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a sign on a city street

Chef Joel Nickson founded Wishbone Restaurant at 1800 W. Grand Ave in July 1990 with 23 seats, nine stools, and a half dozen paintings by his mother, Lia Nickson. His "southern reconstruction cooking"--Dixie standards like baked bone-in-ham, blackened catfish, and Carolina crab cakes, prepared with a minimum of heavy oils, deep frying, or added sugar-- with its mix-and-match menu of side dishes such as sautéed spinach, mashed sweet potatoes, and macaroni and cheese, caught on fast. 

A second Wishbone was opened in 1992 with 170 seats at 1001 W. Washington--at a time when Chicago's West Loop seemed an uncharted territory, Wishbone was an early participant in the emergence of the neighborhood from a commercial area to one of the city's culinary hot spots. In October 2018, after 27 years on Washington Blvd, Wishbone relocated to 161 N Jefferson Street.
Wishbone celebrates 34 years in business in March 2024