LOGAN SQUARE — Neighborhood favorite Middle Brow has not stopped evolving to keep its brewpub afloat throughout the pandemic, and now it’s adding breakfast and lunch options to the menu.
Middle Brow, 2840 W. Armitage Ave., is now serving sandwiches on house-made bread and freshly baked pastries 8 a.m.-3 p.m Wednesday-Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m Saturday-Sunday. Hours will be extended in the coming weeks.
Middle Brow launched the daytime menu Thursday and it’s been a hit so far, said co-owner Pete Ternes. The first day drew a line down the block, Ternes wrote in an email.
On the breakfast menu is cinnamon rolls, biscotti and scones, as well as breakfast sandwiches and lattes, espresso and other coffee drinks.
Lunch at Middle Brow is all about sandwiches. A grilled cheese, a ham-beurre — or open-faced ham sandwich — and a gravlax sandwich, which is made with cured salmon, are among the offerings.
Also for lunch, folks can order Middle Brow’s 2 percent “lunch beer” on tap, as well house-made wine, switchel and kombucha.
Ternes said opening for breakfast and lunch is something his team wanted to do long before the coronavirus pandemic hit. He said now “there’s a bit more demand again for prepared foods, we figured: What better time to show off our bakers’ incredible breads, buns and pastries?”
“People are still working from home,” Ternes said. “Now they can take a quick walk and grab a cinnamon roll, ham-beurre sandwich, black pepper latte, or a tiny, 2 percent by day beer.”
Like countless restaurants across Chicago, Middle Brow has had to make quick and sometimes difficult adjustments to survive the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout.
At first, the brewpub focused on curbside pickup and delivery, offering pizza kits and grocery items. During the summer, it reopened for patio dining and launched a bread and beer subscription service.
Now, with a new breakfast and lunch menu, Ternes and his team hope to draw more customers to keep the business afloat as Chicago battles a second wave of the pandemic and officials tighten restrictions on restaurants and bars.
Ternes said the new menu and expanded hours allow them to offer more full-time work to employees, contribute more to furloughed employees’ health care and expand their bread donation program.
Over the summer, Middle Brow launched a program aimed at getting its freshly baked sourdough bread to people in under-resourced communities on the South, West and Northwest sides.
Middle Brow’s brewpub, Bungalow, opened in early 2019 about eight years after Ternes and several others founded Middle Brow Beer Co.
In a short time, the brewpub has become known for its pizza, ranking No. 1 for Chicago’s best pizza, according to Chicago Magazine.
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