The Fairmont Chicago hotel is opening a new restaurant to replace Aria hoping to compete with nearby gastropubs like The Gage near Millennium Park. Columbus Tap is opening soon, and will also offer carry out options ideal for those attending events at Millennium Park, such as outdoor movies and concerts.
The kitchen will also stay open until midnight, with a late-night bar menu, said Chef Atticus Garant, a Vancouver native who's worked on other Fairmont projects. The restaurant won't be just for tourists, as Garant said he wants to tap into Chicago's food culture and make his hotel restaurant feel like an independent restaurant.
The menu will serve the standard chicken wings and pretzels on the snacks portion. There's something they're calling Animal Crackers, a snack made with pork cracklings and a secret spice dust. While not going for full-fledged poutine, fries will be available with gravy. Garant also raves about the burgers made with 8-ounce prime chuck beef patties. There's also a special burger, called The Upgrade, made with a blend of short rib, chuck and brisket.
Sixteen draft beers and seasonal cocktails take care of drinks for the 120-seat space. A news release touted mid-19th Century architectural elements with brass and blackened steel finishes.
Will Columbus Tap be an escape from the business of downtown? Again, they're targeting a spring opening inside the Fairmont Chicago.