Located in the heart of North Center, Irene’s is Chicago’s newest neighborhood diner, set to open October 21. Irene’s is led by three hospitality veterans who bring 20 years of industry experience – Petros Papatheofanis, Noah Zamler, and Cristian Mendoza. Irene’s pays homage to co-owner/partner Petros Papatheofanis, whose family owned and operated the space from 1986 until 2012.
“This space has a lot of sentimental value to me, “ says co-owner/partner Petros Papatheofanis. “Growing up as a kid, I remember going into work with my family and the incredible aroma lingering from the griddle with my Dad, who passed away in 2000 when I was 11. Since then, it has been my dream to get involved and open a restaurant in the exact location he did. I’m excited to bring back those memories and offer the neighborhood a new go-to spot where residents of all ages can enjoy and find something they like for breakfast and lunch.”
Guests can look forward to breakfast and lunch favorites seven days a week, with a selection of homemade bread, pies, fresh donuts, and more. The menu is curated to feel approachable and offer something for everyone. An entire section will be dedicated to benedicts, including Crab Cake, Spinach Mushroom, Smoked Salmon, and Short Rib. Additionally, the menu will feature a variety of skillets, omelets, and breakfast sandwiches – think Turkey Sausage Skillet, Avocado Toast, Breakfast Burrito, and more.
Irene’s will set itself apart from traditional diner menus by offering elevated twists on classics such as the Short Rib Grilled Cheese, Fried Chicken Sandwich, Carrot Cake Pancakes, Cookies & Cream Pancakes, and more. For those looking for a health-conscious option, Irene’s will offer an array of skillets and a section dedicated to salads. Perfect for families with little ones, Irene’s expansive kid's menu will feature a variety of healthy and hearty options. For the beverage program, Irene’s will offer coffee from Passion House Coffee Roasters, fresh juices made in-house, and a selection of smoothies.
The dining room consists of large booths, a small counter space, and subway tiled floors, evocative of old-school retro diners. Photos of the restaurant in its previous iteration will be on display throughout the space, as a tribute to Petros’s family.
Irene’s will be open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm. The neighborhood spot is located at 2012 W Irving Park Road.
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