It'll be easy to spot American Junkie when it opens March 20: Just look for the abundant patriotism, full-retractable roof, and descending DJ booth. The River North version of the Arizona and California bar/restaurant/nightclub will attempt to be more refined than its predecessors, adding Kendal Duque (City Tavern, Sepia, Everest) to the kitchen to make that happen. It will also be larger, the massive 17,000 square-foot two-floor concept will be nearly three-times larger and hold over 400 seats.
The second-floor retractable windows overlook Hubbard, and two DJ booths will pump 100,000 watts of sound into the River North night. The second-floor booth starts off suspended from the ceiling before descending to the stage under a full retractable roof. Live bands will perform starting in April. On the first floor sits a 225-seat dining room and a 22-seat bar, the second-floor bar seats 23, both will serve American Junkie-label wines in addition to beer and cocktails.
Duque was announced as chef less than two weeks ago. The fine dining-trained chef, who went off the grid in recent months, has crafted a menu filled with ramped-up bar food. Salads (baby beets, blood orange, goat cheese, mache lettuce, fennel viniagrette), sandwiches (double Pat LaFrieda burger), flatbreads (smoked pork belly, bourbon, peaches, blue cheese), entrees (young rotisserie chicken, whole smoked pork shoulder), and desserts will attempt to give the concept culinary weight.
The gurgantuan space will feature American flags seemingly everywhere: On the walls in the glass walkway, on the tables and brick, on staff uniforms, and on menu covers. No word if they'll be on the descending DJ booth too.
· All American Junkie Coverage [~ECHI~]
· American Junkie Chicago [Official Site]