Farmheads, the growing hospitality collective responsible for hyper-local, farm-fare concepts Farmhouse Chicago and Farmhouse Evanston, announced the launch of Farm Bar—a friendly, tucked-in-the-neighborhood tavern in the heart of Lakeview. Opening doors to the public at 5 p.m. on November 16, the 2,000-square-foot venue is located in a storied Chicago space at 1300 W. Wellington Avenue, which most recently housed Wellington’s Tavern.
Farmheads operators Ferdia Doherty, TJ Callahan, and executive chef Eric Mansavage will follow a shared vision of using the bounty available within a four-state footprint (sourcing nearly everything for the Farm Bar menus from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin), and will also use many local ingredients from their own Brown Dog Farm in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Under ownership since 2012, the farm has grown to encompass over 140 apple, cider apple, pear, peach, and cherry trees as well as crops like black and red raspberries, elderberries, serviceberries, black walnuts, and hazelnuts, and a thriving bee apiary with 12 hives. In addition, seasonal produce will also be procured from Farm Bar’s very own backyard garden.
Chef De Cusine, Juan Arias (The Gage) will join Mansavage in the kitchen to present a simple, seasonal menu, with items prepared fresh from scratch daily—from cooking stocks to cutting fries, condiments and everything in between. Standout starter offerings include snacks such as the Spicy Goat Sausage Poutine with White Cheddar Gravy, and a Pickled Autumn Squash Salad with Caramelized Wild Mushrooms. Several hearty sandwiches line the menu, including the Beer Battered Trout Melt on Marble Rye, and the Roasted Amish Chicken Club with Butter Blanched Kale and Beet Pickled Shallots. Burgers consist of 100 percent pasture raised, grass-fed custom beef blends by The Butcher & Larder which are sourced from Hoosier Farms in Indiana, and include options such as the Illinois “Three Sisters” with Ten Bean Relish, Marinated Roasted Squash, Local Popcorn and House BBQ on a Brioche Bun, or the Indiana “Barnyard”, which is topped with Pulled Pork, a Sunnyside Farm Egg, LTO, and Beer Mustard on a Brioche Bun.
The beverage program, led by Farmhouse alum Erik Wiseman, will feature a 24-tap beer system focusing on Midwestern craft offerings, as well as locally produced options from the group’s very own line of ciders, which use true cider apple bittersharp and bittersweets. Farm Bar’s pub will also have a four-tap draft wine system featuring wines from the surrounding region, and a wide-variety of specialty craft cocktails.
The space, which seats around 60 people (15 at the bar and 45 in the dining room) will also follow suit by incorporating locally sourced design elements—paying homage to other aspects of the Midwest, while maintaining certain antique facets of the existing bar that date back to the early 1930s. The original tin ceiling and hardwood floors will remain highlights of the space, while bright, white-washed barn walls will span the interior. A bar top crafted of black walnut wood from Brown Dog farm will sit in the center of the space, surrounded by low, family-friendly banquettes and Farmhouse barstools using reclaimed Wisconsin wood.