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Inside Ocean Prime, Giving Chicago Another Luxe Steakhouse in the Loop

Cameron Mitchell opens his first Chicago restaurant next month

Ocean Prime will tow the line between traditional and modern in Chicago.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Restaurateur Cameron Mitchell wanted to go big for his first Chicago restaurant, and he’s picked a prime location next to the LondonHouse Hotel for his Windy City debut. Ocean Prime will try to prove to Chicago that it’s not just another steakhouse for diners to flash corporate credit cards when it opens on April 3 at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive.

There’s 12,350 square feet split between two levels. The lobby’s stairs lead up the restaurant. It feels a bit like a museum thanks to the lit transparencies featuring historical photos that pander to Chicagoans. Mark Knauer designed the space. His Chicago restaurant work includes the Gage, Hugo’s Frog Bar, and the Dearborn Tavern.

There’s no outdoor seating, but customers will get river views, right opposite Trump Tower Chicago. There are two bars and three private rooms. Overall, there’s room for 350.

Walk through the space below. Ocean Prime has 15 locations in 12 states. Number 16 opens on April 3 in the Loop.

The art on the ground-floor will remind customers they’re at Ocean Prime in Chicago.
The chandeliers are shaped like wedding cakes.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
One of two bars inside.
Customers sitting here will be treated to city views near the river.
The wine storage is classy.
On the other side of the wine arch.
The main dining room.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
A familiar building is across the street.
The only fireplace in the restaurant acts as a space divider between the kitchen and bar.
More illuminated art.
Those booths look comfy.
One of three private rooms.