The owners of Union Sushi and Franklin Room gave locals in the West Loop a sneak preview of Madison Bar + Kitchen over the weekend, and the hip, full-service restaurant opens to the general public today. They’ve provided the former Old Fifth space quite a facelift going for sleek and modern with a touch of steampunk. It’s a departure from the reclaimed wood and the whiskey distillery feel of the previous tenant.
The giant light fixture on the ceiling leads patrons to the back of the bar, reading "On the right track." It’s one of the kitschy elements on display. Even though it’s close to the United Center, sports and TVs don’t dominate the space. But there are some flat screens hidden in the back, which will drop down from the ceiling during important contests. Also, check out the mural featuring Chicago landmarks like the Navy Pier ferris wheel and Cloud Gate in Millennium Park.
The Union guys continue to flex their muscle in the kitchen. Madison will feature a few sushi rolls from the group’s River North Japanese restaurant, as well as prime rib which diners can order as a topping on their poutine. Both Union and Franklin Room showcase a come as you are atmosphere. Madison promises to do the same, serving families, take-out orders and night owls. Check out the photos below.
The Madison Bar + Kitchen, 1027 W. Madison St., (312) 566-4121, open 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily