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Michael Taus Has Something Cooking in Wicker Park

The chef best known for the dearly departed Zealous has signed a lease for a new, more casual spot.

Michael Taus   Photo: Anthony Tahlier

After consulting at the lobster-roll place Da Lobsta and the wine-pairings restaurant Coppervine, Michael Taus, the Zealot himself, has signed a lease at 1846 West Division Street, with an eye toward opening this winter.

Taus ran the fine-dining mainstay Zealous from its opening in 1993 in Elmhurst through a move to Chicago and up to its closing in the last minutes of 2012. He also ran Saltaus on Randolph Street and Duchamp in Bucktown. When Zealous closed, he needed a break. “My wife said, ‘You need to fall back in love with food,’” he says. He traveled to Spain, Portugal, and France.

When the Wicker Park Prasino closed in mid-August, Taus toured the space and felt at home immediately. He envisioned a relaxed spot where customers can order up or down across different price ranges, in contrast to the special-occasion Zealous. “I want people who can be here more often,” he says. “I want people to come 100 times.” He hasn’t settled on the name of the restaurant or more specifics about the food.

Sounds like Taus succeeded in falling back in love with food. Glad they didn’t have to get divorced or stay together just for the sake of the sesame-crusted sea bass.

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