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The Bedford Opens Tonight Inside Former Bank

The entrance to the Vault
The entrance to the Vault

The Bedford [Photo: Timothy Hiatt Photography]

After months of construction and buzz-building, The Bedford officially opens tonight at 5 p.m. for business. When we first took you through the space, we found some incredible design elements, and now it's all shiny and polished and ready to be viewed by the rest of the world.

The 6,500 square-foot restaurant, which is housed in the former MB Bank Building, utilized many materials found during the rehab and capitalized on the unique surroundings. They created a swank lounge inside the former bank vault, evoking a Mad Men vibe with its cool coat racks, Mid Century Modern-looking furniture and the gilded essence coming from the copper ceiling and thousands of safe deposit boxes.

But while people may initially be enticed by the design, which also includes dozens of vintage concert posters and photographs and art by local artists (many on loan from collector David Duckler and purchased at Andersonville shop Transistor), it's chef Mark Steuer's food that will bring them back.

Steuer broke up his menu into six sections: to snack on; from the soil; from the sea; from the pasture; on bread; and from the creamery. He'll feature many local ingredients on dishes like Bedford fish fry; pan-roasted halibut cheeks; grilled pork tenderloin and the grilled cheese, which Steuer previewed during a ride around a few weeks ago on the Southern Mac & Cheese Truck.

The beverage program, pulled together by nightlife veteran Peter Gugni, will feature intricate seasonal cocktails like the Honeysuckle Rose (42 Below Honey, Cynar, Amontillado sherry, dry Vermouth and orange bitters) and Edison's Medicine (Cachaca, yellow Chartreuse, agave syrup, lime juice and fresh sweet basil).

The buzz over Bedford is loud, but once things get rolling, don't expect a downtown vibe. The team behind this new spot wants to be part of the neighborhood and will attract a local crowd though cool music and special music highlights in the coming months.
· First Look: The Bedford Uses Original 1920s Bank Materials for Design Buildout

The Bedford

1612 W Division Street, Chicago, IL 60622 773 235 8800 Visit Website

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