The shuttering last summer of Fulton Market’s iconic Blackbird restaurant meant the coronavirus would leave a permanent mark on the up-and-coming neighborhood. The Michelin-starred eatery opened in the late 1990s, becoming one of the pioneers of Chicago’s famed Restaurant Row on West Randolph Street, an attraction that helped change the surrounding area from an industrial zone into today’s sleek, high-tech office center.
But local stakeholders say the loss of Blackbird, among several other local restaurants, won’t impede Fulton Market’s eventual recovery from the pandemic. The strengths that brought so many office users in, including Google and McDonald’s, are still there, even if many firms decide to allow more employees to work more or less permanently from home.
“What is a more entrepreneurial business than restaurants?” Parkside Realty CEO Bob Wislow said Thursday during Bisnow’s Chicago Deep Dish: Future of the West Loop webinar.
He said he expects restaurateurs will invent new concepts that can fill in the vacant spaces that now dot that stretch of Randolph Street. The pent-up demand from local residents and office workers should fuel the new businesses.“I think people are so sick of carryout food or cooking at home,”…
Read the full story here.