5th Street Arcades
(530 Euclid Ave.) for the past four years, dished up things like hummus plates, falafel salads, okra and cauliflower stew, African peanut stew, vegan gyros, tofu sandwiches, veggie juices and fruit smoothies.
Owner Amira was not altogether pleased to be shown the door, but admits that she lacked a lease and was behind on her payments.
“I had a huge investment here, so I didn’t want to give up my spot,” she says. “I’m well-established here. I’ll be searching for a new location that’s just right.”
Dick Pace, president of Cumberland Development and leaseholder of 5th Street Arcades, says that he worked out payment plans with Amira a number of times but she was simply no longer able to meet her financial obligations.
“We’re sad to see her leave,” Pace says. “She had a great business with a very good following and we wish her the best.”
Already the spot has been spoken for, Pace adds. Come spring, the space will be home to a new food concept from Bob Holcepl, who also operates Tea Lab in the arcade.
“I always said that if any of these spaces became available, I wanted it,” says Holcepl.
When it opens in the coming months, PicNic will be a sausage-centric lunch concept that features locally made, chef-driven sausages, hand-cut fries, and creative toppings and sides.
“Think more Hot Doug’s than Happy Dog,” Holcepl says, referring to the uber-popular Chicago-based hot dog and sausage concept that featured unusual meats and gourmet toppings.
The weekday lunch-only concept will feature a few staples like hot dogs, bratwurst and Polish Boys made with Slovenian kielbasa. Regular toppings like coleslaw, sauerkraut and horseradish will be joined by more creative toppings like peanut butter and others. Seasonal salads will join fresh-cut fries in the sides department.
While hopefully delicious, PicNic isn’t meant to be fancy, Holcepl stresses.
“I’m taking a low-brow food product and making it middle-brow,” he says. “At the end of the day it’s still just a sausage.”
Holcepl says that his goal is to have PicNic open by the Home Opener.
“My ideal opening day would be Opening Day,” he says.
The last day for Pure & Supreme Cuisine, a popular lunch spot for vegan and vegetarian diners – and anybody else looking for fresh, wholesome cuisine – was last week. The fast-casual shop, located in the