WRIGLEY FIELD — Chicago Cubs fans don't have to venture far to find delicious grub around Wrigley Field, but no eatery is closer to the ballpark and its fans' hearts than the new Brickhouse Tavern.
Open as of Tuesday, Brickhouse Tavern, 3647 N. Clark St., serves up its elevated twists on sports bar fare from the Park at Wrigley complex. The sprawling multilevel restaurant touts four bars, two outdoor terraces and a layout that allows 900 customers a view of the ballpark's triangle-shaped plaza while they dine.
Named for longtime Cubs broadcaster Jack Brickhouse, the restaurant has sports memorabilia encased and on display, including a zigzag wall installation made of baseball bats.
Brickhouse Tavern seats 900 people in the sports-themed, multi-level restaurant. [Provided/Four Corners Tavern Group]
Upstairs, customers can enjoy $12 cocktails al fresco, with summery drinks like the cucumber cooler (Effen cucumber vodka, lemon, simple syrup, ginger ale) or Ernie bee's knees (named for beloved "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks and made with gin, honey syrup and lemon) made for a warm night on the terrace.
The bar also serves on tap a Ballast Point IPA, Goose Island Green Line and Revolution Bottom Up Wit, along with wine, cider and hard soda. Other cocktails include three varieties of mules, a margarita and an old-fashioned.
Two outdoor terraces at the new Brickhouse Tavern overlook the Park at Wrigley plaza. [Provided/Four Corners Tavern Group]
A selection of starters can serve as bar snacks or the start to dinner, with loaded potato twists among the heartiest appetizers, topped with pulled pork, cheddar ale sauce, banana peppers and sour cream ($12). The buffalo chicken waffle cone, made with bleu cheese crumbles and ranch dip ($11), joins lighter starters like lemon garlic hummus ($8) or French onion dip with hand-cut potato chips ($6).
To keep it simple, grab a huge quarter-slice of an 18-inch pizza with cheese, pepperoni or Italian sausage for $6-$7. A bacon sandwich with black pepper aioli, tomatoes and jack cheese is $12, while the Chicago-style dog is $9.
Freshly rolled waffle cones are stuffed with bites of buffalo chicken and bleu cheese crumbles and served with ranch dip. [Provided/Emily Mortier]
Loaded potato twists are topped with pulled pork, cheddar ale sauce, banana peppers, scallions and sour cream. [Provided/Emily Mortier]
Burgers come with American cheese, sweet and spicy pickles and dijon mayonnaise and can be ordered with a single patty or double.
Another Chicago staple is the Italian sausage on a hoagy with onions and peppers for $9. Salads include a taco variety and a tuna poké with edamame, mango, watermelon, coconut chips, rice and yum yum dressing ($15).
Desserts include gelato and a gourmet ice cream sundae for (at least) two.
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily.
Quarter slices of 18-inch pizzas are $6-$7 each. [Provided/Emily Mortier]
The Brickhouse burger comes as both a single and double and is topped with American cheese, sweet and spicy pickles, dijon mayonnaise and a sesame seed bun. [Provided/Emily Mortier]
Together with Hickory Street Capital — a development company started by the Cubs-owning Ricketts family — Four Corners Tavern Group will operate the restaurant.
Four Corners has opened 12 establishments since 2001 and has plans for three more. Among them are Schoolyard Tavern on the Southport Corridor, Benchmark in Old Town and Gaslight in Lincoln Park.
Brickhouse Tavern joins an upscale Starbucks Reserve as the first two eateries at the Park at Wrigley, which opened at the start of this baseball season.
It is the first of several restaurants opening in Wrigleyville under the Ricketts family umbrella. Joining it will be Big Star, Smoke Daddy BBQ and a few other restaurants inside Hotel Zachary, which is set to open in 2018 and is currently under construction.
Nearby, a separately owned mixed-use development now known as Addison & Clark will also introduce a Shake Shack to the neighborhood, along with a Cinemex movie theater and a huge Lucky Strike bowling alley and concert venue.
The tuna poke salad is a rainbow of mango, watermelon, coconut chips, brown rice and yum yum dressing. [Provided/Emily Mortier]
Brickhouse Tavern's take on the trendy hot chicken sandwich is served with bacon ranch, bread & butter pickles, dijon and spicy seasoning. [Provided/Emily Mortier]
The Brickhouse's namesake was known for his calls of "Hey Hey!" when a Cub hit a homer, before Harry Caray's cry of "Holy Cow!" during Cubs games.
The first face shown on WGN-TV in 1948, Brickhouse spent more than 40 years as a Chicago broadcaster, both on radio and television. He was the announcer for the Cubs from 1948 to 1981, when Caray replaced him, and also called games for the White Sox, Bears and Bulls during various stints in his career.
Brickhouse grew up in Peoria, where his mother worked in a hotel after his father died when Brickhouse was 2 years old.
Jack Brickhouse in the Comiskey Park press box as he prepares to announce a White Sox game in 1948. [Wikimedia Commons]
He got his start in radio in the 1930s at 18 years old — the youngest broadcaster in the nation. After an internship in New York that his wife, Pat Brickhouse, said was "the worst year of his life," Brickhouse came to Chicago "and never wanted to leave."
"No. 1, they have the greatest sports fans in the nation, and No. 2, he just felt they were the most wonderful, friendly people on earth," Pat Brickhouse said.
While Brickhouse, who died in 1998, spent 24 consecutive seasons announcing for the Bears and was the first voice of the Chicago Bulls, his primary love was baseball, his wife said.
The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by an entity controlled by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team.