Real quickly -
Panera is just about to open a drive through. I bet they lost 15 to 20 parking places, which is a pretty big hit. They wiped out all of their handicapped parking when they did it and had to convert 6 places near the door to recover. Since they did away with 20% or more of their parking, does that mean that more then 20% of their business will be drive through?
The new Japanese place in Bistro 51 is OK, but I think that Kaya is better. The new place (as you can guess, I have no idea about the name) is pretty Americanized, the side stuff is indifferent and they blew our orders (switch the rice) and didn't fix it efficiently. Parking is still terrible. I give them a year.
I hear that "unnamed Indians" have bought Chicago Underground, both the building and restaurant. Closing date was yesterday from what I hear. Should be interesting to see what happens there.
Noticed the "Euro Cafe" on Illinois Ave. next to Pag's (old LaRoma spot) the other day. A friend pointed out that it is likely to be the refuge from the Mall. I don't know why downtown needs another sandwich shop with no parking. I don't think they can possibly do well against Jimmy John's and the rest of the players within a block of there.
I wonder if the food court at the Mall will every reopen and if it does if they can do something better then what they had before.