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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Union, Late Night Sister Restaurant To Lardon, Opens In Logan Square

Union is open next door to Lardon, focusing on locally brewed beer and new American cuisine.

Union.
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LOGAN SQUARE — The late-night counterpart to Lardon, Logan Square’s popular charcuterie and sandwich spot, opened Monday.

Union, 2202 N. California Ave., is open next door to Lardon and across the street from the California Blue Line station. The bar and restaurant focuses on locally brewed beer and new American cuisine, the owners said.

It’s open 5 p.m.-12 a.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Steve Lewis and Chris Thompson, of Meadowlark Hospitality, wanted to open the two businesses around the same time, overhauling a 110-year-old corner building at California Avenue and Palmer Street, but the pandemic delayed their plans.

Lardon finally opened in July, nearly four years after vegan restaurant and music venue Township closed.

Union carries 24 local beers on tap, ranging from sours to dark lagers, plus more than 200 whiskeys and a wine list. Part of the theme for the “dark and moody” spot is “every good occasion calls for a beer,” restaurant leaders said.

“Chicago is arguably one of the best beer cities in the country,” Lewis said in a statement. “With Union, we wanted to bring together the best parts about beer and the city’s beer culture in an environment that lends itself to that experience, but with all of the exciting things Chris can put on a plate.” 

Clayton Hauck for Union

Thompson previously told Block Club that Union’s menu will take its cue from the daytime salumeria and use some of Lardon’s ingredients.

Dishes include lamb and pistachio meatballs with pomegranate, shaved fennel and a caper salsa verde; cauliflower Romanesco with fire-roasted piquillo pepper, queso fresco, almonds and mint; smoked white trout with horseradish cream, accompanying griddled rye and fresh dill-herb salad; and a brisket burger with aged Wisconsin cheddar, crispy onion strings and bone marrow aioli on a brioche bun.

Before Lardon, Thompson was a partner at Coda di Volpe in Lakeview. He was also the executive chef at A16 in San Francisco and helped launch The Nickel in Denver.

Lewis ran Centennial Crafted Beer + Eatery in River North before launching Meadowlark Hospitality with Thompson in 2020.

The pair had to do extensive renovations of the former Township space, saying it was suffering from years of neglect. They said they retained and restored some details from the 110-year-old building in the 1,200-square-foot restaurant.

In designing Union, Lewis previously said they drew inspiration from “gritty East Village bars and restaurants, but [with the] warmth of the London pub scene and mixing in the broad shoulders of Chicago.”

“It feels like the kind of room you want to be in. It’s comfortable, it’s cozy, it feels cool but it doesn’t feel pretentious,” Thompson said last month.

Union will announce community collaborations and beer-focused programs this summer, according to a news release. Follow Union social media or visit its website for more information.

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