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River North, Gold Coast, Near North Side

Chicago Winery Opening Next Month, Bringing A Restaurant, Tastings And Tours To River North

The Clark Street winery brings a restaurant, bar, tasting room and private event space all under one roof.

Chicago Winery is planning to open in November and is located at 739 N. Clark St.
Chicago Winery
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RIVER NORTH — A new winery is opening in River North in November and its owners are hoping to serve the best wine in the city.

Chicago Winery, 739 N. Clark St., is packing a four-in-one punch with a restaurant, bar, tasting room and private event area all under one roof. The new space will also crush, ferment and bottle grapes on site to serve as wine to their guests, according to a spokesman.

Run by First Batch Hospitality, Chicago Winery is the company’s third winery with two other locations in Brooklyn, New York, and Washington D.C. The Chicago location is the biggest venue of the three.

The 24,000-square-foot space boasts of large windows both facing outwards towards the city and inside the space where guests can see into the wine fermentation room.

Liva, the winery’s restaurant, occupies the first floor along with a bar and lounge area parallel to the main dining room. Guests will also get their choice of dining inside or outside in the four-season patio, which will be available later this winter.

Credit: Chicago Winery
Chicago Winery features a 23-25 seat wrap around bar and lounge area.

Drawing from his sous chef experience at Alinea and other area restaurants such as the Aviary and Promontory, executive chef Andrew Graves is presenting a “modern Chicago” menu with shared plates of seasonal vegetables, seafood and meats.

“It’s all going to be put down at your table, to serve yourself and your friends so that you can all share … almost like a dinner party,” Graves said.

Some dishes on the opening menu include a whole roasted branzino, venison tartare, corn and ricotta-filled ravioli and potato croquettes.

Liva will also keep wine as the main focus by having a large cheese and charcuterie program, with the highlight being “The Chef’s Whim,” a mix of everything offered on the meat and cheese menu along with pickled vegetables and fruit compotes made in house, a spokesman said.

The restaurant’s menu will also include a cocktail program that will include non-alcoholic options, a spokesman said.

Credit: Chicago Winery
Chicago Winery staff help sort and unload the location’s first grape delivery.

Guests will be able to come in through a separate entrance on Clark Street for tastings and winery tours. Tastings are available for walk-ins or can be reserved ahead of time.

Chicago Winery expects to process 44 tons of fruit this year with a healthy mix of red, white and sparkling wines, a spokesman said. The winery has already begun processing grapes with its first shipment arriving a few weeks ago. The wines are aged between six months to two years.

The winery is processing grapes from California and Finger Lakes, with a goal to incorporate local grapes into the program next year, according to a spokesman.

“There’s something for everybody. Everything’s going to pair so well with our food that Chef Graves has come up with for Liva and the beautiful thing is we’re going to be able to tie that together with all the experiences whether having a wedding upstairs…or in the tasting room,” said Alex Gilbert, senior field marketing manager for First Batch Hospitality.

Credit: Chicago Winery
The top floor of the Chicago Winery features a four-season rooftop patio for special events and weddings.
Credit: Chicago Winery
A rendering of the private event space on the building’s second floor. This space is meant for weddings and various special events.

The top floor of the winery will be used for private events such as weddings, corporate events or cocktail parties. Complete with a rooftop terrace, the space can accommodate up to 215 guests for a ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and dancing and up to 300 guests for a cocktail party, a spokesman said.

Rental packages will include food and wine preparation, menu tastings, staffing, event furniture and a bridal suite.

Chicago Winery will start hosting weddings in March 2023 and holiday parties starting December.

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