Historic Bank Transforms into 'The Bedford'

New Wicker Park kitchen/bar opens Friday

By Marcus Riley
|  Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011  |  Updated 3:18 PM CDT
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Sneaks and Drinks Under Lock and Key

Paul McDonald

The Bedford Chef Mark Steuer and mixologist and GM Peter Gugni.

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Chicagoans in the know have long been aware of the eclectic space below the old bank building at 1612 W. Division Street.

Nike threw a pre-World Cup bash last summer and party mavens @superfun featured the signature bank vault in one of their videos.

Now the rest of the public can see what the buzz is all about with the opening of The Bedford -- a neighborhood kitchen and bar scheduled to officially open on Friday.

The 8,000 square foot basement den below the former MB Financial Bank building is full of signature design details like terra cotta, marble and terrazzo, and a giant metal porthole opening leads to the oversized original copper vault filled with floor-to-ceiling lockboxes.

A full dinner menu will be available, with Chef Mark Steuer -- a veteran of The Gage and Hot Chocolate -- offering seasonal cuisine with an emphasis on using locally-sourced ingredients.

The drink list ranges from boutique wines to locally-sourced beer and cocktails.

And just like your experience at the bank -- we're guessing you'll have to wait in line to get in this spot.

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