When Bounce Sporting Club opens on Thursday in River North, its New York owners team hope to tap into the fanaticism of Chicago’s sports lovers. Crews were working overtime over the last two days to transform the former Parliament nightclub into a sophisticated place to watch the big game, grab dinner, and to party late into the night. Eventually, ownership — which also includes locals — wants to attract big-name DJs and other musicians to help liven up the space.
As the multilevel space wasn’t fully ready as of Wednesday, it’s hard to describe what it will look like upon completion at 324 W. Chicago Avenue. There’s leather banquettes, plenty of flatscreens, and a rooftop deck that isn’t quite ready for prime time. Check back in the spring for the outdoor space’s unveiling. Bounce debuted in New York in 2011 and became a favorite of pro athletes. New York media tends to over-scrutinize its teams, and Bounce provided players with a safe space (with bottle service) that’s away from the spotlight.
River North already has spots like Theory and Rockit Bar & Grill, bars that give fans sleeker spots to root for their teams. They can be welcome breaks from divey sports bars with sticky floors and frozen food coming out of a fryer. Bounce is banking that its food will bring in customers who will find chicken wings (crusted with Flaming Hot Cheetos, if desired), flatbreads, and burgers. The French onion burger is a signature item, and there’s 28-day, dry-aged N.Y. strip for carnivores. Daily specials, including wild boar lasagna, provide some variety. The fried mac ‘n’ cheese bars give the menu novelty.
Bartenders will mix up 14 signature cocktails. There’s nine draft lines for beer with Moody Tongue, Founders, and Lagunitas serving as breaks from the usual Budweiser products that Bounce also offers. Yes, that includes Goose Island.
Management’s not sure how they’ll handle seating; it’s reservation only for seats in New York. They’ll work things out as time goes by. For now, take a look at the food shots and menu below. Bounce invades Chicago on Thursday.
Bounce Sporting Club, 324 W. Chicago Avenue, (312) 313-7300, reservations via firstname.lastname@example.org, hours not posted yet.