Small Cheval to open first suburban outpost in Rosemont

The popular Chicago burger joint Small Cheval will open a new location next year in Rosemont, serving its cheeseburgers and golden fries for the first time in the suburbs.

The village board Monday inked a 10-year lease with restaurant operator Hogsalt Hospitality for a new 4,600-square-foot building the village will construct at 9421 W. Higgins Road.

Covered by a retractable roof to accommodate dining in both the colder and warmer months, the building will also have two drive-through lanes - one of which will be dedicated to online pickup orders. The design is a prototype for other possible locations as Hogsalt considers expansion plans, village officials said.

Small Cheval - which has locations in Chicago's Wicker Park and Old Town - features a pared-down menu of burgers, fries and booze inspired by its West Loop parent Au Cheval. Opened in 2012, the diner-style bar and restaurant has been nationally recognized for its burgers, if not for its hourslong wait times and no reservation policy.

It's the creation of restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff, who worked for Rich Melman's Lettuce Entertain You before opening Gilt Bar in River North in 2010. Since then, Sodikoff's Hogsalt has gone on to open other city hot spots, including Bavette's, Doughnut Vault, Green Street Smoked Meats and Trivoli Tavern.

In a formal announcement that went out concurrently with the village board meeting vote Monday morning, Mayor Brad Stephens said officials are excited to welcome "another dynamic restaurant group" to the Northwest suburban dining and entertainment destination.

Small Cheval will join a mini-restaurant row along Higgins Road west of River Road - what the village announcement called a series of "quick casual" restaurants. The village is building a neighboring one-story, 8,000-square-foot structure that will house Stan's Donuts & Coffee, which was announced by officials in August, and a still-to-be-named restaurant they plan to disclose next month. The three eateries will be on the site of the former Gene & Georgetti - the Chicago institution that opened its first suburban outpost there in 2015, but was evicted by the village in 2020 for not paying rent and taxes.

The 18,000-square-foot restaurant/bar, 5,000-square-foot attached banquet hall and adjacent three-story, 200-space parking garage has since been cleared from the site, making way for the three new dining spots. They will be in-between an existing Giordano's pizzeria and Taco Bell.

In addition to the 10-year lease with 5-year renewal options approved Monday, the board approved payment of $340,000 in commissions to real estate brokers representing the village and restaurants who arranged the deal.

The new eateries are expected to open in the late summer/early fall 2022.

Gene & Georgetti closing Rosemont restaurant

Three quick-service eateries planned on Gene & Georgetti site in Rosemont

Stan's Donuts to open location along Higgins Road in Rosemont

Small Cheval's proposed restaurant in Rosemont will include two drive-through lanes. The site design is a prototype as owners consider expansion plans, officials said. Courtesy of Aria Group Architects
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