"It is with a heavy heart," began chef Michael Taus' email Tuesday, "that I announce Zealous Restaurant has decided not to (sign) a new lease which would increase (rent) three-fold."
And thus the end of Zealous (419 W. Superior St., 312-475-9112), which will end a run of nearly 20 years. The restaurant's last dinner will be New Year's Eve.
Zealous opened in River North in 2000, but for six-plus years prior to that had been a very popular restaurant in west-suburban Elmhurst. Taus, a Charlie Trotter disciple, came to the city for the attention (and scrutiny) that suburban properties struggle to gain, and Zealous had a lengthy stay in Chicago's most-competitive restaurant neighborhood.
Taus says he'll be consulting on a new concept, then enjoy "some much needed R & R" including culinary trips to Italy and France. And then, he hints, perhaps a new restaurant venture.
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