Jamaican food, rum drinks and reggae officially takes over Pete Wentz's former stomping grounds today. Mr. Brown's Lounge, the Ukrainian Village Jamaican staple since 2009, heads downtown when its second location opens at 11 a.m. in the Hard Rock Hotel on Michigan and Wacker.
While the original Mr. Brown's is a dim neighborhood spot, the new location is a glossier representation for Michigan Avenue. Some things are the same: The Jamaican-themed menu, a DJ booth emitting reggae jams, executive chef Chris Douglas, and late hours (open until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday; midnight every other night). A limited menu is available from 10 p.m. until midnight, which could be a good late-ish option downtown for beef patties, jerk wings and mac and cheese.
Part of the Hard Rock lobby was carved out to expand the 85-seat space on the Wacker Drive side of the hotel. Cushy striped banquettes sit under the windows; tables, a bar, reggae posters, the DJ booth and an elevated section that doubles as a stage fills the rest. A sidewalk patio offers people watching and river views.