After decades of playing second fiddle to the city, the pandemic has seemingly changed the dining landscape on Chicagos North Shore.
Many people are working from home. Young couples and families who always said NEVER when it came to moving to the suburbs are buying up real estate as soon as houses hit the market.
They are looking for dining close to home.
And restauranteurs are taking note.
A host of new restaurants including Pomeroy, a French bistro, at 844 Spruce St. in Winnetka, 501 Local at 501 Chestnut St. Winnetka and Ridgeville Tavern at1520 Sherman Ave. in Evanston are just a few of the restaurants that opened during the pandemic.
Many more restaurants are in the works including Le Colonial at 655 Forest Ave. in Lake Forest (July 2022), Diver Cantina,1850 N. 2nd Street, Highland Park (March 22, 2022) and elephant + vine at 719 Church Street in Evanston (March 17, 2022).
And most recently, Sophia Steak has announced its opening in mid 2022 at 181 East Laurel in Lake Forest
Sophia Steak opened its first location in Wilmette in 2020–an ominous time to open a restaurant. Yet it has done so well that they are opening a second location.
Ballyhoo Hospitality is known for their thoughtful food and beverage concepts in some. of Chicago’s most popular neighborhoods.
Sophia Steak in downtown Wilmette marked Ballyhoo Hospitality’s first suburban concept. With the strong reception, Ballyhoo Hospitality opened a series of hits: contemporary Greek restaurant Andros Taverna in Chicago’s Logan Square; the classic French bistro Pomeroy in Winnetka; and soon-to-open Buck Russell’s Bakery & Sandwich Shop in downtown Wilmette.
Sophia Steak Lake Forest is Ballyhoo Hospitality’s fifth new restaurant opening since May 2020, cementing the group as one of the fastest growing restaurant teams in the area.
“We’re excited to expand Ballyhoo Hospitality and connect with even more neighborhoods across the North Shore,” says Ryan O’Donnell, founder and owner. “Lake Forest has such a rich history and thriving community. Providing warm hospitality and great food, we look forward to becoming a gathering place for residents to catch up with friends and family.”
Similar to the original Wilmette location, Ballyhoo Hospitality is partnering with Glenn Keefer, formerly of Keefer’s Steakhouse.
Guests can expect various cuts of high-quality steaks and approachable selection along with a curated selection of craveable salads, starters and the popular Sophia Burger.
A robust starters section including daily specials will provide options for those looking for a snack or two while gathering with friends at the spacious bar.
Guests can enjoy the full dinner menu in the bar area or head to the spacious main dining room, Once warmer weather arrives sidewalk patio seating will add another option
Filed under: Chicago Restaurants.