As Chicago’s steakhouses modernize, the stakes have never been higher for Gibsons Restaurant Group as they debut its first new restaurant concept in more than a decade. Gibsons Italia is a lavish three-level Italian steakhouse that includes a third-floor bar with a retractable roof. The restaurant stands where the Chicago River begins to bend north inside a sparkling new skyscraper at 233 N. Canal Street. While Gibsons is a name synonymous with old-school Chicago — with a martini in hand and Sinatra blaring through the speakers — Italia hopes to show customers how the brand has evolved.
The restaurant layout is as follows: There’s a bar and lounge on the first floor. The main dining room (which includes a private dining area in the back) sits on the second floor. The third floor features the retractable roof and another bar. All three feature views of the Chicago River toward the east that lead north and a skyline view devoid of a certain politician’s name sprawled out on the side of a building.
Gibsons owner Steve Lombardo and his family once again trusted architect Mark Knauer to design the restaurant. Knauer designed the original Gibsons and Hugo’s Frog Bar off Rush Street. Knauer brought out the restaurant’s Italian focus by modeling the second-floor dining room’s gray leather chairs after chairs found at Enzo Ferrari’s offices. The design travels to Milan for inspiration with high-end finishes throughout including white marble tables and backlit onyx walls.
Lunchers will find comfort on the first floor thanks to the huge windows which draw plenty of sun. They’ve also installed fireplaces on the first and third floors. The third floor’s roof quickly retracts, staff said. Chicagoans won’t have to worry if temperatures quickly dip, as they are so prone.
Check out the photos below. Gibsons Italia should open on Monday, October 23 at the 52-story River Point building.