A new restaurant and music venue with Caribbean vibes should open next month in the West Loop. Tribe Supper Club, a new project from the owner of shuttered Loop nightclub Refuge, should debut in November at 1239 W. Lake Street with Caribbean-fusion food and drink.
Caribbean-influenced restaurants are rare in West Loop; Garifuna Flava’s former stall inside Chicago’s French Market is an example, while Carnivale’s Latin menu features a few of the culture’s flavors and ingredients. Tribe owner Chris Morris hopes that his approach will foster a vibrant and energetic atmosphere with the help of live reggae, soul, and R&B performances. “We want to promote inclusivity — everyone is invited,” he says. “That’s the reason why the tagline is ‘one tribe united through vibes.’ We are all united, ideally, through the vibration of the music.”
Tribe’s food menu from executive chef James Garron (Soho House’s Chicken & Farm Shop) will also integrate elements of soul food. Opening dishes will include a whole pan-fried red snapper (tomato chutney), braised oxtail with creamy scallion grits, and coconut shrimp (mango chutney, red curry aioli).
Staff are applying a similar approach to the rum-heavy drink menu with selections like the “Vaccine,” a spicy mango margarita with Fresno pepper-infused mezcal; and “Rich Forever,” a rum-based Old Fashioned with a clear nod to rapper Rick Ross.
Construction is still underway inside the 3,800 square-foot space, which will include a 350 square-foot elevated stage. Morris says it’s challenging to create a layout that doesn’t leave standing patrons to awkwardly loom over seated customers — he’s divided the room to make sure everyone can get a good view of onstage musicians and keep energy high among those who are dining rather than dancing.
A Chicago native, Morris says he’s committed to highlighting “up-and-coming” artists and entrepreneurs in the area, hoping that some will reach out to collaborate. He’s already forged a partnership with Christophe Gausparro, a Chicago artist who is creating installations throughout the venue. “I try to be somebody’s help the way someone was mine,” Morris says. “They could be a local distributor or liquor brand — somebody who needs a catalyst.”
Tribe Supper Club, 1239 W. Lake Street, Scheduled to open in early November.