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The Fancy Japanese Restaurant Replacing Grace Opens Next Week

Yugen (from left to right) pastry chef Jeanine Lamadieu, executive chef Mari Katsumura, and GM Morgan Olszewski

Reservations are now open for Yugen in the West Loop

Yūgen, one of America’s most-anticipated restaurants, now has an opening date and reservations are open. West Loopers can begin to sample executive chef Mari Katsumura’s fancy modern Japanese tasting menus next week on Tuesday, November 20 in the former Grace space at 652 W. Randolph Street. The restaurant will also offer a vegetarian option and staff are happy to work through dietary restrictions, according to a news release.

The team’s also opening a more casual lounge at the same address. Katsumura described Kaisho as an izakaya where customers can dine multiple times in a week.

The restaurant is owned by Michael Olszewski, the real estate developer who also owned Grace. That fine dining restaurant earned three Michelin stars from inspectors, making it one of the best and most luxurious restaurants in the country. Grace abruptly shuttered after disputes between Olszewski on one side and chef Curtis Duffy and GM Michael Muser on the other.

In the wake of that drama, Olszewski turned to Katsumura, a Chicago native who grew up in the restaurant business. Her parents opened Yoshi’s Cafe, the French-Japanese fusion spot in Lakeview. Katsumura has worked as a pastry chef at Entente, the Michelin-starred restaurant in Lakeview, South Loop’s Acadia, and at Graham Elliot and Matthias Merges’ recently shuttered West Loop restaurant, Gideon Sweet. She, along with Olszewski’s daughter, Morgan — she’s the GM — will run Yūgen.

Olszewski will also open a more casual restaurant, Onward, on Monday in Rogers Park, according to a spokesperson. Look for more on both restaurants in the coming days.

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