Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group (SWRG), a collection of iconic American steakhouses, announces it will soon add an intriguing concept to the already bustling Chicago restaurant scene. Focused on today’s more casual, social, and impromptu dining needs, the all new Wollensky’s Grill is slated to reopen its doors fall 2014, housed in the lower-level riverfront space.

In keeping with the goal of establishing an unprecedented culture of restaurant dining experiences, the new Wollensky’s Grill concept stays true to the heart of best-in-class dining while exploring culinary avenues influenced by shareable dining and social interaction. 

The revived concept pays homage to an American look with a global perspective. Wollensky’s Grill will have a vibrant, inviting design incorporating the classic Smith & Wollensky green and white with an approachable menu that allows guests to explore flavors and tastes.

Named one of FSR magazine’s "40 Restaurant Rising Stars Under 40" this year, national director of culinary development and corporate executive chef Matt King has developed an innovative, forward-thinking menu that is beef-centric. 

The Wollensky’s Grill menu is engineered toward sharing and sampling, where formality is not the norm. The classic Smith & Wollensky USDA Prime dry-aged and charbroiled steaks will still be available as sliced shareable plates. 

Additional standout items on the gastropub-style menu include beef bacon, a signature smoked rib eye, foie gras, and lobster corn dog, along with a charcuterie plate with house-made pâté and a unique burrata bar section. The catalogue of craft beers, artisanal cocktails and assortment of wines-by-the-glass and half-bottles will further complement the new menu format.

Destined to remain a downtown Chicago staple anchored in the heart of the city, Wollensky’s Grill is located in the expansive all-glass lower level of the riverfront restaurant. Wollensky’s Grill will undergo a comprehensive overhaul to include a mix of pinwheel black and white marble mosaic flooring, scrubbed oak hardwood, antique lighting, and classic bentwood furniture. The new design harmonizes with the look and style of the menu, creating a relaxed speakeasy atmosphere.

“Smith & Wollensky has had a loyal following for many years, and we’re excited to relaunch Wollensky’s Grill as a fresh and unique concept targeting an upwardly mobile and socially-engaged audience. The Grill will be an approachable gateway to an entirely original culinary and hospitality experience that’s familiar to our traditional steakhouse guests,” says Michael Feighery, CEO and president of Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group. “We’re confident Wollensky’s Grill will be a noteworthy gathering and dining spot among discerning Chicago restaurant followers.”

With the introduction of the renovated Wollensky’s Grill and updated private event rooms, the upstairs Smith & Wollensky Chicago dining room and bar will also be remodeled, set to unveil pre-holiday 2014. Overlooking the vast river view, the inside and outside main dining bar and patio will surpass all dining expectations.

“Guests will savor and reserve the Smith & Wollensky experience for those special occasions, professional lunches, client dinners, and celebrations, while enjoying Wollensky’s Grill for their more frequent, casual and social gatherings,” Feighery says. “Ultimately, the State Street location on the river will provide two distinctive Smith & Wollensky dining experiences.”

Industry News, NextGen Casual