by Mike Sula
I stopped by Lincoln Square's shiny new Gene's Sausage Shop yesterday at a lucky time. Patriarch Eugene Luzcz was hanging the sausage in the front window of the massive double-decker superstore that rose over the footprint of the old Meyer Delicatessen. I've been watching these developments for more than two years now, and I'm relieved that they're finally opening Saturday morning at 9 AM.
Though the Luzczes have totally transformed the space to encompass a full-service butcher shop and deli counter, as well as a staggering selection of imported European dry goods and liquors, they've preserved a few crucial pieces of history. Meyer's old wood-and-glass cabinets remain, offering a view on the giant slabs of meat hanging in the butcher shop. And the massive retro Meyer sign hangs above the staircase in all its glory.
It's a big week for openings: also on Saturday the great Albany Park Middle Eastern joint Salam reopens in its expanded spiffed-up space. And in case you've been living in a cave for the last few weeks, the Paul Kahan taco project Big Star opens Monday in the old Pontiac Cafe.
Gene's Sausage Shop at Meyer Delicatessen, 4750 N. Lincoln, 773-728-7243
Salam, 4636 N. Kedzie, 773-583-0776
Big Star, 1531 N. Damen