Partner Terry Alexander is a true pioneer on the vanguard of defining Chicago’s most experimental and cutting-edge nightlife and restaurant communities. Known for taking risks on neighborhoods, designs and concepts, he has a knack for pulling off with resounding success what others would scarcely dream to try.
Alexander opened his first venture, Danny’s Tavern, in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood back in 1989, long before the area became one of the city’s premier addresses for successful artists, architects and other elite urban professionals. Danny’s stood the test of time and continues to draw the city’s hippest clientele with a diverse mix of music that ranges from experimental DJs to classical chamber music.
He followed with Mia Francesca in Lakeview, the first Italian trattoria in Chicago to attain cult-like status. Today, 14 sister locations, including Francesca’s Forno, dot the greater Chicago area.
Alexander teamed up with partners to move Soul Kitchen, a tiny but much-respected neighborhood restaurant featuring modern Southern cuisine, to Wicker Park, where it became known for serving one of Chicago’s best brunches. His next venture, Tizi Melloul, a French-Moroccan restaurant, marked the restaurateur’s first expression of ground-breaking, over-the-top design. Okno followed, featuring contemporary global cuisine, and was one of the first restaurants in the city to prominently feature nightly DJs. MOD., a modern American restaurant in Wicker Park, boasted a Food & Wine Rising Star chef serving straight-up food in a futuristic playground of visual stimulation.
Alexander and a group of partners also opened Sonotheque, an innovative lounge of sound promoting local and international DJs. The Violet Hour opened in 2007 and has taken the idea of the upscale cocktail bar to a new level of sophistication and style. And in 2008, Alexander helped to open The Publican. Since then, he then opened Big Star in November 2009 and Publican Quality Meats in 2012.
A Nebraska native, Alexander earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism at the University of Nebraska and a Masters of Arts degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. In 1999, Crain’s Chicago Business honored Alexander by naming him one of its “Top 40 Under 40.”