Call this the year of changes for Custom House. First, they added “tavern” to their name after owners Sue and Peter Drohomyrecky split from partner Shawn McClain and changed up the concept a bit, keeping the same high-quality food, but adding more of an accessible comfort food vibe, especially in the lower-priced bar menu. At the same time, the restaurant welcomed Chef Aaron Deal, who moved from South Carolina where he was chef at famed restaurant Tristan to helm the kitchen here. Unfortunately Deal, who is a talented and highly respected chef (not to mention one of Chicago mag’s hot singles for 2010), didn’t work out (we assume creative or philosophical differences) and Custom House will soon bring on Perry Hendrix to oversee the busy South Loop kitchen.
Hendrix, who most recently served as executive chef at Brasserie by Niche in St. Louis, will officially start on Sept. 1 and will no doubt bring his talent for sourcing local ingredients to prepare classically simple American fare. Before Hendrix arrives, Custom House will open its doors to Eric Aubriot, a one-time Chicago superstar chef with his namesake Lincoln Park restaurant, who will serve as executive chef throughout the summer. Aubriot also owns the quaint wine and cheese shop, Damen Kitchen & Cellar, beneath the Damen Brown Line stop in Lincoln Square.
So while we await these changes, keep your eyes peeled for new Custom House Tavern offers on Foodie and be sure to visit the Printer’s Row spot for a fantastic culinary experience.