Last April, we reported the tragic death (ruled as a suicide), of Homaro Cantu, 38, the innovative Michelin-starred chef and owner of the critically acclaimed Moto in Chicago. Although the restaurant soldiered on for nearly a year, Moto will officially be closing its doors on Valentine’s Day. The space will be taken over by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas of Alinea Group, quite possibly two of Chicago’s most popular and revered restaurateurs.
“This bittersweet decision comes after deep reflection of the lasting impact my husband, the late Chef Homaro Cantu, made with his first restaurant," Katie McGowan, Cantu’s widow wrote in a prepared statement. "Looking to the future, I am pleased to have come to an agreement with Nick Kokonas, Grant Achatz and the Alinea Group. I am inspired by their innovation and pioneering spirit, and wish them all the best with their new project. I can't wait to see their vision and thank them for taking over the space as I begin a new chapter."
The business transaction makes sense for the Alinea team because the restaurant space is located in the same building as Achatz and Kokonas' other restaurants, Next, The Aviary, and the soon-to-open Roister.
“We have a great deal of respect for Moto, chef Cantu, and all of the great chefs and service professionals," Kokonas posted in a statement on Alinea's Facebook page. "Now is not the time to talk about our plans. Let's rather raise a glass to Moto, and celebrate what they have accomplished."