5 To Feast: Eat & Drink Your Way through Wrigleyville’s Newest Attractions
By Audarshia Townsend
The Chicago Cubs may no longer reign as World Series Champions, but the neighborhood in which they call home is more popular than ever. Wrigleyville, anchored by Wrigley Field, rivals Lincoln Park Zoo and Willis Tower as a top tourist attraction. And during baseball season, locals flood the entire area from early morning until late at night.
Almost everyone wants in on the action, which is why several local high-profile restaurant groups have set up shop with awesome new dining and drinking establishments. They’re gearing up to take the scene to the next level, such as Boka Restaurant Group with Dutch & Doc’s.
It’ll be the 19th restaurant project for Boka, which also boasts GT Fish & Oyster, Girl & The Goat and Somerset. For the two-story, 200-seat Dutch & Doc’s, the guys merge old with new. It’s named in honor of two common old timey nicknames for Major League baseball players.
Dutch & Doc’s will be situated on the lobby level of the brand-new Zachary Hotel, which was a controversial replacement of a long-time McDonald’s directly across the street from Wrigley Field. When it opens this summer, the restaurant will utilize the culinary talents of Chris Pandel, whose B. Hospitality Co. is behind The Bristol, Formento’s and Swift & Sons. The casual American eatery will serve steaks, seafood, house-made pastas and more.
Four More to Devour
The taco-and-whiskey wonderment known as Big Star is finally getting an outpost, and here’s to keeping our fingers crossed that will mean it will be easier getting a table. It opens this spring across the street from Wrigley Field, and dwarfs the original with two stories of 9,000 square feet. Unlike its Wicker Park counterpart, Big Star Wrigleyville will feature eight retractable television screens for prime-time game watching. It is owned by One Off Hospitality Group, which is also behind avec, Blackbird, Publican, Nico and The Violet Hour.
Located in the Park at Wrigley and adjacent to Wrigley Field, this sprawling sports-focused eatery offers a unique Chicago experience by paying homage to legendary Chicago Cubs broadcaster Jack Brickhouse. Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern is owned by Four Corners Tavern, which owns and operates 14 establishments throughout the city. It offers an elevated dining experience beyond the area's typical sports bar, with four bars, two outdoor terraces and stunning views of historic Wrigley Field and the Chicago skyline. The menu upgrades and updates classic bar bites, from a barbecue chicken quesadilla to a signature bacon sandwich made with thick cut bacon, black pepper aioli, mighty vine tomato and American cheese.
Evanston-based Union Restaurant Group makes its way to Wrigleyville via the much-anticipated luxury boutique Wheelhouse Hotel. Its fourth project, Union Full Board, spans more than 1,200 square feet and comfortably seats 60 guests. Expect the menu to showcase Union Pizzeria's fare, including small plates of bruschetta, meatballs and fresh salads as well as its signature individual-sized, Detroit-style square cut pies. The subterranean Tinker to Evers pays homage to the famous Cubs poem written by Franklin Pierce Adams. Guests will find an upscale, speakeasy-style cocktail lounge with an elevated portfolio of cocktails crafted with fresh squeezed juices, aromatics and wide range of unique, local craft spirits.
Eclectic pastry shop West Town Bakery, from the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group, opens its third location in Wrigleyville. Situated in sleek boutique Hotel Zachary, West Town Bakery + Tap differs from the previous two by offering a full drink menu of craft cocktails, beer and wine. It's aiming to attract pre- and post-Cubs crowds. The drink list features cocktails inspired by bakery favorites such as French toast cake balls and chocolate city iced coffee. Guests may also order the Wingie’s bloody Mary (vodka, house-blended Bloody Mary mix, traditional garnishes and a chocolate-dipped chicharron) as well as seasonal mimosas with freshly squeezed juices. An assortment of menu additions unique to the new location include stacked breakfast sandwiches, signature chocolate bars, Wrigleyville-themed cake balls and soft-serve ice cream.
See previous columns by Audarshia Townsend right here.