Sophie Bolich

Tony’s BBQ Owner Plans New Restaurant

Longtime restaurateur coming out of retirement to open fried fish and chicken joint on North Side.

By - Aug 7th, 2023 10:24 am
Site of future Tony's on North, 2625 W. North Ave. Photo taken Aug. 3, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of future Tony’s on North, 2625 W. North Ave. Photo taken Aug. 3, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Tony Sephus is hungry for seconds. After selling his restaurant, Tony’s BBQ Unlimited, last summer, the seasoned restaurateur realized that retired life wasn’t what he thought. Now, he’s making plans to get back in the kitchen — armed with a new location, a new concept and more than three decades of experience.

His latest venture, called Tony’s on North, is expected to open at 2625 W. North Ave., inside the former Gold Rush Chicken. The restaurant will serve “the best chicken and fish around,” according to Christo Mesoloras, who brokered the sale of the building.

The family-owned Gold Rush Chicken, which operates a second, long-standing location at 3500 S. Howell Ave., has been closed since 2018, said a representative of the business. For the past several years, however, the restaurant’s eye-catching, brown-and-yellow siding and oversized signage has continued to dominate the intersection of 26th Street and North Avenue.

That is, until earlier this week, when a group of workers could be seen hauling tables and chairs out of the restaurant and dismantling its exterior signs.

Originally constructed in 1909, the two-story structure contains 4,240 square feet of space. At this time, city records do not indicate any plans for construction work on the building.

Once open, Tony’s on North will put its chicken and fish to the test against a host of restaurants within the Midtown, Amani and Metcalfe Park neighborhoods. Several fast food chains including Popeyes and Big Sharks Fish & Chicken are located nearby, as well as small businesses such as 1700 Pull Up.

Mesoloras, a real estate agent with The Mesoloras Group, also represented Sephus in the sale of Tony’s BBQ Unlimited, 3510 W. Villard Ave. Restaurateur Brandalynn Cheatham paid $96,000 for the turnkey business last November. She later applied for liquor and public entertainment licenses at the address — a first for the formerly takeout-focused business.

Cheatham is also the registered agent for Ashley’s Bar-B-Que1501 W. Center St.

Sephus could not be reached for comment by the time of publication.

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