and unforgettable hospitality made possible by the culture created with its one of kind team.
As Yūgen’s end draws to a celebratory close, creation continues for the executive team as plans are in the works for a new establishment which will once again be second to none.
Yūgen-you wiil be missed.
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