Branching Out

Restaurant vets set to open Branch 27 in an old West Town library

What do you do when you've helped opened some of the most successful dining and drinking establishments in town? Open another one, of course. Cary Michael (formerly of Rockit Bar and Grill and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises) and Howard Natinsky (of Five Star, Fat Cat and Empire Liquors) are poised and ready to open Branch 27 on Monday, March 16.

Michael and Natinsky's hot new dining concept is set in the old 27th Ward library branch in West Town (hence the name). Following the trend of upscale casual hangouts the city is so keen on, Branch 27 will feature an accessible menu served in an appealing atmosphere. Chef Bob Zrenner (formerly of Tru, North Pond Cafe, Tournesol and X/O) will highlight shareable-yet-hearty appetizers, entree-sized salads and classic comfort dishes like flat iron steak, rotisserie chicken, cedar plank salmon and homemade desserts, all featuring seasonal ingredients. The smart beverage program showcases craft beers, a global wine list and creative cocktails.

Branch 27's surroundings will feel homey, housed in a 1900s brick-and-terra cotta building. A glass atrium in the dining room offers a year-round garden atmosphere, while exposed brick walls, white terrazzo, recycled wood flooring and custom-designed furniture and lighting are timeless touches. 

Branch 27 is located at 1371 W. Chicago Ave., 312-850-2700.

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