Inovasi chef John des Rosiers, the next participant in the Reader
's new Key Ingredient
feature, is also opening a new store next week across the street from his Lake Bluff restaurant (as previously reported
in Eater Chicago). Wisma
will offer carryout dishes—mostly local/organic/sustainable/seasonal—including soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas, and entrees; main dishes average $10-$12 and serve two. They're prepared at Inovasi (there's also a small prep kitchen in the basement at Wisma), but once des Rosiers opens his next store, which is already in the works, food production will move to that location. After that he's planning to open a bunch more to create a chain, eventually expanding into the city—though he thinks that'll take another two or three years.
Most everything in the store is built from reclaimed and recycled materials—think vintage rather than space plastic. Des Rosiers showed me the space earlier this week, and while it's clearly still in progress, you can get a pretty good sense of what it's going to look like. There are a few tables where people can sit and eat, a kids' area, refrigerator cases for beer and other drinks, and a wine section in addition to the main counter. (All photos by me.)