Open, serving sandwiches made by well-known local chefs, is closing

A highly-lauded sandwich joint is dimming its Open sign this week.

Open Sandwiches, which served a series of sandwiches designed by well-known local chefs, will close for good on Dec. 15. Owner Jake Riederer said he’s burned out by the restaurant industry and instead wants to set his focus toward a new local market he plans to open with his wife.

“I’ve been in restaurants for 25 years, and I’m tired of working the late night hours,” Riederer said. “It’s time for me to move on and check something else out.”

Riederer originally debuted the pop-up concept inside American Bonded, a restaurant in the River North Art District, in March 2021, before moving it to a space within the Goosetown Tavern, at 3242 E. Colfax Ave., in November of the same year.

The kitchen’s limited menu had six types of sandwiches, but for its last week, it will serve just three: The Lee, a slow-roasted beef sandwich with Sichuan dipping sauce, created by Tommy Lee of Uncle and Hop Alley; The Osaka, a chicken karaage sandwich, created by Jeff Osaka of Sushi Rama; and The Watts, a smoked pork belly sandwich, created by Amos Watts of the Fifth String.

For every sale, Open donated $1 to a local food charity of the chefs’ choice. They all agreed on Project Angel Heart, whose former executive chef, Brandon Foster, died suddenly in 2020. Riederer said the business donated a total of $3,000.

“Because each sandwich came from a different chef, none of them shared a single ingredient,” Riederer said. “Each sandwich was really different from all the rest.”

“I’ll miss seeing guests’ reactions after their first couple of bites because it really blew some minds as to what you can do with a sandwich,” he added.

For now, you can find Riederer and his wife within Spinelli’s Market in Park Hill, where they’re working to learn the business for their next venture. And as for whether or not he’d reopen Open down the line, Riederer said he’s “totally open to the idea of it.”

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