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Grace, one of only two, three-Michelin-star-restaurants in Chicago, has closed after losing both its acclaimed chef and its general manager.
According to Eater, general manager Michael Muser left on 1 December followed by chef Curtis Duffy on 18 December, after the pair had failed in their attempts to buy the restaurant from its majority stakeholder, a real estate agent named Michael Olszewsk. The kitchen staff are said to have walked out the day after Duffy.
In a statement to the The New York Times, the pair said: “It became evident that our evolving goals and aspirations were no longer aligned with the restaurant and its future, making this change necessary.” They would be spending more time with their families, they said, whilst working on a new restaurant project. Here's a full list of 2018’s most anticipated restaurant openings.
In the same Times article, Kevin Pang, co-director of the 2015 documentary For Grace, about the restaurant, said the pair’s decision “came down to ownership, plain and simple … As much as Curtis Duffy and Michael Muser were the faces of Grace, they were just employees, not employers.”
Meanwhile, Olszewsk has told the Sun-Times that the restaurant space would be home to "yet another great restaurant headed by a new team that will make Chicago and the restaurant community proud” in the future.
Grace, which opened in 2012, quickly won acclaim for its elegant and seasonal tasting menus: a vegetarian ‘flora’ menu and an omnivore ‘fauna.' It jumped straight in at two Michelin stars in the 2014 Guide, winning its third a year later.