A dream of the 90s looks to be alive. Dion Antic, a former prolific restauranteur, has revealed his plans for the latest revival of Harry's Velvet Room, a longtime fixture in River North nightlife between 1992 and 2006. Initially open at Blue Chicago's address of 536 N. Clark Street, and then at 56 W. Illinois, current home of The Underground, Antic says it's headed to a space known well by oenophiles and first-daters alike—the former Webster's Wine Bar at 1408 W. Webster.
Slating it for a February 14 opening, Antic is giving the bi-level venue a cosmetic touch up, reflecting a more modern iteration of his former cigar-and-whiskey bar. Now a relaxed neighborhood tavern inspired by the literary lounges of post-war Paris, Harry's, as Antic refers to the updated concept, should appeal to those looking for "grown-up glamour without the crowds and chaos of River North."
Antic predicts Harry's will serve a menu of moderately priced brasserie-style fare, beginning at 5 p.m., along with late night food options. Expect a nightly oyster bar, light apps such as mussels, and supper-sized steak frites.
A focus on classic cocktails made with small heritage brands anchors the beverage program, with plans for a comprehensive whiskey selection and signature Manhattans made with rye. A select list of wines and champagnes is a nod to both the original Harry's as well as Webster Wine Bar's legacy.
Harry's refreshed aesthetic extends to all aspects of the interior design. There are plans for bistro seating, chandelier lighting, and a color scheme of chartreuse and blue. Patrons can also expect a minimal number of TVs and a series of both guest and resident DJs.
Antic's emerging vision for Harry's also includes a weekend brunch menu, to be revealed in spring, and industry discounts. More details about the menu and layout are on the launchpad, so check back for more updates.