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Just today, EQ Office and Chicago’s Fifty/50 Group, the hospitality group behind brands like Roots, Homestead on the Roof, West Town Bakery, and more, announced Willis Tower’s first full-service restaurant, Kindling. According to a press release, Kindling will bring a wood-fired culinary experience to North America’s second tallest building, not to mention downtown Chicago.
Kindling is slated to open next year in a two-story space complete with outdoor terrace as part of Willis Tower’s Catalog, the “expansive and immersive dining, retail, and entertainment experience” that’s coming to Willis Tower as part of the $500 million renovation project now underway. Catalog will bring over 300,000 square-feet of curated dining, entertainment, and community space, along with a 30,000 square-foot deck and garden, to the 48-year old tower. EQ Office, a branch of Blackstone and Equity, is behind the renovations.
But back to that fire. Kindling will feature a large wood-burning grill that will “serve as the hearth and the heart of the [eatery’s] main floor.” You can expect craft cocktails as well as curated artwork and lawn games. Rotisserie chicken, brisket, and halibut will grace the menu, along with classic and patio favorite cocktails.
“For our first full-service restaurant, we sought out prominent restaurant operators in Chicago that reflect Willis’ ethos and would complement our vision. We met and quickly fell in love with Fifty/50’s concept. The name of the restaurant, Kindling, refers to our shared purpose – to kindle new connections and inspire new relationships,” David Moore, Senior Vice President and Portfolio Director at EQ Office said in the press release. “With a live fire cookout and park-like experience, Kindling will be serving one of a kind dishes while pulsating with spontaneous energy and lively social interaction that you can’t get through Zoom. This is the perfect extension to the kind of experience that we’re creating at Willis for our customers and guests.”
Kindling will join other eateries already slated to open as part of Catalog, including Rick Bayless’ Tortazo, Lettuce Entertain You’s Sushi-san, Sweetgreen, Shake Shack, Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken, and Brown Bag Seafood Co.