Michelin-rated Grace restaurant shuts down after founders quit
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Chicago’s famed Grace restaurant has shut down after its founders parted ways with their Michelin three-star rated restaurant in the West Loop.
Head chef Curtis Duffy left the restaurant on Monday, and general manager Michael Muser left on Dec. 1. They quit after negotiations fell through to purchase the restaurant from the owner, real estate investor Michael Olszewski, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
The restaurant opened in December 2012 and was one of two in Chicago to earn a coveted three-star Michelin Guide rating — among just 14 restaurants in the country that have achieved the lofty triple stars.
Duffy and Muser released a statement saying “it became evident that our evolving goals and aspirations were no longer aligned with the restaurant and its future, making this change necessary.”
“As this chapter ends, another begins. We plan to spend quality time with our families as we develop our next project. The future holds much in store.”
The restaurant briefly stayed open after the founders’ departure, but Olszewski confirmed Wednesday night that the acclaimed restaurant’s “run has come to an end.”
“This was a difficult decision for me to make, but it’s in the best interest of everyone involved,” the owner said in a statement. “This space will live to see another day with yet another great restaurant headed by a new team that will make Chicago and the restaurant community proud.”
Here is the full statement from Duffy and Muser:
On Grace’s opening night in December 2012, we stood before our team with exhilaration for the journey that lie ahead. The room was charged with anticipation and the kind of excited nerves that can only be incited by a restaurant’s first dinner service. That moment both punctuated the end of a long, intense road to opening and the beginning of something that would become even larger than we imagined.
For the next five years, we pushed. We pushed our service team to learn more, work harder. We pushed our culinary team to constantly consider the possibilities and exercise laser focus. And above all, we pushed ourselves and our colleagues to emulate the qualities befitting of our restaurant’s very name. Time and time again, they rose to the occasion.
It is, therefore, with heartfelt gratitude that we announce our departure from Grace. While incredibly difficult to step away, it became evident that our evolving goals and aspirations were no longer aligned with the restaurant and its future, making this change necessary.
We are very proud of our first restaurant, and more than anything, wish to thank everyone who has been part of this defining phase of our lives. The Michelin stars, the recognition, the opportunities, the joy — these are all owed to our team’s unwavering commitment, to our supportive loved ones and to the countless guests who chose to spend their precious time dining with us. We are humbled that they allowed us into their lives and shared in our story.
As this chapter ends, another begins. We plan to spend quality time with our families as we develop our next project. The future holds much in store.