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Farewell to Grace: A Top Chicago Restaurant Closes, and More Dining News

Plus: The Loyalist overtakes Au Cheval and Colectivo Coffee Roasters opens Logan Square location

Chef Curtis Duffy (right) shares a toast with business partner and general manager, Michael Muser, as Grace celebrated its three-star Michelin rating in 2014. The restaurant has closed after the pair quit.   Photo: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune

Breaking news: Curtis Duffy and Michael Muser, the chef and general manager duo who made Grace (652 W. Randolph St., West Loop) into a dining destination, have left the three-Michelin-star restaurant. Per the New York Times, a dispute with their investor snowballed. Muser and Duffy attempted to buy the restaurant themselves, but those efforts fell through. Last night, the Times reporter who broke the story tweeted that the restaurant is now closed.

Openings

If you’re a fan of the fancy donut trend (and let’s face it, who isn’t), you’re probably familiar with Stan’s Donuts—their lemon pistachio old fashioned is the stuff sweet hungry dreams are made of.  Their new flagship donut shop—2,000 square feet of sweet, doughy goodness—is now open at 181 North Michigan Avenue.

Colectivo Coffee Roasters, the Milwaukee-based coffee company, has opened its second Chicago location. The new Logan Square spot (2261 N. Milwaukee Ave) boasts a patio, a fire pit, beers, and, of course, all the coffee you could want.

Morsels

There’s a new greatest cheeseburger in town. Au Cheval (800 W. Randolph St., West Loop) has dominated national rankings for years (though Mott Street took them for a hot second in Thrillist’s massive national burger feature earlier this year) but there’s a new champion in town. Bon Appetit has named the three best burgers in America, and it’s not Au Cheval, but The Loyalist (177 N. Ada St., West Loop) that made the grade. Burger junkies everywhere now have something new to fight about—in the meantime, just go eat the burger.

It’s been another bad week for restaurant closings. First, Green Zebra, the fine dining vegetarian spot in West Town, is shutting its doors after 13 years on December 31. The Lunatic, The Lover & The Poet has ended a relatively short (9 months) run on Randolph Street.  And, woe of woes, the Rock ’n’ Roll McDonalds on Clark street is closing on December 30—though not for good. They’re just ditching the whole rock ‘n’ roll theme in favor of touch screens and table service.

Honey’s (1111 W. Lake St., West Loop) has a new pastry chef: Claire Smyth, formerly of Found and Reno, has taken over the sweets at the West Loop spot. You can look forward to some new dishes, like olive oil cake with caramel, pecan and olive oil gelato or an intriguing-sounding chocolate hazelnut crunch bar with chocolate ganache and fenugreek gelato.

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