Back in late March, Eater got an exclusive walk through of a massive, raw sub-grade warehouse space in River North that would make any restaurateur or club owner shiver with excitement. Unfortunately, at the time, the project was still very much on the down low that it wasn't ready to be revealed. The concept, named the elusive Untitled with a swank lounge, private dining cabanas, entertainment venue, whiskey library and more is getting ready to open its doors sometime in the next few weeks.
Owner Marc Bushala, who pioneered nightlife and music television in post-Soviet Warsaw, Poland with Sir Bob Geldof (under their company Atomic Entertainment Group) and owns a number of buildings throughout River North, will soon reveal his new 1920s speakeasy- and supper club-inspired venture, which will prove to be something unlike Chicago has ever seen, at least not in the last decade or three.
The space—part restaurant, part lounge and part nightclub—boasts 17,000 square feet in an unmarked building with soaring ceilings, a street-level facade with a monthly rotating mysterious storefront, 120-seat restaurant and a whiskey lounge, aka The Library, with 18-foot ceilings, tufted leather walls, velvet booths, gilded framed mirrors that shield nearly 10 LCD TVs and a wall of wooden liquor lockers holding one of the country's largest collections of whiskey and where VIP members can store unfinished bottles of the good stuff.
The dining room, with six private cabanas and an exclusive 10-person private room off the main bar featuring a pass-through window with direct access to the bartender, will feature a throwback menu crafted by chef Joseph Heppe (Mercat a la Planxa, Vermillion).
The menu, in full below, will have a raw bar with Jonah crab claws, oysters, scallop ceviche, a raw bar tower and more; charcuterie and cheese; snacks like sausage stuffed with fried olives and caramel bacon popcorn with bourbon almonds; small plates (oysters Rockefeller; goat wonton with blackberry sweet and sour; crispy squash blossoms; and grit cakes); and large plates (dry-aged ribeye with bone marrow butter; roasted steelhead trout; and chocolate bourbon duck).
Beverage manager Adam Scholten (Balena) and bar manager Matthew “Choo” Lipsky (Morso) have created the bar program that features, in addition to craft beers, wine and an extensive Champagne bar, a cocktail list with both classics and house cocktails like the Pistol Smoke (Monkey Shoulder blended scotch, pipe tobacco, chamomile tea, vanilla and lemon) and Wisteria (Bols Genever, fresh lavender, black cardamom, egg white, lime and lavender bitters). Watch for Untitled-branded spirits behind the bar as well.
One of the more exciting features of Untitled will be the separate VIP entrance and ivy-walled-in patio off of Carroll Street, accessed from an underground tunnel from a ramp off LaSalle Street. Guests will be given a special code to gain entrance through a winding hallway walled by bourbon barrel staves.
This entrance will lead to an exclusive backstage area, backed by a wall of glass doors, behind a performance space where nightly shows—burlesque, DJs, jazz, blues and more—will take place. The main performance area, which is separated from the dining room by a 20-foot movable wall, will have a dance floor, a stage with maple floors and surrounded by natural brick and private booths where a mobile DJ will roam the space.
The exact opening date has not been set, but look for Untitled and 111 to open sometime in June.
Untitled's Food & Drink Menu
[Photo: Beverage manager Adam Scholten and chef Joseph Heppe]