For eight years, Batter & Berries, has served up creative offerings, such as decadent French toast flights and deconstructed omelets, in Lincoln Park. Now the brunch and breakfast hotspot, which routinely sees long waits on weekends along Lincoln Avenue, will open a second full-service location. Ownership is venturing to the south suburbs where they’ll offer bar service for the first time. Batter & Berries plans on debuting its new location in late spring in Olympia Fields.
Ownership, which also operate a small walk-up location along the Chicago Riverwalk, have even more news: They also planning a third location, this time on the West Side in Austin. They wouldn’t specify an opening date.
The Olympia Fields location will feature the same menu as the original, said co-owner Craig Richardson. But he anticipates a few tweaks and may rotate different specials at each location. He plans to launch bar service when the restaurant opens — permits allowing — with brunch-friendly drinks like mimosas and bloody marys, as well as beer and wine. A liquor license will also allow for drink service during evening events that Richardson hopes to bring to the space. The Lincoln Park restaurant is one of Chicago’s best breakfast spots.
At 100 seats, the suburban space will serve around 30 more customers than the Lincoln Park location. It’ll also feature outdoor dining for 30 when the weather allows, along with plenty of parking — something diners can’t count on in the city proper. Robinson said that village leadership in Olympia Fields is supportive of the project and he hopes the restaurant can play a part in economic development of the area. It’s also easily accessible for the whole south suburban area, he said, allowing fans outside the city to visit more often.
Richardson and wife Dr. Tanya Richardson co-founded the first Batter & Berries in 2012. It opened with chef Derek Rylon. The parties had a mysterious break-up, and Rylon has since ended up a Frances’ Deli and Brunchery, a quick drive from Batter & Berries, also in Lincoln Park.
Meanwhile, the Richardsons last summer launched the Riverwalk location. The couple opened doors for African-American restaurateurs on the North Side. The growing group includes chef Darnell Reed of Luella’s Southern Kitchen and chef Brian Jupiter (Frontier, Ina Mae’s Tavern & Packaged Goods). Richardson would like to see that group expand all across the city. “I feel like there’s some traction happening, but I also feel like it’s still a very low number in terms of the size of the market,” he said, citing access to capital as one of the biggest hurdles black small-business owners face. “There’s a lot of room for growth there.”
Stay tuned for an opening date and more details on the forthcoming West Side Chicago restaurant.
Batter & Berries, 3236 Vollmer Road in suburban Olympia Fields, Scheduled to open in late spring.