Bernstein: Options For Replacing Maddon's Post

There's perfectly viable restaurant space available by Wrigley Field.

Dan Bernstein
January 07, 2020 - 2:22 pm

(670 The Score) Joe Maddon's eponymous restaurant is no more, the Clark Street partnership with famed chef Tony Mantuano having closed after just seven months. The former Cubs skipper is now in the same position with the Los Angeles Angels, and the man in charge of the food has decided he's moving to Italy.

So what now?

Instead of letting a perfectly viable restaurant space be turned into just another retail outlet, parking structure or condo unit, let's keep the idea of a destination celebrity eatery. There are no shortage of current Cubs possibilities.

I'm Not Grandpa Rossy's— Here, you're greeted and seated by the amiable and personable side of the team's new manager, but he makes sure to challenge you in all the right ways to optimize your dinner order and consume it both efficiently and in a way that means the best possible health and nutrition. He might have been your teammate, but he's not here to be your friend.

Rizzo's Pizza — Let's not reinvent the wheel here. They put in the expensive ovens, and there's no reason to sell them off at pennies on the dollar. Plenty of kid-friendly family fun and high profit margins.

Wieck and Wick's Beef on Weck — Just because. The two relievers team up to sling sandwiches, bringing the western New York staple to Wrigleyville.

Dinner, Engineered — Director of hitting Justin Stone looks past the standard methods of menu options into the next generation of dining experience, in which every customer is fitted with motion-capture sensors and other measurement devices to let biometrics determine the perfect meal. Stiffer thoracic rotation and shorter load mechanism? That means salmon croquettes. Shoulder flexion less than average? Charcuterie plate with a selection of mustards and pickles. Back-leg torque with proper hip counter-rotation? Chicken pot pie, obviously.

Yu's Fusion— The pitcher plays right off Maddon's idea of Polish/Italian food with his own twist that embodies his dual Japanese and Iranian ethnicity. Ash reshteh soup with udon, beef chenjeh kabab prepared at the table teppanyaki style -- and sashimi alongside a bowl of mosto khiar. Visionary, really. Huge market for this. A goldmine.

Lester and Kimbrel's Those Were the Days — On the expensive side and nowhere near as good at it once was. Occasional glimpses of the old quality, but too often a reminder of what it's now not.

Kasper's Kabaret — More music venue than restaurant. Acts are chosen by meeting a perfect combination of factors that allow them to balance mainstream awareness with sustained aficionado appeal. WXRT's Lin Brehmer is the self-appointed sommelier and maitre d, known for his signature lines "We're drinking this because it's open" and "Sit wherever."

Javy's Java and Grill — You know what gives you that kind of dynamic ability to excite, energy to dream and vitality to perform? Caffeine. And in this case, also the finest bacalaitos, morcillas and mofongo con caldo de pollo that you can find north of Bayamon.

Theo's Meeting Place — Literally a series of meetings in which you look at what others are spending on all the available items and agonizing over how you can budget what you have. You end up not really eating. Then plenty of beer.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in midday. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.