The area around McCormick Place’s food and dining options are famously sparse, but that’s slowly changing with new construction. One of those new South Loop options will be a second location of Fatpour Tap Works, the Wicker Park sports bar that opened in 2012. A new, two floor location should open in late summer inside the under-construction Hilton at 123 E Cermak Road.
“We are looking forward to pumping some energy into the area,” said Erik Baylis, a partner at Big Onion Tavern Group, Fatpour’s parent company.
Baylis said they’ll have two floors and a mezzanine. They’ll serve lunch and dinner to cater to the convention goers at McCormick Place. He said they always planned to expand and open more Fatpour locations. When the bar debuted in Wicker Park, it kickstarted a transformation around the Division and Damen intersection, bringing more flatscreens and beer to an area that wasn’t sports-focused. Big Onion also owns bars in Old Town, Wrigleyville, Gold Coast, River North, Lincoln Park, and Lakeview.
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The South Loop location should take up about 6,000 square feet. Baylis said they’ll try to replicate the industrial feel in Wicker Park that includes metal beer barrels. Construction on the 466-room Hilton began in November 2016. The high rise is located in the city’s Motor Row district.
McCormick Place guests and conventioneers don’t have a lot of food and drink options nearby. Baderbrau offers its low-ABV lagers and tavern food like its macaroni and cheese waffles. Go closer to Michigan and Roosevelt and restaurants like Asian Outpost, Flo & Santos, Kurah Mediterranean, and Aurelio’s Pizza can be had, but Fatpour will offer convenience, sports, beer and bar food. Stay tuned for more as construction continues.