Photo credit: Le Bouchon.
We are very sorry to report the heartbreaking news that talented chef and restaurateur Jean-Claude Poilevey died early Saturday morning in an icy car crash on the Eisenhower expressway. The crash involved 15 cars and occurred at 12:40am. Poilevey was the sole fatality at the accident and, according to the Chicago Tribune, had stepped out of his car at the scene.
A highly respected icon for decades in the French dining community, Poilevey opened his first restaurant in 1973 and Bucktown's Le Bouchon in 1993 where it has served as a staple in the community for over 20 years. He later opened Le Sardine in the West Loop in 1998.
Le Bouchon is a true treasure in Bucktown. Located at 1958 N. Damen Avenue, walking into this tiny restaurant is like walking into a Parisian bistro. The eatery is warm and cozy. The food: authentic French fare and delicious. The staff friendly and accommodating. The 71-year-old chef cooked service every night. Posted on Le Bouchon's Facebook page: Our hearts our broken. We have lost an incredible man, chef and friend.
Le Sardine and Le Bouchon were closed Saturday night. Memorial services are pending.