In Edgebrook, similar to that of a Brazilian steak house, George Elbekai, (who was the first General Manager of Bob Chinn?s Crabhouse before it closed in 2005) opened Al Primo Canto in 2007 on the Northwest Side, and is planning to open a second location at 749 N. Clark St., formerly Le Lan, a popular upscale French-Vietnamese restaurant that closed last year.
Even though price per square foot is higher in River North, Mr. Elbekai says he does not plan to raise prices. He anticipates that increased liquor sales and heavier traffic will offset the higher operating expenses of the new trendy location. That is…the price of doing business. In real estate the general rule of thumb is location, location, location.
Although River North is home to solid competition, including three Brazilian steak places, Al Primo Canto will offer a broader menu including lamb, steak and pasta dishes and a better value to consumers with its family style, $29.95 per person “all you can eat.” A more cost effective dining option for those cutting back their restaurant spending in this turbulent economy.
According to public notice, Mr. Elbekai plans on assuming the lease of the restaurant and has an agreement to pay more than $112,000 for restaurant fixtures and other Le Lan assets from Midwest Bank & Trust Co., a lender to Le Lan. If all goes as planned, the deal is scheduled to close Monday, and Mr. Elbekai can get busy transforming 749 N. Clark, the newest addition to his family of restaurants.Email This Post To a Friend.