Cue the Stefon voice: Chicago's hottest new restaurant just might be Honey's. Scheduled to open in April, overseen by Virgil Abloh (Kanye West's creative director and creator of the fashion brand Off-White), this place will have everything: A hearth-driven kitchen, a bar imported from New York City, and "European elegance meets American swagger."
The latter translates to a 100-seat restaurant and bar at 1111 W. Lake St. in the West Loop, divided between a dining room and separate bar as well as a private dining room with its own bar that formerly resided in New York City's The Harrison. Both spaces will be illuminated by large skylights.
With Abloh onboard, design will play a crucial element in the concept. Stone flooring covers the sleek lounge-like area, with a custom bar taking up much of its east side. Guests must pass though to get to the more sophisticated dining area, adorned in wood and white tablecloths. "Food brings people together and we want to be a supporting task of that memory, not the star of it," says partner Justin Furman.
The crew behind Honey's makes the cool table at your high school look like the chess club. First up is Furman, who sharpened his hospitality skills in New York City as part of the opening teams of The Harrison and The Mermaid Inn as well as hospitality director of in-seat dining for the New York Yankees. Andrew Miller is another hospitality veteran with an emphasis on brand development and communication. Executive chef Charles Welch joins the team after leaving the executive sous chef role at Michelin-starred Sepia. Add in Tyrone Redic, who most recently worked as general manager of two Michelin-starred Acadia. Ahmed Braimah brings an eye for design as the co-founder of the lifestyle brand Well Suited and former VIP manager at The Underground. Lastly, Paul Blair, AKA DJ White Shadow, rounds out the partners.
Despite having swagger in spades, the team wants Honey's to be a restaurant where everyone feels comfortable — from the leather-clad hipsters to the sequined bachelorette party. "[We want a place] where we can have a high level of food but walk in [wearing] jeans and a t-shirt," Furman says. The kitchen will rely heavily on a wood-fired hearth to cook rotisserie chickens, whole fish and assorted vegetables. A limited drink menu will allow the bartenders to focus on service. Currently, they are planning five cocktails using simple builds that highlight the base spirit, less than ten beers by the bottle, and a slightly larger wine list. You will find no "mixology" here, but you might find some more culinary-focused cocktails such as a "Blood & Sand" using bacon-infused bourbon instead of scotch.
The former event space event space is currently under construction, but the team is targeting a late April opening.
EDIT NOTE: This article has been edited to clarify that Virgil Abloh is still Kanye West's creative director. Kanye West himself is in no way affiliated with Honey's.