With the lease expiring in the fall, the owners of Eden decided it was time to move out of their West Loop location before the “L” tracks along Lake Street near the United Center. Closed for the pandemic since July 2020, Eden has found a new location on the Chicago River near the corner of Roscoe and California between Roscoe Village and Avondale.
Chef Devon Quinn hopes to open by the end of the year. Eden is owned by Quinn and his wife and event planner Jodi Fyfe. The two also run Paramount Events, a well-known company that plans weddings and other celebrations. Your catering business has been very busy lately with Quinn hosting four to five events a week. Weddings and other events that have been postponed due to the pandemic are coming back online. Private events helped the business survive; Profit margins are about 20 percent higher than the profits the restaurant business makes, says Quinn. Without these celebrations, Paramount fought.
But brighter days are here and as the lease should expire, Paramount is clearing its West Loop and relocating its headquarters. Quinn compares the 18,000-square-foot project to creating a campus – like the original, they’ll have a greenhouse, but it’ll be bigger. Eden’s cuisine blends California and Mediterranean sensibilities, and Quinn believes that growing vegetables and fruits on Campus Eden will give it an edge.
âThe garden allows us to grow unique things, a lot of things that you don’t see on many plates in Chicago,â says Quinn, mentioning herbs and ingredients like Angelica that will add to the experience.
The project also provides for a small morning cafÃ© for coffee and pastries. The new Eden will have an expanded pastry range and Quinn is looking forward to trying out its new baking equipment.
The pandemic has turned the outdoor dining options of a restaurant from luxury to necessity. Quinn is really proud of the outdoor options the new location will offer and believes the space provides an escape from the rest of the city. The new campus is the next step in Eden’s evolution towards simpler food, says Quinn, and allows ingredients to shine in the kitchen without too much manipulation. He has put former Longman & Eagle Chef David Koehn in the same position at Eden. Koehn was on the Eden opening team.
Many of the best restaurants pride themselves on their creativity, but keeping good spirits during the grim times during the pandemic has been a challenge, says Quinn. The maintenance of the greenhouse in front of the restaurant along Lake Street helped: “It was my little zen area in the city, my little piece of California in Chicago.”
The main intersection near the up-and-coming eatery was once the center of Chicago’s culinary universe, as the northwest corner housed the second location of Hot Doug’s jacketed meat supermarket – now a Cafe Tola. Eden moves in across the street that another famous tenant called home. While WMS Industries focuses on casino slot machines, its video game division is known for classics like Midway Games Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam.
Eden, on the 3400 block of North California Avenue, slated for a late fall opening.