Two hotly anticipated new José Andrés restaurants will soon debut along the Chicago River. Friday, December 10 is the official opening date for both Bazaar Meat and Bar Mar, located inside Bank of America’s new Chicago headquarters near the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Both are partnerships with the famous Gibsons Restaurant Group.
Andrés already opened a River North restaurant back in July. Jaleo is part of the ThinkFoodGroup portfolio which operates restaurants in locales including around Washington, D.C.; Las Vegas; and New York. Teaming with Gibsons gives the celebrity chef a trusted local operator of some of the most successful independent restaurants in the country. Gibsons steakhouse in Gold Coast is among the highest grossing restaurants in America.
Given Gibsons’ prowess with beef, focusing the Chicago entry of Bazaar on meat makes sense. A menu for Bazaar Meat hasn’t been released, but expect a large selection of raw and cooked meats and small plates. Other locations utilize wood-burning grills and rotisseries in its kitchens. Bazaar Meat will reside on the second floor of the Bank of America Tower. At more than 816 feet and 500,000 square feet, developers say the building at 110 N. Wacker Drive is the tallest office tower built in Chicago since 1990 when crews opened Two Prudential Plaza.
While Bazaar isn’t a restaurant unique to the city — it’s the brand’s fourth location, a New York location is also on its way — Bar Mar is making its debut in Chicago. It’s a cocktail bar on the first floor. ThinkFoodGroup hasn’t divulged further details. Below the bar, on the lower level, a third venue, Cafe by the River, opened over the summer.
On Monday, Andrés, known worldwide for raising money to feed the victims of earthquakes and floods and other disasters — he’s establishing a $1 billion World Central Kitchen Climate Disaster Fund — appeared as a guest on The Late Show. The Spanish chef prepared American red snapper and touted it as a Thanksgiving alternative to turkey.
“This is America,” he told host Stephen Colbert. “That’s why you let people like me in, to bring new traditions to mix with old traditions, we the people!”