21 months after opening, it can still be difficult to snag a seat at Farmhouse Chicago. North of the border clientele are now getting a peek at its younger sibling, only there are many more seats to try to snag. Opening last night, the Farmhouse Evanston expansion is twice the size of its older sibling in the city. Capacity of more than 200 fits in two floors, two bars, an outdoor patio, and a party space, causing co-owner Ferdia Doherty to remark that "it's crazy for us to be in a space this big."
The kitchen is larger too, allowing for an expanded menu that includes house-made cheese. Doherty says that Farmhouse Evanston will "still be as Midwestern and local as possible," bringing in Dave Rand to source local meat and sourcing produce from Green City Market and Evanston farmers markets. Stephen Paul (Table Fifty-Two) runs the kitchen.
The two bars hold 64 taps, a dramatic rise from the Chicago location's beer selection. Small batch local liquor are sourced from surrounding states, including F.E.W. Distillery, their Evanston neighbor, who has already provided a barrel of bourbon. They're collaborating with Virtue Cider on their own cider.
A revolving door of restaurants have called the space, in the ground floor of the Hotel Orrington, home, leaving some to believe the location is cursed. "Nothing's ever worked here, not even McDonald's," Doherty says, before adding, "Nothing worked in the Chicago location either."