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Curtis Duffy's much anticipated cocktail lounge, a World's Fair-themed bar and a Randolph restaurant paying tribute to the Silk Road are set to shake the dining scene up.
DOWNTOWN — A slew of new restaurants and bars opening in the West Loop and Downtown will offer everything from World’s Fair-inspired cocktails to South Asian fare.
Block Club rounded up five restaurants that recently opened or are set to open in coming weeks.
The restaurants:
Bambola, 1400 W. Randolph St., opened Tuesday in the West Loop and pays tribute to the “crossroads of Eastern and Western civilizations”: the Silk Road. The menu is inspired by Turkish, Persian and Indian cuisine.
The interior design features antiques and “rare furnishings” from China, Thailand, Burma, Pakistan and India, according to the restaurant’s website.
The restaurant is part of the Bonhomme Hospitality Group and is led by chef Alisha Elenz, Michelin-starred executive chef Marcos Campus and executive pastry chef Shannah Primiano.
Opening Sept. 19, Afterbar is a World’s Fair-themed cocktail lounge at 310 S. Canal St. near Union Station. Afterbar is an extension of the recently opened Canal Street Market & Eatery and will feature cocktails with ingredients seen during the 1890s, when Chicago hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition.
Its modern interior has large sliding doors to a patio facing Green at 320, a 1.5-acre private green space with lush landscaping, seating and an amphitheater. Hours are 3-10 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and noon-10 p.m. Thursday-Friday.
Opening Sept. 21, Valhalla will be the first standalone restaurant in Time Out Market in the Fulton Market District. The restaurant is spearheaded by S.K.Y. executive chef Stephen Gillanders and will feature an 11-course tasting menu as well as an a la carte menu.
The menu will be reflective of Gillander’s world travels, according to Time Out Market. Reservations are open via Tock and include options for the tasting menu, chef’s counter and a la carte.
Opening Monday in the Loop, Kinsley by Fairgrounds, 1 N. Upper Wacker Drive, is an all-day restaurant and bar also inspired by the World’s Fair. The restaurant is named after Herbert M. Kinsley, a Chicago restauranteur who oversaw dining at the fair, according to a report by Eater.
The cafe will feature breakfast tacos, funnel cake fries and additional seasonal options that will rotate throughout the year, such as an Angus smash burger and s’mores French toast.
After, a highly anticipated cocktail lounge in the West Loop, doesn’t open for about another six weeks but has gained hype online. A project from the owners of Ever, chef Curtis Duffy and wine director Michael Muser are set to open After in the same building that houses Ever, 1338 W. Fulton St.
The space boasts 4,000 square feet, according to Eater, and will feature a menu with three main sections: a set of 10 “tweaked classics,” eight to 10 non-alcoholic drinks and another eight to 10 drinks to pair with various dishes. Reservations are live on Tock.
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