Creators of Brooklyn Winery and District Winery Set Sights on Chicago

The team behind two popular east coast urban wineries will open a Chicago location, according to a liquor license application.
Creators of Brooklyn Winery and District Winery Set Sights on Chicago
Photo: Official
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An urban winery concept, Chicago Winery, is expected to open at 729-743 N. Clark St. in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, according to liquor license applications filed with the City of Chicago. The licenses, which were filed today, are for consumption on premises and an outdoor patio. The licenses connect Chicago Winery with First Batch Hospitality, a group based in New York.

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First Batch Hospitality was founded by John Stires and Brian Leventhal when the two, enjoying extracurricular wine making outings, discovered a shared love of entrepreneurship. Together, they created their first urban winery concept, and the creation of First Batch Hospitality followed. Today, First Batch Hospitality operates two wineries on the east coast, Brooklyn Winery in Brooklyn and District Winery in Washington D.C. Both wineries are also wedding and event venues.

If the two existing wineries are any indication, Chicago is in for a treat. Brooklyn Winery, set in the heart of Williamsburg, creates “premium small batch wines” in-house, through the efforts of Winemaker Conor McCormack. The winery sources grapes from boutique vineyards across the country. The company sees this as an opportunity to bring together diverse varietals.

“Although uncommon, sourcing grapes from all corners of the United States and getting them delivered fresh to the winery for production gives us the unique chance to highlight the flavor profiles that different American grape growing regions are known for,” shares the winery’s website. “The challenges of an urban setting spur creativity, resulting in the wide variety of innovative and elegant wines created by our winemaking team.”

We were unable to reach Leventhal for comment at the time of publication, so you’ll want to check back in for updates on Chicago’s newest winery’s opening timeline. Cheers to that.

Photo: Official
Photo: Official
Photo: Official
Eve Payne

Eve Payne

Eve Payne is a freelance writer with an MFA in poetry from Syracuse University. In 2019, she received the Leonard Brown Prize for her poetry, which has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, The Adroit Journal, Nashville Review, and RHINO.
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