[Some images shared exclusively with Eater by Bal1227]
Frontier is a bringing a little bit of the west to Chicago. Not the wild west, mind you, but more of an apres ski, I'm-hanging-out-in-a-cool-bar-in-Telluride vibe. And you get to check out this "gastro-tavern" tomorrow when it opens in the former Corosh space.
Walking in, you'll quickly feel transported, between the 14-foot-high exposed timber ceilings, exposed brick, round saloon-like lights hanging from the ceiling, antlers on the wall and a massive stuffed full-size grizzly bear watching over the bar (so don't even think of stiffing your bartender). Blocks of reclaimed wood line the staircase to the basement while a stone fireplace adds coziness to the upstairs bar, which also has a raised DJ booth overlooking the entire space and a large skylight.
The exposed kitchen, where exec chef Brian Jupiter will put together dishes like grilled oysters with tarragon and Parmesan cheese; Yukon Gold potato gnocci; blackberry barbecue rabbit; bison hanger steak; pulled boar sandwich and more, features a 12-person chef's table just in front of the line.
This chef's table will give priority to people interested in feasting on Frontier's spit-roasted whole animals from farms like Slagel, Pinn Oak Ridge and Kilgus. Jupiter said they're going to do goat, pig, lamb and boar to start and that they need five days advance notice to get everything brined, seasoned and ready. That program will cost $70 per person and comes with a whole mess o' sides.
Another unique aspect will be Frontier's 16 ice taps, where the kegs and taps are kept at a low temperature that the actual tap frosts up so beer is served icy cold. And speaking of beer, you can get a bucket of beers to drink while digging into a bucket of oysters at the bar; Frontier will have 10 varieties of oysters at all times.
In the spring, they're going to open a 98-seat beer garden that will have a fireplace, bushes lining one side and TVs all around. "It will be a post-and-beam heavy timber structure that will have a fabric awning and give a feeling of a barn without a roof," said owner Mark Domitrovich, who along with Dan McCarthy owns the Pony Inn and Lottie's Pub.
"We're really offering something different with the game, the oysters and still giving you a casual atmosphere with a come-as-you-are kind of feel," Jupiter said. "The menu lends itself to a good hot spot with good food and cold beer." We're waiting to see if they install a hitching post.
· Frontier [website]