Second City isn’t known for its subtleties with outrageous performers — like Chris Farley, Tina Fey, and Tim Meadows— taking the stage at the Old Town comedy club since it debuted in 1959. The club’s new rooftop bar and restaurant, Utopian Tailgate, is also far from reserved. The 10,000-square-foot space features psychedelic colors, zany games, and gourmet spins on food that fans would normally cook up in parking lots before a big game or concert.
The space at the northwest corner of North and Wells, on top of the venerable comedy club, officially opens to the public at 4 p.m. Thursday. The Wells Street corridor is full of sports bars that are especially crowded during fall Saturdays while watching college football. None provide an environment like Utopian Tailgate promises as it hopes to replicate those glory days for college alums outside their home team stadium.
Run by the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group, management wanted to pack as much weird as it could inside and outside. There’s games like Putterball, foosball, and giant Jenga and Connect Four. There’s stadium seating with artificial grass, as well as outdoor TVs. They’ll be tuned into big sports events. There’s also plans to stream concerts.
The menu is full of skewered meats and other foods that are easily enjoyed standing up. The giant bar spans the indoor and outdoor portions of the space. Customers don’t need to freeze during winter, but ownership is also toying with offering customers discounts if they do spend their afternoons outside. That way, Utopian Tailgate could encourage customers to enjoy the view even in freezing temperatures.
Walk though the tribute to music and sports below and check out the menus. Utopian Tailgate officially opens Thursday afternoon.
Utopian Tailgate, 210 W. North Avenue, (312) 210-7799, open 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays; 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday; 11 a.m. to midnight on Sunday.