Filipino American Standout Boonie Foods Will Leave Revival Food Hall
When Boonie Foods debuted in 2020, Joe Fontalera pumped some excitement into the Revival Food Hall with his Filipino American dishes, bringing global tastes to a food hall stocked with staples like burgers, Nashville hot chicken, and salads.
Revival needed to adapt during the pandemic in downtown Chicago without crowds of office workers eating lunch in the Loop. Along with vendors like Minahasa, which serves Indonesian food; and Art of Dosa, which specializes in Southern Indian cuisine; Boonie gave Revival robust dinner options for takeout and delivery. Night-time service represented a change in strategy for a food hall built for the afternoon crowd.
But despite success, Boonie’s two-year-run will end on Thursday, December 22, Fontalera announced last week. He tells Eater Chicago he’s bringing his silogs, spring rolls — and perhaps new favorites like dinugaun — to Lincoln Square where he’ll take over the Crab Pad, 4337 N. Western Avenue. Crab Pad’s original Logan Square location will remain open, but the second location will close on Saturday, December 17.
Fontelera will make some changes in Lincoln Square. He promises something big, including a name change. He’s not ready to share what he’s planning, but he’s excited.
Before Revival, Boonie popped up at the Logan Square location of Crab Pad, which is owned by Theresa Tran. It’s a family operation; Tran is married to Fontalera’s cousin. Tran says construction along Western Avenue hurt the restaurant, which opened on January 4, 2022. Winter sales have been especially brutal, Trans says.