THE LOOP — Whenever outdoor patio season arrives in the Loop, newly-opened Terrace on Clark Bar and Grille hopes to be ready to host sun-starved Chicagoans for a drink.
The restaurant at 77 W. Wacker Dr. opened last week with a menu designed by Chef Chris De La Cueva, a graduate of Chicago's Le Cordon Bleu school who previously cooked at the South Loop's Scout Waterhouse & Kitchen.
In mid-May, the restaurant will expand into the outdoor space next door, where it plans to open a 100-seat patio, "one of the largest in the Loop," according to owners Val Kosenko, of South Loop's Square One, and former Piccolo Sogno manager Eduardo Decache.
"Once we saw the location and we saw there was a very nice space between the two buildings, we thought immediately what a great patio it would be," Decache said. "That's how kind of the name was created, Terrace on Clark, because the terrace part is on Clark Street. It's just a great patio for an upscale dining experience with low prices and a nice atmosphere."
Decache said that the restaurant is currently working with the city to get permits for an outdoor bar in the patio space.
If there's interest, Decache they'll explore an even less common indulgence for outdoor patrons: a cigar lounge.
"We're going to try to save maybe the back part for some cigar smokers at the end of the night, Decache said, "but 90 percent of the area will be no smoking."
"We're not sure if we'll do it — we're talking about the possibility — but we'll see what the customers want."
Setup for the patio will begin in two to three weeks, and Decache said they hope to open before the end of May. Even if the weather remains chilly, Decache said they plan to install "some nice heat lamps" so Chicagoans can enjoy the outdoor space before summer's underway.
The patio will serve lunch, dinner and drinks, as well as a Sunday brunch. The restaurant closes at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and at 10 p.m. all other nights.