French-influenced gastropub heading to Oak Park

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By Ashley Lisenby

Digital Editor

A French-influenced gastropub is coming to Marion Street.

The Little Gem Cafe is slated to open in Oak Park at 189 N. Marion St. on, or a day or two after, Nov. 5 according to a Crain's Chicago Business report. The restaurant comes a few months after the close of Marion Street Grille.

The european-styled restaurant plans to serve up dishes such as wild boar ragu and a short-rib ravioli. The restaurant's executive chef Marcel Ivan told Crain's that all food will be made from scratch. Even though the menu is still being finalized, expect local farm-raised items and vegetarian options as well.

"The focus and emphasis is on hospitality and great food and a fabulous wine list," owner Judith Lalor told Crain's.

The Manchester, England-born owner is no stranger to the restaurant business. She owned a jazz restaurant in New York City called Swing 46, but sold the eatery to her general manager a couple years ago.

Lalor is bringing some of the liveliness of Swing 46 to her new business, though. She told Crain's that the fine-dining restaurant will have theme nights, live music and guest speakers.

The Little Gem Cafe will seat 50 plus 10 at the bar and will be open daily for lunch and dinner and brunch on the weekends. Takeout is also an option. 

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Reader Comments

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Hungry & Waiting from Oak Park  

Posted: November 8th, 2014 5:36 PM

And the phone number is?

Mike from Oak Park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2014 7:31 PM

"Local, farm raised items" exactly where is the farm in Oak Park? And while I'm picking nits, where else would you grow food except for a farm. How about calling it fresh food?

Judith Alexander from Oak Park  

Posted: October 31st, 2014 6:48 PM

Wonderful news. Can't wait to try it.

Jack Kennelly from Oak Park   

Posted: October 31st, 2014 2:39 PM

We are all excited to see what you can do. We loved the Grill and are thrilled that it is replaced by more fine dining.

Ada from Oak Park  

Posted: October 31st, 2014 9:29 AM

Your neighbors are thrilled!!!

Caroline Myss from Oak Park, il  

Posted: October 30th, 2014 7:29 PM

I know this restaurant will be absolutely exceptional. Judith Lalor is creating a place that will become known throughout Chicago for great food and a charming atmosphere. A wonderful edition to Oak Park.


Posted: October 30th, 2014 6:58 PM

Wow, Jan, Is your last name in lower case too?

Jan part from Oak park  

Posted: October 30th, 2014 5:50 PM

It's Crain 's Chicago Business

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