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South Branch Tavern & Grille by Nick Hadley in Chicago.

South Branch Tavern & Grille
100 South Wacker Drive
Tel: 312.546.6177
Design: Nick Hadley

South Branch, the latest addition to Bottleneck Management’s citywide culinary empire, sits at the bottom of the Hartford Plaza complex on South Wacker Drive along scenic stretch of the Chicago River. The owners takes advantage of this setting with large glass windows and a 4,000-square foot patio—the largest in the city.

With stone-enameled tables and a glass stand-alone pavilion bar with retractable walls, the patio will no doubt a popular summertime spot for cocktails and craft brews. Inside, the 8,000-square foot restaurant offers two bars (with the requisite flat screen TVs), a choice of communal tables or oversized booths, and a private dining room.

Modern but inviting, polished dark mahogany tables are set off by warm beige upholstery and rustic and textural stone columns. One of the most intriguing design elements throughout the space is stripped tree branches; while some adorn columns, others are bundled up to create oversized antler-like chandeliers.

Cindy Yewon Chun

[Click to enlarge.]