Aldino’s (626 S. Racine Ave.) served its last meal Saturday, as Steve Dolinsky reported. The owner of Aldino’s, Scott Harris, says the place will reopen in a quick turnaround as The CooKoo Room.
“Just a fun bar, reasonably priced for the college kids in the neighborhood,” says Harris, who is partnering on CooKoo with Joe Farina (Cafe Bionda) and Jimmy Bannos (Heaven on Seven, The Purple Pig). After a light remodel to make the space more of a bar than a restaurant, Harris plans for a menu of good bar food, maybe 20 beers on tap, and dozens more in bottles, appealing to University of Illinois at Chicago students. It’s a much younger clientele than Aldino’s courted—in fact, Harris called his potential customers “kids” at least five times during our interview. “Kids can order their drinks from the table on their iPhones,” Harris says. “We’re talking to these young kids, and they tell us all the new things that are going on. Three old guys are going to get high-tech with these kids.”
Harris is shooting for opening by the beginning of the school year in September.