GOLD COAST — Here's what's replacing the long-shuttered P.J. Clarke's in the Gold Coast: a new, locally sourced eatery from the owner of Rosebud Restaurants.
The "Tip Top Inn," which borrows its name from a famed restaurant from long ago on Michigan Avenue, could open for friends and family as soon as next week at 1204 N. State St., said Bob Itzkow, a consultant advising Rosebud founder Alex Dana on the project.
Once open, the restaurant will feature rotating seasonal menus sourced from Illinois and Indiana farms, with a focus on "heritage cuisine," or hormone- and antibiotic-free fare prepared the way it was generations ago. No entrees on the menu will exceed $31, with items including pan-fried lobster rolls with egg and tapioca flour, and chicken soup with matzah balls. The lobster is sourced from Villa Park-based Supreme Lobster.
"It’s not that we’re trying to be farm-to-table or trying to be organic, we’re just trying to let people taste food the way it used to be," Itzkow said.
Not to be confused with the Tip Top Tap atop the Allerton Hotel, the Tip Top Inn was a rooftop restaurant in the Pullman Building at Michigan Avenue and Adams Street. Open from the late 1800s to 1931, it counted "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and Babe Ruth as guests, Itzkow said.
The restaurant is a side venture of Rosebud founder Alex Dana, whose new Gold Coast restaurant is replacing the P.J. Clarke's that closed in January. That restaurant reopened last fall after lengthy renovations, but Itzkow said the Dana team has since stripped the decor down and and unearthed the original tin ceiling in the 77-year-old building. The team plans to move furniture into the restaurant Friday.
The restaurant will be open daily from about 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and serve lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The restaurant will still serve food from a bar menu after about 10:30 p.m., Itzkow said.
Rosebud is known for its restaurants of the same name throughout Chicago, as well as Carmine's at State and Rush streets.
And the Tip Top Inn isn't the only new restaurant coming from Dana: Itzkow said the restaurateur also plans to reopen Rosebud's Centro restaurant in the shuttered Joe Fish in River North.
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