Are golf simulator restaurant/bars the new upscale bowling alley or arcade bar? Co-owner Michael McCutcheon hopes so, as he's prepping the first in Chicago to hopefully open next month, giving Lincoln Parkers a place to play golf—and eat, drink, and lounge—year-round.
Fairways, a bi-level restaurant and lounge with four golf simulators, will offer an eclectic selection of upscale bar food inside the old P.J. Clarke's space on Armitage. Chef Brian Woods (Butch's, Holland, MI) is running the kitchen, penning a menu sprinkled with golf puns and shared plates.
Dishes include pork belly sliders, duck confit sloppy joes, foie gras mini corn dogs, and charcuterie. Price points run between $6-21. 18 tap beers, seasonal cocktails, wine and whiskeys make up the drink menu. Woods is also launching weekend brunch at the start.
The space, designed by 555 International, is studded with plaid booths and banquettes, chandeliers made from old golf clubs, and flat-screen TVs. The downstairs (three seating areas and bar) seats 144 while the sound-proofed upstairs—where you'll find the four reservation-only golf simulators complete with clubs, a lounge, and another bar—holds 50. Expect sidewalk seating and a rooftop herb garden in the spring.
"I've always dug the Lucky Strike model," McCutcheon says, "so why not do it with golf?" Other restaurateurs have batted around the golf simulator theme, so it will be interesting to see how this one does. McCutcheon is planning to open three in the next two years, including the first, Fairways, next month.
· Fairways [Facebook]