Will an oyster bar succeed in Humboldt Park where Bar Marta struggled? The owners of Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar hope so, as they’ve taken over Bar Marta’s former space at 2700 W. Chicago Ave. and hope to open in early August, according to a rep. They’re billing it as Chicago’s first and only caviar bar.
Chef Guy Meikle (Nana Organic in Bridgeport) and team will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And in a great comeback story, beverage director Jan Henrichsen (Fat Rice) will create the cocktails. Henrichsen left Fat Rice after a cancer diagnosis. She endured surgeries and radiation therapy which put her “out of commission” for a year. She’s since recovered, and took some low-level consulting gigs.
“I’m clean and clear,” Henrichsen said. “I’m so grateful to the hospitality industry and all the cheffy and server friends that helped out. It really made me feel like it’s a real community.”
Henrichsen has known Meikle since the two worked at Bin 36 Wine Bar in River North and Bin Wine Cafe in Wicker Park and they’ve slowly developed their idea for Heritage. It will be a restaurant that celebrates Eastern European food, a cuisine “that sometimes gets stepped on,” Henrichsen said. While caviar may sound expensive, Henrichsen points to Ukrainian Village grocers that stock the stuff: “It’s not necessarily all fancy,” she said. Heritage intends to serve caviar from a variety of price points.
They’ll also have fresh pierogis, bread, and doughnuts. Sample dinner items include grilled sturgeon crudo, wood-grilled baby back ribs, and Polish bacon with celery and parsley served with Parker House rolls. Heritage also plans on serving oysters for weekday happy hours. Breakfast will include fresh-baked kolachki with fillings like local fruit jams and cream cheese.
When it comes to drinks, Henrichsen gushes about her savory-infused vodkas. Forget chocolate and orange: Henrichsen is working on beet and tarragon, plus Korean chili paste and caramel varieties. They’ll also serve the vodka Russian-style by the bottle with a bowl of ice with bread and pickles.
The interiors will be given a major overhaul. Expect a large caviar and oyster bar with 1930s glass Sturgeon accents, a vintage chandeliers, and a reclaimed wood space for coffee and pastries.
Henrichsen spoke about the need to connect with community. Even though the restaurant lies in Humboldt Park, it’s not too far from Ukrainian Village and the apartment where Henrichsen and her husband lived in when they first arrived in Chicago from Denver. Henrichsen has Eastern European roots and is eager to share her culture with the neighborhood: “It’s the food of Guy’s people and the food of my people,” she said.
Taste their people’s food when the new Humboldt Park restaurant hopefully opens in early August.