A veteran of Blue 13, Elate, and Stout Barrel House & Galley, chef Chris Curren has signed on with the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group to run the rooftop-farm-to-table restaurant Homestead (1924 W. Chicago Ave., 773-645-4949) and a new project, the Berkshire Room (Acme Hotel, 15 E. Ohio St., no phone yet).
“I had a baby a few months ago,” Curren says. “Oliver. That has changed a lot of my priorities and a lot of my focus.”
At Homestead, located upstairs from the Fifty/50 sibling Roots Handmade Pizza, Curren will continue to use produce from the 1,000-square-foot garden that shares the rooftop space with the diners, but he hopes to make it less seasonal, in the less common sense of the word: “We are hoping that we can keep it open year-round,” he says. Homestead closed last fall at the end of the growing season and will reopen in late May. Pop-ups in the winter can use the 60-seat indoor portion.
At the Berkshire Room, scheduled to open in mid-June, Curren will create 10 to 12 noshes along the lines of raw oysters and bison tartare to accompany the craft cocktail menu.
When asked if his restaurants have become more casual as his career has progressed, Curren answered, “This move is actually going back in the direction of kind of what I did at Blue 13.” You could say he’s returning to his roots, except that’s already the name of the place downstairs.