The chef continues to expand his presence in the Windy City. 

By Ximena Larkin
Updated January 10, 2020
Courtesy of ThinkFoodGroup

Chicago’s restaurant scene destination continues its ascent. Today, chef and humanitarian José Andrés announced his partnership with Gibsons Restaurant Group, one of the area's top hospitality groups, to open three new concepts in what will soon be the city's tallest office building.

After opening in October, the nearly one-billion-dollar project located at 110 N. Wacker Drive will have three food and beverage outlets conceptualized and backed by Andrés, his ThinkFoodGroup group, and the Lombardo family—best known for their eponymous steakhouse and Gibson Italia, which offers panoramic views of the Chicago River. According to a statement announcing the project, visitors can expect a fine-dining restaurant and an elevated cocktail bar, and the group will also provide catering for the building’s 10,000-square-foot event space.

Technically, the building is located in the West Loop—a part of the city that, some might argue, doesn't need any more dining attractions. Just last month, Time Out Chicago opened a 50,000-square-foot dining destination billed as “the best of Chicago under one roof.” The market’s neighbors? Grant Achatz, Stephanie Izard, and Paul Kahan.

The new project, however, is located on the east side of the Chicago River, in a part of town that receives plenty of foot traffic but is underutilized due to its proximity to the Loop’s business district. The area typically shuts down once workers go home for the night and weekend, leaving many locals—and unfortunate tourists unfamiliar with the area—with few high-quality dining options.

“Each of the new venues—our restaurants and our 400-person event space—are designed as soaring spaces with river views, floor to ceiling windows, operable walls for indoor-outdoor space and connectivity to our boat dock on the Chicago River,” said Jim McCaffrey, senior vice president of development for The Howard Hughes Corporation.

The structure is both the city’s tallest office building and the second-largest office building made in three decades; the new restaurants will open sometime after the building opens in October. This is the third project Andrés is opening in Chicago. The first, Jaleo—scheduled to open in 2020—was announced in fall 2019. A beefsteak, his vegetable-forward fast casual concept, opened in the Northwestern University medical center in Streeterville.

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