According to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker, the Chicago location of venerable Polynesian restauranteur Trader Vic's will close after the ball drops this New Year's Eve.
END OF AN ERA: For those who haven't dined at Trader Vic's in the Palmer House Hilton recently -- you better hurry. The legendary Polynesian-themed eatery is serving its last Singapore Sling and closing its doors forever New Year's Eve. In its heyday, the restaurant was a favorite Loop watering hole frequented by honeymooning newlyweds and Hollywood stars alike. The Chicago outpost of the worldwide chain of South Seas Island eateries -- famed for inventing the mai-tai cocktail -- opened in 1957.
Rumors of the closure of the restaurant began flying this summer after tiki-unfriendly management took over the location. No word yet as to what generic steakhouse will take its place.
UPDATE: Word is that the Palmer House location is closing, but the decor will be packed and stored until another Chicago location can be secured. They hope to reopen in 2007.