A Sad Farewell
Last week, the Weekly heard a rumor too horrible to be true: Homestyle Taste, the Bridgeport northern Chinese restaurant beloved by Weekly editors and everyone else who entered its doors, was closing imminently. At first, we didn’t know what to believe; a call to the restaurant provided little information, and all we had were rumors from the (usually reliable) neighborhood rumor mill that is Jackalope Coffee & Tea House. By Sunday, the rumor had been confirmed by a sign in the window: Homestyle Taste is closed, with no plans (that we can find) to reopen.
The rumor mill provided the explanation of a rapidly rising rent, which we were unable to confirm, so let us leave rumors aside here, and remember Homestyle Taste for what it was: one of the best restaurants in the city. Its varied offerings, mostly from the northern dongbei region of China, offered creature comforts and regional specialties with identical aplomb; its Kung Pao Chicken, for instance, elevated a familiar Americanized dish to new heights, while its iron hot pot or cold noodle offerings catered to curious palettes and homesick dongbei expats alike. It is difficult to run a small business like a restaurant in Chicago, and it’s disheartening to see one as beloved (just check the Bridgeport neighborhood Facebook page) as Homestyle Taste fall victim to something as seemingly arbitrary as rent. As the Weekly wrote in its 2014 Best of the South Side entry for Homestyle Taste, “it lives up to the near and dear sensibilities that its name invokes.” It will be missed.