Before you ask: Yes, Trio Plant Based co-founder Sarah Woodcock is familiar with The Curse of 610 W. Lake Street.
How cursed is the address? Oh man, so cursed. It's chewed up and spit out restaurant after restaurant since 2012: Risotto, The Gray House, Prairie Dogs. It's cursed enough that when Prairie Dogs closed at the end of 2016, its co-owner actually blamed the curse, specifically.
Emperor of India was the latest victim—a "deeply satisfying" lunch buffet wasn't enough to propel it past the one-year mark. The restaurant's signs still hang outside, issuing an eggplant-colored warning: "Abandon all hope, ye who enter into a lease agreement here."
Of course, maybe you don't believe in curses. (Maybe you would say a fancy weenie chain that needs two Kickstarter campaigns to open its doors was doomed from the start.) Woodcock sure isn't worried: “We’re actually excited about the space, and we’re confident with methodical planning, things will go well," she says, adding, "We’re really approaching it from a community perspective."
She reasons that the restaurant is in a densely packed neighborhood with plenty of foot traffic, abundant street parking, and a bus stop right out front. Trio has an advantage its predecessors didn't, in that there isn't much else by way of vegan food in the area.
And karma could be on their side. It was fate that brought its three co-founders together, and the restaurant will come to life following a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign.
After a little bit of rearranging, 610 Lake will seat about 50. Dinner service comes first, with a menu made up of surefire hits from Trio's previous pop-ups: cheezeburgers, hamburgers, fries, "mac and cheeze for sure." There'll be a chikken and cheeze quesadilla, lasagna, and lots of different sides, so you can build your own two- or three-part meal. You can also expect beer and wine—there's a good lookin' stainless steel bar in there—and eventually the plan is to add lunch, followed by breakfast.
The opening? “As soon as possible,” ideally by August or early September.
If you can't wait until then, catch Trio at a pair of upcoming events: This Saturday, they'll serve chikken and cheeze quesadillas at a Rooster Redemption benefit, and on the 17th, their cheezeburgers and fries will be for sale while you watch the Gin Blossoms at Common Sound festival.