George Archos takes over Mag Mile restaurant

Evie Grill will occupy 7,000 sf at 535 North Michigan Avenue.

Verano's George Archos with 535 North Michigan Avenue
Verano's George Archos with 535 North Michigan Avenue (LinkedIn, Google Maps, Getty)

Restaurateur and owner of $1 billion cannabis company Verano is taking a chance on the troubled Magnificent Mile shopping strip.

George Archos will take over the former Bandera restaurant and jazz venue at 535 North Michigan Avenue to open Evie Grill, occupying 7,000 square feet on the second floor of the condo tower, CoStar reported

CBRE’s Todd Siegel, Phil Golding and Kimberly Wiskup brokered the deal. 

Bandera, which closed due to the pandemic in 2020 and never reopened, still had seven years left on its lease at the property. Archos agreed to a new seven-year lease with landlord J.B. Realty, including two five-year extension options, he told the outlet. 

The neighborhood has been struggling, but Archos believes the famous boulevard is poised to recover from the sky-high vacancies brought on by Covid-19.  

“Michigan Avenue had a rough patch a couple years ago, but Chicago is still Chicago,” Archos told the outlet. “Chicago is still one of the greatest American cities. There’s an office crowd, hospitals, hotels, tourists and shopping. I think it will be OK.”

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Archos’ plans for 535 North Michigan were revealed shortly after another move that will test the strip’s restaurant scene: Madison Capital and PGIM hired CBRE to sell the Signature Room restaurant on the 95th and 96th floors of the former John Hancock Center. It’s unclear if the Signature Room will continue operating as normal under new ownership, but the brokerage is marketing the venture as a reliable source of revenue and a top local attraction.

Evie Grill will serve an array of items like sushi, steaks, burgers and seasonal fish, and Archos said the new eatery will “be a nice place for tourists and locals.”

Archos also owns the Wildberry Cafe breakfast chain and Westwood Tavern in Schaumburg.

—Quinn Donoghue

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