There's been tons of turnover at that space near Wells and Division streets, but the owners behind The Happy Camper hope that their pizza spot that plays homage to the great outdoors is parked in Old Town for a long time. It fully opens to the public on Monday and co-owner Clay Hamilton has designed a space that's familiar to fans of his original Lincoln Park spot, Homeslice, which he owns with Josh Iachelli. The new location amps up the theme with more trailers and design elements in hopes of keeping everyone...happy.
There's plenty of neon accents, including red lights shaped like the Great Lakes on the wall behind the bar. The bar's covered with bullet casings, but not because Hamilton's a gun enthusiast—it reminds him of going camping in the Pacific Northwest with his father, shooting cans. Reminding customers of fun childhood memories is the space's goal, as it sits along Wells Street restaurants that act more grown up.
There's an RV booth in the back of the space with a ceiling lit up, hoping to make diners feel like they're camping under the stars, and don't expect sporting events to be shown on TVs. There's a carry-out RV counter where customers can make their take out orders. Another bar area, to the left of the entrance, isn't complete just yet, but Hamilton said it will have an outdoors feel with plants and other quirks like a tire swing. There's also a mirrored room that's like a next generation photo booth for those really into taking selfies. Check out the photos above.
The Happy Camper, 1209 N. Wells St., (312) 344-1634.