Is Chicago’s Trendy Dining Scene A Bubble About To Burst?

pump room chicago
When the late Ernie Byfield opened the Pump Room in Chicago in 1938, he thought of the restaurant as a stage. More than 28 years later it still ranks at the top of Chicago's restaurants, and still carries on Byfield's tradition of dramatic effects. Here waiter Lee Scott, in tail coat, serves flaming lamb chops and chicken on brochette June 29, 1967 to recording artist Joni James and her husband, Anthony Acquaviva, of Beverly Hills, Calif., in Booth one reserved for celebrities. AP Photo
pump room chicago
When the late Ernie Byfield opened the Pump Room in Chicago in 1938, he thought of the restaurant as a stage. More than 28 years later it still ranks at the top of Chicago's restaurants, and still carries on Byfield's tradition of dramatic effects. Here waiter Lee Scott, in tail coat, serves flaming lamb chops and chicken on brochette June 29, 1967 to recording artist Joni James and her husband, Anthony Acquaviva, of Beverly Hills, Calif., in Booth one reserved for celebrities. AP Photo

Is Chicago’s Trendy Dining Scene A Bubble About To Burst?

Chicago may have been named Restaurant City of the Year in 2017 by Bon Appétit magazine, but there are some signs of distress in the industry.

The city was forced to say goodbye to critically-acclaimed favorites (41 Grams, the Pump Room, Grace, to name a few). From rising rent costs to a shrinking pool of hospitality talent, restaurateurs are facing more challenges than ever in an already high-failure industry.

Is Chicago’s restaurant scene a bubble about to burst? Chicago magazine contributor Peter Frost and Eater Chicago senior editor Ashok Selvam stop by the Morning Shift to break down the pressing and growing challenges of trying to open up the city’s “next hot restaurant.”