DryHop's Grand Opening So Popular, Brewery and Gastropub Runs Out of Food
LAKEVIEW — Crowds drawn by the buzz over Lakeview's new craft brewery and gastropub DryHop ate the place dry.
After a grand opening where the wait was an hour long all weekend, the restaurant ran out of food at 10:13 p.m. Sunday — and it won't be serving food again until Wednesday.
DryHop Brewers, 3155 N. Broadway, prepped what it thought would be enough food for its first week in business, but by Sunday night, locals had eaten it all, including 800 pounds of potatoes, said owner Greg Shuff.
The pub opened for dinner Thursday night and had lunch, dinner and late-night options starting Friday. People waiting to dine either drank at the first-come-first-serve bar or waited on a call from the hosts.
"The neighbors and all our friends ate us out of house and home," Shuff said.
The problem: Even if managers could have ordered more food from supply houses, which often do not maintain normal business hours Sunday, the cooks did not have enough time to prep.
Potatoes for DryHop's Belgian frites needed to be cleaned, peeled, cut, fried, fried again. And it couldn't be done quickly enough to keep up with weekend traffic, Shuff said.
To meet the demand, Shuff hired four more cooks, nearly doubling the cooking staff. Monday and Tuesday were spent ordering more supplies and prepping for the pub's second weekend in business. Guests looking for a meal on Monday and Tuesday were told to try again later.
DryHop only seats 70 people — smaller than other Chicago gastropubs like Logan Square's Revolution Brewery, which has nearly 300 seats, or West Loop's Haymarket Pub and Brewery, which seats nearly 200 on weekends.
It's easier for DryHop to rack up a waitlist. Shuff hopes the crowds keep coming, and next time, hopefully enough potatoes will be peeled.
"I totally hope that people come into the door continuously until the day that I die," Shuff said. "That’s the hope, and that’s what we’re preparing for."
The menu, created by Charlie Trotter alum Pete Repak, is subject to change, but the most popular item over the weekend was a spicy fried chicken with a collard-stuff doughnut, Shuff said.