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An upscale Asian eatery plans to open in downtown Oak Park this summer, taking the place of a recently shuttered coffee shop.
Oak Parker Tanapat Vannopas has signed a long-term lease to take over the former home of Lido's Caffe, 122 N. Marion St., which closed in January. Dubbed as "Seasons," the restaurant will offer fine Asian dining with a mixture of dishes from Japan and his native Thailand.
Vannopas, 44, has lived in Oak Park for 11 years, and owns another restaurant in Chicago's Little Italy called Tatsu Sushi Bar. The menu for his new venture is still in the works, but it will offer seven-course meals, which will change every four months or so to match the seasons. The owner plans to seek a liquor license, too.
Before it opens in July, Vannopas is completely redesigning the space. In a press release last week, property owner Anthony Shaker touted the restaurateur's "outstanding credit rating," and said that he believes the new eatery will offer food that is "clearly different from that offered by Sushi House," which is located around the corner at 1107 Lake St.
At the same time, Sushi House owners Bob and Diana Johnson are arranging to open another Pan-Asian restaurant right next door, at 1113 Lake. They'll offer "fast casual" fare from China, Thailand, Japan and Vietnam starting early this summer.
Bob Johnson said he isn't worried about over saturating downtown Oak Park with Asian food. "Hutong" will be a different animal than its Pan-Asian neighbor, as it will offer dishes for $10 or less, ordered from a counter rather than a waiter.
"I think there's some room for everybody," Johnson said.
Hutong is taking the place of Los Cazadores Mexican Restaurant, which closed in January 2009. Oak Park-based Aria Group Architects is now designing the new space, and Johnson hopes to submit building plans to the village in about a month.
Sushi House owners Bob and Diana Johnson are planning on opening another restaurant next door.
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