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Branch 27
Branch 27

As a kid, there were always enticements to visit places you hated setting foot in -- your pediatrician gave you sweets, while your dentist gave you sweet nitrous. Enticing you to visit the library, Branch 27

Headed up by Rockit's opening GM and the Fat Cat/Five Star guy, Branch is an American bistro housed in the onetime 27th Ward library branch, whose original floorboards've been re-purposed into a wall, decor complimented by three hanging boxes displaying printing press parts -- a more direct shout-out to literacy, assuming anyone still knows what a printing press is. Menu items are simple and hearty, like a flatiron steak w/ spinach/'shroom/potato ragout, seared sea scallops w/ pumpkin ravioli, brined half roasted chicken, and cedar plank salmon (goddamn fish is always pulling plank on you). Branch also sports a full liquor bar, a 50+ bottle global wine list, eight gleaming taps pumping out craft brews (Blanche de Bruxelles, Goose Island Matilda, Bell's Oberon...) and about 25 bottles ranging from Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, to North Coast PranQster, to Rogue Dead Guy Ale (insert "White" before "Guy" for a ready-made commentary on library book lists).

For sunnier dining, there's also a 40-seat, curtain-offable, glass ceiling atrium, giving you a weather-proof glimpse of the once-loved place no inducement could now make you set foot in, "outside".

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1. Branch 27 1371 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Headed up by Rockit's opening GM and the Fat Cat/Five Star guy, Branch is an American bistro housed in the onetime 27th Ward library branch, whose original floorboards've been re-purposed into a wall, decor complimented by three hanging boxes displaying printing press parts -- a more direct shout-out to literacy, assuming anyone still knows what a printing press is.

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