FAME, Chicagoans hardly knew you. Today's the day that a new concept opens in the former art lounge space on the Wicker Park Division Street strip: Barley & Brass, a sultry bar, lounge and eatery from the people behind burger bar 25 Degrees.
Tufted leather banquettes, exposed brick and an oak-and-marble bar are hallmarks of the new design, which is darker and classier than the former tenant as well as much of the other options on the strip. Noteworthy local cocktailer Jan Henrichsen's beverage program is also different from many of the local competitors, featuring twists on classics (such as the "B&B Tonic and Gin and the "Ukrainian Smash"), a selection of kegged cocktails, and a few of the suddenly-trendy boilermakers.
The food menu, masterminded by chef Jay P. Ruff, is a very eclectic mix of bar snacks, sandwiches, salads, and mains where tacos, nachos, poutine, crab wontons, steak frites, and salmon three ways exist side-by-side. Weekend brunch features chicken and waffles and green eggs and ham.
Read through the menus below; Barley & Brass soft opens at 4 p.m. at 2015 W. Division.