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West Loop Beer Mecca Haymarket Pub Set to Open This Week

Barring any setbacks from city inspections today, West Loop dwellers will have a ginormous beer mecca to call their own when the 9,000-square-foot Haymarket Pub & Brewery (in the old Barney's Market Club) starts churning out suds made onsite. Owner and longtime brewmaster Pete Crowley, a 10-year alum of Chicago's Rock Bottom Brewery who's snagged more than 50 awards for his creations, will offer about 75 different craft beers, including up to 15 house-made varieties.

The menu will focus heavily on Belgians and IPAs. "I'm a huge hop-head," said Crowley, who co-founded the venture with Sausagefest organizer John Neurauter. (He’ll also age a few brews in Bourboun barrels.) The beers will skew seasonal—the only standbys will be the house pilsner and Belgian pale ale—with a spice-laden dark Belgian ale rolling out this winter. Come spring, Haymarket will lighten up its menu and unveil a 40-seat beer garden.

Also on tap: housemade sausages, pizzas, burgers and rotisserie chicken cooked up by chef Chris Buccheri (formerly of Three Floyd's Brewpub in Munster, Ind). "We wanted comfort food that's accessible to a lot of people but is also delicious and pairs well with the beer," Crowley said.

Accessibility seems to be the magic word, as the brewery and kitchen are completely visible from the dining room; you can watch your dinner and drinks being made. (There's also a performance space that will host live music and two-man performance troupe the Drinking and Writing Theater.) And judging by the number of heads popping into Haymarket during construction, the joint will be jumping come opening weekend. "This neighborhood has been craving a local beer," Crowley said. "I feel like we'll have a lot of locals coming by to fill their growlers on their way home from work."