This Christmas Eve, Belly Shack wrapped up a seven-year run, leaving many rushing out to get a final taste of the restaurant’s unique Korean and Puerto Rican fusion.
A statement was released on Monday, December 19, by Chef/Founder Bill Kim and his partners at Cornerstone Restaurants, affirming that the once seemingly longstanding establishment located at 1912 N. Western Ave. would be closing its doors for good. While not providing an explanation for the restaurant’s closure, Chef Bill Kim and his team did assure patrons that they’re “grateful to have served the Logan Square community.”
The news of Belly Shack’s closure came as a shock to many residents throughout the Chicagoland area who have grown attached to the restaurant’s distinctive blend of flavors, the urban feel and its convenient location tucked right underneath the CTA’s Western Blue Line station.
Scott Curtis, who first started going to Belly Shack when he lived in Humboldt Park, was saddened when he heard of the restaurant’s plan to shut down. “It’s a really good example of people trying to do something different and succeeding really well,” he explained. “It doesn’t seem like it’s a copy of anything, and it was a good addition; it employed people from the area, it was unique, it didn’t rip off the culture of the area — it contributed rather than took away.”
Helena Alcantara, a Michigan native who currently resides in Albany Park, remembers Belly Shack being one of the first eateries she explored when she first moved to Chicago nearly six years ago and appreciates how you could see people from all over Chicago in Belly Shack enjoying the cuisine. “It has such an unpretentious vibe to it,” she said. “That’s what I loved about it.”
Although the restaurant has closed, fortunately for lovers of Belly Shack, some of its signature dishes will be featured as specials at both Urbanbelly locations (1400 W. Randolph St. and 1542 N. Damen Ave.).
The Tribune was first to report the closure.