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A rooftop bar with colorful seats, hanging planters, and a view of Chicago’s skyline.
Utopian Tailgate, in all its glory, debuts Thursday on top of Second City.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

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Explore Second City Comedy Club’s Rooftop Bar, a Bombastic Tribute to Tailgating

Utopian Tailgate officially opens in Old Town, read the menus and see photos

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.

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.

*Food Menu Utopian Tailgate.pdf

*Beverage Menu Utopian Tailgate.pdf

A colorful and empty bar space with stools. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Fifty/50 Restaurant group hopes to expand its partnership with Second City.

This is Old Town’s only rooftop bar, excluding J. Parker, which is on Lincoln Park’s border.
Ownership wanted to cram as much weird into one space.
A colorful and weird rooftop deck.
Those Jenga blocks on the left will have commands so players can interact with other customers.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
Lawn chairs are tailgate staples.
A view of the bar.
The color scheme is loud.
Brightly colored chairs and tables sit on a green lawn with plants hanging overhead. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

A unique view of the space.

Games like foosball are meant to encourage exchanges between customers, getting them off their phones.
Cheer on friends playing Connect Four.
This is the “Adult Field of Dreams”
A bowl filled with various snack foods
Munchie Bowl (Cap’N Crunch peanut butter & crunch berries, Lucky Charms marshmallows, corn Chex, cashews, pretzels, gummy bears)
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
It’s Really Nacho Problemo (24-hour pork, charred salsa roja, black bean refritos, pepper jack cheese sauce)
Corn and Peach Summer Salad (brown butter, lime, cilantro, queso cincho, parmesan)
Traveling Tacos (Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, pepper jack, chili, taco toppings)
Hanger Steak Kabob (porcini, teriyaki)
Shrimp Kabob (miso, sesame, lime)
Swordfish Belly Kabob (yogurt, cumin, dill, mint)
Switch Hitter (Singani 63, banana liqueur, thyme, grapefruit, lime)
Punch Face Champion (vodka, rum, cranberry, orange, peach Schnapps)
A clear cocktail and a light blue glass with a flag with a marijuana leaf embedded in a lime slice.
Gin & Chronic (gin, green chartreuse, lime. simple syrup, CBD, triple sec)
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
The Big Piña (reposado tequila, coconut rum, pineapple, lime, agave)

Utopian Tailgate

1608 North Wells Street, , IL 60614 (312) 210-7799 Visit Website

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