RIVER NORTH — The first piece of a new coffee and cocktail bar, wine market and food hall is now open on the ground floor of a historic riverfront building.
Farehouse Market, from Lombard-based Quest Food Management Services, opened its bar and market at 600 W. Chicago Ave. on Wednesday.
A three-restaurant food hall with international and plant-based options will open on Wednesday of next week in the building, which currently houses Groupon’s headquarters.
Once completed, the food hall will offer made-to-order and grab-and-go meals, packaged liquors, cocktails, coffees and more, Quest owner Nick Saccaro said.
The food hall joins an existing restaurant, Monty’s Tap, and Farmer’s Fridge as food options inside the 111-year-old Montgomery Ward Building.
With Farehouse Market, Quest aims to turn the ground floor of the building into a “social hub” for workers and residents of the River North neighborhood, Saccaro said.
“The variety and authenticity of options and [the] experiences that people will have in a very accessible and comfortable space … We feel like it’s going to be a huge draw for folks,” he said.
Tito Conza, of Eataly, will be Farehouse’s general manager and sommelier.
Doran Payne, formerly of Prairie Bread Kitchen in Oak Park and Restaurant Le Taillevent in Paris, will execute the menu.
Farehouse Market’s hours of operation are 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday. Next month the market plans to open 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays.
Follow the market on Facebook for updates on rotating menus and weekend hours.
The opening of the food and beverage market marks the latest step of the evolution of the 111-year-old Montgomery Ward Building.
The building was built in 1909 on the east side of the Chicago River. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
According to the National Park Service, the complex once served as the national headquarters for the country’s oldest mail order firm.
At one point, the eight-story Mail Order Building contained miles of chutes, conveyors and storage lofts. In later years, Montgomery Ward and Company added several warehouses, parking ramps, and a 26-story office building.
Montgomery Ward operated until 2001, when the company declared bankruptcy. Eventually, other retail tenants moved into the building. Groupon joined in 2008, Crain’s reported.
Chicago developer Sterling Bay bought the building in February 2018, spokeswoman Julie Goudie said. The developer spent $510 million, Curbed reported.
Today, after a $13 million renovation, the 1.6 million square-foot building is home to roughly 15 companies, which collectively employ about 7,000 people.
Groupon’s headquarters remain in the building, Goudie said.
Some elements of Farehouse Market’s operations are a nod to the building’s history, Saccaro said.
For example, the “The Montgomery” cocktail is crafted with Evanston-based Prohibition-era Few Rye, and infused with apple brandy and demerara and finished with Angostura Bitters and Orange.
Sterling Bay previously developed Google’s Midwest headquarters and built McDonald’s corporate headquarters in Fulton Market.
Last week, the company pitched plans for its 10th building in the neighborhood: a 14-story office tower at 1200 W. Carroll Ave. And of course, they are behind the massive Lincoln Yards development, for which city leaders approved $1.3 billion in Tax Increment Financing last year.
Reporting from Mauricio Pena contributed to this story.
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