Two years after closing for remodeling and a series of false starts, Blue Door Farm Stand will finally reopen on Friday in Lincoln Park. It’s now a two-story restaurant near Halsted and Armitage with gourmet sandwiches, soups, and even pho. The space at 2010 N. Halsted St. also includes two bars with craft beer and six signature cocktails. It’s giving the area an all-day bar and cafe. Cold-pressed juices and Metric coffee will be on hand for morning commuters.
“We didn’t even know that we’d be doing that when we came in,” said Gabe Garza of Blue Door’s parent company, Ideology Entertainment.
Blue Door has a cult following, mostly due to the popularity of its Brussel sprout and kale salad. The 4,000-square-foot space will cater to a variety of types as it’s part coffee shop, part bar, and part restaurant. That’s why the first floor will feature both counter and table service for guests during lunch. The second floor will focus on table service and both floors will offer table service during dinner. The counter service is for continuity, Garza said. While Blue Door remained closed and managed pondered what to do with the space, they opened a temporary location in fall 2015. The small space offered grab-and-go options just a few blocks east of the permanent location.
The new and improved Farmstand allows Garza and chef Rey Villalobos—who comes over from Art Smith’s Table 52/Blue Door Kitchen—to blend flavors from different cultures. The same goes for the beverage program spearheaded by Evan Salone. One of his drink, “Eastern Promises” is a Pimm’s Cup with Anglo-Indian sensibilities. They’ve frozen dried turmeric and used it as an ice cube. That allows the flavor to build as the ice melts. It’s also garnished with a kefir lime leaf.
Salone is familiar with the area, having gotten his start as a bartender a few blocks south at the Black Duck Tavern (now the Willow Room). He’s seen the neighborhood evolve from the standard bro-den. He’s making sure his “garden to glass” list of signature drinks especially caters to women. Take the “Summertime Sparkler” a carbonated mix of St. Germain and Moscato. Guest will be able to pour the drink over a cube of cotton candy. Salone feels it should be an Instagram hit. Salone is also building relationships with farmers to procure unique produce for his cocktails.
Take a look at the lunch menu and drink list below. Blue Door Farm Stand will be open with preliminary hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Monday with the full lunch menu. They’re hoping that they’ll have full service by Tuesday.
Blue Door Farm Stand, 2010 N. Halsted St., (312) 265-0259, open daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; breakfast served 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily; weekend brunch service upcoming from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.