It's been quite a journey for Smack Shack, the Chicago outpost of the seafood-focused restaurant that opens today next to Swift & Sons at Google's headquarters at 1K Fulton. It debuted as a food truck in 2010 in the Twin Cities, and now they've reached Chicago's shores with their second brick-and-mortar location. They got a little help locally, as they teamed-up with Four Corners Tavern Group, which opened SteakBar last week.
It's a casual vibe inside, though the prices don't necessarily reflect a cheap meal. The menu closely resembles the Smack Shack menu in Minneapolis, and the hallmarks, including the lobster boil and two different lobster rolls, made it down from the Twin Cities. But there are a few changes. Chicago gets chicken wings and loses the lobster corn dog starter. The mussels have been altered, taking advantage of Chicago's favorite spring vegetation, ramps. There's also a raw bar section on the Chicago menu with a variety of oysters. They've also added pork ribs, which seems like another attempt to placate land lubbers.
It's a massive space at 10,000 square-feet with a dining area for 200 people, plus room for 100 more in the bar area. The design inspiration is from the original Smack Shack that opened in 2013 in Minneapolis, which brought over the beachside theme with lobster nets and cages, as well as gingham tablecloths.
Note: Reservations will be required until Tuesday and it'll serve a limited menu until then. They are also closed this Sunday and Monday. Check out the photos above and the menu below.
Smack Shack, 326 N. Morgan St., (312) 973-1336, open daily from 5 p.m. to midnight.