It’s been two years since Bricks Pizza vacated its Lincoln Park space, and whenever a new tenant is ready to open whenever Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot give restaurants their blessing. Hideaway Chicago is poised to take over the space where Bricks spent 21 years. It’s a Hoosier-friendly pizza and sports bar with jumbo wings, tallboys, and more at 1909 N. Lincoln Avenue.
Hideaway co-owners Brett Dimick and Ryann Hill both attended Indiana University and plan to bring its flavors, as well as its sports and logos, to Hideaway Chicago. They’ll feature what Hill calls “immaculate” breadsticks stuffed with cheese and pepperoni, then braided and covered with olive oil and sea salt. They’re inspired by Bloomington sports bar Kilroy’s, a haven for college students where Dimick once worked as a bartender.
Following the campus theme, the drink selection is casual — $5 tallboys will be offered every day, along with domestic beers like Old Style, Bell’s, and Goose Island, and shots of Malört for $3. There’ll also be tallboy versions of mega-popular spiked seltzer White Claw, “because you just can’t not,” says Hill, who’s bartended at Wrigleyville’s Happy Camper and helped open Indiana craft distillery Hard Truth. “We really want to make a cool neighborhood hangout.”
The old Bricks space wasn’t known to be particularly spacious. Between barstools, bar area seating, and a dining room, the space seats 70 in total, but the owners know they’ll have to “get creative” when it comes to social distancing. The spacious dining room allows for seating six feet apart, and they’re buying tables two at a time to make sure the space is arranged as safely as possible. The bar also contains nine large flat-screens (for when sports someday return), a dart board, and arcade games.
When they bought the bar in March, Hill and Dimick could never have anticipated the massive changes set to roil the hospitality industry in Chicago and across the country. Illinois’s original stay-at-home order, designed to help stem the spread of COVID-19, came just three days after they took over the space. Though the timing was admittedly not ideal, Hill says the extra time and a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan has allowed them to refresh, renovate, and familiarize themselves with running a kitchen. “Even though this COVID thing is a crisis, it’s given us an opportunity to ease into it and make sure doing everything right.”
The location lies in between Old Town’s alcove of college bars on North Avenue and Wells Street, and the formerly boisterous corner of Armitage and Lincoln, near college bars like Gamekeepers, Stanley’s Kitchen & Tap, and Sedgwick’s Bar & Grill once drew crowds. The trio of spaces remain vacant.
Hideaway Chicago is poised to debut shortly after Illinois’s stay-at-home order is lifted. Stay tuned for an official opening date.
Hideaway Chicago, 1909 N. Lincoln Avenue, Opening TBD.