Over the weekend, Bar Roma opened in Andersonville, a new Italian meatball-focused restaurant backed by a pair of veteran restaurateurs. Owner Julia Zhu (formerly of Oysy Sushi) has divided her restaurant into bar and dining room areas with separate menus. She wants to appeal to younger visitors who just want a snack and drink and older visitors who want a complete meal. Zhu received guidance from her boyfriend, Howard Davis, who helped run Chicago restaurants including Red Light, Gioco, Opera and Vivo.
Interior designer Frank Fontana, known for his contributions to HGTV’s Design On A Dime, was behind Bar Roma’s interiors. They’ve uncovered the space’s original flooring which complements the rustic Italian decor. Zhu was quick to point out that the space has plenty of electrical outlets to charge a phone or laptop. It’s a far cry from the previous tenant, Tapas Las Ramblas. The building is 102 years old.
There’s seating for 120, and the food’s from Gioco vet Fred Ramos. Longtime sommelier Robert Bansberg, a James Beard nominee and Jean Banchet award winner, picks out the wines.
Check out the photos below. They’ll eventually add brunch service.
Bar Roma, 5101 N. Clark St., (773) 942-7572, open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Wednesday; restaurant open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday with the bar open until midnight; restaurant open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with the bar open until midnight.