Nearly two years ago to the day, the good folks behind Fountainhead announced plans for Chicago's first cider bar—and a projected spring 2014 opening. 24 months later, reps say that The Northman is finally nearly ready for its ballyhooed unveiling, as it's slated to open in February.
When open, a release states that it will serve Chicago's largest selection of hard cider, with more than 100 varieties both on tap and in bottles and cans. Also expect more than 20 craft beers, wine, cognac, armagnac and brandy.
The Northman will also serve chef Cleetus Friedman's French and English bistro-style food at lunch and dinner. Featured dishes include house smoked ham and camembert baguette with preserves; cider braised onion soup with grand cru gruyere; and the "Judge Renault," which is described as a play on former tenant Jury's burger. At dinner a large cheese program is promised, alongside composed dishes including escargots with cider butter and goat milk biscuit, and Yorkshire pudding with short rib.
It's been a long time coming for the Fountainhead cider concept in the former Jury's space at 4337 N. Lincoln, so long that plans for other operators' cider concepts have come and gone, and work on Chicago's first ciderhouse and brewery, Eris, has also surfaced. But in less than two months, the one that may have kickstarted the trend locally should finally be open.