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Reports: Smack Shack closes Chicago location after less than a year

Its 300-seater Chicago experiment didn't take with the locals in a fiercely competitive neighborhood, despite good reviews.
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Smack Shack, the popular North Loop seafood bar and restaurant, appears to have had less success taking its winning formula outside the Twin Cities.

The eatery expanded to Chicago last April, but according to Eater Chicago the Windy City experiment didn't take, with its location in one of Chicago's hottest (and most competitive) dining districts closing on Sunday.

Smack Shack had partnered with the Four Corners Tavern Group to open in a "massive space" in the 1K Fulton building that also houses Google's Chicago office.

There was no mention of the closure on Smack Shack's Minneapolis Facebook page, but its Chicago Facebook page appears to have been taken down.

A spokesperson for the Four Corners group told DNAInfo that what is a "popular concept in Minnesota – did not translate similarly in Chicago."

Smack Shack had occupied a 300-seater, 10,000 square-foot restaurant, but the Eater says it faced stiff competition from another seafood restaurant, Cold Storage, which was based in the same building and is run by the Boka Group, one of Chicago's "most formidable" restaurant groups.

Nonetheless it enjoyed good reviews during its short time in Chicago, getting a 4 star rating on Yelp and 4.5 on OpenTable, while there were also favorable features in newspapers including the Chicago Tribune.

Smack Shack started out as a food truck selling lobster rolls across the metro before opening its 8,000 square-foot location on N. Washington Ave.

And despite the closure in Chicago, owner Josh Thoma has other irons in the fire. He's one of the new owners of the Lexington in St. Paul, which reopened last month after being closed for four years.

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