Oct 12, 2021 - Food and Drink
Ed Debevics is back — sort of
The counter at Ed Debevics restaurant.
Loud neon rules at Ed Debevic's. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

If you feel comfortable dining indoors and are longing for the past (think 50s filtered through the '80s), you might want to slip into a booth at Ed Debevic's diner downtown at Ohio and St. Clair.

Why it matters: Fans of the old restaurant, which closed after 30 years in 2015, want to know if this relaunched version, now run by Bravo Restaurants, delivers the same magic.

The similarities: Same loud, '50s neon diner look. Same-ish menu of burgers, hot dogs, cheese fries, salads and milk shakes. Similar friendly servers, dressed as cowgirls, nerds, bad boys and bobby soxers. And those hourly dance shows to the "YMCA." Sing it with me.

A booth at Ed Debevics restaurant.
Inside Ed Debevic's. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

The differences: The new spot is off Michigan Avenue rather than in River North. Monica's server wasn't nearly as sassy as the old staff — maybe it was the mask.

  • And the erstwhile Ed's would never serve stuff like avocado toast or a "hippie scramble" ($15.95) featuring eggs over cheesy red peppers, spinach and potatoes. But we loved them.
Eggs and avocados on a table at Ed Debevics.
The hippie skillet at Ed Debevic's. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

💭 Monica's thought bubble: Nice menu updates — especially the sensible "world's smallest sundae." And in this world of strife, maybe toned down sass is not such a bad thing.

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