River North bros are getting a cowboy sports bar/night club straight out of the Lone Star State. Concrete Cowboy, the fourth location of the Texan nightlife playground self-described as "the ultimate party bar for grown ups," is taking over Mercadito's shuttered Tippling Hall space at 646 N. Franklin St. in River North, according to building permits, the website and a Facebook page. Target opening is winter 2017, and crews were busy today gutting the space.
The Dallas, Austin and Houston Concrete Cowboys pack in crowds for live music and DJs, bottle service, rawhide-adorned bars, neon "Giddy Up" signs, and a wheel you can spin with classy options like "Kiss a Random," "Edward Beer Hands," and "Get Branded." None of the locations serve food.
The addition of Concrete Cowboy gives more competition to Bottled Blonde and other similar party spots for the increasingly bro-heavy crowds in River North — although Bottled Blonde does serve pizza too.
UPDATE: Concrete Cowboy managing partner Jonathan Valz reached out and shared that Concrete Cowboy Chicago will be more in the vein of his group's other concept, Clutch Bar. That means it will utilize Tippling Hall's kitchen to serve food "from the moment they open": lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night. Look for upscale bar food similar to that menu.
As far as expanding to Chicago, Valz says he wasn't planning on it but that the well-built and vacant Tippling Hall space "was an opportunity we couldn't pass up." He calls the build-out "more of a decor change than anything else." More to come.