Mammoth restaurant, bar, and event space City Hall opened last Friday with a menu reliant on classic American bar fare with a few gourmet touches, and a drink list jammed with government puns and jabs at Chicago’s infamous political machine. The cavernous 18,000-square-foot space with 40-foot ceilings is segmented into several sections, including a spacious outdoor patio.
The 5,000 square-foot bar and restaurant section offers low and high-top tables, as well as seating at the long wooden bar, with exposed pipes and lighting overhead. Staff can roll open retractable garage doors to let in the fabled breezes of summer, and groups can congregate for drinks in leather chairs gathered together on patterned carpets. The 10,000 square-foot event space, overlooked by a second floor, features a 40-foot marble bar and art deco-style steel panels in reference to the building’s pre-1920’s origins. Owners plan to bring in DJs periodically and host live music events on Friday nights from 10 p.m. to close.
Large drinks served in water coolers ($100) are the headline items among City Hall’s ample beverage offerings, like the “Rum Emmanuel” with Appleton Estate rum, fruit punch made in-house, lime, fruit, and cava. The drink menu also offers “kickback” shots such as the $7 “Stolen Election” (Stolen Overproof rum, Tropical Red Bull) and both classic and original cocktails, like the $13 “No Blue Laws” (seen below).
The menu from culinary director Michael Taus (Charlie Trotter’s, Zealous, Taus Authentic) highlights familiar favorites like “Pigs in a Blanket,” served with three dipping sauces, and a grown-up grilled cheese with two cheeses, bacon, and pepper jam, as well as a cheeseburger sliders and a crispy fish sandwich.
Tour the space below at 838 W. Kinzie Street.