Alfresco Eating & Drinking

Alfresco Eating & Drinking

Summer, on deck
A season of new rooftops,  beer gardens and sidewalk  patios, charted by when  they’re coming and the crowds  we foresee.  By TOC staff   
Chicago Cut Steakhouse Views of the  river. Views of  the Loop. Views  of fights over  tables? This  120-seat patio  takes no  reservations.

Owner Bo Fowler on Owen & Engine’s patio: “I built the place across from a  really ugly theater and my not-so-attractive  other restaurant [Fat Willy’s Rib Shack].  And then Burger King went there. So the  sides [of the patio] are stone and they’re  higher. I’m trying to enclose it a little more,  with plantings and lanterns and things like  that. We hope to make it a little oasis so that you can’t really  see too much of what’s surrounding it.”

Studio Paris What Sub 51 is to Hub  51, Studio Paris is to  Paris Club. On a roof.

The Aviary See Girl & the  Goat.


Bridge House Tavern A new chef/owner—Mark  Hemmer, formerly of Uptown’s  Magnolia Cafe—takes over  Flatwater’s two-tier riverview  terrace, bringing in charcuterie  from Butcher & Larder.

South Branch It’s 4,000  square feet of  outdoor happyhour madness,  complete with a  pavilion-style  bar, 175 seats  and views of the  Chicago River.

The Dock at Montrose Beach A liquor license plus a  3,300-square-foot  beach deck plus a  Memorial Day  opening equal a  magnet for drunken  revelers. Will a  quieter locale prevent  this from becoming  Castaways 2.0?

Girl & the Goat Don’t kid  yourself: 30  sidewalk  seats will not  make it  easier to get  a table.

Chickpea fritters at Girl & the Goat

Blueberry at the Aviary

Owen & Engine A second-floor,  400-seat patio  means more  room to enjoy  your fish   and chips.

iNG Homaro Cantu’s  noodle shop unveils  16 sidewalk seats  out front. A patio-only  drink list pairs  cocktails with mberry  tablets, which  temporarily block  certain taste buds,  making sour flavors  seem sweet. 

Tavernita The 60-person sidewalk  patio—30 seats, plus a  standing-room bar— coming to Mercadito’s  new sister restaurant  makes us even happier  to bid a final adieu to  Martini Park.


Charcuterie plate at Owen & Engine


Big Jones Sit a spell in  the old  South—or at  least channel  that vibe in this  backyard  garden, which  will seat about  two dozen  diners. 

Lobster roll at GT Fish & Oyster

J.P. Graziano If you’ve ever held  a hefty Mr. G sub  with nowhere to  eat it, you  understand the  small patio next to  this Italian grocery  is positively  revolutionary.

Prasino The suburbs’  favorite sustainable  eatery hits Wicker  Park with 100 seats  (couches included)  ready to rock  Division Street’s  double-wide  sidewalks.

THE AVIARY (955 W FULTON MARKET, NEXTRESTAURANT.COM),    BANGERS & LACE (1670 W DIVISION ST, 773-252-6499), BIG JONES  (5347 N CLARK ST, 773-275-5725), BRIDGE HOUSE TAVERN (321 N CLARK ST, 312-644-0283), CHICAGO CUT STEAKHOUSE (300 N LASALLE ST, 312-329-1800), DERBY (1224 W WEBSTER AVE, NO PHONE YET), THE DOCK AT MONTROSE BEACH (200 W MONTROSE HARBOR DR, 773-9832113), GIRL & THE GOAT (809 W RANDOLPH ST, 312-492-6262), GT FISH & OYSTER (531 N WELLS ST, 312-929-3501), ING (951 W FULTON MKT, 855-834-6464), J.P. GRAZIANO (901 W RANDOLPH ST, 312-6664587), OWEN & ENGINE (2700 N WESTERN AVE, 773-235-2930),  PRASINO (1846 W DIVISION ST, NO PHONE YET), SOUTH BRANCH (100 S WACKER DR, 312-546-6177), STUDIO PARIS (59 W HUBBARD ST, 312595-0800), TAVERNITA (151 W ERIE ST, NO PHONE YET)

22 Time Out Chicago  May 26–Jun 1, 2011


May 26–Jun 1, 2011  Time Out Chicago 23 


Bangers & Lace This sausage  paradise’s  sidewalk patio  alleviates the  elbow-to-elbow  crowd indoors. 

Bangers & Lace cicerone Ria Neri’s top five beer styles to drink this summer: 1. Pale lagers (“crisp  and refreshing thirst  quenchers”)   Neri’s picks Two  Brothers Dog Days ($6/16oz draft) and  Victory Prima Pils ($6/16oz draft) 2. Witbiers (“zesty, orange-citrusy fruitiness,  crisp with a dry, sometimes tart finish”)   Neri’s picks Allagash White ($6/12oz draft)  and Hitachino Nest White ($9/12oz bottle,  $10/12oz draft) 3. German wheats (“No lemons, please. It  destroys the flavor and head of the beer.”)  Neri’s picks: Leipziger Gose ($8/12oz  draft) and Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen  ($7/20oz draft) 4. Saisons (“seasonal summer style  produced in Belgian farmhouses”)   Neri’s picks Blaugies Biere Darbyste  ($20/25oz bottle, $10/12oz draft) and  Dupont Avril Biere de Table ($9/12oz draft) 5. Rosé-colored beers (“ranging from lightly  sweet and fruity to funky and complex”)   Neri’s picks Dieu Du Ciel Rosée  D’Hibiscus ($10/9oz draft) and Cantillon  Rosé de Gambrinus ($38/25oz bottle,  $10/9oz draft)

GT Fish & Oyster Front windows  open to a  12-seat  sidewalk patio  in River North.  Can anyone say  lunch meeting?

Derby The Big Onion Tavern  Group (Jack’s, the Irish  Oak) turns Charlie’s  Ale House into a  “British-American  grill”—think bubbleand-squeak, but also  burgers—leaving only  part of the large beer  garden unhindered by  pesky roofs and walls.

The Aviary’s Grant Achatz on the word patio: “Okay. Even that word in itself is  misleading. It’s a sidewalk, right? But: It’s a  very wide sidewalk, in comparison to most  sidewalks in the city. So what that allows us is  to put in seating vignettes. In theory, there’s  enough square feet out there that we could  put 80 people out there, honestly, if we  wanted to pack ’em in. But, we’re not gonna  do that [the patio will seat 30], because   (1) the line issue. We need to navigate that;  we need to have a stronger  door presence that  helps people move  through that area.  And (2) we want to  make it comfortable  for the people that are  actually sitting there,  enjoying the beverages  and not feel like they’re  in the middle of the  line. Like,  that’s not  cool,  right?” 

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