"If at first you don't succeed, try again" is the name of the game at 354 W. Hubbard Street, where Hogsalt Hospitality's founder Brendan Sodikoff has opened his third concept in three years. The latest, 3 Greens Market, takes a hybrid approach by offering a bit from each of the successive concepts as well as options from his more successful ones.
"The best things often come out of friction—out of failures—things that don't work, that make you rethink spaces," Sodikoff says. In this case the short-lived delicatessen dubbed Dillman's that morphed into a dimly lit Italian restaurant called Cocello has led him to abandon the idea of offering a nighttime eatery to the sleepy side of River North. Instead, he shifts his focus to the daytime with his version of a mini food hall, complete with a walk-up window serving Small Cheval burgers, Dillman's pastrami sandwiches, Green Street Smoked Meats brisket, Doughnut Vault donuts and Bavette's bread.
The focal point of 3 Greens Market is an 18-foot salad and hot food bar. Putting the selection at your local Whole Foods to shame, the team at 3 Greens is sourcing pristine produce including hand-spun greens, a rainbow of vegetables, and a dozen different salad dressings. "Everything is meant to have this full of life quality to it, but it's all about choice," Sodikoff says. Prepared salads, grains, and noodles round out the cold options while—opposite the salad bar—a hot food bar offers potatoes gratin next to Thai curry and spaghetti with meatballs.
"I like the idea that you can eat healthy or get a cheeseburger."
A coffee bar near the entrance offers up the C.C. Ferns experience alongside assorted housemade pastries and breads. A limited cocktail menu focuses on "light" drinks, such as spiked iced tea, vodka pink lemonade and coconut painkiller that is a nod to the same drink served at High Five Ramen. Batched and bottled cocktail options include an Old Fashioned and white Negroni.
The space itself takes a choose your own adventure approach with mismatched couches, communal tables, chess boards, scrabble, and even a mini green for putt-putt golf. It feels like a retro rec room that one would find in a super classy college dorm. Around the corner, there's the salad bar as well as cooler with bottled beverages and grab-and-go items. Past that is the burger and pastrami shack with an additional seating area reminiscent of a vintage diner—checkered floors, metal-rimmed tables, and vinyl chairs.
Why will this work where Dillman's and Cocello did not? Sodikoff points to two differences. First is the needs of the neighborhood. "Someone who lives in the building next door could come here every day of the week and eat something totally different," he says. "It's very affordable, wonderful food, simply prepared and well-executed." This method of accessibility leads to the other reason why 3 Greens should stick: the bottom line. Sodikoff explains that despite the former concepts' popularity with the press and guests—Dillman's was doing 400 covers a day—neither could meet the bottom line necessary to maintain such a large space. The fast-casual, high-volume nature of 3 Greens should mean better margins.
"I think it's going to do really well," Sodikoff says. "And if it doesn't I'll give the space to someone else." If it does succeed, Sodikoff mentions the possibility of multiple Markets popping up around the city.
3 Greens Market is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.