Hyde Park Progress brings news that Orly’s is up for lease – $75k working capital brings you “complete autonomy” and 90% of the profits over the course of the lease.

I don’t know much about the restaurant business, so I don’t know whether it’s a good deal, but the location’s not bad – 55th and Hyde Park, on the #55 and #6 lines in a fairly dense part of the area. But as a resident of Hyde Park/Woodlawn for half the time I’ve been in Chicago, Orly’s has long fascinated and amused me.

I’ve only eaten there once (it was okay, not great). Most of the people I know from Hyde Park, which is most of the people I know in Chicago, have only eaten there once or twice. It’s been through three or four different cuisine incarnations since I’ve lived here, with two or three different names.

Hyde Park Progress has an earlier post which counts up seven or eight, depending on how you figure it, different concepts in the restaurant’s history: proto-Applebees; Mexican, Japanese, Italian, Polynesian and Israeli (!); salad/stir-fry bars; Southwestern; Southwestern under the name “Jalapeno’s”; Southwestern back under the name Orly’s; bakery; bakery and barbeque.

I think they might be missing a Cajun incarnation in between Southwestern Orly’s and bakery Orly’s, but honestly I can’t remember.

Anyway, tell your ambitious restaurateur friends. Although what Hyde Park really needs is the return of Ciral’s House of Tiki.