RIVER NORTH — Nouveau Tavern will reopen, but without live music, DJs or dancing under an agreement its owner reached Thursday with city officials.
The River North club at 358 W. Ontario St. will now operate strictly as a restaurant under the deal, which was negotiated with city lawyers the day a Cook County judge was set to hear City Hall’s motion to shut down the business through its Drug and Gang House Ordinance.
The Southern-style eatery will be open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends. Judge Pamela Hughes Gillespie met privately with city and Nouveau lawyers before announcing the compromise, which Nouveau owner Marsette Mangum said will hurt his business.
Mangum closed Nouveau a week ago after getting hit with a housing complaint from the city, and about a dozen Nouveau employees came to Thursday’s hearing to learn the restaurant’s fate.
“It’s the devil and the deep blue sea, so what can you do,” said Mangum of his situation, while adding the agreement is “a good step in the right direction.”
Though Nouveau averted a city shutdown, it still must fight a court-ordered eviction it received earlier this year from its landlord. Nouveau’s eviction appeal is pending, and Chicago lawyer Robert A. Boron, who represents Nouveau’s landlord, declined to comment.
John Holden, a spokesman for the city’s law department, said “the terms of the agreement are what we were going for,” declining to comment further.
The deal gives police the right to vacate the restaurant if Nouveau is found to be violating terms of the agreement. Nouveau ownership and city lawyers will meet again in court April 30 for a follow-up.
The restaurant’s menu, “an assortment of traditional Southern and New Orleans dishes,” is curated by chef Norman Hargrove, formerly of The Peninsula Chicago, according to Nouveau’s website.