I read a story recently about how along with restaurants in general, independent coffee shops and diners are getting hit especially hard by the economy right now. I noticed that Blend on Division closed up shop not too long ago (but may be reopening as Fuel?), and Sip Coffee House was strangely empty last weekend. It was after 1PM on a Sunday and my laptop and I had our veritable pick of tables and outlets to boot (note: I am hoping it was just an unusually slow day, if Sip closes I will truly cry). And while I’ve definitely noticed just a slight drop in the number of diners at restaurants around town, I believe Chicago will always have its fail safe institutions that never seem to slow down. These places are so consistently great in everything from the food to the service, that no matter how much people are spending, you’ll still be ousted you to a corner of the restaurant or to the bar if you try to drop in on a weekend. My recent two-hour wait before dinner at La Scarola had me thinking about it, and I wanted to give a shout out to the other steadfast institutions I still see going strong. Here’s a list of some places I’ve recently visited over the past few months with their respective wait times. Anyone wait longer or shorter than usual for a popular spot? Shout it out in the comments below..
1). Le Bouchon..reservation, 10 minute wait
2). La Scarola…no reservation..2 hour wait
3). Hopleaf…..no reservation..2 and half hour wait
4). Sushi Wabi…called day of for reservation, earliest available 9:45PM
5). Hot Doug’s….no reservation..45-minute wait (outside)
6). Rockit..no reservation..sat right down, but every table packed around us