Geeks of Chicago, here's some big news for you. No, Geek Bar isn't ready to officially open yet. But, in a move that seems unprecedented, the forthcoming temple of geekdom will embark on a two-month extended popup run beginning next week inside the former Storefront Company space in Wicker Park.
Owner David Zoltan, frustrated with permitting and construction delays at the full-time space in Lincoln Park, had a "simple revelation" that lead to a move that few restaurants are willing to do—regularly serve its food, drink, and facets of its atmosphere for two months straight before it officially opens. "It was just an opportunity that could not be wasted any longer," he says. "We could open today if the space was ready."
Opening to the general public on October 3 following a preview for "Geek Fleet" members, what Zoltan is calling "Geek Bar Beta" will function as a traditional restaurant while technically operating as a popup inside the 80-seat space that shuttered following service on New Year's Eve. It will be open from 5 p.m. until midnight or so, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, walk-ins and reservations will be available, and Sunday brunch is in the works.
Chef Tom Kern (BadHappy Poutine Shop) and beverage director Laura Green will cycle through items from the full menu. The Geek Bar crew hopes to add TVs and other design elements to the space, which has no TV or bar, in order to capture some of the atmosphere and geeky events that will be a main draw at the long-term space on Clybourn. "You'll see Geek Bar in the people, the programming, and the food and drink," Zoltan says.
Get excited, Chicago geeks.