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Randolph Tavern Owner's Tapworks To Give Greektown Diners A New Option

Owner Rachel Dennis aims to open new joint with late-night menu by February.

Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Tapworks, a new bar and restaurant from the team behind the Randolph Tavern, should open in January or February in Greektown.

Owner Rachel Dennis wanted to give neighborhood diners a non-Greek option. She recalled her days at nearby University of Illinois at Chicago.

"If you're in that area of town, all you have is Greek and fast food," she said.

Dennis envisions a place where craft beer fans can pair their brews with a high-end burger. Though the menu hasn't been finalized, expect a full menu until late night. Tapworks will tap 40 to 48 beers, as well as wine inside the 4,500-square-foot space at 820 W. Jackson Blvd. The space will also feature two bars, one a "brown bar," serving high-end whisky.

Crews have already started gutting the building. The space once host Greek restaurant Venus. Dennis went live earlier this morning creating a Facebook page for Tapworks and posted construction photos.

Once Tapworks opens, Dennis will run four restaurants. She's calling her fledgling empire the "R Restaurant Group," and it also includes two suburban restaurants: Piggyback Tavern in Forest Park and Lake Street Kitchen in Oak Park.

"I couldn't do it if I didn't have great people; I don't think of it as an empire," Dennis said. "That's not really the gross plan, I just have the right people in place to impress upon."