Bin 36 (339 N. Dearborn St., 312-755-8463) will relocate out of River North later this month after a 15-year run. The owner, Dan Sachs, looks back and sees a vastly changed neighborhood—one where it’s now hard to run a neighborhood restaurant. Sachs signed a 20-year lease in 1999 fixing the rent for 15 years. For the last five years, the lease stipulated that the rent would shift to market rates. The going rate has increased dramatically.
Dish: What has happened in your 15 years in River North?
Dan Sachs: You look around down here. It’s multichains, national operators. [The decision came down to a] combination of knowing the cost would not be doable to stay and [if we tried to stay,] not the same vibe that we started in. We like that vibe.
D: What will your role be with the new Bin 36?
DS: I am the consigliere of the new one. Or the Jewish version of that.
D: What will you do, exactly?
DS: I am going to sit home and eat bonbons and watch soaps.
D: I’m not sure there are still soaps on daytime TV.
DS: Clearly, I haven’t been home in years.
The new Bin 36 (161 N. Jefferson St., no phone yet) will occupy the former Province space in the West Loop under Enoch Shully, the wine director of the current Bin 36. He signed the lease on Tuesday. At the new Bin, he hopes to offer a seasonal, Mediterranean-inflected menu retaining the focus on wine pairings.
Not surprisingly for a wine director, he’s working on building the wine program now, traveling to wine companies’ warehouses to taste. If they come to him, he says, he might get to taste a handful of wines. If he goes there, they might open 50 bottles.
Shully promises an exciting chef, a shorter menu, and a downsized cheese program. “Sometimes people come to the restaurant and they get overwhelmed by the amount of cheese they see,” he says. We can sympathize. We still have flashbacks to our first trip to the Mars Cheese Castle.