Orkenoy, Humboldt Park’s first brewery, is open inside the Kimball Arts Center off the 606 trail, featuring farmhouse-style beers, shareable plates, and smorrebrod (Scandanavian open-faced sandwiches), and “Neo-Nordic tiki” cocktails. The much-anticipated spot debuts after three years of planning by beer industry veterans and friends Jonny Ifergan and Ryan Sanders, who met while working at Lagunitas Brewing’s Douglas Park taproom. It also shares a space with LA-based Dayglow Coffee from Ifergan’s brother Tohm Ifergan.
The Orkenoy team aims to imbue the brewery with the arts center’s creative spirit, describing it as a “creative gathering space” on its website. Staff are starting out with carryout via walkup window and limited dine-in service inside the 5,000 square-foot space. While the beers — all named for pets, like “Stupendous Gustav” (Catharina-style sour) — are the clear focus, creative and attractive cocktails could steal the show. These include “Sellanraa” (akvavit, rye, Icelandic moss syrup, sea salt “kiss”) and “Hyldemoer’s Garden” (tequila blanco, lime, butterfly pea flower and elderflower simple syrup, tarragon tincture, aquafaba). Patrons can order online via Toast.
In early September prior to the opening, someone tagged a window at Orkenoy with the phrase “gentrification is racism,” according to a Facebook post form Jonny Ifergan. “While we completely agree with this statement, we are deeply saddened by the misinformation that has been circulated this past week about us and our intentions in our future space at the @kimballartschicago,” Ifergan wrote at the time. The graffiti was an apparent reference to the recent purchase of the Kimball Arts Center by two developers who allegedly pushed out longtime tenants during construction on the building, according to Block Club Chicago.
Block Club first reported this opening.
Orkenoy, 1757 N. Kimball Avenue, inside the Kimball Arts Center, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Monday.