Craft cocktails will finally arrive at Navy Pier thanks to the folks at Tiny Lounge. The sleek North Center cocktail bar with a cult-like following plans on opening a location inside the former Häagen-Daz spot in the food court. Tiny Tavern is slated for a summer opening, according to Crain's.
The smaller Tiny Tavern will have its seating face inward, compared to the mall-style outward seating the former ice cream shop featured, Crain's added. Expect small plates and a craft beer selection as well.
Navy Pier has spent some time and money trying to give its food court some relevancy. DMK Burger Bar has an outpost at the tourist attraction, and Big City Chicken has earned acclaim for some of the best fried chicken in the city. The tourist trap that once focused on chain restaurants and still greets visitors with a restaurant based on a movie from 20 years ago (Bubba Gump Shrimp) is finally trying to change with the times.
But Tiny Lounge's pending arrival at Navy Pier begs the question—have craft cocktails jumped the shark? Tiny Lounge managing partner Mark Johnson told Crain's he hopes Tiny Tavern will help locals rediscover Navy Pier, in essence taking back the lake views from the swarms of tourists. Tiny Tavern could also give IMAX Theater patrons another option after their movies.