From an equestrian-inspired piano lounge and a throwback fern bar to a suburban outpost of the most metal burger joint in America, Chicago is getting acquainted with some pretty unusual new restaurants and bars -- as well as a few recent favorites spinning off into new locations -- this month. Here’s a look at eight of the best new spots around town.
Situated in a 19th-century carriage house, this equestrian-themed piano lounge is the latest addition to the Thalia Hall property (joining the likes of Dusek’s and Punch House). Saddle up for an evening of live piano performances Thursday through Saturday nights while sipping on a thematically on-point mint julep mixed with George Dickel nine-year rye, house sugar, and mint; soak it all up with creative bar fare like beef-fat fries and chili-spiked churros.
The second floor of Logan Square’s resident dance hall is now home to a casual-cool fern bar that begs you to order something boozy, kick back, and relax. The bar offers a small selection of beers and wines for those that feel so inclined, but cocktails like the tequila-based Freddy Fudd Pucker and the Casino (oolong tea-infused Death’s Door vodka, Brovo Boomerang, lemon, sparkling wine, and grapefruit peel) are really where it’s at.
This whimsical 100-seat concept from chef/owner Jason Paskewitz (Gemini Bistro) showcases modern, brasserie-style French fare and an elegant dining space flush with antique and country French finishes and abstract art. But more importantly, it’s dedicated an entire section of its menu to foie gras; enjoy the controversial delicacy with mousse apricot gelee, Maldon sea salt, and toast points, or with strawberries, pain perdu, vanilla, and nasturtium.
Taking over the back end of the Radler, this new restaurant-within-a-restaurant aims to be the neighborhood’s go-to for German street food like doner kebabs and sauerkraut baked beans. The best part, though? Nothing on the menu is over $8. The other best part? It’s open ‘til 2am on weekends, which means it’s your new après-bar stop for curing a case of the drunchies.
At long last, the retail-driven Roosevelt Collection welcomes its first restaurant: a steakhouse from the folks behind Porkchop. Whether you’re there to catch an early dinner before a flick at the ShowPlace ICON Theatre or just looking for a Gorgonzola-encrusted ribeye fix, the laid-back resto is prime for satisfying all your meat, seafood, and veggie needs.
4 Star Restaurant Group’s (Smoke Daddy, Crosby’s Kitchen) latest venture promises a full lineup of modern American eats that run the gamut from monkey bread with cream cheese frosting and rotisserie chicken hash for brunch to grilled mahi-mahi and the Windsor (a 12oz grilled ribeye topped with Worcestershire butter) for dinner. If dessert is a must (note: it is), go for the Maker’s Mark-filled adult milkshake.
Head to the basement at Henry’s for dancing, bottle service, and midnight snacking. The new, private, event-ready space can house up to 75 party animals, and comes equipped with a dance floor (complete with a disco ball), a jukebox loaded with danceable 45s, comfortable furniture, hand-bottled cocktails like a classic G&T, canned beer, and a fridge stocked with crave-worthy junk food that’s free (!!!) after midnight.
Chicago’s iconic heavy metal burger joint may have just gone suburban, but don’t worry -- its devil-may-care edge is still razor sharp. Expect crowds, blistering metal blaring over the speakers, and the same monstrous, pretzel-bunned burgers -- including the eponymous egg-topped Kuma Burger -- as the OG location.
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1. Tack Room1227 W 18th St, Chicago
2. The Heavy Feather2357 N Milwaukee, 2nd Floor, Chicago
3. The Blanchard1935 N Lincoln Park W, Chicago
4. DAS2855 W Fullerton, Chicago
5. Chop1017 S Delano Ct, Chicago
6. The Windsor160 E Huron, Chicago
7. The Rec Room18 W Hubbard St, Chicago
8. Kuma's Schaumburg1570 E Golf Rd, Schaumburg
Brought to us by the Dusek's team, this equestrian-themed piano lounge offers live performances Thursday through Saturday nights, creative bar fare like beef-fat fries, and fantastic cocktails like the mint julep mixed with George Dickel 9 year rye, house sugar, and mint.
This laid back bar offers a small selection of beer and wine, but the real deal is the cocktails which range from the Casino (Oolong tea-infused Death’s Door vodka, Brovo Boomerange, lemon, sparkling wine, and grapefruit peel) to boozy milkshakes topped with whipped cream.
This dining destination in Lincoln Park serves French classics with just enough whimsy to keep things interesting and just enough elegance to make it feel like an occasion. The menu features classics like escargots, steak frites, and mussels, but the highlight is by far the section dedicated to foie gras. The 100-seat space feels more modern than the typical Parisian brasserie with white tablecloths, leather chairs, and abstract art finishes.
This restaurant-within-a-restaurant located in the back of the Radler serves up German street food like doner kababs and sauerkraut baked beans. Bonus: Nothing on the menu is over $8. Double bonus: They're 'til 2am on weekends.
A steakhouse brought to you by the team behind Porkchop, Chop has a laid-back atmosphere and a full seafood and meat menu, including items like a gorgonzola-encrusted ribeye.
The Windsor offers upscale, modern American eats that range from monkey bread with cream cheese frosting and rotisserie chicken hash for brunch to grilled mahi mahi and the Windsor (a 12-oz grilled ribeye topped with Worcestershire butter) for dinner.
The basement under Henry's is the spot for dancing + bottle service + midnight snacking. It's a private, event-ready space for up to 75 party animals and comes equipped with a dance floor (jukebox and disco ball included), hand bottled classic cocktails like G & T, canned beer and a mini fridge full of junk food that's free after midnight.
Kuma's suburban location is just as heavy metal as the original location, and you can still expect crowds, blaring music and monstrous, pretzel-bunned burgers—including the eponymous egg-topped Kuma burger.