Following a three-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bottleneck Management announced the re-opening of its Chicago restaurants on July 8, including Old Town Pour House (1419 N. Wells St.), Sweetwater Tavern & Grille (225 N. Michigan Ave.), and South Branch Tavern & Grille (100 S. Wacker Dr.). Bottleneck restaurants remain vibrant and energetic spaces with a focus on classic American food and an expansive beer and beverage list. With spacious interiors and large outdoor patios with socially distanced tables, private dining areas, over 90 craft beer handles eight wines on draft, growlers to-go, and cocktail kits to bring home, Sweetwater, Old Town Pour House, and South Branch offer something for everyone this summer.
After conducting a survey to guests to gather feedback on their comfort level returning to the restaurant, Bottleneck Management’s operations teams have implemented new measures to ensure the safety of guests and all employees. These new procedures include mandating employees to wear masks and wash their hands every 30 minutes, setting up hand sanitizing stations throughout the restaurant and patio, scheduling sanitization of all shared surfaces every 30 minutes, limiting physical contact and touchpoints, and maintaining proper social distancing guidelines. Bottleneck Management has also created a new staff position, the Shift Safety Manager, to ensure protocol is being followed by all staff.
Bottleneck’s Chicago restaurants offer a well-rounded menu for dine-in guests with a few new menu items and beverages to-go. At Old Town Pour House, the menu includes bar bites and appetizers such as beer battered Fried Pickles and the new Queso Dip with hot chorizo, pepper jack cheese sauce, queso fresco, green onions, and micro cilantro, served with corn tortilla chips; burgers and handhelds like the signature Pour House Burger with aged white cheddar, shredded iceberg lettuce, vine-ripened tomato, red onion, and a dill pickle, and the Impossible Burger™ topped with shredded iceberg lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, red onion, and vegan roasted-garlic horseradish aioli. Entrées include Smoked BBQ Ribs, Old Town Pour House Chopped Salad, and the new Tex Mex Mac & Cheese with spicy chorizo, roasted jalapeno, jack cheese sauce, crispy tortilla strips, and cilantro over cavatappi. At South Branch, menu options include Buffalo Rolls with pulled chicken, gorgonzola, buffalo sauce, and bleu cheese dressing in crispy wontons, Baja Fish Tacos with blackened tilapia, Shrimp Scampi, and more. At Sweetwater, the menu ranges from items such as Bang Bang Shrimp to Cauliflower Steak to a Carolina Fried Chicken sandwich.
Old Town Pour House also hosts Rock n’ Roll themed brunch on the weekends until 3 p.m. complete with Rock n’ Roll music, great food, and a good time. Beginning on Saturday, July 11, the menu features dishes like Mother’s Little Helper bowl with smoked cheddar grits, braised pork belly, breakfast sausage, and fried egg, topped with smoked tomato and charred scallion relish and Chak Shuka Khan with spicy tomato sauce, sunny-side up eggs, and goat cheese served with a toasted garlic baguette. Groups can also indulge in shareable dishes like Dock of the Beignets derived from Café du Monde’s famous recipe for French doughnuts served with chocolate hazelnut sauce and mixed berry jam for dipping. Weekend brunch is also offered at Sweetwater beginning Saturday, July 11 at 10 a.m.
Brunch beverage offerings include the Beermosa made with the restaurant’s signature beer, Bottlenectar, Tanqueray gin, and orange juice; the Flapjack Old Fashioned made with rye whiskey, butterscotch Schnapps, candied maple syrup, bacon, and orange bitters; and the Hot Blooded, an 18 oz. spicy Bloody Mary crowned with fried onion rings and garnished with a celery stalk and a skewer loaded with candied bacon, housemade spicy pickles, a cheese curd, an olive, cornichon, pepperoni, pickled jalapeños, and a hard-boiled egg. Guests can also order mimosas by the flight by choosing four flavors with options such as classic, Bellini, Aperol, rosé, paloma, tropical, and more.
Guests can visit restaurant websites for more specific details on Happier Hours and to-go offerings such as the Moscow Mule Kits or a growler of one of the 90 beers on draft.