The Smith announced its first restaurant in Chicago, at 400 N. Clark Street in the River North neighborhood, is now open. Founded on the simple mission to make people happy, The Smith is an American brasserie known for its lively atmosphere, seasonal menu, craft cocktails and dedication to taking great care of its employees, guests and community.
“We approach every day as an opportunity to make someone’s day, whether that’s with crave-worthy food or a supportive, positive place to work,” says founder Jeff Lefcourt. “We believe in making every effort to say yes, to go above and beyond expectations, so that everyone has a great time with us and leaves with a desire to return.”
Since its debut in 2007, The Smith has grown to become a popular gathering spot in each neighborhood it’s joined, welcoming locals with bistro classics and shareable favorites like Hot Potato Chips with blue cheese fondue and skillet-roasted Mac + Cheese. “Our goal is to give guests a delicious reason to come back,” shares Executive Chef Brian Ellis. “We take pride in working with local purveyors and farms and listening to what guests want to eat.”
In Chicago, The Smith will introduce new menu items, including cast-iron cooked pizza and yeasted doughnuts, in addition to beloved staples like the Smitty’s Spicy Fried Chicken, house-made pastas such as Ricotta Gnocchi and selection of Steak cuts, served with the restaurant’s special recipe for fries, which they have worked for years to perfect. Nightly specials include discounted Fish Tacos, whole Lobster Night for just $26, and Prime Rib. A weekly happy hour with discounted beverages and $1 oysters will make it a go-to destination for workers in the Loop and River North.
An extensive beverage program offers the best for any type of occasion. The cocktail menu uses small batch and local liquors, seasonal produce and house-made syrups in creations like The Golden Eye with Aperol, Italian orange brandy, lime, sparkling red wine and rosemary and The Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em with mezcal, lime juice, cholula chili, grapefruit, soda and a chipotle sugar rim. The menu will also feature house-made ginger beer in Build-Your-Own Moscow Mules and a negroni on tap with local CH Key Gin and Jeppson's Malort. Additionally, there is a French 75 slushy and locally brewed beers and cider. The wine program keeps it casual and features over 20 wines by the glass, carafe and big carafe. House-made soft drink selections include a Shirley Temple, Mint Sour and Cucumber Ginger Beer.
“Whether it’s date night or just a no-cook night, our aim is to be the place that has just what you’re in the mood for,” said Adam Burke, Vice President of Operations. “It’s a terrific corner where you can drop in for a drink at the bar or a special celebration.”
Designed by nemaworkshop, The Smith Chicago’s layout is unique as it blends three former spaces into one open restaurant. The industrial-inspired interior is offset with classic brasserie elements, including white and black marble flooring in geographic patterns, large booths and smoked antique mirrors, and an expansive zinc bar top with 30 seats. With two private dining rooms and a sidewalk patio with capacity for 58 guests, The Smith provides several options for guests to dine for any occasion. The Smith’s photo booth – a favorite from the restaurant’s original location in New York City’s East Village neighborhood – will be stationed downstairs
“We’ve wanted to open in Chicago for some time and we’re thrilled to find an ideal spot in River North,” partner Michael Jacobs explains. “We’re excited to become a part of the community here and hope we bring to the table a new spot for neighbors to feel at home.”
The Smith will be open for dinner seven days a week starting April 29. Weekday breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch services will be added in the following weeks.