Whoever those few fortunate individuals are whose jobs consist of visiting restaurants all over Chicagoland in search of the perfect pork chop, they will likely be making a stop in Forest Park in the near future.
That’s because SkrineChops, the current pork chop championship holder according to Chicago magazine, is scheduled to open on Madison Street on January 1.
The restaurant, which first opened in 2004, snagged the title from Mike Ditka’s Restaurant, which had held the designation for five consecutive years.
The restaurant currently serves its chops, ribs and other specialties at its headquarters at 400 S. Financial Place in Chicago as well as its North Riverside and Desplaines locations.
The new location at 7230 Madison St., the former site of Skelly and Skelly’s, marks a return to their hometown of Forest Park for SkrineChops owners Brian and Matt Sullivan, who owned Murphy’s Pub, 7414 Madison St., for eight years before selling the business two years ago.
The brothers operate SkrineChops along with a third partner, Steve Skrine.
Brian Sullivan cited the ease of working with the village as well as the thriving Madison Street restaurant scene as reasons the three partners saw Forest Park as an ideal location.
“It seems like every day we’re seeing a lot more restaurants pop up,” he said. He made particular mention of the support the business has received from the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce and the Main Street Association.
Though the downtown location is exclusively take-out and does most of its business in catering, Sullivan said the Forest Park location will include a small bar with an outdoor beer garden, smoking and non smoking seating areas, and an upstairs room for private parties.
As for the pork chops, Sullivan said, “I’d tell you the recipe but I’d have to kill you” they’re skrinemated, that’s all I can say.”
The restaurant’s web site, www.skrinechops.com, provides a bit more information, noting that the chops are flavored with 10 seasonings from around the world created by Steve Skrine himself.
According to Sullivan, the bar at the Forest Park location will be open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with the restaurant opening at 4 p.m.
“Everything’s going real smooth, we’re just fine-tuning,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to getting up and running.”